We had the good fortune of connecting with Liz Izzo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Liz, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
“Face the fear and go into it” is one of my favorite quotes, and that is pretty much how I live my life. When something scares me, that is how I know that I absolutely must do it.
I made myself a promise a long time ago to never let fear stop me from living my dreams. I put myself to the test right after college when I decided to move to NYC and pursue acting, and again years later when I decided to make the move to Los Angeles. I had no job, no place to live, and no friends here. Still, something in my gut told me it was the right thing to do, so I sold everything I had, packed up two suitcases, hit the road and I never looked back. I am proud to say I have been here over ten years. Beyond that though, I realized that taking risks isn’t scary. It’s necessary to achieve goals. Several years back, I decided to move away from simply acting and I began writing and producing my own content. At the time this was a risk for me because I had no idea what I was doing, and no idea where to start. Luckily, I have an amazing network of supportive friends that helped me figure it out. Since that first project, I learned I truly can do anything I set my mind to. And the same is true for anyone.
If you dream it, you can achieve it. I have done experimental shorts and comedies and hey, some of them turned out great! And some of them never need to be seen by anyone at all. But it’s all part of the learning process, and after everything I do, I learn something from it. The greatest lesson I learned from taking risks is that nothing is a failure if you learn from it and apply that lesson to the next thing you do.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My name is Liz Izzo, and I am an actress, writer, and creator/producer of my own online content. I would say my grit and obsessive need to succeed is something that sets me apart from others. When I want to accomplish something, I will always find a way to make it happen. “No” is simply not a word in my vocabulary. I believe that “where there is a will there is always a way,” and it’s just about taking the time to figure it out. I arrived at the point of where I am today by a lot of hard work, and support from friends and family encouraging me, and never ever giving up – or giving in – to failure.
The road to success is never easy for anybody, and I am still a work in progress. At times, it feels like doors have not only been slammed shut in my face, but they were never even opened to begin with! It almost felt at times that even all windows were sealed tight with bars. Still, I was determined to find a way to accomplish my goals. I realized that if I wanted to be an actress, I was going to have to create my own opportunities, and that is exactly what I did. I started writing and creating content for myself and others, and then I figured out how to produce. With that knowledge, a whole new world then opened to me, and I felt like I was finally in control of my own career and my own opportunities. With this knowledge, I now enjoy helping others develop and create their own content. I love empowering people to go out and live their dreams. It’s truly so satisfying when I can help others accomplish things that they never thought they could do. I have overcome a lot of my personal struggles through support of my friends and family, along with my bullheaded determination to not let anything stand in my way. I have also invested a tremendous amount of my energy into meditation and prayer. Handing my struggles over to a higher power to help work things out is extremely liberating.
Throughout my journey, the biggest lesson I have learned is to never, ever, ever give up! Never accept “no” for an answer, and where there is a will there is always, always a way!! If you have a dream and passion for something, go after it with everything you have. You have that passion inside of you for a reason. Don’t let anyone take away your dream or make you doubt yourself. I am living proof that anything can be accomplished if you set your mind to it and if you never give up.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love doing touristy things that provide a mix of hidden gems. I would say as far as touristy things go: The “Hollywood Walk of Fame” and the “Dolby theatre.” I’d also recommend visiting the famous “Yamashiro” restaurant. The views are breathtaking. If you can figure out a way to get yourself in to “The Magic Castle” …YOU MUST GO!!! (It is a member’s only club, so you’ll need to find a member or someone who knows a member, but it is totally worth it!!) It is my personal favorite place in L.A. The magic there is literally mind blowing!! I’m a sucker for a good speak-easy. There is a super trendy one in Hollywood called “No Vacancy” but my favorite one is off the beaten path on Vine Street called “Sassafras”. I also love me a good chill bar and one of my favorite places to go to pre-pandemic was “Fox and Hounds”. They have a great trivia night and live music which is always fun. Also, check out “Grand Central Market” downtown. It has lots of different cuisines to choose from. I could spend all day there eating! “John and Vinny’s” has some of the best pizza in LA, so this is also a definite must!!!
I recently have been doing more hiking during the pandemic, and the “Wisdom Tree” hike is super awesome. I also love hiking around the LA reservoir. This hike offers some beautiful views of the Hollywood Hills. If you’re into driving a little bit out of the city, “Escondido Falls” in Malibu is gorgeous. Matador Beach is amazing and a nice place to spend a Saturday afternoon. If you’re feeling fancy “Paradise Cove” in Malibu is a nice little getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city as well.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people in my life that have given me support and love and encouragement along the way. I must first mention my parents, Joan and Leonard Izzo and my sister, Mary Izzo. They have always gone along with my crazy ideas and have always encouraged me to follow my heart and my dreams. When I first told my parents that I was going to be moving to Los Angeles, (3000 miles away from where they reside on the east coast), my father told me “I don’t understand it, but if this is what you feel you need to do, go do it.” My mother has listened to me cry countless times, because let’s face it, striving for any career in the arts is crazy and difficult with a million ups and downs. And yet, she has always encouraged me to keep going, even when I felt like quitting.
My sister, Mary, is the light of my life. She is always there to hold my hand, make me laugh and show me that when times get tough get up, brush yourself off and keep on going. She has shown me how to make the sweetest lemonade out of some very bitter lemons!
And then of course I must mention the most inspirational person I have ever met! He is my best friend, Jesse Daley! I am so lucky he is in my life. He is an incredible spring of love and positivity. I met him when I first moved to L.A. ten years ago, and he has remained by my side throughout this crazy ride. Jesse always has a smile on his face and a kind word on his lips for everyone. He has taught me the importance of patience and kindness and what it means to be a true friend and to be there for others. He is the most generous, gentle soul I have ever met and when times get tough, he is always there to lend a supportive helping hand. He has a YouTube channel called “Daley Planet” and a blog called “Behind the Sign” in which he posts inspirational messages and songs to encourage people to live their dreams and be their best selves. I have learned so much from all these people, and without their support, encouragement, and love, I would not be where I am today.
Bradford Rogne Photography Sarah Phillips