Friday, February 5, 2016

12 Months in LA

This past year has flown by.

It's crazy to think I was in Australia a whole year ago visiting my family and friends.

So much has happened since then!


I have had three different serving jobs, I quit one job twice, moved apartments three times in the last year and I have continued to learn new things about myself while adjusting to yet another city and country.

As I have said in previous blog posts, the first six months in LA felt difficult. It took a little while to get adjusted, financially, mentally and physically.

But virtually as soon as I moved to California I became much more active. I lost 25lbs (10kg) over the last year. I wasn't dieting or "trying to lose weight". It was a combination of living a healthier life and the beautiful weather (sorry Vancouver but 2 months of sunshine a year is not enough!). I was hiking several times a week, eating better, getting vitamin D thanks to the copious amounts of California sunshine, and was just generally in a happier frame of mind. I also became gluten free due to some upsetting stomach issues I was having. I had intense friendships, people came and they went. Trips to San Diego and Santa Barbara, Malibu and the mountains. I found my Pisces Twin. Even though she's back in San Diego now I still feel a deep connection with her and know the universe brought us together for a reason.

Then in September I flew back to Vancouver for another screening of Eadweard. And when I came back I moved apartments. Since then I have felt much more settled. I have my own room, which I have decorated with all things that make me happy. Pictures of the Old Hollywood greats Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and my current favourites Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Kate Winslet, Abbie Cornish etc etc. Then I have my mandala and crystals to keep the positive energy surrounding me at all times.

Also since moving apartments I joined a new gym and I found my love of yoga. I have found a much deeper serenity within myself even in times of trouble. I feel physically stronger, mentally clearer and more spiritually connected than ever before. I feel like myself again.

My favourite class of the week has been Kundalini yoga with Colin Kim. I love the philosophical teachings and how he brings everything together in such a relatable way. My body is leaner and my mind is cleaner thanks to yoga. I don't know why I didn't get into it sooner.

Living in these two very different cities in the last year has taught me a lot. Vancouver allowed me to process through some deep sadness and fear of being alone, and LA is teaching me to find peace even amongst great turmoil.

Oh yeah! And that whole acting thing (the reason I'm actually in LA!) is going really well too! Again since I moved apartments, I also signed with my manager. I've booked a few short films and a role playing gig with USC which has been very eye opening. And in the coming months I feel even greater things will come to pass.

I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert's "Big Magic" and I recommend it to anyone who wants to live a creative life without fear. And now I am reading "The Artist's Way". Today I took myself on an "Artist Date" where take myself on a date and feed my creative soul. I hiked Runyon Canyon, danced in the sunshine to a beautiful song I found this morning called "Diamond Child" by Auyushi & Dillistone. I read a book on Meryl Streep at Samuel French's. I stumbled upon a crystal shop and found some beautiful art work. And then I went and chilled in the sauna at my gym.

Also in the last month I had the chance to perform at my friend's wedding and also at a bar doing a mash up with my friend Dustin Freechild. And another friend has asked me to sing in her studio with her too.

Music fills my soul and I feel more and more connected to it everyday. I love playing my ukulele and I have always loved singing and I'm glad it makes other people happy too.



Every day I feel more and more inclined to be creative. Not just acting... anything, music, singing, dancing, yoga, mediation, writing. These are the things that truly make me happy.

I feel really grateful for the life I get to live.

Today I spent my last $10 in my bank account on gluten free bread, juice and a toblerone. I had to split the payment onto two different cards cause I didn't have enough on each. The cashier laughed with me and said "We've all been there. But at least you've got the essentials."

And how right she is.

I've got all that I need.

Even if I have no money until pay day.

Even if I don't have the nicest, newest clothes or shoes.

Even if I don't have a car.

Even if I don't have everything I think I "need".

I've got my two feet, my healthy body, my creative mind and a passion for life.

And I think that's all that matters.

The rest will just flow.

Thank you.

Always,
Meisha


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Walk Unafraid ~ 8 Months in LA

Walk Unafraid.

I just heard this beautiful song by First Aid Kit called Walk Unafraid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDOIq21o40E

It pretty much sums up how I have been feeling the last few months here in LA.

The first 6 months of living here was very up and down for (and it still is but I now have a knowing and trust that everything will be alright). My living situation was not ideal, I was living in a room which had no door, not much privacy and other factors which did not make for an ideal place of comfort or creativity. I was more focussed on getting settled into a job, home and new city rather than focussing on my acting career. I wanted to do things differently this time.

I have lived in four cities in the last 6 years - Brisbane, Sydney, Vancouver and Los Angeles all in pursuit of my acting career. I had always tried to rush things with my acting when I first moved to a new city but this time I wanted it to be different. I needed to settle, get my bearings, make friends, make a supportive network, get ahead financially (haha! I think it's best to forget that one for now).

