“Certainty is your greatest enemy”
As part of my series about “stars making an important social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Priscilla Avila. Priscilla is a Brazilian actress, writer, model and director. She has appeared in several Brazilian plays, films, and Tv Shows, most notably as Stefani in 2017’s “171 Negocio de Familia” at Universal Channel Brazil. She speaks Portuguese, French, Spanish and English. She began her career by appearing in several plays and commercials. Her debut in a theatre was when she was only 12 years old and her first commercial was when she was 14 years old. At 13 she got invited to be part of the theatre group of the City (TEG) and travels to multiple cities to join Theatre Festivals. Avila and her group won several awards with the plays they produced. At 15 she was constantly acting, writing and selling paintings for the local market, a hobby that she discovered being lucrative. In 2001, she also joined the Theatre Group from the University of South of Bahia (UESC). As a young woman, she remained adamant also about her education. Studying Psychology and after changing her field for Foreign Languages, Culture and Creative Economy. She learned several languages in college and began to travel around the world to complement her acting skills. She did some acting training in Argentina, France and later in the US. While continuing her career in Brazil, Avila earned a post-degree in Cinema from a Brazilian University in Sao Paulo. She won also a scholarship for the Summer Art Course at Santa Fe University, NM in 2014 and it was her first time in the US. Avila’s increasingly intellectual and passionate approach to filmmaking culminated in her writing Brazilian scripts for film and for a Tv show that’s still in production. She was obstinate to write some good roles for herself in order to move her Brazilian acting career further, but her ambitious behavior made her come again to the US in 2017 and join some great workshops and meetings that ended up in Avila trying coming back to Los Angeles in 2018 and finding a manager. Now Priscilla Avila is determined to improve her English and become an International Actress.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thank you to have me. I started my career in theatre very young and I began selling my paintings at the age of 15. That combined with the desire to make movies, which is a painting in motion, is something that happened naturally. The desire to pursue my career internationally was also something that I felt when I was a teenager. I’ve always loved American music and European movies and plays. I knew that I would have to leave Brazil one day.
Besides that, in some of my spiritual pursuits those years, I had a very clear vision that my professional life will only grow in Los Angeles.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I think when you connect with children and elders it is so magical. Therefore, when I was working with kids and elders and made them smile it was something that brought me some sensation that I’ve done something right.
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?
It’s so easy to make mistakes when you start so young. I think, in this career, you have to learn how to respect others so much and be able to disconnect from the environment you create in your work. I was so young and it was so easy to get lost on the hands of others and bring all the drama you create for you work to your private life. I don’t remember funny mistakes, maybe I only had funny experiences.
Can you describe how your organization is making a significant social impact?
As an actress, I knew that my voice would never be heard if I didn’t start creating my own content. Then, I put some of my feelings and thoughts on paper and created my own projects. I always wanted to change the world positively, but I don’t have the skills of doing something in the field of science, so I’m trying to help with some connection to subjects that can improve mental health.
To know who you are and feel acceptance is one of the hardest things to do and I’m concentrated now on bringing those questions to the table. In my next script, I am trying to investigate the paths of an asexual woman in a hypersexualized country like Brazil. I want to address the feelings of how a woman sees herself in this world where she is constantly the object and not the subject of desire. I want to talk about desire and sexual freedom especially for woman. Could desire be simplified into sexual attraction or can be something else? Could we have desires and romantic relationships with no sexual attraction? All those questions made me think also about my own sexuality and I hope help others too.
Wow! Can you tell me a story about a particular individual who was impacted this cause?
I was watching a talk about people constantly judged for not expressing any sexual intention. They are frequently judged only because they are not interested sexually in other genders. I realized that I also feel weird if I don’t feel sexual attracted towards most of men I hang out with and It’s bizarre because they always think if I can have a “sexy behavior” I’m sexually attract to them. Am I homosexual? Am I asexual? I do not know yet but for those who know I have a tremendous respect and I’m here to respect them and try to help. I didn’t figure out the best way yet. Maybe it’s through writing.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
I think the most important thing is to give a voice and respect to all the minorities. However, this will only happen when we have a more democratic government. When most of the politicians are white heterosexual men it’s very hard to have those issues addressed in the political agenda.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership for me is the ability to listen to others. Nelson Mandela is considered one of the greatest leaders in the world, he always made his meetings in circles for everyone to feel equal, and he was always the last to speak. Listening should also be the greatest skill of an actor. You actually live a character when you are there for the other, listening to him.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Don’t compare yourself. People will see many flaws on you. But, most of the negativity they bring it´s only related to their own problems. Nobody cares that much how you are. So, be you! it´s the only way to feel good.
- Don’t give up on you. It’s easy to say that as an regular goal. However, we give up of our dreams almost every day when we get lost on the path of others. Social Media is also that. You forget about yourself constantly and you will forget of your dreams if you don’t pay attention on you every day. I forget me a lot in the past when I was involved with people that made my dreams feel so impossible. Nothing is impossible. If a photon of light can turn into matter, why couldn’t you become what you want? It can be very hard to do it, but pain will pass. Don’t worry.
- Listen to your childhood wish. I got lost plenty of times and I had depression too. I thought nothing matters anymore and I was really thinking of giving up for a while. However, I read I book that says when you are a child you always know the right path. You are only what you were born to be. So I started to listen to my young wishes again and even when I thought, I didn’t know if I still want that dreams, I stopped getting worry about it and start pleasing that child and all her desires anyway. I recovered from depression after this.
- Be kind and compassionate. You can get angry about the stupidity of people and think: “how this person can be so mean?”, but for sure you will forget to think: “What made this person be so mean?” I consider this question as a tool for creating a kindness and peaceful environment around you. “Bad people” is suffering more than you for the things they done to you, because they were taught to respond with bad feelings. They are prisoners of their own misery. You can create compassion and don´t let bad feelings reaching your life. It works. Try it.
- Be honest. If you are an actor, you have to practice being honest as much as possible, because acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. Also, it’s easier to have a life with honesty on any kind of career. Lies make your life heavy.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire 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 always think if we can try to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes it is a beginning. That includes nature. We think nature is here for serve us. However, we serve nature as a part of her ecosystem. My wish in this lifetime is to try to stop the way consumption is addressed to our daily life. We are so attached to things. Why do I need more than one car, more than one house? Why do I need a different dress every time I’m heading a Premiere Night? Earth is not prepared for this kind of behavior and most people that “seem to care” are creating more attachment to things. Celebrities, that “seem to care”, advertise a lot of products that are not produced with environmental consciousness. You can’t say they need that money in order to survive, because only one year of their salary is more than the amount thousands of people have in a lifetime.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Lately, I like to say, “Certainty is your greatest enemy”. I don´t know if I saw that somewhere or If I’ve created. However, it’s something that express my desire of always learning something new and also the ability of not being judgmental with others since everything can change, including us.
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 just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I wish I could have the chance of meeting Einstein, Gandhi, Da Vinci among others great genius. However, a way more reasonable wish right now, it would be a dinner with “the character of Jim Carrey”. It will be a memorable night for sure.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My name is Priscilla Avila on all my social media platforms.
Search for @priscillaavila and you will find me. Including on Medium.
My website is from my company: www.bougiemedia.com/priscilla
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!
Thank you so much for this opportunity. I hope we can always find a path of helping others!
Photo Credits: Esdras Vieira