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Art & Life with Ari Savar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ari Savar.

Ari, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I think what makes anybody’s story unique/interesting, is hearing how they overcame a struggle of some sort.

For me, it was being born right smack dab in the middle of a divorce, and raised, as poor “dark” kid in a small, rich “white” town, by an immigrant, single-mother., who was deeply religious.

These factors, among others, made growing up rough for me. From day one I was naturally a very sensitive and emotional person with wild energy and profound imagination. In other words, I was difficult to control and stood out like a sore thumb, but not in a good way.

Most people don’t like it when others “rock the boat” so to speak, especially when its some little kid who wants to be seen and heard so desperately. My inquisitive mind and deep sense of empathy led me to question everything and not want to follow the rules of day to day society.

All I ever wanted to do was play “make-believe”; Id spend all day outside playing with action figures and props and hours in my room building lego movie sets for my toys, reading all kinds of books and watching any movie I could get past my mom.

The outside world didn’t interest me much at. First, there were too many rules and too many skeptical eyes watching me, ready to judge or label me as a “troubled child” who had daddy issues and needed to be put on some sort of medication. Luckily my mom’s cultural upbringing didn’t allow her to succumb to the teacher’s suggestions with how to deal with me, and instead, she tried to channel it into a religious practice, but let’s just say that was futile as well.

School was a crazy ride for me; I was very intellectual but not studious whatsoever. Teachers could sense my depth but hated the fact that I was on my own agenda, so I got into trouble all the time. But that didn’t matter to me because I was there to play, thats all I was there to do. I’d spend my time in class trying to recruit kids for my games, by painting these vivid alternate storylines of familiar characters from Indiana Jones or Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars, etc.. and come recess I was back in my element, living out other lives.

I think maybe thats how I dealt with my differences and insecurities, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t Caucasian or wealthy, if I believed I was James Bond in whatever game I came up with, then the other kids would believe in it too and get lost in these worlds with me. It was an amazing way to connect with others, and I quickly figured out at a young age that I wanted to be an actor and make movies. I even think my mom still has my 3rd-grade manifesto on what type of artist I was going to be when I grew up.

But as I got older and hit puberty, my imagination and stories became less cool, and none of the other kids wanted to “play” anymore. I tried to hold on my dreams by asking my mom if I could start auditioning for movies, but she didn’t want the child actor lifestyle for me and quickly snuffed out that ambition by pushing me deeper into her spiritual way of life.

More time passed not nurturing my true desires, and all of my insecurities started to surface again, tenfold. Now I was 16-17 and had no sense of belonging or direction, and the way I saw myself started to change and my imagination became dormant.

I was basically sleepwalking through High School to the end of my college years, having completely lost sight of who I was and what I was meant to be doing.

After dropping out of college, I decided to enlist in the AirForce, not knowing what else to do. I started to take this commitment very seriously, and all through my enlistment process, I trained regularly to get my body and mind prepared for this new sense of purpose. But as I got closer to shipping out I suddenly began to feel this deep sense of dread and anxiety, that if I went through with this I was going to kill off any last bit of the joyful, creative child I still had within me, (its crazy how the subconscious mind knows what’s best for you) so I started to try to find a way to get out of being enlisted and luckily, due to divine intervention and some weird fluke, I was able to get out of my military contract penalty free (mind you, i was already issued a military I.D., an MOS, and required to report for paid duty once a month at a base near SF, so typically when you’re in that deep you’re not getting out) . My parents and family weren’t happy with my decision to go another way, and I found myself suddenly homeless at the age of 20, staying with different friends, jumping around from place to place.

So now things were getting real, I was 20 years old and out on my own. I had no money, no direction and a whole lot of bad habits. But I realized this was a second chance to try and be who I really wanted to be and that I was the only one who could get me there. It didn’t matter what the teachers had labeled me as, or that my parents didn’t believe in my dreams, or that I had spent so much time making bad choices. It was up to me to carve out my own place in the world.

The path became clear again one night when I was delivering pizza to this older woman living in a really cool mansion in the hills. She invited me in as she went to get her wallet and as I was standing there in awe of her home I caught sight of all these old-timey movie posters for a few classic films. When she returned with the money, I made a comment on her poster selection, and she started to tell me about her experiences as an independent film producer. I showed a lot of intrigue, so she gave me her card and told me to contact her if I was ever looking for some work in the filmmaking community.

