We had the good fortune of connecting with Krista Hovsepian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Krista, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
Success to me is changeable, moment to moment. It’s the measure of: am I feeling expansive, joyful, whole, and free in this present moment here and now? Because the present moment is the only thing that’s real. If we’re constantly focusing on getting to some place in the future so that we can rest and go, “Ah, now I’m a success,” we’ll never actually get there. Because the future soon becomes the present-now, and then we find ourselves chasing an entirely knew future. I think that’s why so few people feel satisfied or fulfilled. We’ve become a culture – maybe a species – that’s utterly obsessed with what comes next. We’re not only always jumping ahead to the next thing in our own minds (and the anxiety and fear we attach to it all), but the moment we start to wrap up one project or relationship, it’s common for other people to start asking us, “So, what’s next?”. We don’t value stillness, integration, or the ability to just be. The irony is, the major clue’s hidden in plain sight. We’re human BEings. So, finding those miraculous moments of soft, quiet breath, of just being… and maintaining presence throughout them… that, to me, is success. Awards, money, accolades are all really nice. Absolutely. And we should be free to enjoy them as much or as little as we like. But they don’t alter our worth. They’re fun to experience – and we’re here to experience – but they don’t fill us up or make us whole. We’re already whole. Most of us were just conditioned at one point or another to believe that something was missing, and I find that when we say we’re after a new job or more money or fill-in-the-blank, what we actually mean is we’re seeking greater freedom, more joy, love, acceptance, ease. But those states of being are always available to us if we’re willing to allow ourselves to have them without achieving ‘the goal” first. When someone’s able to come home to the realization that they were born whole, when they can sit with themselves in silence and feel at ease, loving, loved, full, free, and complete without needing any external stimulation, attention, or validation… that, in my view, is the true core and essence of success.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started acting and experimenting with visual art as a really young child. Both of my grandfathers were amateur photographers and filmmakers… they had every camera going. One even had a darkroom at home. I loved painting, writing, drawing, dancing… you name it. I excelled at science, math, and languages (I speak four fluently) too, but being creative lit me up in countless ways. And I knew early on that there was no backup plan that would ever do. I’ve also always been gifted as an intuitive healer and energy worker, so I create from a place of pure flow. Of just allowing the magic and wonder and fullness of the Universe to flow directly through me. When I allow myself to transcend the thinking mind and just allow creativity and intuition to guide me, I’m telling you, miracles happen. I announced when I was three-years-old that I was moving to LA to focus on acting. I finally got the work permit (I’m Canadian) and moved out here over 20 years later. Was it easy? In some ways, easier than one might think… and in many ways, much harder. We tend to overcomplicate things, resist growth, self-sabotage. I did a lot of all three. But when I’d allow myself to step out of my own way, things would come together instantaneously in ways that most can’t quite fathom. Call it manifestation, call it alignment. It’s available to all of us. I feel it’s the natural order of things. But again, we get stuck in our heads about why it’s gotta be hard, how it’s noble to struggle, or whichever stories we’ve chosen to hold on to. I came out to LA with about 100 theatre credits under my belt, but few people here really cared. I didn’t know anyone really. I was fortunate to connect with a lot of casting directors and teachers from NYC who had also come out to LA, so they did see the value in my body of work. Like I said, I’d been writing and making images my whole life too. I’d also gone on to complete a BFA in Photography and Film in Toronto, and an MA in Visual Anthropology in Berlin, so people started talking to me about creating a web series. At the time, the format was rapidly gaining momentum and it felt like a really great way for me to showcase who I was as a performer. I had a few short clips from network TV co-stars and indie film in Canada, but nothing I felt represented who I was at the time. So, I started my own production company and wrote my first comedy series, Wholesome Foods, I Love You… Is That OK? back home in Toronto, got a bunch of friends who also happened to be incredibly talented working professional actors together, and made a 14-episode show. I wore a lot of hats on that production, slept very little, learned more than I could ever possibly relay, and had the time of life. To date, we’ve screened at 14 festivals from South Korea to Côte d’Azur to Santa Monica and so many places in between, received over 30 award nominations, won five, and I myself was awarded Best Actress in Sicily, Best Ensemble (with the team) in Seoul, and Best Comedy Writer in Cannes. The show and my comedic chops were compared to The Mindy Project and Ellen Degeneres in The Toronto Star, which was a beautifully surreal moment in time. Four months after we launched the series, I wrote