This is the story of Mary Galloway, filmmaker, actress, big-hearted, with the most determination and dedication I've seen in a human. She can be seen in Netflix's Fire Song.
"Acting is always something I dreamed about doing. Although it was never something I imagined I could do. Not until I moved to the mainland and discovered the acting school New Image College of Fine Arts. I spoke to Phil Granger there and he was so inspiring and welcoming I felt like I had to give it my best shot. While I was going to school I had two play modules and my teacher Zahf Paroo decided instead of finding an existing play and squishing us into it that he would teach us to write. And we would come up with characters that we could showcase ourselves in. So that experience was so amazing that I fell in love with writing and acting. I could come up with any character I wanted and cast myself?! Yes please!
It's a funny thing, my stories always seem to spark while I am traveling. And I don't mean like while I am flying across the world or on a tropical beach somewhere, I mean like while on an overcrowded skytrain or while sitting in rush hour traffic. I suppose it might be because I have nothing else to do in those moments but let my imagination soar. So I get a lot of inspiration from the world around me. I observe fiercely, and I over analyze the tiniest things. So, usually my stories stem from a single conversation or interaction. And it'll be so interesting to me that I want to write a story about that occurrence. My writing process is very, simple I think. I start with something small and I think about how I can make it bigger, and more interesting. Once I have that, I create an outline of the major beats I want the story to hit and then I fill it in. Sometimes I won't have the entire outline done but I will have a scene stuck in my head so I might write that out first. But I am an officially trained actor not an officially trained writer, so sometimes it can be a challenge. I do a lot of research if I get stuck on some kind of technicality that I don't know quite how to execute.
Oh man, diversity in media is a tough one. It doesn't seem to be changing all that much. Not as much as I would like. It's really hard being this "ethnically ambiguous" not quite "Indian" enough to be a Pocahontas but not quite "White" enough to be a Cinderella, so to speak. And then, I'm also in this awkward stage where I can play younger, but I confuse people with my maturity so every Tom, Dick, and Harry find it appropriate to ask me my age and ethnicity. It's really strange actually. I would love it, if we could shift the industry into a more diverse scene. I feel like we've heard and seen all of the "white-man's-stories" and it's time we see and hear the other 100's of other culture's stories. I'm itching to see a film industry where it proportionally reflects the word we live in!
I have many days where I don't feel like hustling, and then I ask myself "what if". What if I stop and go back to school and get a steady job? What if I don't make a living out of what I love? What if I never get cast in another role again? But then, I say to myself if I give up now then I will never know. And I can't live with the guilt of not knowing because it got tough and I couldn't find the strength to keep going. Perhaps that day will come where I say "I've done ALL I can, and I am no longer moving forward, it's time for a change." but I hope not, and it certainly isn't today. I also try to surround myself with supportive people, and distance myself from the ones who are waiting to see me fall. It's amazing the power of knowing that people you respect and look up to are watching for you to succeed and you better not let them down. I was fortunate enough to be taught by some fantastic people and without them I don't think I'd be able to get up every day and try my best. So if there's anyone reading this who needs a boost, go and learn, find a teacher that resonates with you and re-fuel that charge you lost.
I watch a lot of Netflix. I also spend a lot of time with my dog, Yogi. I basically work hard so he can have a better life. I tell him "one day Yogi, you are going to have a big open field that you can chase those airplanes in, and you will have organic raw food prepared daily." hahaha. I also love arts and craft type hobbies like knitting, sewing, crocheting etc. I'm an old soul. I tend to get along smashingly with seniors, and I tend to not fit-in with people my age.
There are so many people and things that inspire me every single day, all around me. But if I had to pick one person, right now, it's Shonda Rhimes. That woman is a power-house to the max. She is breaking down all kinds of walls and doing it with so much class, dignity and skill. She writes, she produces, she's a mom to three daughters and she is killing it in all respects."
- Mary Galloway