We had the good fortune of connecting with Miriam Yohannes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Miriam, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I will be completely honest, I am scared to take risks. All the time. But what I do know is that without taking them, I would not be where I am and accomplish all that I have done. I think most people think you have to be fearless to take risks in your life, like move across the world, live in 2 cities in the same year with little money or leave the beauty/fashion corporate world to pursue your dreams full time during a global pandemic. But it takes courage more than anything – to see the greater meaning and purpose behind your choices and accepting any outcome. We all have fear. Its inevitable. But without it, we don’t see the levels we ascend to, the abilities we obtain, the lessons we learn. I still find myself apprehensive at times, I am human after all. But I do know that my intuition has never steered me wrong – I thought I was insane for pursuing my career during the current state of our world. But timing is everything. And so is balance. Knowing when to take risks and when to scale back to devise your next plan is a skill anyone can acquire. I am still mastering it but I think I’m doing pretty well so far 🙂
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a professional actress, dancer and choreographer. I also model, paint and sing, too. But my heart remains with dance and film. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old, and wanted to pursue acting beginning at the age of 6. I did everything from joining a talent agency in my home state, participating in school plays and musicals from 4th grade to junior year of high school, competed in dance for over 8 years and went to nationals twice as part of my dance studio’s elite dance company. Joined 2 dance crews in college and now actively pursuing my career full time in the arts.
I will admit it has not been easy at all. Lots of judgement both from others and myself, still that I face today. But no matter how doubtful I was or others have been, something in me won’t let go of this dream. It’s hard because I have had a huge internal battle between being practical and going back to a corporate job where I am guaranteed security, or taking the risk and pursuing full time, no distractions. Sometimes I think I am too late, too old, etc… I am 26 years old. I am currently still trying to overcome my biggest challenge – myself. I find that I get in my own way more than I should because I have allowed the judgement of others to delay my chance of focusing on my career full-time but now I am no longer holding back. I am finding ways to become more positive and look at all opportunities both accepted and rejected as either rewards or redirections.
I think what sets me apart from others is my talent and ambition alone. My ability to adapt and always find ways to better myself to become a better artist.
The way I relate to film, embodying characters that reflect our vulnerabilities and producing nostalgia. The way I hear music and choreograph – its like walking to me, very effortless and boundless. I want the world to know that I want my art to remind you what it’s like to feel again. I think we have deterred ourselves from the concept of humanity, but knowing that art can heal and imitates life – we have the opportunity as artists to help each other feel and have compassion for one another.
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.
I would definitely take them to some of the best and most chic brunch spots and rooftop lounges near Westwood, Venice or West Hollywood. Then of course we have to go to the beach but maybe something a bit more private and secluded like Malibu. Definitely go on a hike near the Hollywood Sign or other neighboring hiking trails for a sparkling view of the city of LA. Check out some local boutiques on Melrose Avenue and maybe even see a comedy show! Then go to dinner either in DTLA, Culver City or Santa Monica – fine dining is a must with ambiance, of course. If we even have time, we could take a road trip to San Diego or even Palm Springs and explore those areas also!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom. Without her love and support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. She has gone through so much to make sure I was always happy, pursuing what I love and what I am passionate about. She has always been my number one fan and always put up with me. I mean she would literally say that I was like 10 kids in one, I’m not that bad haha but I always appreciated how much she respected my visions and would travel for hours just to be in support of me, no matter what it was.
1st Image: Music video for ‘Na Na’ – Jonita & Mickey Singh; Dancers (left to right): Miriam Yohannes (self), Athena Garcia, Jonita (artist), Aathira Rajeev 3rd Image: Photograph by Josie Hubley