We had the good fortune of connecting with Sierra Mackenzie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sierra, what role has risk played in your life or career?
In thinking about risk, the idea is you never know unless you try. I remember first starting out on my ten year journey as a music teacher, when I was barely fourteen years old and had parents asking me to teach their children. I had played for ten years myself at that point, and didn’t think I was capable, but my mum helped nudge me along to the point where I thought, “I have to try.” (I owe her big time for that one.) Ten successful years and forty-fifty weekly students later, I ended up passing the business along to my sisters as I endeavored on my next risk of moving continents to Australia. The risk taking business is, to be honest, terrifying on the surface; but there’s something – whether addictive or beautiful – about the free fall of that risk and not knowing quite where you’ll end up. There’s also something to be said about being part of a generation that believes in risk-taking. My cousins work as graphic designers for Google in their mid-twenties; other family members work as artists; there are countless avenues to take, and you don’t necessarily need to be 100% qualified or to “know” everything about everything like we once did. The possibilities are endless, but if we trap ourselves in our own self-proclaimed box, there’s no reward. I think it all chalks up to you get out what you put in. It’s not “no risk, no reward,” because I think there’s definitely things to be said for knowing exactly what you want, when you want, and having a simplistic, minimalistic lifestyle (God knows I crave the quiet coffee-laden morning light and an evening sunset on the beach), but there are others who know that they were also made for more, and risk is a piece of that journey. And my mum? She bought me a ticket to go skydiving for my twenty-second birthday, because that’s just the kind of releasing person she is.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a self-proclaimed artist from a very young age, the hardest avenue was knowing what to pick…I was always told I was laced with creativity, and I have more notebooks than I’ve ever had shoes (or ever will). As a little girl, I knew I wanted to be an actress, but not because of the performance or stage aspect – I loved layers and exploring other people’s stories. As a young adult advancing into a theatre and modeling career; and then an adult stepping into film, it was a steadfast tug on my heart to continue to convey others stories into a cohesive performance that would evoke others into emotion. Not only do I strive to connect with the audience on the other side of the camera, I strive to connect with the cast – and inwardly connect with myself and find different seasons from my life to tap into for emotions and heart. Today, I am currently working on getting back into the film and entertainment industry in Australia since my move from LA in 2019. I’m studying songwriting to tap into my love of music and journalism, but it’s been a difficult season getting back into something in a place where you have no connections, and staying in class and up to par has been a challenge. With my social media account, @enneagramenthusiast, it started out with me just wanting a platform to talk about enneagram on without boring my family and friends. Psychology has always fascinated me, and as soon as I delved deeply into enneagram strengths, securities, wings, and was able to use it in a team-building way whether in friendships, businesses, or at church, I was hooked. That account grew overnight into something I’m still incredibly proud of and building up. It was, as they say, a happy accident. Now I’m working at it from a blogger perspective, and loving every step of the way. Especially in our time just now in the world, maintaining vision in isolation has been a serious challenge. I find my creativity is sparked in community, and that words become my escape. With very few people to talk to, and a life not quite so interesting that I want to film it for as many people as possible, it was tough finding a balance. Thankfully, it was a relatively short time before I was able to embrace the silence and understand what the new groove looked like. We’re still working it out. I’ve always known I never wanted to sit behind a desk for a living. As a twenty-four year old, I know I’m not in danger of that anytime soon – and I feel blessed by that. Even though I have my degree, I actually tap far more into my creative zone than I originally would. I have the privilege to content create, run social media for a few businesses, act and model, learn how to professionally songwrite…and this is still just the beginning. My mum says I’m an entrepreneur, since it’s truly in my family roots. I tried to be serious and finally branded myself as a creative director. I’m still the most crazy, albeit introspective and completely serious (sometimes) adult feeling like I’m a little girl at heart, being a spontaneous planner (oxymoron, people), and figuring out everything along the way – and that’s okay. I’m a lot less scattered, definitely more focused, but still that girl who carries around more notebooks on vacation than shoes…and I’m okay with that now.
