We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Osman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vanessa, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
I’ve always appreciated a good redemption story, I just didn’t know I’d end up with a powerful Phoenix rising story of my own. I pay attention to people and their stories. I believe in miracles. I do my best to stay present and connect within. When I’m clear about my intentions and my purpose there’s no stopping me. I’ve had to learn how to balance the darkness with the light. One cannot exist without the other and so deep introspection as well as cultivating understanding makes it easier to break through. When the beauty of my life is revealed once again and I’m in a place of gratitude, I cannot imagine giving up. I just want to keep smashing goals and experience more of life!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m lucky enough to say that I’m a working Voice-over Artist, Model, Actress and Writer. I was born in New Jersey and raised in Dubai so I have a wealth of experiences to draw from that add to any assignment I’m given. I think my voice and easy ability with accents helps my acting skills and voice over art. I have a meticulous sense of professionalism on the job, I think of each assignment as my only assignment and try to do it better than anything before. Most days Im excited by the fact that I can breathe on my own, considering the devastating consequences of a car crash that broke my neck making me a quadriplegic. Despite that harrowing trauma, I’ve been lucky enough to follow my dreams with some success. In 2019 I was featured in the Emmy-winning documentary film, Any One of Us for HBO, a Google Home commercial, a fashion show and much more throughout my career. When I record a banging voice-over, finish a poem, when I make myself laugh, or when I book something—doesn’t matter what it is—it validates the struggle.Following leads and taking classes has been a very helpful tool for me getting work in this competitive town. I took a great voice-over class, a casting agent came in, and through the magic of emails and following up I got signed. Same thing with my acting management, a friend suggested I call this agent and when I met with her, she signed me immediately. I’m so glad I didn’t stay in bed that day! I’ve learned through my recovery from my accident, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually the importance of being willing to learn new tools to be of ultimate service to my vision and goals. Don’t sell yourself short or clock out early. Showing up gives you better odds. I’m proud of all I’ve achieved and managed to overcome considering the odds are not in my favor. I am an actor above all, a model, voice-over artist, and writer. This year, while productions are on hold through COVID, I am associate producing a feature film and I’m co-writing and starring in a dark comedy TV series, designed to be shot safely during COVID. It’s hyper-focused on story and character. It’s possible many productions are turning in that direction, towards story, now that we can’t hide behind massive crews and big casts and spectacle during a pandemic. I’ve also been asked to curate a monthly artist’s salon for LA that currently takes place in SF, Berlin and Mumbai which suits me brilliantly as I’m passionate about bringing people–especially artists together!
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?
Hands-down, I think LA has the best cultural art scene. There is always something happening in the city! Los Angeles is a Mecca for artists of all types—plus there’s an abundance of venues for their expression. My itinerary would include:
For drives: PCH, Ventura Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, the canyons
Hikes: Griffith Park, Santa Monica mountains
Dining: Geoffreys, Del Taco, Hugo’s, The Habit, Mon Japanese
Views: Santa Monica beach, Malibu, Griffith Observatory
Nightlife: ArcLight, comedy clubs, Greek theatre
Exploring: The Last Bookstore, Bergamot Station, take the cheesy tourist van for famous/celebrity haunts, DTLA
Scene: Sunset Tower, Rodeo Drive.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Tara Brach, who is an educator, meditation teacher, and spiritual guru I hope to one day meet. I’ve learned so much about myself, life and recovery and how to heal and change. I am forever in her debt. My partner inspires me to be better and do better, everyday. It feels incredible to be loved and supported that much without strings attached. Additionally, there have been so many people who have helped me in my life. Especially Triumph Foundation and Artists For Trauma. And I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have good relations with friends from kindergarten to strangers I connected with on my travels to classmates and collaborators from various corners of the world. Even brief but impactful moments with Nelson Mandela, Yusuf Islam, Lisa Vanderpump and Lupe Ontiverros.
Melanie Manson Margaret Malandruccolo Xander Mosejewski