LA, 2019. I’m at the most exciting event ever, having just released a little project of mine, and people are coming up to me saying I did their favorite character justice. I’m floored.
Did I ever imagine this would be my life? No way.
This is the story of how a diplomat from Ukraine became a singer and actor in LA.
Studying for Master’s degrees in International Relations and English was only mildly exciting, and my creativity drastically required an outlet, so I started acting in commercials, singing, participating in all kinds of music contests and TV shows, and, to my surprise, won some.
However, I still hadn’t really considered a professional artistic career after graduation. Partly because I wasn’t ready to tell my message to the world, and partly because I didn’t believe I was good enough to do it. So in that quest for my place in the world I have worked as a journalist and a news anchor, a scuba diving instructor, a project manager in advertising agency, all while traveling and learning, shooting, singing and exploring.
Until one day, I sang “Part Of Your World” and made it into a major music contest TV-show, shot in LA and aired in Ukraine. To participate, I had to make a decision to quit my job (to the dismay of my family) and go to the States. Which – you guessed it! – I did. Somehow I made it from round to round… and won. Side note: never believe that school music teacher that says you’re hopeless! For the first time I thought I might actually have what it takes. It was worth a shot.
Basically not having contacts in USA, except one, I bought a ticket and left. First destination was Nashville, the music capital, and I went back and forth for a year, learning, writing, recording music, namely, an EP with Grammy Award – winning producer Barry Weeks, then moved to NYC for another two years to focus on refining my music and direction of my life.
Next stop: LA. We were shooting a sci-fi style music video, “Alone In The World”, directed by Emmy Award winner Jason Crossman, the project where I was first trying out my full creative freedom, and it’s like a lightbulb in my head went up: this is how I’m gonna tell my message. This is where I feel alive. This is what I do forever. This is where I can use the most of what I’ve been given, and can give the most back. The message of finding a human’s purpose, of being true to oneself but not being afraid of change, the message of beauty amidst the chaos, and of taking care of the world we live in.
And if I wanted to do it, I needed to become as good as I could. Three days later I already applied for a grant to enroll into film school. Two years later, I got my Master’s degree in Acting from New York Film Academy.
Cosplay happened at the same time with acting, and became its extension in a way. Being able to walk in the skin (literally) of characters that I admire, bring them to life and add my own flare to them is one of the most rewarding feelings, not to mention making someone happier and maybe even inspired to create something of their own. Blade Runner and Star Wars are my favorite universes, along with some Disney magic. They are the worlds I want to be a part of, as an actor, artist, someone who lives and breathes creating and inventing.
It wasn’t exactly cool to be a nerd girl in Ukraine, but times change, and in LA, it’s the geek community that I’m thankful to for making me feel at home. Through our shared love for sci-fi, friendships and work relationships were born. Having so many talented and inspiring artists who believe in me and my insane ideas is a dream come true.
Was it all easy? Not at all. Was it worth it? Absolutely. All the struggles, hard work, failures and wins taught me so much and made me who I am today and prepared me for where I will be tomorrow. It defined my creative voice and made it stronger, and now it’s my best tool to propel my other big passion: animal rescue and wildlife conservation. I got asked about my motto recently and it’s “Purpose. Honor… Kitties”.
Now I focus on telling stories through film and music, creating opportunities, bringing like-minded people together to thrive: artists are the most fragile, but also among the most powerful of all.
P.S. For the same bio, but very serious and professionally written version that makes me look much cooler, download here.