We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariya Ranieli and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mariya, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
This reminds me of the Don’t Quit poem, which I love (“rest if you must, but don’t you quit”). I think it’s important for our mental health to take breaks from time to time. I’m the type of person who can’t work on anything, whether it’s cleaning the house or writing a project, without taking frequent breaks. It’s better for my productivity than to just plow straight through. On a much larger scale, though, I think that’s so important to do in life. When you get tired, take a rest. Come back recharged and look at your project or your situation with fresh eyes. I think giving up is only an option if YOU decide you don’t want to do something anymore. Then it’s not giving up – it’s just you saying, “Hey, this doesn’t work FOR ME anymore” or “this doesn’t fit into my life or my plans any longer.” It’s empowering to have that sort of control in life.

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.
I have my own production company called Spikey Dog Productions. I write a lot of my own projects and I love collaborating with all different kinds of people. I enjoy writing just as much as I enjoy acting, so after a while, I got the idea to write my own projects. Whenever things are slow in terms of auditions and booking projects, it helps to have my own projects to fall back on. Lessons I’ve learned are to just let things happen. You never know where you’re going to be in a week, a month, a year (even though you may think you do).

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This actually was supposed to happen last year, and then COVID hit. They officially declared it a pandemic the week she was supposed to visit. We’re both vegans, so I had a vegan food tour planned (Sage in Echo Park, Doomie’s in WeHo, Cocobella Creamery) as well as a trip to the Gentle Barn up in Santa Clarita. I volunteer at a pug rescue (Pug Nation Rescue of Los Angeles) so we were going to go just chill and hang out with the rescue pugs. We also had some hikes planned at Runyon and beach trips to Malibu. I insist on taking all newcomers who visit on a drive up PCH to Malibu. Finally, we were going to hit up some of my favorite rooftop bars, like Perch downtown and The Edition in West Hollywood. LA is such a fun and diverse place, it’s hard to run out of things to do. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The credit and recognition is all owed to my husband, my family and my friends who are like my family. I always say that I have a really strong support system. I get a lot of encouragement and even inspiration. Two of my closest friends had a hand in inspiring the two web series I’m currently working on. One is based on my friend’s actual dating life (it’s ok, he gave me permission so I’m not a total monster). The other, my friend and I were just tipsy at dinner and came up with an idea. But, ultimately, at the end of the day, I know that no matter how difficult it gets, I can always count on them.

Instagram: instagram.com/mariyaranieli

Twitter: twitter.com/mariyaranieli

Facebook: facebook.com/mariyaranieli

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKFo7Fd9SsRlR48PFMZHaIg

Image Credits
Paul Smith, Rob Timm

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