@joannapickering: Why did you decide to work in this industry?

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It came to me not the other way round. I have always been creative from an early age. I kept journals of writing and I studied pure math. When I graduated, I turned down a lot of money in banking and instead traveled the world as a nomad. I was working on my own self development, my fears and weaknesses. I took an acting class to help with my fear of public speaking. I had no idea I would fall in love and make so many independent films. Then, I wanted better females role to play so I started creating my own TV series and writing a pilot. I did not expect to be represented on a major platform with 3 Arts Entertainment. Similarly, when I was selected by my theatre ensemble Primitive Grace on my acting work, after studying with co-artistic director Paul Calderon, I did not expect to put up work for stage and write plays. I then realized writers still don’t have all the control, and I thought about directing. I had no clue I would be asked to direct an episode in Marlene Rhein’s award winning series “The So So You Don’t Know” with actress Sachi Parker, of Shirley MacLaine fame. None of this was planned. There was never a decision for film school. I am an autodidact in the industry. My work is now awarded scholarships and fellowships (The Dramatist Guild Institute, Robert Mckee, Rohm Literary Agency) which is great as they taught me the rules, but more vitally, they confirmed my intuition is good. My journey evolves from this intuition—my life algorithm or mission—to gravitate to an exploration of the unknown and to work outside my comfort zones. I am not afraid of risk. I can live with high stakes. This lends readily to creating dramatic stories for screen or stage and having the endurance needed as an artist. This is why the industry works for me. It is the only way I can decide to have my life—as a creative artist.

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