We had the good fortune of connecting with Victoria Vertuga and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Victoria, why did you pursue a creative career?
I think artists have an insatiable and undeniable need to create. Period. What arenas are used to fulfill that creative need may change over time, but the need remains the same. For me it’s something that is completely necessary in order for me to be a happy and well functioning (or at least functioning LOL) human. I’ve been writing and performing for as long as I can remember. It’s just a piece of who I am. I honestly resisted it for quite a while because of how challenging and unstable it can be. Initially I thought that stability would be more important to me and I worked on the business side of entertainment for my first few years out of college. That was such an important lesson because it taught me that freedom and the ability to create are actually MUCH more important to be than stability. I truly just love being able to MAKE something. It’s an amazing feeling to sit back at the end of the day and know that you breathed something into existence. I also love the creative and collaborative process. The great thing about filmmaking is that the whole is truly greater than the sum of the parts. Everyone is able to put their touch on it and leave their mark on it in a way that is really fantastic. I love the energy of working with other creatives all working toward doing something together.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an actress turned writer/producer/director/lover of slashes. I think like a lot of other people I began writing and creating out of frustration with both a lack of opportunities and a lack of GOOD opportunities available to me as an actress. There were only so many times I could go out for “hot blonde #3” and “stripper #1” before starting to feel unfulfilled. Really taking control of my own career and coming into my power has been satisfying on so many levels. I just finished watching I MAY DESTROY YOU on HBO and there was this scene that just stuck with me. The lead’s best friend is an actress and she’s complaining that she doesn’t have any control over her own career. And the lead character says really? No control at all? And she responds, well maybe a shred. And the lead says “But that shred is everything.” Oof! That really resonated with me. That shred is everything. So I’ve been all about trying to work that shred! LOL. Some of my favorite things about it are really getting to set the tone on my sets to create an atmosphere that is centered in JOY. No one gets into this business unless they love it but it can be so easy to lose site of that love and that joy in creating. I want to make sure that it is always first and foremost on my set. It’s also been so great to do nice little things for my cast and crew and treat people how I wish I was always treated on a set. I’ve loved that. And of course, having power over the stories I tell. I love flawed, complicated, and dynamic female characters that aren’t just obsessed with looking for love or Prince Charming. I like women that are looking for answers, looking for meaning, looking for themselves and who they want to be.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We are so blessed to live in an area that is beautiful and diverse in it’s landscape. I mean we have beaches, dessert, and mountains all within a 90 minute drive. I love hiking so I’d definitely take them out on some trails. There are some less crowded spots all around in Malibu or the Santa Monica Mountains or you can head east. I mean really anywhere. I just did the park to playa trail from Kenneth Hahn to the Culver City Stairs to the beach. It was awesome. As for food, I love smaller one off type places. Some of my favorite restaurants are Novacento, Brunello, and Cafe Vida in Culver City. Pie Hole or Brady’s Cookies for dessert! Or Donut Friend. I’m obsessed with their donuts LOL. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth? We also have some great museums. I love the Grammy Museum. I used to love the Annenberg Space for Photography and was sorry to see that they’ve closed. But there are a lot of cool free exhibits and pop ups always happening that you can find if you do a little digging.
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 couldn’t agree more. There are so many people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and collaborate with along the way. I have to give the biggest shout out ever to my writing and producing partner Eric Williford. I acted in a horror movie he wrote and directed a few years back. When he saw that I was delving into writing he hit me up and asked me if I wanted to work on something with him. Since then we’ve written and produced a webseries, a short, a pilot, penned multiple pilot scripts, and are just wrapping up a feature. It’s been so fantastic to have someone to bounce ideas off of, vent to, and just go on this journey with. It can be such a frustrating and isolating process that having another person there along the way has been absolutely wonderful.