We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Platt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tara, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
The whole work/life balance idea is such a tricky concept, and I think it takes your whole life to master it. For much of my life, my life was my work and my work was my life. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be an actor and I was fervent in my pursuit of my passion, snagging a BFA in theatre arts and working abroad on stage to try to hone my craft. When I moved to NYC after college I was laser focused on my goal of being a working actor, and even meeting and marrying my husband, fellow actor Yuri Lowenthal, (we will celebrate our 19th anniversary this New Years Eve) didn’t deter me from my goal. Together we moved out to Los Angeles and worked to bolster each other through our individual and interwoven journeys. Luckily, within the first few years of our marriage we both realized that though we were committed to each other and committed to our careers, there has to be more to life than just the jobs. Working is wonderful, but when you are for-hire and freelance you only get to work when someone else decrees it. That wasn’t good enough for us. We worked as professional actors and built a production company and a publishing company to foster our ideas, build our our brand and embolden our need to tell stories (for what we discovered about ourselves is that we were storytellers and we wanted to do so in more mediums than just in front of a camera or on stage). We both agreed that travel and adventure was a vital part of an enriched experience for both of us and we began to integrate that into our personal time. We worked to take care of our mind-body connection, eating healthfully, doing yoga and exercise, introducing meditation. Through that time it was a constant struggle to maintain a balance. When we were producing or publishing or even working on a tv series or video game it was hard to always maintain equality. Things would slip to the side, or be forgotten in the rush, but we could feel the difference when we were maintaining both. Then four years ago we had our son and the world flipped upside down. Kids don’t give you time to decide priorities, they force you full on to confront what is and isn’t working in your family system and your personal flaws and foibles. It made us up our game and get really clear on priorities and who we are. Storytelling. Travel. Friends, These are all essential parts of who we are and in order to be able to bring our best selves to our work and our life, we have to be creating all these as opportunities; as you would water a plant and get it sunlight, we must take care of ourselves to allow our inner creators to shine. Without balance we fall, just like from a yoga pose or a ladder, and it isn’t any different in life. What I have learned though is that I can celebrate the failures and falls and the learning is in the getting back up, dusting yourself off (and maybe even laughing at yourself a little) and trying again.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have discovered that my true passion within acting and writing is about embodying bold characters in visually aesthetic worlds. There is nothing I love more than getting to play in a vivid world and a powerful self-knowledgeable woman. I am proud of so many of the various steps on my path: Juliet in Romeo & Juliet at the Pasadena Civic directed by John de Lancie, creating our production company Monkey Kingdom Productions, creating and producing the award-winning web-series Shelf Life which ran for four seasons in a totally pop aesthetic. I think the biggest learning for me was to realize that failure is a path to success. And that success doesn’t always look the same to everyone. If I can get to the point where creators of science fiction, alternate reality, period pieces and adventures think of me when they are building a project, then I have succeeded!
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.
Well, at the moment life is topsy-turvy, so the normal itinerary has to be adjusted. I love spending time outside and once it is safe to return to inside spaces, learning, so perhaps a walk around Descanso Gardens, or once safe, a visit to a museum exhibit at the Science Museum. Grabbing some grub like Sushi at Yakuza Sushi, treats at Valerie Confections or even just window shopping along Larchmont.
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?
Well I always have to shoutout my amazing support structure, which includes my husband Yuri Lowenthal, my family and my amazing friend circle.
Headshot taken my Mikel Healy.