Life can knock the wind out of you sometimes. I had the wind semi-truck hit from me the beginning of this year. I had just quit my part time job to go film my first feature in Florida. The two weeks spent filming that film were the best of my life. I’ve never pushed myself harder as an actor, I’d never flexed my writer and producing skills before and I found that I freaking loved it. I was flying high, and then a little over a month after my return to LA a lot of parts of my life fell apart. Emotionally I was a wreck and financially I was screwed. I was in a place where I was doubting every decision I’d made, was currently making and I had zero idea what my once perfectly crafted future, now looked like. There was no light visible at the end of my tunnel. I was drowning in my depression internally and I was getting scared. Then one morning I woke up and somehow found the strength to do what I’ve done my entire life; pick myself up and move forward into the terrifying unknown.
I always say; if your car dies on the freeway, you still gotta get off somehow. I needed to get off of that damn freeway of suck.
Sometimes being at the bottom of the barrel is a good thing because things quite literally could only get better. I felt like I’d lost it all and was exposed and bruised in ways I never thought imaginable. Yet those wounds healed with new and thicker skin and a braver ambition. My best friend and powerhouse Jenn Page, approached me with an opportunity to produce a network show with her. It was a terrifying proposition, I’d only ever produced once before and not nearly on the scale that a network show requires. But I thought, what the hell and said yes. The thing is no one knows everything, and what people do know they’ve learned from either experience or schooling. I could have let myself get overwhelmed and talked myself out of producing but instead I’ve just taken every task and gave it 100% while learning how to do it. The fear of failing that has plagued me my entire life is slowly fading away and instead I just assume I’m going to deliver what I need to deliver and kick ass at it. Honestly. It’s that simple. We needed talent for our show so I started cold emailing and calling agents. Old me would have said, “Malia you can’t do that, who are you? Aren’t they going to ask what your credentials are?” No, no they aren’t and I’ll tell you this, every email has been answered and all of them were interested.
Confidence is key. I may not have complete confidence that I 100% know what I’m doing but I am 100% confident that I will learn how to do it. This experience has taught me things about this industry that I wish I had learned years ago and applied to my acting career. No one let me in those doors, I opened them myself. I was having phone conversations with top agents and taking out people I deeply admire to dinner and convincing them to be a part of our show because I simply asked. It’s absolutely amazing how being torn to pieces can awaken a more strong and powerful self. Life can happen to you or with you and I’m choosing to never be a victim again. Sometimes all it takes to getting what you want is simply saying you want it, believing you are worth having it and being humble enough to know you don’t know everything but will do your best to learn how.
I haven’t done anything that anyone else can’t. People and life experiences can take a toll on your self worth but that doesn’t make you weak, it just makes you human. We all have our low moments but those aren’t the moments that define us. Our defining moments come after that, when we choose to either let it destroy us, or make us stronger. My strength has come from saying yes to all the jobs I never thought I’d be smart enough or capable enough to do. My self worth is coming from inside instead from the mouths of others. I have learned that I deserve all the things that I’ve ever wanted and I am willing to work to get it and I will not settle for anything less. Right now I want to make a kick ass network television show and send my first feature on the festival circuit and somewhere in all of that chaos, film the 3rd season of my web series. I can do all of this, and I will.