We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Hartman Naar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I don’t necessarily agree with the concept of work/life balance, because it’s impossible to give every aspect of life equal time and energy. I’ve always found when I try to complete “balance,” I get really stressed and burn out quickly. For me, it’s more about prioritizing. I have a few things that are really important to me on a daily basis – exercising, sitting down for aa meal with my partner, and working are pretty much always going to be part of my day. But in some seasons, my actual day-to-day varies. In seasons when I’m producing, work takes up a lot more of my time, and I have to be aware that some self-care may not be my priority. But when that project is done, I take a few days just for myself. I go to the beach, read a good book, get a massage (pre-pandemic), whatever it takes to recharge myself and feel energized for the next project. It’s all about understanding that different times in life have different needs, and that helps me be able to power through the busier seasons.
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’m a writer and producer based in Los Angeles. I mostly work in the horror space and I really pride myself (and my partner) in writing stories that are unexpected. I love to flip traditional tropes on their heads, and take horror to an elevated level beyond just gore and slasher films. But please believe I love a good slasher film! I dressed as Michael Myers for Halloween in 2020, so it’s a whole vibe for sure. Right now I’m really excited about a new film I co-wrote and am hoping to produce over the summer called Willow & Lydia. iI’s about a couple struggling to conceive who turn to supernatural methods to help with fertility. It was definitely not easy to get to this place in my career, and I’ve had many obstacles to overcome. It took me a while to feel confident in my voice as a horror writer. I started in comedy, and when my partner and I got together and started writing horror, I felt like he had more experience in long-form writing, and I didn’t always trust myself. It took a lot of bickering mixed with some soul-searching to trust that not only did my partner trust me as a co-writer, but I trusted myself. When I fight for an idea, I feel confident that I’m not just being difficult, but it’s because I believe in the story I want to tell, and know that my perspective is valuable. That’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned, aside from the fact that filmmaking is super hard and you’ll be stressed a lot of the time but that’s ok, because when you’re passionate about something, it’s worth the struggles. If you’re writing a story or making a piece of art, your voice is valuable. Your story matters, so don’t be afraid to tell it. I’d want the world to trust that my storytelling is personal, my brand is authentic, and my goal is to tell honest stories that amplify under represented voices.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ok first stop is for sure gonna be the Hollywood sign, because I never want it to feel old or tired to me! It’s iconic, ok? And we’re really lucky to live in a state with such a cool landmark, so I will always take my visitors and my heart will always skip a beat. Then we’d stop for happy hour at WeHo Bistro in West Hollywood – they make a mean martini. If we didn’t eat dinner there, we’d go for a 5 star meal at Castaway in Burbank. We’d definitely have to make a stop at the beach because I am a secret mermaid – any beach will do, honestly. I love a good trip to Malibu, followed by drinks and lobster tacos at The Cliff Diver. Their margs are strong, so be careful or call an Uber! Other must-haves are chicken sandwiches from Dave’s Hot Chicken, tacos from literally any food truck, ice cream from Salt and Straw, and a visit to Little Dom’s in Los Feliz for the best pasta you’ll have in LA. So basically all of my activities include eating. Sorry not sorry!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to recognize Ebone Denise. She’s a self-care influencer in Los Angeles, and her space is all about journaling and learning to be your own biggest cheerleader. She makes great graphics and content that is really relatable, and I think people will benefit from following her!
Other: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/willow-lydia-horror-short?fbclid=IwAR1WkeD8QAGyd_2TW61BGKNLTGS9e9SADZ-qYlINZwxCPNs_xt5zf96u5mA#/ We’re currently fundraising for our next film so if it’s cool to share I’d love to!