It's Okay To Get Lost On Your Path

Crystal Friedman

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Crystal and I’m an Artist, Actress, and Filmmaker.

Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career?
I’d always known I’d be involved in making films and acting in some form. I had a huge interest in filmmaking and acting at an early age. I made the decision to become an actor at about five years old after watching my favorite film “Matilda” on VHS repeatedly. I think the logic was that I had the same haircut as Mara Wilson and I figured I could totally do the job, also I wanted to control things with my mind.

Were you scared to start the process?
Not really, art has always been my playtime. If I wasn’t doodling as a kid, I was putting on plays or writing songs on my guitar. I guess I’ve never really let that go, I’ve just been playing and creating all these years trying to form some sort of career. It’s starting to take off with my drawings and art but I have bigger dreams of expanding out into films, acting, music and more.

What is one thing no one really knows about you?
I’m a very open person, maybe something no one really knows is that I’m very sensitive and feel things really strongly, emotionally, etc. I think this is great for acting because it’s allowed me to feel a lot and be sensitive of other people.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“If someone else can do it so can you.” – My Dad always encouraged my art and aspirations in acting and film as a kid he’s always pushed the idea that I was just as talented as anyone who was successful. This really fueled me growing up and still does.

What would you say to 16 year old you?
I know you feel like a weirdo who doesn’t fit in anywhere but the truth is everyone feels like this deep down. One day you’ll take your kindness and big heart and make everyone feel okay about being different through sharing your struggles and being vulnerable through art.

Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
I’ve always been an out of the box thinker, this mixed with my rebelliousness and creativity lead to feeling confident in future success. This has definitely caused doubt in others, I’ve had many eyebrows raised at me along the way. In the past I would take the doubt of others and question myself, this caused a bunch of confusion and inner turmoil. The second I decided to trust myself and my vision and ignore what others thought or felt things ran smoother and I was able to work better. The truth is that people can only see things from their perspective, no one can see your vision but you, so doubt from others is inevitable.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
You are more powerful than you know.

Have you always had confidence in yourself?
I have not been the most confident person in the past. I struggled with social anxiety, depression and being genuinely introverted. This clashed with my vision of acting and being in the spotlight. I also had a lot of insecurities surrounding almost every aspect of myself that I’ve spent a lot of time healing. I feel super grateful to be at a place in life where I know my worth and have healed so much surrounding my insecurities. I feel it’s a journey for sure but healing little by little has done wonders.

What do you love most about yourself?
I love my mind. This was something that I had to come to terms with. My mind is so creative and I get these curiosities where I want to figure things out and I get to points where I can figure anything out. The downside is I’ve gotten obsessive, overworked and burnt out in the past but I’ve learned how to control it these days. I’ve learned to step away from things, practice meditation, and deep breathing and most importantly that my mind is special. I’ve never really met anyone who’s mind works like mine and I feel like it’s such a gift.

Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
I’d say my biggest adversity in life has been my mental health/illness and overcoming the struggles that came with it. I’ve shared my story on various platforms but I think it’s important to spread awareness. I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression my whole life and was diagnosed with bipolar at 25 after a severe psychiatric breakdown in 2016. I had not known anyone who’d gone through anything similar and mental health was never talked about in my home so what happened to me was traumatic. At the time I had no resources, I was confused and felt I had to isolate myself. I was completely lost and felt like my life was over. It was actually a chance to start over, in the past three years I’ve been healing and working to learn my mind. In that, I’ve created a lot of art and have shared my story in hopes to end the mental health stigma.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
You don’t have to have it all figured out. Life is such a journey and it’s okay to get lost on your path.

What motivates you most?
I am super motivated by the fact that a lot of things I want to see have not been created whether it’s art or film or television. This fuels me to create my own art and write my own scripts.

How do you manage your work-life balance?
I work a lot, as I said my work is playtime for me and creating things is my whole life. I tend to struggle with the life aspect at times, most of my friends are creatives as well so we get together and talk about work and art. I don’t think this is a bad thing, I’m just less interested in other things like big parties or bars and clubs.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I do a lot of daily inner work, I’m a big believer in the fact that everything we want to do is created in the mind first. So, I work on that idea and change negative beliefs to positive ones through affirmations and visualization.

Do you have a mentor? If so, what did they teach you?
I don’t have a mentor but I’d love a mentor in acting. I think that would be really cool to have someone to discuss technique and ideas with.

What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
I’ve never had a serious relationship with anyone. This used to make me feel really weird but I’ve been learning so much on my own that I actually wouldn’t have done it any other way. I feel lucky to have grown alone and figured out what I want in a partner, the rest is up to timing and the universe I guess.

If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
I’d be a fiction writer, I think I’d need to get the stories out of my head somehow.

Who is your biggest role model? Why?
I don’t really have a role model but I’m always drawn to artists that share their soul in vulnerable ways. Either through acting or art, there’s always been something so special to me about an artist who could be free of judgment and just exist as they are. I aspire to do the same.

Where do you find inspiration?
I’m very inspired by my emotions and my feelings. My art is all about that, just sharing how I’m feeling on a day to day basis as a human being.

What are your biggest passions?
My big ones are acting, art and filmmaking. I’m very passionate about being able to express myself in all art forms.

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Crystal Friedman

Crystal is an artist, creator, writer and filmmaker. She is passionate about sharing her story in hopes to help end the mental health stigma.

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