Within six months I had worked at two different jobs, neither of which fit what I needed specifically. I moved to a new apartment in September and started to finally feel settled. I had my own space, a room, a door, privacy and place to create!

And the acting world opened up at my feet again.

I secured a manager/agent and was starting to audition again. I booked my first LA gig, a short film paying only a small amount of money but I didn't care...I was acting again! It had been two years since I had booked anything. In Canada I was in class studying at least, but I had to focus on saving for my move to Los Angeles. That was the most important thing at the time.

I booked another short film called Little Bird and I finished shooting last week. It felt amazing to be on set again, working, playing, acting. Feeling. It's all a learning experience for me. I watched back some of the dailies and I thought "Oh I could have done that better," or "I wasn't connected" but at the end of the day if I'm learning that means I am making steps forward.

And it's all about the little steps.

I have also been going to the gym almost every day since I moved into my new apartment and that has played a HUGE factor in my mental health. I feel clear, calm and centered more than ever even though I don't have a job right now! I've been really getting into yoga lately - the spiritual and physical sides are so good for my soul.  I have lost around 22lbs (10kg) since leaving Canada and have done it in a healthy and safe way. I haven't been "dieting" or restricting food. I have just been 100% more active than I was in Canada and have also stopped eating gluten and dairy (except for chocolate sometimes ;) because of some intolerances I was experiencing.  I feel strong, inspired and motivated to continue cementing my spiritual, physical and mental health.

I also quit my job two days ago. It was very unexpected but a build up of tension with particular people lead me to stand up for myself and say NO. I no longer stand for this. It may not have been the best decision financially but I trust I will find a job very soon.

The past 6 years since I started pursuing this acting career has helped me walk unafraid. I no longer withstand being disrespected and treated like a child.

I don't think I would have done the same thing 6 years ago, but I am no longer a girl I am a woman with a voice.

This journey is inspiring me more and more every day.

Keep on fighting, keep on stepping forward and remember to walk unafraid.

With love,
Meisha



Monday, May 11, 2015

3 Months in LA

I'm a week or so early in writing this but the time felt right.

The last three months have been testing but overall I am happy with the way things are working out here in Los Angeles.

I've been lucky to make a lot of like minded friends through my serving job. A majority of the people here didn't grow up in LA, so they are also looking to make friends to broaden their groups as well. I haven't met many Australian's yet but I'm sure I will!

The first month or so was a little rough for me, as I'm sure it is for anyone who moves to a huge new city. There were times where I doubted my decision, and I'm sure there will be many other times when I also feel that way. I thought to myself "What the HELL am I doing here?!" But in those moments of fear and doubt, you just have to breathe. At least the sunshine keeps me a little more sane than I was in Vancouver!

I've been hiking a lot since I arrived, seeing beautiful parts of California: Malibu, Topanga and Eaton Canyon etc. I've also been exercising a lot more at my gym and focusing on healthy eating and fitness. It is such a competitive industry here, and I quickly realised I had to up my game. It's an unfortunate part of the industry that it is so look's based, but for now I have to just bite the bullet and work my butt off (quite literally).

Once I get to a happy level in my fitness, I will start looking for an agent. I'm excited and a little nervous to get out there again! It feels like it's been a while. But I've joined Actors Access and have been applying for several indie projects, short films and even commercials. So hopefully I can even book some work on my own.

I've always been a little impatient, but this time around I am making an effort to just take things as they come. This is the fourth city I have now lived in to pursue my acting - Brisbane, Sydney, Vancouver and now Los Angeles. I trust that everything will work out at the right time.

And so the journey continues.

Meisha




Monday, March 16, 2015

3 Weeks in LA

It's hard to believe I've been in LA as long as I was back in Australia just last month.


Australia feels like a blur of long awaited catch ups with family and friends, days by the pool and endless hours of reminiscing of times past. It was refreshing to be home and sadly it was over almost as soon as it began. Unfortunately it's a part of this life I have chosen to pursue, sad goodbyes in order to chase a dream bigger than I could ever truly imagine.

The last three weeks have been tough but I got through it. So I will keep going. As I always do.

The first week I focussed on finding accommodation. Staying in the hostel was a good starter. It gave me easy access to the public transit and staying at such a central location made it easy for me to find my way around the city.

And Los Angeles is a BIG city.

Nothing can quite prepare you for that. As I write this I can hear the non-stop blaring of several sirens at 1am in the morning. There are parts of the city which scare me, but mostly I feel safe where I am living.

