We had the good fortune of connecting with Serena Kashmir and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Serena, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When I was a dancer, I became accustomed to 8 hour rehearsals, 7 days a week, and regularly missing holidays, birthdays, and other social situations. It was part of the dance culture to be this committed and I convinced myself that this was the only way to be successful. Once I transitioned to acting, I applied the same mentality to my work. I took as many classes as possible, I drilled lines for hours at home, I created a rehearsal group with some friends, and I took to arts college for more long days. The result was a burnt out, uninspired actor. My work suffered as I became tired, less focused, and overwhelmed. Stress was a constant and the pressure I put on myself was cruel. I took a semester in New York that pushed me to a breaking point. It was there that I realized I needed to work a new approach and find a good middle ground. I attended class, rehearsal, and studied at home, but I also built in time to explore the city and hang out with my friends. At first, it felt lazy and guilt was hard to put aside. Over time, however, my energy and creativity was restored. If you’ve ever read “The Artists Way” book series by Julia Cameron, you know the value of “filling the well.” Essentially this means that one cannot create without exploring play in their everyday lives. We must be curious, joyful, and creative in order to be the artist we aspire to. Now, I vary my days to include mundane tasks, writing, editing programs, and of course, acting. I actively seek out new activities and experiences and I feel much more fulfilled than when I was forcing myself. Everyone’s perfect balance is different, but it’s important to experiment to find the sweet spot.
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.
The cool thing about being a creative person is that you can take inspiration and funnel it towards any medium. You can collaborate with others and you can learn new skills, but as long as you have drive and vision, you can create something amazing. Through my life’s journey, I’ve learned that whether it be dance, acting, or writing, in the end its all the same. I have to be brave, honest, and committed in order to be excellent. There will be doubts, failures, and outside forces that will test me. I want the world to see that through great struggle, beauty is formed.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Eat: – Little Pine – Real Food Daily – Perch – Rainforest Cafe – Crossroads Kitchen – Sage – Doomies See: – Chinese Theater – Universal Studios – Hollywood Forever – Santa Monica Pier – Getty Museum Nature: – Runyon Canyon Hike – Topanga Overlook Hike – Hollywood Sign – Potato Mountain – Wisdom Tree – Malibu Creek State Park
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to shout out some of my acting schools for providing skill and insight into this business: Margie Haber Zak Barnett American Musical and Dramatic Academy Killian’s Workshop My friends and family have been there for me every step of the way as I experience the highs and lows. I thank them for being that support for me.