I left there so excited I emailed her that very same night, and she offered me a gig working for the San Pedro International Film Festival the following month.

Festival season came around, and I got my first taste of the indie filmmaking world. I saw some great flicks made by very young people, and it not only inspired me but allowed me to recall all my childhood memories and the feeling of purpose and identity I had when I was using my mind to connect with the world creatively. By the end of the festival week, I remembered who I was and what I am here to do. I recalled memories of my childhood self, and I could see clearly that all that mattered was the feeling of purpose and contentment I felt when I was able to bring others together to help make my visions and characters come to life. I didn’t want to be miserable or sleepwalking anymore, I knew there was more to me and to life then what meets the eye, so I started to explore my options by working a variety of different production jobs and acting in any project I could find online. After paying for a while and working background on larger productions, I quickly started to redefine my approach of how to breakthrough as an artist and the rest you could say, is history…

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My ability to express myself comes out in many ways, but I’d say my primary focuses as an artist is Acting and Filmmaking (directing, writing, producing)

For me those two go very much hand in hand, directing/filmmaking makes me a better Actor and vice versa. From those two sides of the coin, everything else comes together for me.

Both allow me to connect with others in meaningful ways and also challenge myself to bring something real and authentic to my work.

When it comes to my films I want three things to happen:

1) I want the other actors and crew Im working with to feel empowered by the work they are doing and feel equally important as the person working next to them. There are no “small” roles, and it takes everyone’s skills and ingenuity to make a great work of art.

2) I want the audience to feel something, anything, from what they are seeing. I want them to walk away with a deeper insight on what makes the world go round and maybe even realize how movies and stories define us in as individuals in more ways than we realize.

3) I want to shed light on voices and stories that may typically be overlooked or frowned upon. There has been a veil pulled over our eyes as a society and art is the only thing that can pierce through it. It is time to see more uncommon faces in common roles and more opportunity for everyone’s voice to be heard.

These three beliefs have led me to start an indie production company called META VISION STUDIOS. The whole business concept behind my company is to standout as artists by bringing diverse people together to create an environment that not only thrives off equality but also nurtures passion and gives you the necessary tools to manifest your own dreams into reality.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
The hardest thing for an artist is not giving up. Sometimes it really just comes down to being “actively patient,” which means working diligently despite anyone taking notice right away, going for years without recognition but still maintaining momentum.

It’s a long game, and you have to really love the process more than the reward. Its a way of life, a daily practice, and something that you can’t let get stagnant.

No matter what, don’t give up on bringing your visions to life. Stay true to who you are, and make yourself believe; that you matter, you’re worthy, and you deserve to be happy.

I think everyone has something to offer artistically; it’s just a choice to hold onto that childlike sense of wonderment and not lose faith in what you love.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
There is alot in the works right now in regards to how I will be showcasing my latest work, but all of my older stuff from when I was first starting out can be found on youtube and Vimeo.

Other than that, I have some songs released on all music streaming platforms under the artist name ARI SAV. I would love for more people to check it out and give me their feedback. Music is something Ive been discreetly working on and have been hesitant to share since it’s out of my comfort zone. Lucky to say it been a rewarding experience that has made me a better artist overall.

But what to really be on the lookout for is my series BABYLON, that I wrote, acted in and directed! It follows the lives and struggles of multiple artists in LA, depicting real-life scenarios that are often never brought to light by the media.

It was inspired by my best friend who passed away due to prescription drug use and how as a culture we’ve desensitized ourselves to the American drug epidemic that plagues this country.

We just finished producing our pilot episode and have already started production on the rest of Season 1!

I will be launching a crowdfunding campaign through the platform, SEED, AND SPARK, for anyone who would like to watch our pilot and support the rest of season 1, please go check it out!!

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.metavision.biz
  • Phone: 3105037369
  • Email: asavar@metavisionstudios.com
  • Instagram: @metavisions ; @unofficiallyari
  • Facebook: Ari Savar

Image Credit:
Alexander Bemis / Bemis Creative
Nicholas Popkey

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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