and starred in a new show called, fête, which is currently in post-production. I’ve worked as a photographer, acting coach, intuitive art teacher,,, I published a book of cell phone street photography back in 2007 before smartphones or Instagram had come into our lives. I’m currently working on two treatments for two new comedy shows… but every day, I’m finding new and deeper ways to surrender to the moment. To follow the intuitive impulse and where it might lead me. I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. Throughout my career, I’ve been given a lot of of advice – most of which was unsolicited, a lot of which was unwarranted or unkind. I rarely followed it, and when I did, projects just didn’t quite work. My energetic signature was missing. When I listened to that whisper within me, gently guiding me down a specific path, even when others told me something wouldn’t work, I’d find myself creating something moving and beautiful, funny and clever… and I’d find that those who tried to steer me in another direction were finally madly in love with the idea and end result. It probably also helps that I’m (as I’m told) both charming and persuasive haha! And I know how to move energy, which is an indispensable skill to be tapped into when it comes to smoothing out/over pretty much any situation or issue, so that might give me a seemingly unfair advantage. Ultimately, I kind of see everything as part of an ongoing experiment. A colleague once said that I came to set every day better prepared than anyone else, but also more willing and open to playing around and trying things out. There’s always been this innate curiosity within me that, when paired with that intuitive knowing, almost always takes me to wherever it is I want or need to go.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well! I wrote a show that takes place in an organic supermarket, so not surprisingly, I spend a lot of time (like… a lot) at Erewhon. I also spend my time hiking, walking down by the ocean, practicing yoga… not unlike most Angelenos. I can’t not give some of my favorite Canadian-owned or originally Canadian restaurants at shout out: Terroni for incredible authentic Italian, Badmaash for Indian, and Café Crêpe for Nutella milkshakes. I could probably go on for years with regard to where to eat: Blue Plate Oysterette, Lanea, Summer Buffalo, Din Tai Fung, Berlin Currywurst, Catch, Crimson, Honey Hi, Fig, The Rose… the list honestly never ends. It’s LA! In non-food-related itinerary news… I love wandering the arts district, The Broad, The Annenberg. The Marciano collection was one of my absolute favorite places in the city when it was still open. I’d say checking out Frieze LA when it’s in town is well worth any art-lover’s while. The show at the Griffith Observatory Planetarium always puts things in perspective for me, and no trip to the east side would be complete for me without a stop at Spellbound Sky (metaphysical shop). The beauty of LA is that you can find pretty much whatever you’re looking for: water sports, film festivals, comedy shows, fringe theatre, temporary private art collection showings and installations, dance classes in rooms that once held space for Shirley Temple and Marilyn Monroe. Lazy days at the beach, picnics on grassy hills, deep inner peace surrounded by rugged mountains, and every character – fictional or real – that life on earth has to offer, all in one place.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I, personally, don’t think we give ourselves enough credit. It’s possible to remain humble while acknowledging the ways in which we show up for ourselves every day and truly honoring that. That’s my truth: I wouldn’t be where I am without my stubborn insistence upon showing up for myself every single day (and sometimes doing the work of at least ten people all at once). I’m deeply intuitive and I maintain that there is no greater teacher or guide than our own intuition. I’ve been that way since childhood. I resented having to sit in a classroom and bend to the will of someone outside of myself. The problem is, most people are completely disconnected from their intuitive knowings because we’re all constantly being sold the idea that someone or something “out there” has the answers. Every single philosophy, religion, spiritual text tells us that we have all we need within us, and yet few trust that. I know when to ask for help, when to really and truly listen to advice, but more often than not, I go with my gut and it hasn’t failed me. Not once. I’m always saying that most of what I know, in terms of the knowledge and creative skillset that I actually use, came to me spontaneously, organically, and/or through direct experience. Not from a book or a method or a class. All of that being said, my dear friend and healer, Ria Ray has been an incredible well of support. She has held space for me through the darkest of times and assists me regularly in seeing myself – and hearing my intuition – even more clearly. There’s a quote that goes something like, “Why ask someone who’s never been where you’re going for directions,” and that’s the thing… I’ve always been going places that few, if any, have ever gone to before. I love creating and playing by my own personal set of rules. I really believe we’re all here to leave our wholly unique mark on this world and that we all have something that is specific to who we are to offer up. That genius is in all of us and available to us in every moment, if only we would stop trying so hard to fit in and do it “right” or be like everyone else.