Emily Moss Wilson
Have you ever felt you were NOT worthy enough to pursue your dreams?
I’ve worked hard not to find my self-worth in what I DO, but instead in who I AM. It’s something I have to remind myself daily, as the world tries to tell us that we should put our value in what others (including strangers) think about us, how much money we make, or what position we hold. As an artist, what I DO and who I AM are so intrinsically linked that it takes constant practice to shift that worldly paradigm. So, while I may sometimes question if my work is good in terms of the caliber of work I’m putting out into the world, I do 100% think that I have permission to pursue my dreams. I try to strive for excellence while being a kind, compassionate, honest person. If that’s the only legacy I leave, I’ll be pretty happy. The key? Having a few REAL solid people in your life. Those are the people who I want pushing me to be better or telling me when I’m out of line or that my art isn’t that great. Those people, those close family and friends, matter to me because I know that whatever they say or do is coming from a place of love. With social media I think this has become even harder, but I would encourage people to stop counting followers and start counting the faithful few in their inner circles. Invest in those relationships and encourage others in their pursuits, too.
Have you ever wanted to escape this ‘dream’ that follows you everywhere you go?
Of course! I’ve got my Mom on speed dial! I think anyone who’s done something risky wants to, at some point, run back to stability and safety. It’s how we’re designed! In Maslows’ hierarchy of needs our physiological needs (food, water, shelter) and safety are first on the list. So, choosing to pursue a career in entertainment that promises no stability, is driven by money, power, and status, and in a city with no family for support is definitely NOT the scientific approach. When things get hard, my reasons for wanting to run have ranged from ”I miss my family” to “I’m barely making it financially and LA ain’t cheap” to “I feel like I work really hard, but just can’t catch “a break.” Again, when basic NEEDS aren’t being met, it’s hard to think about going after something I WANT. But, I do think that there are more important things in life than what I want. God’s provision for my life has been amazing (and surprising), and I trust that there’s a plan in action. As I’ve gotten older, my priorities have shifted but the dream of making films/TV is still very much alive inside me. I’m really excited about what’s next.
What do you do during your down time? How do you deal with inconsistent work?
To be honest, this is a real struggle. I’m a people-person so when I have down time and am working from home I find it hard to know how to motivate myself. I do try and take advantage of a flexible schedule by traveling home to see family or finding volunteer opportunities to refill my tank, but in terms of finding that next job, it’s hard to see the forest through the trees sometimes. One thing that has really helped me be productive during periods of inconsistent work is….putting on socks and shoes. I know it sounds ridiculous, but when you’re working from home and nobody is giving you hard deadlines or hours or making you get off the couch or sit up straight, you kind of, well, don’t. I started noticing that when I put on socks and shoes and got “ready” for the day even though the events of my day may be up in the air, it really put me in a frame of mind that I didn’t expect. For many years (when I worked at a studio), my routine was getting up at 7 AM, getting ready for work, and jetting out the door. I’ve found that if I continue the routine, the feeling of being ready to face my day is there. And sometimes the feeling is all you need to get you started. So, the short answer is — In times of inconsistent work, I put on my shoes.
You work with an organization called Elevate which goes into high schools allowing you to use your creative abilities to inspire youth to make good decisions. Why?
I love teenagers. They’re so honest and complex and weird and cool and they wear their emotions on their sleeves, even if they don’t realize it. Middle school and high school are such crucial times in life, trying to fit in while at the same time trying to figure out “who you are.” While I realize that happens in adulthood too, the emotions and feelings are magnified so strongly when you’re a teenager that it sometimes feels like you could laugh or cry or throw something at any moment. The reason I like to connect with and engage with youth is because I don’t think kids have a lot of adults asking them what they’re really thinking or feeling. Peer pressure and societal pressures are so heavy for teens. I like just being able to offer my advice as an alternative to what they may be hearing out in the world. And I don’t have all the answers. But what I’ve found is that teens usually inherently know what’s right and wrong or know what they do want to do and what they don’t. Sometimes it’s just about listening, letting them talk it out, and watching them arrive at the answer all on their own (which is empowering). When we go into high schools, we try to inspire kids to make good decisions by showing them what they’re worth, as opposed to rattling off a list of things not to do. When a person values and loves themselves (and their uniqueness), they’re usually less likely to do something that will jeopardize the future they want.