We had the good fortune of connecting with Tasha Caufield and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tasha, how do you define success?
Knowing who you are, and having the courage to follow your own north star, is how I define success. Success requires taking the time to study yourself – who you are and what makes YOU feel joy and fulfillment – and then doing those things that satisfy your soul. That requires courage because your unique path will only allow for so much understanding from the outside world. To do this you have to know your worth and care about how you feel. That is your daily work. And each day you honor yourself in that way is a successful day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
One of my jokes on stage went something like this, “Most of my life I’ve felt alienated from my parents, and I used to think it was because I’m a Gryffindor and they’re Slytherins, and that’s just, you know, the dynamic. But, no, it turns out that they’re just ‘crazy.’ I love ’em, but they’re crazy…” I grew up in an INSANELY dysfunctional home in an area of LA known as “The Jungles,” (see the movie “Training Day” for its reference, lol.) Every type of abuse took place in the home, which led me and my siblings to have a very unstable upbringing. And when running away at 12 years old, I came across some homeless boys who had run away from a group home and robbed a man for his money. Thanks to that incident I found myself locked up, and from that point on stuck in the juvenile justice system, (as it’s very hard to get out of it once you get in). Depending on whether I ran away, (and therefore violated probation), or got kicked out of the house, (and became a ward of the court), I frequented different juvenile halls, boot camps, placement facilities, group homes, temporary foster homes, etc. for the next couple of years. And nothing changed until I was introduced to a sitcom writing workshop ran by The Create Now! Mentoring Organization while staying in one particular juvenile placement facility in The Valley. I ended up in an one-on-one mentorship with workshop instructor and television writer/producer Lisa Rosenthal, (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Head of the Class); and the creative outlet that writing provided for a talent I didn’t even know I had or needed to express, not only helped me get on the straight and narrow, but eventually got me into The University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television, and long with a Warner Bros. Fellowship and work in Hollywood. Curious about life outside of institutions – both juvenile and Hollywood – I ended up going to The Midwest where I later began performing standup comedy, as the training in sitcom writing sort of lent itself to it. With my production company “Reel It In,” I also directed and produced the documentary, “The Makings of a Stand-Up Comedian, which shows aspiring comics the importance of finding their voice. In an effort to “pay it forward,” I wrote the book, “A.W.O.L: How to Escape the Juvenile Justice System and Experience Inner Peace,” which has been praised as inspiring and influential among incarcerated youth. And then I moved onto literature, as I love story-telling. I’ve published several fiction novels, including my debut novel, “Rewriting Harry Potter,” a tale inspired by my life and stand up, followed by “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” and “Serial Killer.” Most recently I started a YouTube channel to offer advice and further express my artistry in between writing projects; as well as put out a non-fiction book called “The Art of Laziness,” for fellow creatives and entrepreneurs. It’s been a crazy ride, with lots of blood, sweat, and tears in the past. But the freedom I now have to honor myself and what brings me joy makes the journey of self-discovery a lot more enjoyable. That’s a big part of the message I want my life and art reflect: that who you are matters, so take advantage of the freedom you have to go out there and enjoy your life. That’s all I believe we are charged to do.
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.
I’m a beach gal and am particularly fond of the South Bay area, so walking The Strand in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach is a must-do, as well as dining with an ocean view at a restaurant and lounge in Manhattan Beach also named, “The Strand.” Oh, and you can’t go wrong with a spa day at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout the Create Now! Mentoring Organization and its founder, Jill Gurr. They plucked me out of the depths of hell when I was a kid bouncing around from juvenile halls to group homes to foster homes, etc., and gave me the much-needed tools I needed to find relief in creative outlets that I didn’t know that I needed. They do great work for many at-risk youth; and the mentor, Lisa Rosenthal, that they introduced me to when I was 14 will always hold a special place in my heart. I’d also like to shoutout Yelena Gurevich at YG Legal Firm because she’s been a great support to me, and every artist and small business can use a good lawyer who’s genuine and cares.