We had the good fortune of connecting with Nathalie Basha and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nathalie, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
I made the choice to fake it till I made it! And it served me well. When I was just beginning my journalism career, I didn’t have any actual experience to speak of, but I talked about myself, carried myself, and thought of myself as the journalist I *wanted to be* until everyone else saw me that way, too. If you do it with conviction, eventually you will manifest it into existence.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Wow where do I start! I am a digital journalist and reporter with a beat in travel and human interest. It was NOT easy to get here, and mostly because there is no direct path – I had to carve my own path and it wasn’t always clear. I started reporting in entertainment news, then local news, then I saw the opportunity to create my own role by branding myself as the journalist I wanted to be (even though I was nowhere NEAR that!). I kept applying to journalist roles until one stuck, and when it did, I convinced my boss to give me a shot doing travel and human interest. I was an active participant in my own path. So many aspiring journalists write to me and ask me to advise them on what to do to get to my position, and they’re always frustrated when I tell them that I can’t. In some careers, like the medical field or law, etc, it’s pretty clear: if you want to reach position C, you have to follow the path of A and B. In any creative field, that doesn’t exist. You really have to take what you can get while keeping the larger goal in mind, jumping from stepping stone to stepping stone as the opportunities present themselves. I meandered in several positions for about seven years, before landing at the job I most recently had. Other journalists and reporters, who do similar work to mine, had completely different paths that led them to today. I think I set myself apart with my storytelling. I’ve always been able to take a jumble of clips and interviews, and create a strong narrative and voice. If you turn off the audio and just see the visuals, you’d know it was my story. And similarly, if you turn off the visuals and just had audio, you’d still know it was my story. I think that’s a really important thing to hone in as a storyteller.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The beauty of Southern California is there is EVERYTHING here! I’d start at the beach – Zuma Beach in Malibu, then hiking on Point Dume. I absolutely love shopping on Abbott Kinney in Venice and grabbing lunch at Gjelina. There would DEFINITELY be a trip downtown to check out the arts district and all the incredible restaurants there (literally too many to list!). And without a doubt, I’d drive them out to Pasadena, to one of my favorite places in the world: the Huntington Library and Gardens. It’s this gorgeous turn-of-the-century estate that has acres and acres of gardens. The rose garden and Japanese garden, especially during the spring, are heartbreakingly beautiful.
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?
I’d have to give my shoutout to my mom. She saw my potential when I was a kid, and she guided me to the career I have today. As a kid I was very shy – until you put a camera on me. I also loved to tell stories, I spoke eloquently (for a kid) and she just saw the vision way before I even knew what a journalist was. I’m not sure that being a journalist and reporter would have crossed my mind, had my mom not been putting that bug in my ear.
First photo: Ariel Min Second photo: Shaun Mir