Motivation Monday I: Take Only Memories

LET’S START THE RIDE! The Motivation Monday series opens today with Vanessa from Take Only Memories. Woo-hoo!
MOTIVATION MONDAY is a four-part series of interviews with highly inspirational young women. They have a story to share and, most importantly: They are the heroines of their lives. And this is something more people should dare to experience – something I admittedly need myself a lot on my Quest.
In addition, I love interviews, I adore asking questions and will accept any excuse to do so 😉
And now let’s start every week in June with a positive message – with MOTIVATION MONDAY!
Our first guest is Vanessa. She’s the only Motivation Monday guest whom I haven’t met personally. But I got so impressed with her determined, focussed, and playful pursuit of dreams she captures and shares on her blog Take Only Memories! And her dream and challenge is to become an actress and filmmaker before the age 30 – after having delayed this dream first. Vanessa also shares healthy recipes and beautiful illustrations. Her determination and technical/web 2.0 savvy strongly reminded me of Felicia Day, an American actress whose way of taking control over her professional life is highly impressive. (For those not in the loop: Felicia is a geek and gamer star, creator of several cult web series, and the co-creator of the amazing Geek and Sundry online community.)
Vanessa holds a BA (Hons) in Film from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, UK, and studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in New York. Vanessa is the co-creator of two web series; a super-heroes extravaganza Blink and a show about making friends in Berlin Shopping for friends.
Now, everyone seated and has a drink? Lovely 😉

Motivation Monday I: Vanessa Locke


– Vanessa, I admire your boldness and determination as well as your creative drive: you’re the co-creator of two really cool web series; busy with your video diary which is beautifully done, funny and sweet, but also deeply personal and very thought-provoking. What is your strongest motivator? 
– Thank you, you’re so sweet! For as long as I can remember I created things. From a young age I was obsessed with art and took every art class in school that I could. I sketched and painted all the time. When I was 13 I got a little video camera and started writing and shooting my own short films. Back then there was no such things as blogs so I didn’t have a way to share them with anyone outside my friends and family. I have always had an intense love for movies. I spend a lot of time watching them and just adore escaping into a different world for a couple of hours. By acting in movies and also making my own I want to share that wonderful feeling that I get when I see a great film.
– You talked about quitting your boring day job when you started the Turning 30 challenge. Apart from that, what are the worst obstacles on your way and how do you overcome them?
– Even though I am very determined in pursuing my goal I am also my biggest obstacle. Most of the barriers I have to break through are in my head. My mind is full of reasons why I can’t succeed: ‘There are no films being made here’ (not true at all), ‘I’m too old to become an actress’ (this one has been holding me back since I was 18), ‘I’m not pretty/skinny/blonde enough to be an actress’ (nonsense because you need all types in films) and many more.
Of course there are also some social barriers, such as you need an agent to get hired, but I believe that letting go of my mental blocks will open up doors I can’t even see yet.
How am I overcoming these obstacles? By reading about other people who have made it against the odds, doing Yoga to calm my mind, journaling and thinking positive thoughts. I also try to keep busy with useful things, like sending out resumés, instead of thinking about all the reasons why I can’t succeed.
– Let’s talk about movies then! Berlin has a great filmmaking history. Which is your favourite Berlin-made film to capture the essence of life here?
– My absolute favorite film about Berlin is ‘Menschen am Sonntag’ (‘People on Sunday’).  It’s a silent film that was shot in 1930. Four friends venture out to Nikolassee and have an amazing day. Because it’s Sunday, they get to let their hair down and have fun. The movie is just as relevant now than it was then. The idea that you can only have fun on weekends because you work during the week saddens me. The movie does a great job showing that. It ends with the words ‘Four Million People are Waiting for the next Sunday’. Ideally, we should all be able to find work that we enjoy!
– Do you have style icons and role models in the acting/filmmaking world?
– One of my biggest acting role models is Kate Winslet. After ‘Titanic’ she could have just gone on to do other Hollywood movies but instead she chose to work on small, interesting projects. Naturally I admire people who weren’t born into movie business families and ‘made it’ against the odds. A few examples: Woody Allan, Mindy Kaling, and Larry David.
I don’t pay much attention to celebrities’ private lives, so I don’t really have a style icon. I do like Charlotte Gainsbourg’s simple but chic French style. Mostly I get influenced by style in movies.
– And now the last question. You’re pursuing a very healthy and sustainable lifestyle. If you had three wishes and could make the world a better, fairer place in a blink of an eye, what would those be? 
– Oh wow, what a great question!
1. Of course, to put it in the words of Miss Congeniality: ‘World Peace’. Or ‘World Happiness’! I believe that by creating ways to make individual people happier, there would be less fighting in the world. It’s the ripple effect: When I’m unhappy it rubs off on the people close to me, who then pass it on to their friends etc. It also works the other way around, happiness is infectious!
2. I would ban all ‘diets’. Instead of doctors and people who claim to know about this kind of stuff just telling people to lose weight, there should be a better way to educate them about how to be healthier. Show them what foods are healthy and how to cook them to make great meals. Help them find the kind of exercise that works for them. And stop trying to make money with essentially unhealthy ‘diet’ products. While I’m at it, I’d also just get rid of all the bad temptations in stores and restaurants. And, of course, everyone, everywhere should have enough food!
3. Life should be a musical where we all dance and sing! 🙂
Thank you very much, Vanessa! Keep it up!
>>> Motivation Monday II: The Style DNA with Lena Hoffmann, one of Berlin’s best fashion stylists, and a talk about true style, trend spotting, inner balance and more.


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

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