We had the good fortune of connecting with Natasha Ellis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natasha, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
I think about this question all the time because it is one of those questions that drives your life. Until about 8 years ago I was an only child to my mother and up until that point I lived for myself to fulfill my desires and to evolve into what i truly believed my purpose was. Now that I have a sibling that is trailing behind me I know what it feels like to have an elevated purpose to want to leave a legacy behind for your youth.
When i look into my little brother’s eyes i want to reflect back to him by the way he is witnessing me live my life that no matter what life hands us we will overcome and that we are powerful beings. I want to leave behind a legacy of unconditional love and making the most of your personal potential. I want to leave behind the legacy of leaving the world just a little better than you found it. I want the world and my baby brother to regard me as a human being that kept daring to show up in life and gave and did her best in all she did and had loads of fun along the way.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Acting is my first love . The elders in my family always told me how animated and dramatic I was even as a little girl. My first time performing was in the Christmas play at church and I was one of the only children who remembered their lines without the help of their parents and delivered with such emotion. I remember the feelings I had during the applause and looking at the expression on their faces that something I could say or do could impact how people feel or think.
I fell in love right then and dedicated my life to educating myself on theater from grade school until college and performing whenever i could. I have been a part of many projects over the years that were passion projects that spread messages that were important to me and for the good of humanity. I then grew my interest and love from Live theater to Film. I have always dreamed of moving to Los Angeles since I was young to be where that magic happens I wanted to be in the motherland of film and immerse myself in how to perform in that medium . It wasn’t until i was in the middle ages of my life that it was to be so. I am grateful that i waited to purse my thirst for education in the film industry until i matured and reached a place in life where that experience could be an asset to the rest of my life instead of a detriment.
People have asked me why i like acting and what i know to be true for me is that Performing is an expression of who I am, it’s how i like to make sense of my experiences, and commune with life and my divinity. Another part of me is my professional life I am a woman who is in long term recovery from Mental illness and addiction who took those struggles and circumstances to become a Mental Health and addiction specialist . I learned in this journey that my career and my craft are intertwined. My scope of practice within mental health is teaching laughter Yoga to survivors . Helping people explore an alternative way to approach and navigate life and healing . I have been working in mental health almost as long as i have been acting and both are very interrelated and interdependent on each other in my life. I feel blessed that i know what makes my heart soar in this life and i get to participate in it everyday.
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 love this question because it forces me to recap my last couple years here transitioning into an Los Angeleno as they call it. I am still putting down roots and exploring the city bit by bit and know i have barely scratched the surface of all Los Angeles has to offer in the way of a good time but ill share what i love thus far.
Things to do:
We would take a trip down the sunset strip- That is where i go when i forget during the hustle and bustle of surviving and thriving in LA that i finally live in LA its so beautiful to me.
Go to Santa Monica pier
Go to the beach
Go to a Taping of a show
West Hollywood strip and hit all the clubs
Hit yoga and mimosas in the loft downtown
Places to eat: My Fav’s
Cafe gratitude in Venice
Pinks Hot dogs
Taco trucks of course
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I absolutely love this because it is so true no one does anything all alone. There are countless people and entities that are and were a part of my village that raised and cultivated me. I will highlight some of the mainstays other than family according to time of life.
. My grade school teacher Mrs. Edith Wines- My first real cheerleader outside of the home in my early development years . She always validated my self worth and whenever she looked at me I saw a sparkle in her eyes oh how that carried me throughout my life.
. Community Mental Health System – I have been the beneficiary of the practice of psychology since I was young. I have been blessed with amazing treatment teams that partnered with me as I built a healthier life and better ways of navigating and healing through life.
. A little help from some friends- There are countless heart connections I have made throughout the course of my adult life but some of note that consistently saw me through my turbulent 2o’s until my Thriving thirties and beyond. Crystal Spratt a spectacular painter, sculptor and gallery owner, Dana Anderson a soulful songstress ,musician ,and financial advisor ,Patrick Camarrado a brilliant legal aide ,and Susan Doyle Expert Government Software trainer
There are countless more individuals throughout the fabric of my life . Thank you to my recovery community who has shared a hug, a smile , a similar story and kind words to me you know who you are .
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