We had the good fortune of connecting with Rasha Goel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rasha, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Previously, I used to give my work priority. Much of my time was spent on creating, thinking, networking, ‘hustling’ with expected results. I remember, I even worked one birthday and didn’t celebrate that day because I prioritized my work over me. I have realized, over time, life is much more than work. I think when you work in Hollywood, it’s easy to get lost in your work. I now give priority to my well being, first, and then everything else. I still am passionate and dedicated when I commit to work, but I make time to do things that make me happy and relax my mind such as hiking, reading, meditating on the beach, watching comedies, and spending time with friends and family. My sanity is more important than anything. The balance has now become my priority. I realized without balance, I was just a machine that was constantly running. I wasn’t taking time to enjoy things around me and appreciate the beauty of life. Life really isn’t a hustle, unless we make it one. The balance has given me an opportunity to be grateful for every moment.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a storyteller and work in television. My time is spent writing, hosting, and producing. It has always been important to me to use my talent and voice to help inspire and empower people.
I am an Emmy nominated Television Host and Producer and International Correspondent. I have established myself as a reputed journalist/producer/content creator that works in the US and internationally. I am the first South Asian American female Host for Dick Clark’s Live Red Carpet Coverage of the Golden Globes. I have covered the Oscars, Emmys, and Bollywood StarScreen and International Indian Film Academy Awards. I knew my path wasn’t going to be an easy one – going against my parent’s wishes and the guilt of crushing their dreams of making me a pharmacist, having no mentor or family member in the industry, and being a woman of color. I entered the industry when there weren’t many people that looked like me, let alone South Asians in the business. However, my determination, passion, and perseverance kept me going and committed to the game. I have built myself from scratch. While I got many “no’s” along the way, I kept pushing until the “yes” came.
Earlier in the year, during quarantine, I felt people were feeling disconnected and isolated. I launched my own digital show “RAW with Rasha” which covers topics people are uncomfortable talking about. It created a space to have authentic and vulnerable conversations. I have also been connected to the South Asian community and felt I wanted to make a difference breaking some of the stereotypes. So I produced and hosted my own show – “Star Talk” for a South Asian network – leading the way to provide content highlighting the South Asian American Diaspora. I created everything from conception to production to a half an hour completed show. What sets me apart is my ability to crossover between two cultures and understand the needs of both markets. I am able to provide coverage/content according to the market because I have the knowledge and deep understanding of the audience’s needs. I am also one of the few South Asian women to have received an Emmy nomination as an on camera host. What sets me apart is my empathy and ability to connect to people. I am truly passionate about people’s stories as I feel we all have a story to tell. One of my fortes is interviewing and making any person feel comfortable on camera. It’s a gift I have. I’m also working on a book to highlight those dealing with cancer.
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.
Given there wasn’t a pandemic: Living in LA, we get the best of city life and nature. I’d want to make sure they truly experience Los Angeles and take a part of it back with them.
I would take my friend to Ojai where we could go on a hike, get massages, and eat at The Farmer and the Cook. There are some cute coffee shops there as well. I’d make sure we go to Malibu and stop by Rafi’s Lounge for a health/wellness class and enjoy the sunset. This location has amazing views. As I love teas, we can’t forget Cha Do Tea Room in Pasadena. Some of my favorite food spots are H.O.P.E. in Studio City, as they have creative vegan dishes and Bollywood Bites in West LA with Indian food that tastes homemade. After a bike ride at Hermosa Beach we’d have brunch at Martha’s- the food is amazing! For the art experience we’d go to Getty Museum/LACMA. To spend some time in nature, we’d visit Channel Islands National Park and Lake Shrine. For some night life, there’s Catch LA, Beauty & Essex, and The Wolves. And a fun spot in downtown LA, I wouldn’t want them to miss is Two Bit Circus – a barcade. They have a robot bartender!
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 give a shoutout to my mother. My mother has been my biggest cheerleader. From childhood to now, she has always shown up for everything in my life, especially when it comes to supporting my talent and dreams. Sometimes, we forget the challenges an immigrant mother has faced. Even through her difficult times, she has always stood by my side. There may have been times that she disagreed with my decisions or hoped I would change my career path, but nonetheless she has always been in my corner. When I was growing up, she attended every dance recital, competition, and performance. The days I felt discouraged or lost, she was there to uplift me and encourage me to keep going. She is the one person I can completely trust. The success and failures don’t matter to her, she’s just there to cheer me on and that is priceless! She’s even come to help me on some of my productions just to support me (and then she’ll have Indian chai for the team).
David Naman (b/w pic)
Amy Smith / Sasha Speer (prayer pic)