Interview with SARA LINDSEY | I Find Joy in Everything I Do
All human beings are different and even when we seem to be alike, we all have unique dreams and aspirations. Our desires certainly do not define us, but like us and life itself, they are in a continual state of becoming. Everything changes and what is now will be different tomorrow and so on. New desires will be born, new thoughts and ideas will be inspired, so regardless of what we have accomplished now, we will always want something more. It’s an infinite journey of creative expression that starts within ourselves. That’s why when we are aware of our emotions, we will be able to be more consistent in feeling the joy during this evolving process without having the need to physically manifest what we want. And what if we got it all the opposite of how it really works. What if being joyful, happy and feeling good are the means to everything we want?
“Life is too short to not find joy in everything you do. How you do one thing is how you do everything, and when I create from a place of joy, my work is one thousand times better,” says actress, director, and writer Sara Lindsey.
In this interview, you will discover Sara’s inspiring journey into acting and co-writing her recently released film Please Come With Me, which won “Best Romance” at the World Fest in Houston, as well as her life’s artistic expression and future aspirations.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Sara Lindsey?
I am an actress and filmmaker living in Los Angeles. I have two dogs and a husband named John and we’re expecting a baby this summer. My favorite food is strawberries and the last movie I watched was About Schmidt. My favorite part was the montage where Schmidt goes from missing his wife to finding the box of letters in their closet. I grew up in Ellicott City, Maryland outside of Baltimore.
- Do you remember the moment when you realized acting was your passion?
Actually yes. I sort of knew as a young kid that I wanted to be an actor, and my mom was always encouraging and supportive of my various interests. I was very lucky in that way. I did the plays and musicals at school, but I was also a pretty serious musician, singing and playing the oboe, and in high school, I thought I might play oboe professionally. I went to Interlochen Arts camp the summer after sophomore year as an oboe major, but found myself hanging out with the actor kids and wishing I had auditioned for theater. I realized that making reeds and practicing alone in a practice room weren’t exactly where I fit in. After that summer I continued playing the oboe, but focused more seriously on acting, and that has been what stuck.
- Did you feel the desire to pursue writing, producing, directing as a natural transition of your artistic expression?
For sure. Writing and producing allow me to act in projects that I might not otherwise have the opportunity to act in, either in scale or type. Directing is a new scary thing. I love actors, absolutely love working with actors, and the directors I’ve had the chance to learn from over the years have shaped my directing style in a fun way. I enjoy the overall collaborative process of filmmaking, from every angle. I view the whole operation as a team.
- Having the experience of working in both, the independent and mainstream film industries, how would you describe the differences between them during the creative process, if any? How do both add to your professional growth?
It’s two different ways to do the exact same thing: tell a story on film with sound. On big studio movies, you may have 200+ people working together to tell a story. In small independent projects, it might be only 7 or 12 people working together to tell a story. I like them both equally and working in both kinds of environments has definitely strengthened my acting and storytelling. In the studio world, it’s amazing that I don’t have to find and bring my own costumes to set. No seriously, I love collaborating with all of the artists in charge of different departments. But, I also love the autonomy of independent filmmaking, that I’m able to have so much input in the type of pen I’m using or what I’m eating or wearing. In Please Come With Me, I got to design what my character’s laundry room looked like as we were setting up the shot. That’s fun for me, that level of involvement, but it’s also great when someone with much more skill and experience does it too! I do like small projects because they tend to move a lot faster and the chain of communication is smaller, so you can get things done more quickly. But nothing beats being on a big movie set. It’s an experience in and of itself.
ACTING AND DIRECTING
- Kate is the character you play in the recently released film Please Come With Me, which won “Best Romance” at the World Fest in Houston. How would you describe your experience during the process of becoming Kate?
World Fest! That was a trip. Please Come With Me was a unique project. There were only 3 producers on that project myself included, and it was teeny tiny. We shot in my apartment at the time, the editor’s apartment, Anna’s sister’s rooftop in San Francisco… it was a family affair. The process of becoming Kate was kind of built into producing the movie, because we shot once a month for a year and the script would change in small ways from month to month. So it felt like Kate evolved in that time too. I had a really great time building the relationships between all of the characters with the other actors in the film.
- How does Kate navigate the challenges in the relationship between her partner Collin?
Not super well. I think Kate and Collin struggle from lack of clear communication, like many couples, especially when they take things long distance. Kate isn’t clear about her expectations, and wants so badly to hear words of affirmation from Collin about his feelings, that he thinks should be innately understood. A classic love language barrier.
- The filming of Please Come With Me was one weekend a month over the course of a year in Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore, and San Francisco. How did this experience influence your acting manifested in the film’s final result?
Oh, it was so fun. It was amazing to watch the locations organically change over time. Shooting in real places, such as my parents’ house in Baltimore, added a lot to my work because the spaces were so visceral and alive. And taking the trips up to San Francisco and back helped me find a lot of the turmoil that comes with traveling to and from your lover in a long distance relationship.
- Kate is also a character you co-wrote. How was it portraying someone you created?
Well you know it’s fun. There is less guesswork to do in terms of what the writer is intending to communicate with the language on the page, but more insecurity as to whether or not the language sounds real to other people. I enjoy playing characters I create because there is a sense of ownership from day one. But it can be less rewarding because you’re not bringing someone else’s words and vision to life, which is also really fun and fulfilling.
- Having starred alongside renowned actors and actresses in projects such as Concussion, Won’t Back Down, Promised Land, and Jack Reacher and Super 8, do any of these talents inspired during your career? If so, how and why?
Oh my god yes! Everything I know I learned from the actors and filmmakers I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with. Also from acting school, gotta thank the teachers at Carnegie Mellon. But I take bits and pieces from everyone I’ve worked with and bring them into my own work, whether it’s attitude, specific acting stuff, energy, workflow… I love other actors and find them to be the most inspiring people to talk with and observe. Will Smith taught me how to make every take fresh and new. It’s like he ‘Men-In-Black’s himself in between takes and forgets everything that ever happened before. We had a lot of fun working together and I learned a ton from him. And Gus Van Sant taught me that sometimes saying nothing is more powerful than saying anything. He was amazing to work with.
- How do you feel about where you are in your life right now? How do you envision your future?
I feel good. I’m excited about everything happening in my personal life, and am enjoying the separation I have between that and my professional life. I would like to tackle more large scale projects in the next few years. I think about my career as a marathon, not a sprint. I’ll be working until I’m 90 years old.
- Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?
Not one in particular at the moment, but I would love to get involved with specific charities in the future. Women’s rights and gender and racial equality are big ones for me. I’m hopeful for the day when men aren’t making the rules over women’s bodies. We’re living in a rather horrifying time where it seems we’re going backward and everything is upside down.
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?
Life is too short to not find joy in everything you do. How you do one thing is how you do everything, and when I create from a place of joy, my work is one thousand times better. If I work with someone who does not create from joy, I don’t work with them again. If someone in my life is a toxic thief of joy, they aren’t in my life for very long.
- When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?
Well, yes and no. I don’t know exactly. I think there’s a bigger plan unfolding for all of us, and that if you work hard you have a better shot of achieving the things you want. It helps to have supportive parents and community, and access to resources like education and the arts. Not everyone has those things, so this quote is a little tough. Equal opportunity for all is what I believe in and what I want for this world. That plus hard work and a little luck, and your chances of achieving your dreams go way up.