You are not alone — helping other people and being willing to ask for help is the way to push forward. For a long while I wanted to do my own YouTube video. I had big dreams and wanted it to be amazing, but never managed to push it forward. When I decided to ask for help (following an organized work-plan, of course) I managed to produce my first video in just six weeks! That production brought many other opportunities in my way from actors, producers and others who liked it and wanted to work with me. I couldn’t have done it if I had worked alone.
As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Meytar Zehavi. Meytar is a young actress and model from Israel. She started as an actress in The Be’er Sheva Kids Theatre, stopped to join the army and start a career as a Technical Trainer in the high-tech world while acting on the side. In 2019, after realizing the acting virus had spread too ferociously to ignore, she decided to move to LA — half a world away from Israel — and she is not looking back.
Thank you so much for joining us Meytar! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My dad is an actor; I grew up on stage. I practiced lines before I knew how to read. As a kid who grew up inside the theatre I always had a great passion for the stage the arts in general. It was always my dream to become a big international actress so I worked hard and practiced my English. But as a teenager I felt like I didn’t have enough strength to deal with the criticism and the competitiveness this business has, so I turned acting to a hobby, diverted my focus to studying to classic school subjects, and fed my soul with the occasional open stage night. Eventually that path lead me to a steady, well-paying job in high tech. Five years later I realized that nothing else gave me as much satisfaction in life, and if I didn’t pursue the stage life now, I would regret it forever. So I packed up all my fear (and some other belongings), quit my old life, and booked a flight to LA.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
After one week in LA, I was in a car crash. Another car hit me while I was turning left (the driving rules in the US and Israel are a little different). When it happened, I had an anxiety attack. Because of the time difference from Israel, I couldn’t get anyone on the phone. I (obviously) didn’t expect some from half way across the world to come help me, but at the moment I felt there wasn’t a soul I could share this experience with. It was the loneliest I had ever felt.
At that moment I started having second thoughts. I started thinking that maybe I should just give up on everything, go back to Israel, and take the easier path. Then I said *no*.
I realized that loneliness is an inner feeling over which I have control, and the decision I had made was that I was here and I was here to *stay*.The next day I woke up full of inspiration, and wrote my first full short script.
Naturally, it had a very detailed car accident scene.
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?
One time when I was invited to an audition in Tel Aviv for this new TV show. I waited in the waiting room for about 30 minutes with a few other girls. After 30 minutes I got a call from my agent frantically asking me where I was. Apparently we were all in the wrong location and we needed to take a taxi to the right place. I eventually ran into the audition room out of breath and — apparently — that’s exactly what the casting directors were looking for.
I learned that everybody makes mistakes and it’s easier to laugh at them and just trust yourself to handle the outcomes.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I got to play an Evil princess on a very big production for a video game. The wardrobe was beautiful and it included a lot of special effects and very artistic settings, so It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed seeing the outcome.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I got to talk with a few producers and Israeli artists who had already received international acknowledgement. Talking to them, I realized that everyone has the same fears, and what differentiates the people who made it and the people who didn’t is how driven they were to keep trying, in spite of those fears.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
When you work towards something and your definition of success revolves around the result of your efforts, then your success is not guaranteed. With this mindset, you will likely be faced with lots of “failures” which can be daunting and indeed lead to burn out.
However, if you look at the actions that you take as your success (I spoke to someone new, I went to an audition, I wrote a script), then success is entirely in your control and you will constantly feel successful. With this mindset, you get to celebrate everything you do, stay positive, and eventually the desired result will come.
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. 🙂
Self development and coaching. I believe that there a lot of people in the world that can do a lot great things if they just have enough belief and trust in themselves.
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 isn’t “a right way” — there are multiple ways to do and accomplish your goals. If I would have followed the “right path”, I would probably still be in my home town trying to improve my grades to get into medical school
- Work-plans and Deadlines are key — ever since I started putting deadlines on my personal goals, my productivity improved wondrously.
- You are not alone — helping other people and being wiling to ask for help is the way to push forward. For a long while I wanted to do my own YouTube video. I had big dreams and wanted it to be amazing, but never managed to push it forward. When I decided to ask for help (following an organized work-plan, of course) I managed to produce my first video in just six weeks! That production brought many other opportunities in my way from actors, producers and others who liked it and wanted to work with me. I couldn’t have done it if I had worked alone.
- “You are beautiful no matter what they say” — one of the reasons I quit acting when I was a teenager was because I couldn’t handle people giving me comments like “you are not skinny enough”, “your eyebrows are not long enough” (true story), etc. Now I know when I get those comments I just smile and keep going, because “I am what I am”.
- If someone is mean it’s to protect their insecurities — smile and know it’s their problem not yours. There are other people, cooler people, who would love to be your friend.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it” I was always a big dreamer and people around me always tried to convince me that “that’s not the way”. Well.. I have created my own way.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
When I started considering seriously getting back to acting, I had a lot of fears and doubts. I thought that all actors were mean, that it was impossible to make a living, that I wasn’t good enough, and so much more.
Then I met a guy, an actor, and we went on a date. It was just a casual thing, but he was one of the most heartfelt and inspiring people I had ever met. He showed me that not only can actors can be good people, but that they are probably the bravest and most full of soul people in the world.
We ended up becoming really good friends and he was the one pushing me to pursue my dreams when there wasn’t anyone else there who thought I should do it. I owe him a lot.
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 biggest inspirations are Lady Gaga and Jim Carrey.
I feel like both of them just did their own thing. They are interesting, unique, ambitious, no matter what their surroundings told them. I would love to meet them in person.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My personal Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/meytar.zehavi
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!