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?
Gosh this is hard! I have to be completely cliche and note that the Hollywood Hike and Griffith Observatory are incredible and definitely where I spent most of my time to get away when I was living in the city. Griffith is as gorgeous during the day as it is in LaLa Land, but at night, when you can see all the stars and can hike down a bit – there’s nothing like it. There’s also a perfectly placed lookout that overlooks the city that very few still know about…so find it now and thank me later. I’m a sucker for some good jazz, and Catalina Jazz is good jazz. It’s more supper-type dining, but its very classic and old-world in style. The Hollywood Bowl has also had some incredible jazz weeks in its time, though I unfortunately haven’t made it to a full jazz week. If you’re looking for coffee, I’m your girl. Paramount Coffee Company is the BEST coffee you’ll find in LA, hands down. I love their smooth cold brew, or any of their roasts. They look like a little hole-in-the-wall at first glance, and they may not be the first “aesthetic” for everyone (although I’m a fan), but they are everyone’s business when it comes to good coffee. For a more sophisticated evening out, Firefly is a tucked away little restaurant in Studio City. I remember it as being hidden behind a wall of ivy, and beyond is just Paris itself. It’s amazing how suddenly you’re no longer in Los Angles, you’ve stepped into someone’s secret garden – the food is absolutely incredible, their wine list is extensive, and you just feel chic and well taken care of. If you’re going for more a casual evening, there’s a lovely Mexican vegan spot in West Hollywood called Gracias Madre, where my sister and I would often head to after our thrifting ventures. They have a plate of vegan nachos that is to die for. If you’re roundabout Venice Beach, Plancha Tacos is a great spot to head for a quick, super casual lunch or dinner…definitely a fave for a beach day. And honestly, after all that, there’s a taco truck anywhere you look. You can’t lose. (Clearly California does Mexican food well – or I’m just craving it at the moment). If you’re in Santa Monica and on the hunt for something lighter, I love Z Garden for Mediterranean. The hummus is the best I’ve ever had, and while it’s a relatively quick bite, it’s still deliciously fresh. While you’re in Santa Monica, Sweet Rose Creamery is a lovely stop for a dessert of homemade, organic ice cream…or you can head back to Venice to Salt and Straw for more ice cream. Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach are both great hangouts. I’ve rented a Bird more than a few times (it’s an electric scooter that comes with an app and charges you per minute) and just cruised my way around – you can get pretty far, and it’s convenient because you don’t hit traffic, it’s environmentally friendly, and you can literally park it wherever. Santa Monica is just fun. You never know what or who you’re going to see, and they do a series of summer concerts on certain weeknights as well, which is enjoyable for live music and a picnic on the sand. For sightseeing, I HAVE to include the Pantages Theatre. I’ve seen Wicked, The Lion King, and so many others in this theatre – it’s absolutely stunning, and since it’s located right on Hollywood Blvd, it’s convenient to access. If you’re into museums and art, LACMA and the Getty Museum and Villas are both beautiful and highly recommended – the villa itself is scenic and has a view overlooking the city, as well as grounds to picnic and reflect on. The Huntington Library and Art Collection was once where Henry Huntington and his wife lived, and I have fond memories of growing up and exploring his extensive grounds of gardens, art, and antiques.
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 think I mentioned her before, but my mum has been the biggest encourager, inspiration, and, let’s be honest, pusher in my journey. I wanted to be an actress at age five, and she toted me back and forth to auditions in Los Angeles for the greater part of my life (until she pushed me to get a driver’s license). Laziness was not part of our home, and if ever the words, “I’m bored,” passed my lips, I was handed the toilet scrubber and informed that there were many other jobs one could come up with – and this was how I approached my life. Mum has been the shoulder to cry on, and the woman I laugh hysterically about any and everything with. She’ll be the first person to encourage me to go for something, and yet will tug at my introspective side and ask the deep questions. I owe her everything.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/imsierramackenzie & https://www.instagram.com/enneagramenthusiast/
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