I would start a movement of acceptance, explaining that we are not all equals. I feel that nowadays there is this huge movement of “accepting yourself” which is wonderful because people are feeling more confidence to feel and be who they want to be. It’s really liberating. However, we are forgetting one aspect of this process. Acceptance should work both ways, accepting yourself as well accepting others. No one is equal to anyone, except under the law. We are all different and it’s a beautiful thing. Acceptance does not mean you need want, like, or even support whatever it is that you’re accepting. But by struggling against it when resisting or rejecting, we are creating pain and suffer in our society.
As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mia Scozzafave. Mia is an actress with more than 10 titles under her belt and a meteoric career. Mia is a Brazilian Actress/TV Host with international credits in TV and Movies in the USA and Latin America. She can act in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Mia is well versed in improv techniques and she can perform light stunts as well an assortment of sports and dance styles. On the side, Mia is also a DJ and a TV Host with a degree in journalism with years of experience in front of cameras, well trained in memorization techniques, ear piece and TelePrompters for live and recorded shows. Mia’s passion in life are acting, music and family. Mia is currently living in Los Angeles and working in a number of different projects across the USA.
Thank you so much for joining us Mia! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was back in Brazil working as a TV correspondent at “Sao Paulo Futebol Clube” and “Torcida Rebook”. It was a fun job because I like sports and every Brazilian is crazy about “futebol” (Soccer) but yet, I had a feeling that I had reached whatever I was trying to accomplish with that job. I was feeling very unmotivated in my career. One night out with my friends I met a friend of a friend that was living in Los Angeles. We started talking about LA and I mentioned how I was feeling. He said he was leaving in a house and he had spare room that I could stay for a couple months. Fast forward 3 months later, I had dropped my job, rented my apartment back home, said goodbye to friends and family and was flying to LA to stay a few months studying english. In these months in LA I was invited by a talent agent to be part of his roster as an actress when I decided to give a real try to this passion of mine. Then I enrolled to an acting program at UCLA and started to know more about this world. I had have a few experiences in Brazil as an actress too but didn’t feel that serious. I ended up never finishing the program but definitely this was a start to a new life for me.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
The start of my career in the US is so out from this planet. Probably if I was reading it in a magazine I wouldn’t believe is true. But it is, I swear! lol
As I said I was in LA studying english, trying to talk as much as I could so I could be back in Brazil speaking fluently and be a better journalist. One late afternoon I was home and a friend sent me a message about a casting for a Bridal photoshoot and since I was very familiar with being in front of a camera and the place was close to my apartment, I decided to go. Once there I audition and heard, for the first time in the US, the famous words that every actor or model hear: “That was fantastic! Thank you for coming! We’ll call you!”. lol
So I left, of course, not feeling particularly sad or anything, it was a long shot anyways. When I leaving this fancy building this guy approached me and asked if I was an actress. I said, no, I’m a journalist but I did work on tv. We started talking and for some reason he said he was lawyer but he had a friend, a talent agent that he should introduce us, so maybe I could be an actress in his agency. At this moment I remembered the very few experiences that I had as an actress back in Brazil and just like that, an spark of passion lighted it up on me!
The reality check was very strong at that moment, I’ve been always a performer and I feel in my soul that there is nothing else that brings more of my own self to my life. And I had missed that for so many years that I couldn’t hold back anymore. I had to go full in. And so I did!
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?
You know, Brazilians are well known for being late. It’s an accepted behavior of our culture. One of my first acting workshops, I was going to my first day in class and traffic build up really bad, and of course, I wasn’t expecting. When I get there, LATE, I saw that class had already started and everyone was inside already, seated in a circle. I was like, “Oh gosh, I just want to sneak in quickly”, so I rushed and ran to get inside the class, super ashamed of being the only one late. I was running and when I got to get inside the room I hit hard my head and fell to floor, almost passing away. It took me a few seconds to understand what happened, but the room had glass doors that where closed and I didn’t see. LOL . It was such a huge loud sound that class stopped and everyone was kind laughing and concerned at the same time. I delayed everyone for about 20 minutes before we could continue with an ice pack on a bump in my forehead and a big headache. It was super funny (and a little scary too) and everyone was super nice, but I learned that I would have to change that aspect of my culture living here, because, boy, I was ashamed!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Well, I found out a couple weeks ago that our movie “Los Angeles Shark Attack” will become a video game for Nintendo, so I’m very excited about that. I used to play video games a lot when I was a kid so it’s an amazing feeling that now “Rebecca” is a character in a game. Also, I’m preparing for this very unique project that is a Film Noir movie with drama and dark comedy. I’m really excited because I’ve never had an opportunity here yet, to be working with such a character driven script. It’s all about the characters in a very curious and instigating way. Amazing dialogue and script. It’s going to be an immersive experience for sure to me, and so much fun!