The second week, after I got settled into my new apartment with my roomie and her adorably cute dog, I focussed on finding a job. It took me longer than expected to find work. In saying that, by my fifth day searching, I had secured a serving job in a popular part of town. In other cities I have moved to I have always found a job within the first or second day of handing out resumes. LA was different. I could feel the energy was different. EVERYONE is hungry for work. The word I kept hearing was "hustle". After 4 days of walking around the city on foot, handing out resumes, and with no luck I asked one of the servers at a restaurant "What's the go, is March a bad time to look for work??" His reply, "Honey, any time is a bad time to look for work in LA. Everyone wants work! It's LA, it's competitive.
You've got to hustle!"

Thankfully the next day I secured my new job. Because, I hustled.

It was a relief to finally have a job. But no time to slack off now! The third week was filled with intense training and menu knowledge testing for my new job.

I'm glad that I decided to take everything in steps and one at a time. People have been asking me, "Have you found an agent yet?" but my answer is that this time, I want to take things slow and one step at a time. I've made the mistake in the past to want to have everything happening straight away (in Sydney and Vancouver). And things didn't necessarily turn out the way I wanted or they took longer than expected. I've learnt now to take things one step at a time. And to be patient.

So firstly I want to become comfortable in my job and then I'll start looking for an LA agent. In the mean time I'm meeting lots of other actors at my work who I'm sure will have lots of information for me.

It's strange to finally be here.

The last few weeks have been a bit lonely, but that's to be expected when moving to a new city. It will take time for me to make new connections and friendships and to truly feel comfortable in this gigantic city I now call home. It's going to be a bit of a lonely 25th birthday this Friday, but onwards and upwards I say.

I've been dreaming about this for so long, now that I'm here I have this strange sense of "Okay...what's next?". But I just have to trust that I have come this far, and take that as a sign that I'm supposed to be here.  Why else would the green card have basically fallen into my lap!

There are so many things I want to achieve and I know that it will take time. I'm looking at LA as the big picture...


I'm in this for the long run.

Meish x





Saturday, February 28, 2015

6 Days in LA

I've survived my first week in LA.



(Well truthfully I'm one day short but I'll get there.)

I've been working towards this move for that past five years and it's strange to think I am finally here.

As most of you know I spent the last two and half years living, working and chasing the dream in Vancouver, Canada. I am grateful for the time I spent there because I truly believe it was a great stepping stone for me in order to get to LA and in order to really feel comfortable here.

Vancouver was scary when I first arrived. It was the first time I had moved to another country before, let alone across the world. My first week in LA, I haven't been as overwhelmed or scared as what I thought I would be. Yes there were moments of thinking "What the HELL am I doing here?!" But for the most part I feel like I am meant to be here.

Living in Canada for the last few years has made me used to North American culture, whether that be driving on the right hand side of the road, tipping your waitress, the way people communicate and socialise etc. So coming to LA has not been as much of a shock as what I thought it would be if I had come directly from Australia.

One thing that I have noticed about LA, is the way they network and introduce themselves and others in the industry. Everyone is very confident, knows their place and is striving for something. I know it is early days, but it does feel good to be surrounded by that. I went to a networking/artist collaboration event the other night and everyone introducing me was like "This is Meisha. She's an actress and been in.....(list of resume credits)" And everyone introducing each other was doing the same thing! It was nice to see people supporting each other and being proud of each other's achievements.

In my first week here, I stayed in a hostel (so I wouldn't be so lonely) until I found more permanent accommodation, I explored parts of the city around me (I have A LOT more too see!), made friends with people at the hostel and met up with some familiar faces from Australia, and I found a home! WeHo baby! And now begins the search for a serving job and then an LA agent!

It's strange to be starting all over again.

I made a great network of friends who became like family in Canada and it is sad to leave that behind. But this is part of the life I am chasing. Even the last month I spent in Australia was full of emotional hello's (after two and half years apart) and just as sad goodbyes.

I am grateful for all that I have received, the experiences and the journey to come.

I'm sitting here in my new apartment, a glass of wine in my hand, my roommate's dog as company all on a Saturday night whilst updating my blog.  Onwards and upwards from here!  ;)

With time I will make new connections, new friendships and relationships that will mould the rest of my life.

But for now, I'll just take it one step at a time.

Thank you for all your support.

Love Meish xx




Saturday, January 17, 2015

She Has Dreamt

In the early hours of the morning
She lays restless in her bed
Two and a half years overseas
And she is 10 days away from coming home

For the past two years
She has dreamt of her mother's embrace
Warm, inviting and so full of love
And familiarity

She births a smile
Imagining the airport
Walking through the doors
To her teary loving Mum, arms open wide

For the past two years
She has dreamt of playing
On the white sand beaches with her sisters
Giggling and laughing with them both

For the past two years
She has dreamt of leaning
On her Dad's shoulder,
While they watch Lord of the Rings together

For the past two years
She's dreamt of her home town,
Driving up the Range, the green rolling hills
And smelling fresh rain in the mountain air

For the past two years
She's dreamt of endless Summer days
Walking and laughing with her best friend
The now bride to be

For the past two years
She has dreamt of the white sand beaches
The blue ocean and skies
The freedom of her home country

But...

