“Why it’s okay to have boundaries.” With Ben Ari & Thea Touchton

I have been bullied severely all my life. My biggest desire is to end bullying, especially online bullying. There is a big difference between having a civil conversation debating differing opinions and actively tearing someone down. The world already has natural hardships that are inevitable but we can all strive to be kinder to one […]

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I have been bullied severely all my life. My biggest desire is to end bullying, especially online bullying. There is a big difference between having a civil conversation debating differing opinions and actively tearing someone down. The world already has natural hardships that are inevitable but we can all strive to be kinder to one another, to give each other the benefit of doubt, to forgive each other instead of holding grudges, and to wake up every day with the goal to make the world a better, easier, sweeter place to live in.

As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Thea Touchton.

Thea Touchton is a writer and SAG-AFTRA actress that resides in Los Angeles, California with her two cats. She is an advocate for dissolving abusive relationships, which is the theme of her first, soon to be released poetry book. She is working on growing her Youtube and Instagram following and is about to release her podcast dubbed “Mouthy”, which closely examines children’s media.

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’ve been able to read, I really wanted to be a scientist. I love learning about the human brain and different types of animals. Unfortunately, I was thirteen, I was living in an abusive and neglectful household. My stepdad wanted me to be a rich rocket scientist (funnily enough they don’t make that much money) to live off me in his old age. That would have been my worst nightmare, honestly. Then one day, during a rehearsal of my middle school production’s Annie, surrounded by my fellow students cast as abandoned orphans, sharing my nachos, I just felt so much love and comradery, so I decided acting was what I wanted to do with my life. An artistic career can have so many ups and downs so my stepdad would be unlikely to take advantage of me financially, at least for a while.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that anymore as my mother finally walked away from that toxic relationship. I am so proud and grateful that my mom had the strength to do that and whenever I have the opportunity, I always advocate for truly healthy partnerships.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Two years ago, after a long, bitter divorce, I was thinking of leaving the entertainment industry behind. Looking for another job, I saw an ad for being a personal shopper. I applied and ended up getting the job. I was in the last group to be a personal shopper and was so happy when they informed me, I would be purchasing a burger at Burger King. I was so hungry. When I got to the Burger King, I found out I was being pranked and was actually in a commercial where I had to debate if the sourdough burger was a burger or a sandwich. That job ended up Taft Harveying me and gave me union eligibility which was my lifetime goal as an actress. It is a very funny story to my family too, because as a child, I would pitch a fit every time we went to Burger King and now, I’m so grateful Burger King cast me. I also clearly cannot leave the entertainment industry, even if I try.

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?

My family did not correct my pronunciation of some words because they thought it was too cute. Thus, I have so many embarrassing moments of mispronouncing words in a script (PINt instead of pint, fruit cottontail instead of fruit cocktail, scrapegoat instead of scapegoat). I swear by YouTube pronunciation channels before auditions now, as messing up words during an audition is less “cute” and way more embarrassing.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Right now, I’m working on the release of my first poetry book about dating and relationships so that is a whirlwind journey of excitement and impostor syndrome and risk-taking. I always write from personal experience and am currently taking on a feature about relationships and cults and domestic abuse that I hope will go to Sundance, Cannes, or South By Southwest. It is taxing to write but it is going to be so cool when it pans out. I am also writing a video game script (video game scripts can be up to six hundred pages, which is insane but so much fun) and an animated kid’s feature about my two crazy, spastic cats, Marci and Milo.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Colbie Smulders was such a delight to watch work on Stumptown. When she made a mistake, she was so bubbly and had such a good attitude at laughing it off and starting professionally again that it was inspiring to me. Thomas Middleditch was such a professional goofball on Silicon Valley and was a light on set. His ability to play and try new things on set is admirable. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was nervous at the release of Hercules but was so passionate the way he spoke to the early screening premiere crowd, one would have never known. His charisma could make anyone smile.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I recommend finding daily creative habits and doing new things just for fun. When I’m in the kitchen, I never follow a recipe and just mix ingredients I have in the fridge for meals. Not having to follow the rules where you can safely is often a great way to keep that element of spontaneity and play. Also, it is so important to do things you’re passionate about. If you’re not in a movie you would love to be in, take even the tiniest step to creating the movie you DO want to be in. If you write a sentence a day, soon you’ll have a screenplay. Film is such a collaborative process as well! Someone in the industry is always waiting for that chance to bond and create something. If all of that isn’t t working, nothing puts things in perspective like taking a mini-vacation. My favorite place in the world is Big Sur. I recommend going there for a great, relaxing mind reset.

Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

I’m such an advocate for stretching and massages. When I am writing, I’m often in the worst positions for my back and acting is such a physical job that often involves standing or running or doing any sort of physical activity for many hours over several takes. To avoid any sort of soreness, it is important to make sure your body is not carrying any unnecessary tension. I also struggle with PCOS so eating healthy (no gluten, dairy, or refined sugars) is crucial for me to not gain weight, break out, or risk developing diabetes. I struggle the most with giving up sugar since I have such a sweet tooth, so I always try to compromise with chocolate that either has a source of protein or a fat-burning metabolism component. Fruit is also godsent! I’m not a huge fitness person, but I trick myself into fitness by taking skill classes that are physical but also great for an acting resume (like aerial yoga, miming, and musical theater improv). Hikes are also great way to build muscle and enjoy nature. Nature always makes my soul feel at ease. I recommend the Malibu Grotto, if you’re is ever in the area, bring a few snacks, a lot of water, and a friend you adore about and enjoy the beautiful journey.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

5. “Don’t feel the pressure to go to college.” This one is controversial, but for a career in the performing arts, there are so many expenses in college that on the job training and taking less expensive classes in the community offer for much less stress and cash. An artist should know their craft, but that does not necessarily take having thousands of dollars in debt of student loans. I was bullied a lot in college and would have had so much more confidence if I did not feel tied to sticking through the classes because I paid so much money upfront. If I had focused on taking acting classes in the Los Angeles community, it would have been so much cheaper and easier to leave when the class environment was harmful to my mental health. I have had so many positive moments in acting classes and film sets outside of college and learned a lot more relevant information from people actually working in the industry.

4. “No acting class or human should be allowed to tear down your self-esteem.” The most important thing in the acting world is confidence. An actor’s job consists of constantly displaying vulnerability in front of countless strangers and to do that healthily that takes feeling good about oneself. I wasted so many tears and too much time crying about the feeling that I wasn’t good enough. I could have been so much more productive if I did not rely on other people’s approval by believing their eccentric techniques were the only surefire way for success. If something feels off, it probably is. While being involved in acting totally involves pushing you out of your comfort zone, it should never make you feel inferior. Acting is such a fun job and while it does take work, it should be joyful work!

3. “Find your personal brand and play it up with all your heart.” To be honest, I still struggle with this one. I have always been called a chameleon and love trying on different looks. However, the easiest way to get cast is to look like the character you’re is going out for and being consistent. Every character an artist will play usually has a similar throughline. The throughline for the characters I have played is that they are all wildly passionate. Playing with your strengths and working on your weaknesses is a surefire way to have a successful career. Adjust your look and energy to what you can play, instead of trying to be like something you think the casting department wants.

2. “Don’t be afraid to fail.” In this cancel culture world, perfectionism is encouraged. Unfortunately, human beings are flawed and though it’s frowned upon to publicly make a mistake (even though everyone does it at least once in their life unless they are completely secluded from society), that’s what makes life and performances so much more interesting. If you don’t fail, you don’t grow! It is impossible to have a natural talent off the bat in everything. It is okay for some skills you’re working on to be weak at the beginning because you’re learning how to make them better. That is the whole reason to train in the first place; to become more well-rounded as an artist. I used to cry (still do sometimes, learning is a process) about not getting a hundred percent on school tests. Then I took a clowning class workshop and in clowning, you have to fail in order to be a good clown. I definitely recommend clown class for recovering perfectionists.

  1. “Having boundaries is not a crime.” While a performance career is going to stretch your artistry, other people will try to take advantage of you. When something like that occurs, you have got to have the confidence to cut ties. I have learned people who are mean or spiteful are usually not that far in the industry, anyway. No amount of promised fame is worth sacrificing what you believe in. At the end of the day, you must be able to live with yourself. I personally want to live surrounded by good people who support and challenge me in good ways, not bad. An acting career should be fun and make you feel happy and that energy, in turn, will attract amazing opportunities with amazing people.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My uncle had a patient who once charmingly said, “Be Where You Am!” The grammar always makes me smile. I cannot stress enough the importance of finding the most joy in every present moment and enjoying the journey. I struggle with anxiety and often worry about the future, but this quote always relaxes me and reminds me that there is so much to be grateful for in the present moment. Life is a wonderful, beautiful blessing and no matter what kind of situation a person is in, there is always a beautiful, memorable lesson to be learned.

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?

I would be nowhere without her Uncle Brian and Aunt Tara. They rescued me from an abusive household when she was seventeen and have helped me with the medical expenses that came with that recovery. They have always supported my dreams and are the most generous, kind people. They will give with no hesitation to anyone who needs it. I hope to one day buy them a houseboat to repay them for their kindness. I love them so very much.

You are a person of enormous 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 have been bullied severely all my life. My biggest desire is to end bullying, especially online bullying. There is a big difference between having a civil conversation debating differing opinions and actively tearing someone down. The world already has natural hardships that are inevitable but we can all strive to be kinder to one another, to give each other the benefit of doubt, to forgive each other instead of holding grudges, and to wake up every day with the goal to make the world a better, easier, sweeter place to live in.

We are very blessed that 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. 🙂

I would love to have lunch with Tina Fey. Tina Fey has inspired me to find the comedy in life, something that is so important when one has gone through tragedy. Fey’s writing style is something I strive towards. Also, Tina Fey’s career has been unbelievably amazing. I just want to soak up Tina Fey’s funny, smart, bosslady energy. She’s such an inspiration.

How can our readers follow you online?

Acting Links:…


Facebook Page: Thea Touchton

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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