“Kindness can make a bad day good and a good day better.” We live in a pretty competitive world. It’s easy to become selfish in the “Selfie era”. I would like to “adopt” the “pay it forward” method — Everyday try to help or do something nice for at least one person. The recipient will “pay the favor “ forward and will help someone else. Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good for others! Start now. We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Meitar Paz. Meitar is an actress, writer and a producer. She has appeared in many films, television and theater productions worldwide, such as “Below” “First String 2” and “Full moon” to name a few. Meitar won several awards for her film “And They Lived”, a film that she produced, wrote and played the lead in. Meitar was born in Haifa , Israel and she is fluent in Hebrew and English. She acted for 5 years at the Haifa Theater, performing challenging leading roles, and at the age of 17 she has already received an award for an exceptional excellence in the field of acting. After serving as a Sergeant in the IDF , Meitar arrived in Los Angeles, CA, where she currently resides , and continued her training at the Michelle Danner acting studio.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Ever since I remember myself I was drawn to the stage. I was bewitched. I always had a vivid imagination and was fascinated by the art of storytelling. As a kid I loved creating my own shows.
I used to recruit my cousins as a part of my family “ensemble“ , while the rest of the family were my devoted “audience “ members. My passion for acting and performing kept growing . School plays and shows weren’t enough, I was craving for more. At the age of 14, I became a part of the Haifa Theater group. On stage, I found my biggest passion,it wasn’t just a “Want” it was a “Need”. I felt at home ,and It was definitely just the beginning…
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
4 years ago, I booked a guest star role in a famous Israeli TV series.
A few days later I received another “surprise “.
I was hospitalized due to an acute appendicitis and had to undergo an urgent surgery.
I felt helpless.
Any slight movement seemed like a serious challenge.
Shooting days were around the corner, and I was still hospitalized..
Giving up was not an option! “The show must go on …”
5 am and I was on my way to set with titanium clips attached to my body, but with a big dream within me. It was definitely the best pain killer.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
A few days after I landed in the “City of Stars”, I was chosen to perform at the the San Francisco Comic Con .
It was an improv show and we performed in front of many superhero fans.
I was wearing my Catwoman outfit, as I started fluently to improvise in English, or at least that’s what I thought…Still jet lagged, my mind was juggling between Hebrew and English, and I created my own language- Hebrish .
During the live performance I said that I was “Growing a child “ (Instead of raising a child ) The audience laughed. A lot .
For a split second I froze – realizing my mistake. Quickly, I decided that instead of ignoring it or pretending like it never happened, I should use it in the scene and make a joke out of it .
I turned my “improv child” into a flower .
It ended up being a great performance and a great lesson – Mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before. Use them in order to grow ( now I really meant it … 😉 )
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m excited to share that my film “And They Lived “ , A film that I wrote, produced and played the lead in, is going to be released on Amazon soon.
The movie has won 6 awards so far, and was accepted to 9 film festivals worldwide.
It’s so great to see that the hard work is paying off. It has been such an amazing experience and a satisfying journey.
There’s never a dull moment- I recently got back from Arizona, after performing in the musical “ La La Lando” (by the wonderful Derek Jeremiah Reid) at the Phoenix Comic Con. We received a lot of love from the audience and some great reviews.
My improv team “Spinach Ninja “ was invited to perform at the ACME theater in Hollywood and had a very successful show.
Also, I’m happy to share that I’m going to open the first Israeli improv team in Los Angeles and coach it.
I love theater, improv and live shows, but film acting is my bigger passion. –
I have worked on the feature film “First string 2” in LA and Chicago and got to play among the great actor Kevin Anderson and the talented Leslie Zemeckis in the comedy film “ Switchin’ “ I played the challenging role of a modern witch in LA.
The success of “ And They Lived “ definitely motivated me and I’m now developing a new feature film with the director Javier Espinoza. More to come, stay tuned!
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Along my Hollywood journey I was lucky to meet so many interesting,talented people,and a wide range of industry professionals, but I choose to share with you two meaningful interactions with two inspiring, wise and kind creative souls .
