It's as interesting to me as someday getting to play in some beautiful period piece where the costumes are from a completely different era. This feels as extreme as that, and that's really liberating. It's really liberating to just go 180 from what my life is like. I love that! I love not having to think about clothes. I wanted to wear a uniform when I was in high school, but I couldn't. I was like, "It would be so much easier!"
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I had a hard time on TV, the last time on television, so I wasn't sure that I wanted to do that again. But, I really am a big fan of Jenji and I knew this is her next thing, so I read it. And once I read the script, I was really, really impressed that there was a woman who was the centerpiece of her own story, and that she was in the center of her own narrative.
I had an unorthodox high-school experience; I shifted around to different schools. When I got to college and met Larry Sacharow, who ran the theatre department [at Fordham University in NYC], he was the first person to say 'I believe in you.' At that point, I just needed someone to say 'I see you, I get you, let's go.' It's an amazing thing to borrow someone else's confidence in you; it can change your life.
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It felt really nice to not have anybody talking about numbers, and no one is talking about ratings. From my experience, it felt like there was one person running the ship and it felt like there was space for Jenji to be at the helm. That's not what I've experienced in television before. It felt more akin to an interesting movie, where there were producers who were really excited by the work and wanted to make space for the director's vision to be sort of shared with an audience. It felt more cohesive.
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There is something so sad about going online and seeing almost everyone shouting 'Notice me, notice me!' Which is such a human desire""to be acknowledged. But me responding to that with some sort of 'You're noticed, you're seen' only perpetuates the loneliness. Because I'm not seeing you; I'm not noticing you. And whoever you are, you so deserve to be noticed and valued. I feel lucky to have not grown up with the Internet because it forced me to get out, struggle and be so messy.
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I definitely felt by the time I got to grad school - which was a great experience - I was like, Whats the difference between the teachers and the students? Why are the teachers teachers if they want to be acting? It didnt make sense to me anymore. Its not like you learn how to set a broken bone and you get the stamp of approval.
So often, we're expected to maintain some sort of standard - that won't get you where you need to go. One of the most daring things I've done is drop out of graduate school. I had no job, but something inside me was saying, 'Go! Be in the world!' I had to listen to myself, and it worked out. I still think, 'Who was that girl?'
I definitely felt by the time I got to grad school - which was a great experience - I was like, 'What's the difference between the teachers and the students? Why are the teachers teachers if they want to be acting?' It didn't make sense to me anymore. It's not like you learn how to set a broken bone and you get the stamp of approval.