We had the good fortune of connecting with Lee Quarrie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lee, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
This is such a terrific question. You can answer it with your heart or you can answer it with your head. For many people the heart says one thing but the head dictates otherwise. The head says, “Be safe! Make choices that will protect you from fiasco and ruin!” The heart says, “Enjoy life! Have fun! Throw caution to the wind!” I am actually a very practical person on a lot of levels, but my heart has always guided me to a life of creativity. I tried denying it for years. I tried to give up and live a practical life. But it only made me miserable and angry and caused the people around me to suffer alongside me. So for me the answer is that I must keep going. Giving up is never an option. I’ve heard others say that if there is anything else you can do that will make you happy you should do that instead. The artistic life is hard. But I have come to understand that all lives are hard. So choose satisfaction, choose risks, choose to do the hard work that will ultimately make you proud of yourself. And above all choose to follow the whispers of guidance your heart offers. Give up? Never.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As an actor and filmmaker, my work focuses outwardly. I am just as interested in helping you make your project as I am in making my own work. Early on I saw my peers as auteurs and I thought that was what I had to be – the person who did it all on her own. Eventually I came to find that the more I called on the expertise of others, the better my work became. So I became focused on looking at art as a collaboration, which has landed me squarely in the middle of my career.
Was it easy to get to where I am? It was easy, except for the fact that I made it difficult. There was this sense that if something came easily to me, it wasn’t deserved. So I would throw up obstacles of doubt and limit myself. I had a limiting belief that I didn’t deserve what others had. I have now come to understand that what is available to others is available to me. Having that understanding makes it easy to take the steps necessary to succeed. Easy isn’t effortless, by the way. To me, easy just means that you have clarity and are willing to do the work as it presents itself. And it will present itself.
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?
When my best friend comes to visit me we always spend a day at Point Dume in Malibu. It’s the perfect beach. We’d have lunch at the Sunset Cafe (lobster roll please!) and stick our feet in the water.
We’d probably go to the Hollywood Bowl if the right artist was playing. A friend and I caught Peter Gabriel and Sting there a few years ago. That would be hard to top.
My bestie is a burlesque dancer, so I’d probably take her to see TripTease Burlesque for some bawdy fun.
We both like to eat vegan foods so I’d take her to Something Vegan in Toluca Lake.
If the Victory Theatre had a show running, I’d definitely put that on the itinerary. They never disappoint when it comes to live theatre.
We’d also head down to Frogtown to the Spoke Bicycle Cafe and Bike Shop, get some good grub and ride some bikes along the LA River path.
And we’d spend an afternoon combing through the shelves at The Iliad Bookshop in North Hollywood.
She also loves walking down Magnolia Blvd in Burbank and going into all the antique and second hand shops.
We’d head over to Studio City for dinner at Vitello’s Restaurant where they have the best cannoli you’re ever gonna get in LA.
And what’s a week in LA if you don’t catch some comedy. There’s a lot to choose from, but we’d probably end up at The Laugh Factory.
And what’s a visit to LA without a hike up to Griffith Observatory? You gotta hike up to it, or you can’t say you visited LA.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to Lady Bits Comedy! Lady Bits is an all-female sketch comedy troupe — an impressive and diverse group of women who really know how to “make ’em laugh!” It is a real joy for me to work with these women. I’ve found myself challenged, uplifted, energized and somewhat reinvented because of my work with Lady Bits.
Instagram: @ladybits_comedy; @leequarrie
Twitter: @ladybitscomedy; @LeeQuarrie
Other: TikTok: ladbitscomedy
Tim Sullens Stephen Miller Alexis Turentine