1) Why did you decide to get into this industry?
What happens when you don’t let a kid watch TV? They work in the film and television industry. I don’t think we consciously make a lot of decisions in our lives. I knew nothing about movies and TV when I applied to film school. I was the one person who’d never watched <list every important movie ever>. And then I went on to become a film and TV editor. After 10 years, I realized that I wasn’t satisfied by the content I was working on. Eventually a little voice in my head made me go and co-create a startup to change the entertainment landscape to be more gender diverse. Enter Narrative Muse. I didn’t pick this path. It picked me.
2) What’s a defining moment in your life?
The day I accidentally landed in New Zealand. I use ‘accidentally’ liberally because I had no idea where we were going. My ex convincingly wanted to go to this island nation but at the time, I couldn’t tell you where it was on a map. It’s embarrassing but true. I blame all of my social studies teachers for making us learn all 50 US states but nothing about the world. I learned on the flight that there were two main islands and we were going to land on the North one. The thing is, I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of human and I really don’t like knowing where I’m going before I get there. This way I can take in what I’m seeing and feeling with fresh eyes. So, more than a decade ago, I landed in the most extraordinary paradise called Aotearoa and I’ve lived here ever since. There are no words for its magic.
3) What is your biggest concern with the future?
My biggest concern is that every rule that I understood about the world is broken. What and who are we anyway? I only figured out yesterday that this life is just one giant battle with ourselves. And that kind of thought only comes from living in isolation for 6 weeks. I have mixed feelings about the future. I think this is one of the most tragic moments in human history. And it’s also one of the most formative. Where we are in a year’s time is impossible to know but if there was ever a time to create each and every one of our personal realities as we want them, and to co-design our futures, this is it. Narrative Muse is my way of designing the future I want. One where people of all genders can have their book and movie-geeking say about the content that’s created and distributed.
4) What is a successful moment in your career so far?
Does anyone ever think they’ve succeeded? I’m proud to get up, put some clothes on and put one foot in front of the other. Life’s successes come from just that. Often, they’re little moments. And I wish I could say that I see those moments but I usually need my co-founder of Narrative Muse, Teresa Bass, to tell me when it’s time to wave the pom poms to our company’s shared success. And if I’m honest, no success comes from the effort of one. It comes from the collective effort of thousands.
5) What advice do you have for other women in the industry?
Advice is an impossible thing. Listen to that voice in your head that tells you what’s what. It knows what you need more than anyone can ever tell you. You know what you need to do next. You know where the next foothold is. All you need to know is that you can do it. Whatever it is. This moment was made for you. And if that voice tells you to reach your hand out and help put another gender minority person into that chair, do it. For every person you help on your journey, they will help a hundred more. We’re in this together. Success breeds success and we can’t do this alone.
6) What, if anything, do you collect?
What is the one thing we need more than anything else? People. I’m a people collector. Imagine how grey and purposeless life would be if we lived on a planet of one. I don’t actually want to imagine it! If you’re not sure how to collect people, start by becoming an incredible listener. If you can really listen and really hear, people find their way to you. Being truly heard is the best gift we can give anyone. And those people in our lives become the best things about our lives. Really listening to others’ stories is one of the reasons why I co-founded Narrative Muse.
7) What are you working on next? In addition, if people want to find out more about you, where can they find you on social media?
I don’t carry a megaphone. You’re more likely to hear about Narrative Muse than me. You can find us at www.narrativemuse.co, Insta: @narrative.muse, Twitter: @NarrativeMuse, Facebook: @NarrativeMuse. Next up, we’re helping everyone who’s creating books, movies (and soon TV) by and about women and non-binary people find their audiences. And we’re helping audiences find books and movies they’ll love. We’re doing this through our matchmaker that helps audiences find personalised recommendations of perfect-for-them content. Next up is a future where book and movie creators from all backgrounds are seen and heard. A future where book and screen lovers can see themselves reflected and know that they’re important.