1. When you first moved to LA were you physically, mentally, and spiritually ready to jump in to the entertainment industry?
Noooo… (haha)… definitely not. I was an ambitious, sassy jersey girl with more attitude than talent. My desire for acting resurfaced when I started going to NY for modeling in high school. I grew up doing theater and singing in church but dropped it all after middle school. I started more professional training around age 17 in New York City upon the referral of my modeling agent.
So coming to LA I had some acting training under my belt from studying in NY but not nearly enough character to jump right in. I had no idea, of course, but that revealed itself over time.
2. You struggled with an eating disorder…did this begin before or after you entered the entertainment industry?
The eating disorder started around the time I entered high school. I started modeling around the same time but I would say it was more the pressure to want to fit in and gain acceptance from my peers that drove it. The root was rejection from in childhood from various relationships in my life that were important to me. I did what a lot of young people do and turned on myself, taking on the lies that were coming at me as truth. And then, being the go getter that I was, I decided I was going to fix myself. Unfortunately, in order to gain the acceptance that I desired I lost myself completely. My body and personality disappeared simultaneously and I became whatever I felt I had to be to fit in.
3. What was your breaking point? How did you know it was time to get help?
My breaking point was right after I graduated college. Everything in my life felt out of control. I cycled through anorexia, bulimarexia, and bulimia two or three times prior to this and I remember seeing a clear choice in front of me. Go on a 500 calorie a day diet and fix the anxiety I was experiencing temporarily or get some serious help and risk losing everything I put my confidence in for good. I chose the latter.
4. How did you reenter the industry and what do you choose to do now to make sure you never go back to that place mentally.
It took me a number of years before I had enough peace or trust to step back into an industry that requires you to mold and shape your body to fit certain roles and characters. I didn’t think I could ever handle this pressure in a healthy way and to be honest gave up on the dream. Instead I worked on screenwriting, music and focused on my relationship with God. It’s my faith that keeps me hopeful on the more challenging days. I also keep company with people who understand what I’ve been though and remind me who I really am and not to go back to old places. When you’ve struggled with something for so long it’s easy to cave and live your life like a victim. But if you ever want to truly heal and move forward you’ve gotta make the choice to face your old self and say, “this isn’t me anymore. I’m choosing to believe something different.” Those constant reminders along with living a balanced life are what keeps me going now. If I ever feel like I’m out of balance I stop what I’m doing/thinking and pray or seek wisdom from people who I trust to tell me the truth about who I am. Sometimes its jut the comfort of knowing I’m not alone that gets me back on track. We were made to support each other, but if you desire support you’ve gotta chose to open up and receive what’s being offered. I got use to “throwing up” (pun intended) the encouragement but that had to change too. Thankfully there are a few resilient people who haven’t given up on me as I’ve fought to gain my footing again. I don’t walk my life out perfectly but the difference is that now when I fall I look my fear in the face and then pick myself back up and keep going.