We had the good fortune of connecting with Shelise Ann Sola and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shelise Ann, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Happiness is a funny word. We all strive to achieve it, yet fail to realize that it’s not something to be won, rather something to settle into. Happiness is a state of mind that exists when we stop comparing ourselves to others, start appreciating things we already have and shift our perspective to one of gratefulness. Having said that, life makes me happy. Simple things like drinking a warm tea on a rainy day or laughing till I cry with a friend. What I love about living a life of presence, is what evokes a state of happiness within me is constantly changing. Sometimes writing makes me happy and fulfilled, other times just going for a walk seems more exciting. I will always do my best to honor what makes me happy in any given moment and never apologize for changing my mind a million times. One thing I can say that is consistent however, is I definitely feel a strong sense of happiness when I help people. Evoking happiness in others is a sure way to evoke happiness within yourself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been on quite the roller coaster ride to get where I am today. I came from a very small town and have successfully been able to maintain a life here in Los Angeles for almost 10 years now. Even when I moved to Portland my senior year of high school, I knew that one day I would end up in Los Angeles working in the entertainment industry. On my 18th birthday I was in the moving truck driving to Las Vegas where I would spend the next three years earning my Bachelor of Fine Art in Fashion Design degree. I studied abroad in London where I graduated just before my 21st birthday and two weeks after returning to Vegas I was moved into a Venice beach home as a live-in dog walker. My story is definitely not without hardships, twists and turns, heart break and hard times, but it has made me into a resilient woman who will stand up for what she believes in and never stop trying. I love acting because it allows me to unapologetically dive down into my feelings and showcase a side of me that doesn’t express itself often. I love making other people feel deep emotions as well when they watch. Writing allows me to do the same. I’ve been enjoying writing my teaching memoir called “The Purple Eye” about my life growing up as a Mormon, uncovering childhood abuse and healing through a newfound spirituality. My goal is to help people to not feel so alone and give them courage to take back their lives as I have. Costuming is another passion and profession of mine. Sometimes I get to make WILD costumes for animals such as mermaids or astronauts. Expressing my creativity while solving complex problems is most certainly fulfilling.
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?
Los Angeles is such an eclectic city which is one of the reasons I love it so much. There are things for every type of person to enjoy. If I were to accommodate all types of activities it would look something like this: Monday: Pick them up from the airport, head straight to Venice and eat at The Butcher’s Daughter. We’d walk down Abbot Kinney blvd to check out all the cool boutique shops before walking to the beach to check out the street performers. If they are the type, we could chill on the beach and relax for a good part of the day. Tuesday: We’d head up to the Pacific Palisades to the Temescal Canyon hike overlooking Malibu and the ocean. Afterwards, we could get lunch at Dukes, a famous beachside restaurant. Reservations are a must! Then we could go to Sorenity Rocks in Malibu to check out the crystal store with the BIGGEST crystals I’ve ever seen. If they were still feeling beachy we could relax at any of the Malibu beaches. Dinner would be at the upscale vegan restaurant Gracias Madre in Beverly Hills. Afterwards, I would drive them around the Golden Triangle as the stores all lit up at night. Wednesday: Even though I don’t find it particularly interesting, we would have to visit the famous Hollywood Blvd between La Brea and Highland. We could walk down it or drive. Lunch could be at one of my favorite restaurants and hidden gems called Anar Indian which is right up the street on Cahuenga and Yucca. If the pandemic was over, we’d go to Sofitel for salsa dancing with the live band at night. Thursday: This would be a good day to hit up Universal Studios. I may even check with some of my friends to see if we could get into a taping as audience members. Friday: Time for 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica. There are lots of regular commercial stores but it’s a fun outdoor vibe. We could eat at True Food in Santa Monica place which is to die for, then walk down to the famous Santa Monica boardwalk. If they were feeling up for some exercise we would rent bikes for a couple of hours and bike down the beach bike path to Venice and back. On our way home towards Hollywood we would eat dinner at my favorite vegan restaurant called Sage in Culver City. Saturday: We could either go to the Grove and eat at my other favorite vegan place Veggie Grill and see a movie at the theatre there, or go to the Americana in Glendale (same vibes) and eat the Tender Greens nearby. Sunday: Brunch would be at Blu Jam café on Melrose blvd before heading to the Melrose Trading Post to check out the cool up-cycled and boutique shopping. After, we could walk down to some of the fun and trendy clothing shops on Melrose. For dinner, we would definitely hit up my favorite ramen place Tatsu Ramen.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This might sound “basic” but I’d be lying if I didn’t say my mom has been such a huge support and positive role model for me. She has never once questioned my wild dreams and every idea I bring to her she supports it even if it never pans out. As someone who is constantly shifting and going after new things, I really need that person who can cheer me on and give me encouragement. That is definitely my mom.
Instagram: @sheliseann and @solaspirittravels