Author: Madeline Merritt

Actress, Freelance Writer - Madeline grew up on stage and has loved telling stories her whole life. From the Bay Area, California, Madeline received her degree in Theatre and Political Science from Northwestern University and moved to Los Angeles in 2008. She recently spent a year in Paris, France but missed the city of Angels and the entertainment industry here. She cares deeply about social issues, including women’s rights, indigenous rights, poverty and the environment. She feels the role of storyteller through entertainment is very important in opening dialogue and creating change in the world. You can see her in The Guest House (available on Netflix, Itunes, Amazon and Time Warner on Demand) and the soon to be released American Idiots, coming to a Redbox near you in June 2013. She is thrilled to continue her journey of collaborating with women in film and television through Ms. In the Biz.

I must be getting older, or the world is spinning faster like some conspiracy theory, because 2014 came and went in a flash. All of a sudden it is time to take stock of the year that has gone by and make plans for the year ahead. Like many of the amazing women I know in the arts, I can look back at this year with a lot of pride, because I stretched myself artistically in ways that I hadn’t since I moved to Los Angeles. This year I wrote, produced, and starred in a short film heading to festivals…

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“You are not accidental. Existence needs you. Without you something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it. That’s what gives you dignity, that the whole existence will miss you… Everything in the universe will feel a small place is vacant which cannot be filled by anybody except you.” -Osho Last week we lost one of the most brilliant performers of our time, to suicide. Without Robin Williams, who will disrupt the sadness of the world? Who will bring comedy and understanding to the under-dogs, the outcasts and the others? Who will combine vulnerability and electricity in that…

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In five YouTube minutes, you could change the world. Much like the beginning days of television, the rise of the internet is transforming the way that our art form interacts with the world. The newness of the medium leaves an incredible openness for new content creators to make their mark on the culture, and change the face of storytelling. Furthermore, the rise of social networks and social media content has played a huge role in the culture shift towards a more tolerant humanity. It has done wonders for gay rights, for human rights activism, for revolution, and even veganism. We…

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Body Image: the single most challenging category of thoughts that I face on a day to day basis. Thoughts about my body and my appearance are the most limiting train of thoughts that I face in my life. From a young age of 8 or 9 I have thought of myself as overweight. I am 5 ft. 9” and my weight fluctuates between 130-150 lbs. on a semi-annular basis. So yes, I am larger than the average Hollywood waif, but by normal standards I am not close to fat. Yet, no matter how much I tell myself this, I have…

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In the aftermath of the horrific mass murder in Santa Barbara on May 23, 2014, which the murderer committed from a place of entitled and violent rage against women, Hollywood needs to take a long look in the mirror. The portrayals of women as willing sexual objects, easily gained, is not only annoying, it is dangerous. The murderer (I am withholding his name, you’ve heard it) grew up in the shadow of Hollywood, his parents entertainment industry professionals, in a community with sexually advanced peers and prevalent bullying. The young man had early and traumatizing exposure to pornography and other…

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Calling all women with stories to tell who aim to be leaders in the entertainment industry. We have a long way to go! I’m not here to make you cry or rage, but I am hoping to share some rather staggering statistics so that we, as a collective, can affect change. It is my firm belief that the participation of women in entertainment, how we are portrayed and the number of our stories that are told, has a direct correlation to our achievements in other areas of society.  I am not the only one. Over the last two years more…

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It’s been a year exactly since I began writing down my inspiration to start kicking ass with Ms. In The Biz. Spring is here again and once again I feel motivated to take my career to the next level. So much has changed in this last year, and yet, it is that time of year when I feel the call to step it up once again. As many of you know I am embracing my skills as producer and will produce and star in two festival shorts that I have written in 2014. I have found a creative community and…

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One thing about being an artist in the entertainment industry, let alone pursuing a career as one, is it takes incredible drive and perseverance in order to succeed. And there are NO guarantees. At one point in your life you had this dream of moving to Los Angeles and pursuing your dreams in entertainment. But did that dream include pursuing them again, and again over years and years? Did you see yourself building a network of supporters, collaborators, and contacts and the kinds of relationships where favors are traded and remembered over decades? Did it include facing occasional or continual…

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If you’ve been following this year long journey of getting out of your own way and kicking ass, I commend you! It is an absolute delight to share this quest with you, dear readers. With two months left on this personal trek, I have noticed a huge transformation in myself. Originally, I wanted to “work” on myself so that I could be more “marketable” and “commercial” in an industry that certainly promotes the practicalities of the personal brand. Seemingly half of the Hollywood economy is built around selling marketability and self-promotion.  Good skills yes, but oh, so far away from…

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It’s a new year and with that we have room to invite new opportunities into our lives. It’s also a great time to kick bad habits and negative people to the curb. It is a perfect time of year to drop the haters. We all have them, people who pretend to be allies, but use manipulative tactics to undercut our efforts. Who try to insult us into taking on their “vision” for our careers/image/creativity. The artistic voice and creative soul is a very fragile and sensitive being that must be nurtured, and we no longer have to stand by and…

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I am a self-confessed, classic, parent-pleaser personality. As performers and artists and women who are reading this article, I’m sure many of you can relate. As a cherished member of my family I was taught at a young age to give back by fulfilling other’s expectations of me:  to perform, to say “the right thing” and to keep my family happy. These behaviors were commonly reinforced with positive feedback for being, “sweet” “pretty” and “talented”. However, as an adult seeking a career in the entertainment industry, this parent-pleaser tendency doesn’t always work in my favor. Have you ever walked into…

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You are on a journey to get out of your own way and start kicking ass. You want to create something original; you are on your way to being a force for good in this industry. You want to stand up for women in entertainment and create a project that sheds light on modern culture, that tells a story which is important and true, or really fucking funny. You have been working towards these goals for as long as you can remember, or you are newly inspired and have hit this journey full force. You know others that have been…

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What I’m about to say probably feels cliché. Get involved. Duh. But you already are in a great acting class and go to a million casting director workshops and send out mailings and are doing all the great actor-things that keep you in the hearts and minds of the movers and shakers in this town. I WISH I had all those plates spinning in perfect equilibrium. But I don’t. Not always. And all those plates can feel like a real chore. What I mean by, “get involved” is have fun! But have fun in your creative medium. Get involved means…

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Month Five: Celebrating Each Other’s Achievements As a woman in the entertainment industry you know that you have chosen one of the world’s most challenging endeavors. Yet you forge ahead on your journey of getting out of your own way and kicking ass. You are creating your own brand, your own content, and working towards making a living by adding your creative voice to the rapidly expanding world of entertainment. You may have been told you “can’t” do something “because you’re a woman”  yet still you forge ahead, persistent in pursuing your dream, constantly discovering new ways to move forward,…

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