We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracie Laymon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tracie, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Don’t wait for permission. You have to have the initiative to follow your dreams and keep creating no matter how many people tell you that you can’t.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m most proud and excited about my upcoming work. I have learned so much along the way and I really feel like I’ve gone through a reboot recently. I started trusting my instincts and stopped getting in my own way. I think what sets me apart from others is that I’ve been down and out in life and I have an ability to see the positive in most things and I can almost always find some way to find some type of healing and uniting humor even when life is super hard or when up against the worst. I think these mindsets are reflected in my newer works. I want the world to know that we’re all in this thing called ‘life’ together. Storytelling is such an inspiring and uniting medium if we let it be.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend DID visit not too long ago. She came straight from the airport to meet me on a set. It was her first time seeing anything filmed, so that was really fun. We also went to a local film festival. However, lately I’ve been enjoying going boating in the great weather. We usually leave from Marina Del Rey and I’m a big fan of paddle boarding out there too. We haven’t been able to see any movies or live performances lately due to COVID-19, but you better believe as soon as our stages and theatres re-open, I’ll be there even if I have to wear a Hazmat suit. We need art. For so many of us, it is our life, our purpose, and our connection with the rest of the world.
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 had the privilege of meeting script consultant and writer Blake Snyder (of the “Save the Cat” book series) before he passed away. He was such an incredibly positive person and sometimes when I feel stuck in a story or down on myself as a writer I can hear his positive voice cheering me on in my head. My directing mentor is Judith Weston who wrote the bible on working with actors called “Directing Actors”. I also carry and reference her other book “The Film Director’s Intuition” pretty much constantly when I’m alone prepping a scene before shooting. She is a genius, a truly wonderful person, one of my greatest heroes in life and I feel very lucky to also call her my friend. Pilar Alessandra has read most of my work over the last decade. She is an incredible script consultant and I would recommend that anyone who is serious about writing attend her classes, writing groups, or private sessions. She can be found through www.onthepage.tv. Thankfully, I’ve been able to work with Alex Lake of Orange Grove Avenue on my last couple of films and he is great at listening, managing egos and juggling the endless needs of producing a film. It can often feel like there are so few real producers left out there, but I feel like Alex has become one of those few. Any filmmaker would be lucky to work with him.
Women Texas Film Festival 2018 Stephen Dimmick NBC Dallas Alex Lake