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

Hi Paulina, how do you think about risk?
Risk management and risk/reward ratios are actually on the forefront of my mind quite often. I am not afraid of risk because you don’t get the rewards without the risks.

My work involves putting in a lot of unpaid work to pitch on jobs or to sell to a production company. It takes a lot of investing in shooting projects that may or may not propel my career forward. There’s risk involved there in regards to spending time and money on things that may or may not pan out. So, I guess, risk taking also requires a certain amount of confidence and belief in yourself.

My husband and I took a risk when we bought a house at the beginning of the pandemic. There was no saying what the economy was going to be like, the housing boom hadn’t happened yet, and work was unstable. However, the value for where and what we bought was there and was worth the risk. Our home was a new construction in the early stages of development, which helped in mitigating the risk of our investment. We try to manage risk in our lives by having some sort of plan in case things go awry.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a writer/director/editor, so, yes, that does mean I write, direct and edit a lot of my own work, but not all of it. My husband and I met right after college, and pursued our careers pretty much immediately. No one takes any filmmaker seriously after college, so it took a lot of working for free, a lot of rejection, a lot of making things just to push ourselves. In a nutshell, it was not easy. We had no money and were living in my in-laws guest house for a few years as we were just trying to hustle as much as we could. We had day jobs just to make enough cash to put back into our own work. Thankfully, it has paid off, but I know a lot of people who started where we were, but gave up along the way because they couldn’t keep going. I can’t say I blame them. Trying to make it in this industry is really demoralizing sometimes, so I’m very lucky I get to go through it with my husband. We keep each other sane. With that said, what we’ve learned along the way, is that so much of success is stamina. Do you have the stamina to keep going? If you keep going and keep working at it, the pool of people you are up against gets smaller and smaller as more and more people drop out. If you really love something, stick at it. We only get one chance at life, so might as well give it all a good go.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, first, I love coffee and LA has some incredible coffee shops. My favorite is Coffee Commissary in Glendale, so we’d start our day there. I love going on long walks and hikes, so I’d take them to any of the great hikes in LA. During their week visit we’d have to hit up a few of my favorite lunch spots. ALL TIME in Los Feliz (their turkey sandwich is out of this world), Bon Vivant for happy hour in Atwater Village, and Dune in Atwater. Some of my favorite restaurants/bars in LA are Laurel Tavern in Studio City, Skaff’s Lebanese food in Glendale (truly the best ever), and MOMED in Atwater. Pretty much Atwater and Los Feliz have a lot of great stuff.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband. He, along with my father, deserve a lot of the credit for why I do what I do and where I’m at today in my career and life. My father is the one that has always believed in me and been there for me no matter what, my husband, since I’ve known him, has also always believed in me and was the one that suggested I become a director in the first place. My husband and I also work together, so we both wouldn’t be where we are in our careers if it weren’t for each other. We are partners in every sense of the word, and now we are new parents.

Website: paulinalagudi.com

Instagram: @paulinalagudiulrich

Image Credits
Kell Riches Cooper Ulrich

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