I’m also building a project with music and I believe it will bring my whole performer skill set to a different level. I’m always doing something new because I feel easily bored. I guess that’s why I love acting so much, I’m constantly changing.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Work on your anxiety and patience. Actors want to share and perform and live and die at the fullest extent. For whoever is starting, you should know that it is important that fire in your veins but also that takes time and dedication to be consistently working. Saying that is hard work is an euphemism. Being an actor is not only about going to classes, practicing or waiting for your agent. There is so much more than that, if you are doing it right, it takes your whole life upside down and you need to be aware of every aspect of your life. You’re emotions will still be there, for better or for worse, sometimes strong, sometimes weak, but still it’s a beautiful journey that you should live without a limit.
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. 🙂
I would start a movement of acceptance, explaining that we are not all equals. I feel that nowadays there is this huge movement of “accepting yourself” which is wonderful because people are feeling more confidence to feel and be who they want to be. It’s really liberating.
However, we are forgetting one aspect of this process. Acceptance should work both ways, accepting yourself as well accepting others. No one is equal to anyone, except under the law. We are all different and it’s a beautiful thing. Acceptance does not mean you need want, like, or even support whatever it is that you’re accepting.
But by struggling against it when resisting or rejecting, we are creating pain and suffer in our society.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1 — Be patient. As an actor you need to learn to be patient. It takes time to learn the craft… it takes time to learn how to audition… It takes time to book your first job… it takes time to be successful. It just takes time!
2 — Deal with Rejection. Actors need to deal with their ego all the time. Eventually you need to know that rejection will always be a constant in an actors life. It’s not personal. It’s not because your are a great or bad actor than others or yourself. It’s just because you’re not right for the part or one destiny thing, if you believe in that. So after a rejection, recompose yourself and move to the next one, either in your professional or personal life. Be strong enough that nothing outside will affect you, unless you allow it.
3 — Believe in yourself. You should feel how good you are working in your craft. No one else knows that better than you. Don’t listen to what everyone has to say. If you know you’re right in your journey that should suffice to you keep moving forward. Enjoy the ride.
4 — When you know, you know. If you question yourself if you are ready for something, most probably you’re not. When you know, you know. It’s a feeling that you can only know if you felt it. So keep grinding because if you’re not there yet, you will.
5 — Develop you own artistic self. An amazing part of this job is to discover yourself. You should read, perform, sing, dance, try anything you feel like trying. Feel alive! That’s the way you will know things that works for you or not, and at the end of the day you will be building your truth that is loyal to your true self. Once you are there is when you can be a real creator of your art and your life itself.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Fight with determination,
embrace life with passion,
lose with class and win with boldness,
because the world belongs to those who dare and life is too much to be insignificant.
— Augusto Branco (Brazilian poet — free translation).
Every time I feel down, sad or unmotivated I go back to this quote. I don’t remember the first time I read it, I feel almost like these words were born with me. It is in my bones and my soul and my performances. Another interesting thing about it is most people think is a Charlie Chaplin’s quote, but it is in fact by Augusto Branco, also a Brazilian artist.
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?
Yes. Guy Kochlani. Guy was my first agent here, the person who made possible to me stay in the US and really sharpen my skills as an actress. By the time Guy offered me to be an actress in his roster here, I was mainly a TV Host. He taught me so much in the business and was the very first person in this town that saw something and believed on me. I’ll be always grateful to him.
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. 🙂
Would love to talk with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino about their Grindhouse movies. I grew up watching it and kept imagining how these artists were in person, their creative processes. Their movies spoke so much to me that gave me (and still do!) chills down my spine… and I was like, Oh man, these guys are so cool! I had endless talk with friends that also felt the same way in Brazil. Sleepless nights of a bunch of movie affectioned teenagers from Brazil. Gosh… this was a long time ago!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Go to @miascozzafave on Instagram! I will love to connect!