For the past two years
She has also lived
A life of challenge and change
Experience and joy in a country she will always love

For the past two years
She has grown, into a woman
No longer a girl
With hair longer and wilder than ever before

For the past two years
She has made friends who've become family
Moments that have become memories
Experiences that have become growth

For the past two years
She has contemplated, yearned, created
Laughed and cried
For the life she so wishes to achieve

And...

For the past two hours
She hasn't been able to sleep
So she writes and she wonders
What amazing things are coming next...

Meisha Lowe (C) Jan 2015







Thursday, December 11, 2014

How I won the Green Card (Diversity Visa Lottery)

As a majority of you know I was successful in getting my Green Card approved last week.

YES!

I have now been asked by several people "how" I won it - So here is the process!

I have applied twice for the Diversity Visa Lottery  (more commonly known as the Green Card) - once in 2011 and again in 2013. I was successful on the second attempt. I have heard some people applying up to 15 times (once a year for 15 years!) and still not being successful. So I do feel incredibly grateful.

Here are the official websites for the Diversity Visa Lottery (Green Card):

https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ 

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/diversity-visa/Diversity-2015-Instructions.html

There are many sites online asking you to pay for the process - DO NOT USE THESE. They are scams and the official process does not cost anything until you actually win the lottery and need to pay the processing fees (which is only $330 after you have your interview and another $135 when you immigrate to the States).

The Diversity Visa Lottery application process opens once a year from October 1st to around November 2nd. I would recommend for anyone who is eligible to apply every year! You've got to be in it to win it!

Which brings me to another important note: you will need to see if you are eligible to apply, dependent on the country were born in. Unfortunately for my Canadian friends, you are not currently eligible because according to travel.state.gov:

"For DV-2016, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years:
Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born)..."

Sorry guys!

But for my Australian friends you are in luck!

Here is the link for eligibility for the 2016 process (2015 and 2016 applications have actually already closed but I just put this here for your information.)

http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/DV-2016-Instructions-Translations/DV_2016_Instructions_English.pdf

The next round will be open on October 1st 2015 for the 2017 Diversity Visa Lottery (Confusing huh!?)

The whole process from start to finish took about a year and a half. I applied in October 2013, and found out on May 1st that I had been selected in the lottery (You can check the status of your application here as of May: https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/)

I then had to fill out another few forms - DS260 and another which I can't remember the name. Make sure you get your forms in as soon as possible. I got my forms in the day they were accepted and still had to wait 5 months to get my interview notice. Your interview will be determined what Case Number you have - I am not entirely sure how the case number is selected - I think it is random along with the lottery draw.

Also the Diversity Visa only allocates 55,000 visas per year, but they actually choose 125,000 people in the lottery round (May 1st), meaning if you don't get your forms in fast the 55,000 visas could actually be filled and the remaining 70,000 people miss out! 

Make sense? It is a little confusing.

In saying that not all people selected in the lottery round will pursue the process, their circumstances might change and they decide they don't want to move to the States anymore, but either way just get in fast.

So after I was given my Case Number and got my forms in, in May - the waiting began!

It took 5 months for me to hear back from them regarding when my interview would be (you have to have a formal interview to get your Green Card approved). They contact you via email and you will be linked back to the Entrant Status website to review when your interview is.

My interview was held in Montreal, Canada because I applied as an Australian but living in Vancouver and the only city in Canada that processes the Green Card is Montreal.

Make sure once you know when your interview is that follow the instructions very clearly. You will need to provide a bunch of documentation at your interview: you will have to do a medical exam ($280) by a official Green Card approved physician, get your original birth certificate, high school records, vaccination records, university degree records (if you went to university), a police record for any countries you have lived in etc.

Then you go to your interview, you pay the fees and they ask you a few questions and making sure you meet the criteria and have provided all the correct information you might just get approved! From there your interviewer will say "Welcome to the United States of America - you have been approved for your Green Card." You will smile like you've never smiled before and walk home in a surreal but ecstatic daze!


I hope this information has been useful and not too confusing, I just wanted to share my experience and help out anyone I can. As an actor, winning the Green Card has been like a dream come true.
I plan to move to Los Angeles, California in February and continue pursuing my acting dreams.

Good luck to anyone else who applies :)



Meisha






Meisha's Updates

"Take life in steps; each one is a journey to learn from." ~ Meisha