Two years ago I had lunch with Roger Corman- the “Pope of pop cinema” / the “B — movie king “. Roger helped launch dozens of directors and actors from Francis Ford Coppola and James Cameron to Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson . He was awarded an Honorary Academy award for his rich engendering of films and filmmakers.
But what really inspired me and touched my heart was that after so many years in the industry, 93 year old Roger Corman is still a passionate filmmaker .You cannot miss the sparkle in his eyes when he speaks about his new film adventures.
His commitment and enthusiasm are truly inspiring, and I hope that at 93 , I will also keep my dream so vivid.
Family isn’t always blood…that’s what I learnt when I met the talented actor Kevin Anderson (“Sleeping with the enemy”, “Orphans”..) and his wonderful girlfriend Anne Illi on the set of “First string 2”.
After shooting most of my scenes in LA,I landed in Illinois and was greeted by my fellow actors . Kevin and Anne were playing the roles of my Uncle and my Aunt.
After our first day of shooting, we bonded and felt as if we have known each other for years. we weren’t just an on screen family anymore. It was so easy to be authentic and truthful on set. We wrapped the film , but I earned two new family members.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Be respectful, patient and humble.
It’s not just a tip for actors, it’s a tip for life .
No one “owes” you anything.
My acting coach used to say : “Your audition starts the moment you step out of the car”.
You never know, the casting director might be in the elevator with you, listening to your list of complaints- the sides are too long, you don’t like the script, you were stuck in traffic…keep it to yourself. No one likes to work with people that are always complaining about something. Be easy to work with. Be a great dramatic actor, not a drama queen.
A few years ago I had an audition for a jeans company. I was waiting in line while one of the girls next to me didn’t stop complaining. She complained about the long wait time, the script… she complained about…everything!
She kept saying that if she had been the casting director, the audition process would have been much faster and smoother.
After she left , one of the production assistants shared with us that he crossed her off of their list because of her attitude.
Her audition was over before she even started acting .
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
“Kindness can make a bad day good and a good day better.”
We live in a pretty competitive world.
It’s easy to become selfish in the “Selfie era”.
I would like to “adopt” the “pay it forward” method — Everyday try to help or do something nice for at least one person.
The recipient will “pay the favor “ forward and will help someone else.
Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good for others! Start now.
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
There are a lot of things you need to know as an actor, but here are five lessons I wish I’d learn earlier in my career:
1. Don’t just wait for opportunities , create them.
2. Be open and eager to learn. There’s always something new to discover . Be curious and dare to ask questions.
3. Specificity! The more specific you are , the easier it would be for you to reach your goals.
4. Acting is a marathon not a sprint- work hard every day . Be patient,persistent and enjoy the journey.
5. Be yourself- everyone else is taken (yes, I know it sounds cheesy.. ) but in acting that’s what makes you unique , no one else can be you. Know yourself, know your type and use it in order to bloom.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears”
We all have doubts. Sometimes we are intimidated by our own dreams and goals.
We start feeding our mind with destructive self sabotage “ I might fail” “ Maybe I’m not good enough “ “ I can’t do it “ .
To quit is easy. You convince yourself that giving up was the right choice, and feel relieved that you didn’t have to confront your fears.
But then, you feel empty. You gave up your dream, your passion, your ambition.
It’s easy to stay in the comfort zone, but you never grow out of it.
Since I was a kid I was a dreamer . My mom always told me that if I really want something, I can get it,but, it’s not instant. It requires hard work and dedication .
That’s how dreams work. They don’t work unless you do .
And that’s what I do, every time I get scared I stop feeding my fears, and I feed my dreams instead. Instead of doubting myself I work twice as hard. Every step I take brings me closer to my goal. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s the most satisfying one. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
My inner superhero would love to meet the casting director Sarah Finn . I have been playing the role of Captain marvel in a web series and in comic cons across America and fell in love with the character and her backstory . I definitely think that our society needs more empowering female characters, and I hope to join the Marvel family one day . (If Thor — Chris Hemsworth would like to join us for lunch, he is most certainly invited … 😉 )
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Facebook and IMDb : Meitar Paz
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!
Thank you, it was my pleasure.