We had the good fortune of connecting with Rainelle Saunders and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rainelle, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
Throughout my life, I understood that being a creative soul was my true purpose. It wasn’t always easy. I searched for several ways to fulfill that purpose, which often seemed to be in opposition to what people expected from me. That search led me to be good at many different careers, and I sometimes didn’t understand why I was willing to give them up to continue down a less secure path. However, I realized early on that I experienced my greatest joy when I was able to be my creative self. Whether I was writing, singing, dancing, acting, or performing in any expressive manner, experiencing life through that creative lens has made me feel very powerful. No matter what I do, I am happiest when my creative gifts make others feel something powerful, too. How can I give up on that? It has never crossed my mind. Triumphs are as life-altering as tragedies. They both can change you for the better if you let them. They can make you stronger if you let them. They can guide you through this life by showing you what to do and what to change. How do I know to keep going? As long as I am breathing, I can keep going and keep expressing myself. I choose to make my life great. Giving up is not on my mind. I’m just not made that way. Faith in my destiny is what keeps me going.
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 was a gifted creative writer from the beginning. I started out writing stories in first grade. Now I write in many genres. I am a poet, songwriter, author, screenwriter, and all-around wordsmith. I am most proud of my first novel, Popi’s Place, and the first feature film I wrote and produced, I Dance In Jasmine. Both were made out of determination to see them to completion, despite the multitude of obstacles that blocked my path. The end results were as great as I dreamed they could be. The knowledge that there is no time limit on my dreams is what got me through. I found a way, even with a lack of resources. There are many great stories that I have breathed into existence. I could stop writing today, and still have enough projects to keep me busy for life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For dining, I love Ocean Prime in Beverly Hills, Pip’s on La Brea, Killer Shrimp in Marina del Rey, Micelli’s in Hollywood and Pink Taco on Sunset. They all have good drinks, too. Going to Venice Beach (or any of the beach cities), Universal Studios, and my favorite, Hollywood Bowl, are all on a visitor itinerary list. Shopping downtown in the Alley is good for fun deals, and folks can’t help but enjoy Hollywood and Highland, and the Walk of Fame. Griffith Observatory, Rodeo Drive, Malibu, Santa Monica Pier and Leimert Park are also on my list. That covers a lot of LA fun.
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 would like to dedicate my Shoutout to all of the people on my path who loved me, challenged me, supported me and allowed me to make mistakes as I fought to be my authentic self. Loving family members, awesome friends, and some empathetic strangers all contributed to making me the positive, resilient person that I am.