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Meet Ericka Clevenger of Moon Babies in Echo Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ericka Clevenger.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I first left home, I landed in Venice Beach because I was obsessed with skate culture and was quickly street cast for my first national commercial. I started working commercially, taking acting classes and doing little short films here and there; building up my portfolio.

I was working on a shoot one day, and I kept throwing out ideas for camera moves and framing. At this point in the game I now know how incredibly arrogant and dumb it was to offer technical suggestions while an actress on a commercial shoot.

The AD pulled me aside and asked me to focus on performance and stop dictating shots saying, “When you’re the director, then you can decide how you want things done.” He was being insensitive, I was young and didn’t know the rules, but all I heard was “WHEN YOU ARE THE DIRECTOR”…

A little light went off inside my head and at that moment that I began my journey as a female director in Hollywood. I wish I could say that I hit the ground running then and never looked back, but it took me losing my dad Christmas 2016 to reevaluate my life and see myself as more than just an actress but the director I’d always known I could be.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t believe life is ever a smooth road. I believe the bumps are there to help us. My boyfriend has a quote on our fridge that says “Dare to Fail,” and I’m starting to adopt that as a mantra of my own.

There are definitely days where I struggle with who I am and my purpose in life; then there are other days where I am happy and know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. Life’s easy to get stuck when you’re constantly spinning your wheels; so focusing and slowing down have been things I am learning to do as I get older.

I’m a dreamer, so I have to be careful not to get lost in my dreams. I spent a lot of my young life inside of my head and as an adult, I am learning how to pull it out, put it on the page and see a project through. Surrounding myself with people who are smarter than me is how I keep growing and learning as an artist and a human. Knowing that you are flawed and don’t have all the answers is the best way to overcome your struggles.

There are so many people that will tell you no or just flat out ignore you when you are trying to grow. Do not let them stop you from moving forward. Sometimes those no’s are the best thing that can happen to you because it’s the universe redirecting you toward your intended path.

In the past, I’ve definitely continued pursuing something that wasn’t working and eventually fell flat on my face, exhausted and broken, but those are the hard lessons I had to learn that have helped me get where I am today. I no longer climb over the mountain when I can simply walk through it.

Please tell us about Moon Babies Inc.
I am very humbled and proud to call myself a Female Director and have already had so many amazing opportunities in the short time I’ve been pursuing it as a career. I am an actor with an agency and am currently working on branding my directing name under Moon Babies Inc. with my colorful aesthetic and style.

Nothing makes me happier than working with people to create magic and bring others joy. Storytelling is what we all are passionate about in the industry because it is a visual and mental representation of our soul’s deepest emotions. Storytelling allows us to connect with people and parts of ourselves that we wouldn’t otherwise notice. I still can walk out of a film and be completely changed for a few days, and that is a beautiful thing.

I specialize in creating colorful worlds that live in magical realism. I am very sensitive to my environment, so that usually is the first thing I do when creating something. Most people start with the characters and build the world around them, where I start with the world and then imagine what type of people would live there. I create art to make people happy, and I guess to make myself happy too.

Whether it be creating digital advertising content for companies, directing music videos, etc. I love to think outside the box exploring new ways to bring the project to the next level. Why just have a vase of flowers when each flower could have faces; or why can’t you have a skateboarding grandma with blue hair?

I am a fighter for the underdogs and love a good upset in a magical world. Most people lose their imagination as they get older but mine just keeps getting stronger.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite part of childhood was always summer. When we were young, my mom was very trusting and let me and my sister Alyson ride our bikes all around our neighborhood as long as we checked in every couple of hours.

I was obsessed with bugs and animals, so we were always hunting for grasshoppers and garter snakes. I would often try and sneak them into the house and adopt them as pets, but I think my mom had a sixth sense because she always caught us. We would build forts, climb apple trees and get into giant water battles with the neighborhood boys. I would spend my evenings binge reading Goosebumps, the Boxcar Children and Sweet Valley Twins.

When we were older, we would stuff our bras, put on lipstick and walk around the house dancing in our jellies and singing to every TLC song we knew. The Now & Then soundtrack was a huge hit around the house, and we put on many backyard concerts. Life back then was all about being young and free and I’m so glad I got to spend my childhood outside with my sister, barefoot and covered in dirt.

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Image Credit:

Taylor Boylston

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