At Your Money Geek, we are all about self-improvement and finding inspiration and motivation in unusual places, whether it’s money lessons from the Empire’s greatest military mind or cautionary tales from horror movies.
Everyone seeking success loves to find big wins, giving rise to a whole cottage industry promoting miracle cures and snake oil. In blogging, for example, there are more courses on how to master Google, Pinterest, or Facebook than one can count. All of which promise earth-shattering and server busting traffic.
The reality is that the most successful bloggers, such as Perez Hilton, didn’t become successful because of a quick fix. Instead, it was their dedication to the traits all successful people have in common; dedication, organization, and networking.
Show business is an industry where the traits of success are on full display. If you want to be a stand out success in an industry where everyone is trying to be a huge “Star,” you better bring your A-game. Those that “make it” are the embodiment of hard work and determination and can inspire business leaders, side hustlers, authors, and bloggers.
Today, I’m thrilled to discuss success with actress Alana de Freitas.
About Alana de Freitas
Australian actress Alana de Freitas was born in Melbourne and began acting at age nine with the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy, and continued right through her schooling, receiving her Victorian Certificate of Education for Drama Studies with the Council of Adult Education. She continued her study with Screen Actors, before moving to LA to pursue acting professionally.
Her first glimpse into professional acting came when she appeared as a ‘Goth’ in the 2002 feature, Queen of the Damned. In 2007. Alana gained a position with LifeFunk TV, which saw her branch out into presenting. As a roving reporter reviewing nightclubs, bars, and restaurants, Alana was able to develop her own segments and work on content and scripting.
In terms of building her acting portfolio, Alana has appeared in TVCs, music video clips, short films, and feature films. In addition to this, Alana has also completed 12 episodes as a principal character in the full first season of the sitcom Snowpeck. (Unfortunately not picked up for syndication)
Her most recent work includes a large supporting role in the horror feature film Bashira – directed by Nickson Fong (Academy Award-winning VFX Artist) and produced by Steven Krone (president of Village Roadshow for 15 years); as well as the lead role in the independent feature film, Before the Dawn, due for release in 2019. She is also set to star in the upcoming comedy feature Cash Collectors alongside Michael Madsen, Angie Everhart, and Johnny Messner.
Alana de Freitas on Success
My questions are in bold, Alana’s follow in plain text.
How did you get your start?
My first real acting gig was on the set of ‘Queen of the Damned.’ It was this crazy big Hollywood production, and I was just a kid growing up in Australia. It was amazing!
What does a typical day look like?
Well, I write, produce, and act, so an insane amount of admin goes into each of those each day.
Responding to interview requests, following up with vendors on where we are at with a film, and talking with agents/managers. Sitting down and writing. The list is endless. Let’s just say that none of it is glamorous, and I am glued to my phone and computer. It’s a 24/7 job!
Professionally what are you most proud of?
At the moment, I’m most proud of Before the Dawn, the feature film I wrote, produced, and starred in. From inception to distribution, I got to see the entire process through and be hands-on in every part of it.
I’m not sure that I would have done it had I known going into it how much work it would be. But now that I’m on the other side, I know it’s completely worth it, and I just want to keep creating!
What did it take to achieve?
Honestly, the first step was just permitting myself to do it. So often we wait for others to employ us to do something. I just decided, “I’m going to do this,” and I was so completely naive that I didn’t let anybody talk me out of it.
Just decide to make it happen, and you will find a way. Once you get started, you will be amazed at how quickly everybody else jumps on board and has faith in you.
What tips or lessons did you pick up on the way to your achievement?
In terms of tips for getting started in acting. I recommend creating your own content. It’s like a business card in this industry, especially if you are just getting started and have no other footage.
Network, do your research, don’t buy into everything people tell you – there is a lot of BS to sift through, and surround yourself with good people who have your best interests at heart.
What have you learned from success?
Everybody wants to be your friend once you start kicking goals. Make a note of the people who were with you from the beginning. And, work begets work so don’t stop.
Is there a mistake you have made starting that you wish you could change?
I wish I’d prioritized acting at an earlier age. I was doing it on the side while working corporate. I wouldn’t call it a mistake because I gained so many skills during that time, which serve me very well today, but if I had my time over, I would consider changing that.
How has success changed your views and opinions on
I don’t think so. I try to save. I like to re-invest my money in myself and my ventures so that I can use it to keep growing. But it’s also nice to treat yourself for all your hard work every now and then.
Relationships in the entertainment industry are hard! Everybody has crazy schedules and travels a lot. I think there’s always a lot of temptation in this business too. At the end of the day, if someone wants to be with you, they will make time for you no matter how busy they are.
I think it’s just getting older that makes me less likely to tolerate half-assed relationships, romantic or otherwise.
I’ve always been pretty strategic. Now I just know more, which makes that a little bit easier. It might be called ‘show business,’ but it really can be a business of relationships at times. Nurture the relationships with the people who have faith in you.
Getting Started and Determination
Do you have any advice for people that may feel discouraged about reaching their goals?
This is a game of persistence. Acting is tough because you are supposed to be super in touch with your emotions in order to allow you to perform, but to be able to survive the ‘business’ of it, you really need a think skin and a lot of determination.
You will hear a lot of ‘nos’ before you get a ‘yes.’ You can be the best actor for the role, but there are so many more factors than that.
Your schedule might not match up; you might be too tall next to your co-star, you might not look enough like the actor cast as your sister, it could be any number of things, so try not to take it personally.
Social Media and Branding
What does your social media strategy look like, any tips?
I try to post every day. I like to post things I relate to on my story along with whatever I am doing in my day-to-day like I try to engage with and respond to my audience as much as possible. It can feel like a lot at times, so I also try to take breaks from it occasionally.
Any mistakes you see people routinely make with social media?
I’m not sure about that. What I might think is a mistake might be something the audience laps up. I’ll say this: be prepared to lose followers when you post anything political. It doesn’t stop me, but it’s a fact of life.
Where can people connect with you online?
Productivity and Time Management
Do you have any apps, books, or tips that you use to be more productive?
I use the mymail app. I just find it easiest for all my different email accounts. I put everything on my calendar on my phone. When I have a lot of work to do from home, I will use my outlook calendar and schedule every 30 mins of my day, down to showering and eating.
I also spreadsheet everything. I’m a chronic list maker. Mild OCD lol
How Import is Fitness to Success?
I have a love/hate relationship with fitness. I want to want to work out, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ll go through stages where I exercise 6 days a week, and then times where I won’t work out for three months. But I definitely feel better when I’m active, and I think my brain for sure functions better too. It’s just about making the time and finding the motivation.
Any upcoming projects you are working on?
I have a horror film called Bashira coming out in early 2020. That was my first horror film, and I’m super excited to see how all the SFX and VFX come together. I’m also about to start shooting a comedy called Cash Collectors.
The screenplay is hilarious, so I’m looking forward to getting on set for that!
Do you have any other projects in the pipeline as a writer/producer?
I have a horror screenplay that I’m having some pretty exciting meetings about. Also, I have a #metoo themed documentary in development.
What is the best advice you have received?
Even slow progress is progress. Celebrate the wins, no matter how small.
What is the one thing you wish everyone knew?
How bad dairy is for you, lol.
Please share a geeky fact about yourself
I once read a book about gnomes. It was incorrectly placed in the non-fiction section, so I briefly believed that gnomes were real in my early teens, hahaha.