Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Actress Micaela Wittman Is Helping To Shake Up The Entertainment Industry
… Don’t take rejection personally. Staying focused on the big picture and not putting a lot of weight on any single opportunity can help you take rejection in stride. But with that being said, not taking rejection personally is great when it comes to not getting your feelings hurt, but at a certain point you can be emotionally dexterous but still not paying your bills.
We had the pleasure to interview Quintuple threat Micaela Wittman. Micaela will next be seen starring in the coming of age film Remy & Arletta which will premiere at Outfest 2022. In addition to starring in and producing the film, it is based on a novel of the same name which she authored. Up next she will be appearing in Netflix’s Shirley opposite Regina King and Lucas Hedges.
Wittman’s feature debut, Clairevoyant, which she stars in, co-directed, co-wrote, edited and produced, received international distribution with Myriad Pictures and sold during the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film. Matt Fagerholm of RogerEbert.com called her work in that film “a tour de force performance” and called the film “uproariously funny and cringe-inducing.” She has also appeared in hit shows such as “Teen Wolf,” “Modern Family,” and HBO’s “Sharp Objects.”
Born in Rhinebeck, NY and raised in Arizona, Wittman lives and works in Los Angeles. When not on set she is writing future projects, going on joyrides to Malibu, hanging with her boyfriend and friends, dreaming about future travels, or kicking back at a theatre using her AMC Stubs pass.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was raised in Arizona, and I was really anxious to get out of there. I grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness so I wasn’t allowed to do too much with my time outside of the church. But, from a young age it was apparent that I loved acting. My whole life has revolved around it, even when I didn’t know it yet.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I first discovered acting, it was like I was shocked into consciousness. When I was auditioning for my first ever school play, I felt competitive, opinionated, and passionate. Even though I was just a little kid! It was such a special feeling that has, obviously, stuck with me, and carried me through life.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I’ve had so many crazy things happen to me. So much I plan on making a movie out of it! Me and Arthur De Larroche have an awesome script about that, called “Nobody”. That’s a movie we hope to make very soon.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. 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?
The funniest mistake I made was not being good at acting! Haha. Seriously though, it took me a while to learn, and I was scared of it. Similar to all other art forms and even sports, acting requires access to the flow state. You have to be willing to surrender control and go with something bigger than you, and all I wanted to do was try to grasp for control. Luckily being in class fixed me right up.
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?
Arthur De Larroche! He was the first positive influence in my life around the industry. And he’s the best collaborator. I wouldn’t be here without him.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
I think a lot of my friends are all coming around to this conclusion at the same time. You HAVE TO make your own stuff. An artist can’t not create. You will be at odds with yourself constantly and probably miserable. I know we all think we wanna be rich and famous, but I really do think we are artists first. Stay creating, do what makes you happy, and create a life that is worth living. Including outside of your work. You will find your way, so long as you keep trying.
What drives you to get up every day and work in TV and Film? What change do you want to see in the industry going forward?
I have a dream world in my head where being an artist is enough. It is already hard enough as is. The need to constantly grow, constantly be analyzing the world and yourself, bottling that up through a medium in a way that is commercialized, entertaining, and thought provoking. I don’t think artists should have to deal with so much gatekeeping and corruption within the business. I hope that in some way, someday, I can help usher in that change.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
You tell me! Haha. But seriously, as much as I tell myself I hate auditioning, I always get excited when a gateway to a new life pops up via a simple little email. And I want to be a part of really, really great projects. I’m excited to see what those are!
We are very interested in looking at diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television?
I want to see multifaceted, three dimensional, diverse people represented on screen. It’s so important to reflect real life in media in complex ways, and to not pigeonhole anyone because of their race or skin color. This is still being neglected even with the positive strides that have been made.
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. Six months of savings will not be enough.
This one is self-explanatory. Try to find a way to make money that is enjoyable and doesn’t exhaust your time or energy too much. For me, that was working as an extra on set. I was able to be a part of that environment while still getting a lot of downtime to focus on moving up in my career.
2. DO NOT compare yourself to anyone. Your path is special and is right for YOU.
There will be many ebbs and flows in your career and life. Don’t feel like a failure because it doesn’t seem like you’ve accomplished anything when you’ve only just started! Some people have success right out of the gate, sometimes they lose it, sometimes they don’t, sometimes success is a slow burn, sometimes it happens overnight after taking years, sometimes people get it and immediately take it for granted, so on and so forth. Stay focused on your goal and find any way to stay positive, and remember that you’re in it for the long haul.
3. Be in class, and find a community of great people, if you can.
If you can’t find good people, it’s better to be alone. I wasted some time in really toxic friend groups who did not want what’s best for me. Some sort of community will help a lot though, even if it’s just your family back home who can take your phone calls.
4. Don’t take rejection personally.
Staying focused on the big picture and not putting a lot of weight on any single opportunity can help you take rejection in stride. But with that being said, not taking rejection personally is great when it comes to not getting your feelings hurt, but at a certain point you can be emotionally dexterous but still not paying your bills. Which brings me to the most important one of all:
5. Make your own art.
I owe my whole life to this one, despite resisting it at first. I promise, it’ll feel way more fulfilling than you think.
Can you share with our readers any selfcare routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.
I recently started working out! I never understood how so many actors could spend hours in the gym consistently. I just thought I didn’t have enough willpower or the desire to do so. But now I get it. It’s so good for your mental health. I’ve been taking barre classes, and sure, I feel like I’m going to pass out every time, but it puts me in the zone and makes me feel like a warrior. My life has improved so much just from taking care of myself in that way.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
This too shall pass. So simple, yet so true. I’ve caused myself a lot of pain by choosing this career path, but the pain always gives way to something better.
You are a person of huge 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?
I really want to encourage people to live an inspired, happy life. I know a lot of people can’t do that because they have so much on their plates and so much responsibility. This world isn’t easy. But your happiness is so important, and that will radiate out into the world. I want people to take care of themselves, and to put themselves first more. And from there they can change the world!
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
Probably Steve Carell or Kristen Wiig! Thank you for offering that, lol, fingers crossed.
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
I only have Instagram. It’s @micaewa
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
This was a lot of fun! Thank you so much!
Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Actress Micaela Wittman Is Helping To Shake Up The… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.