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Meet Georgina Tolentino of Icarus Film Studios and Le Divina Candles in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Georgina Tolentino.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Georgina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I was little my dad, brother and I would watch movies together. And before he would work at night he would tell me bedtime stories. That was our favorite time together. I fell in love with filmmaking and wanted nothing more than to have my dad see me on screen and be a part of wonderful filmmaking. I started doing plays in high school, but we didn’t have much of a drama program so I took acting classes at a community college or a conservatory over the summer. When I graduated from UC Santa Barbara. I found an acting studio in Los Angeles that I felt resonated with me. Howard Fine Acting Studio, that I truly felt challenged to constantly grow and planted myself to focus on the craft and love of exploring the human condition. I fell in love with acting-and I realized it wasn’t about playing someone else, it is about exploring a different part of myself.

As I went on auditions-I realized how some of the roles I went out for were so different from what I was able to do in class. The stereotypes and demeaning roles I felt were constant in who I was racially and as a woman. At this time I was working for a few production companies that had done independent films, commercials and music videos. I saw I could use those skills to create opportunities to be in front of the camera.

So I started Icarus Films Studios dedicated after all those greek mythologies my dad told me growing up. I liked the quote by Stanley Kubrick , “I’ve never been certain whether the moral of the Icarus story should only be, as is generally accepted, ‘don’t try to fly too high,’ or whether it might also be thought of as ‘forget the wax and feathers, and do a better job on the wings.” To me, it reminds to focus on the quality of the work rather than ego. That you can’t fall if you’ve got sturdy wings.

I felt more fulfilled to be a part of the process and see how important it is for all artists and entrepreneurs really to create their own narrative. No one is going to care about your career more than you. And people will end up wanting to jump on a train that is already moving rather than asking for permission. I felt this shift of mindset made me feel empowered to be a part of a change in diverse intersectional storytelling.

I am currently working on developing a TV show and two films at the moment.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been easy. I believe that if you want to do something that’s never been done before you have to do something that has never been done.

My father passed away in the middle of momentum for the projects I was working on. I felt really lost and grief really hit me. I felt that he was such a big part of my life, encouraging me to follow my dreams as an actor and filmmaker. I got sick from stress and lack of self-care. And I saw how burnt out and spread thin I was. I felt I wasn’t present and started to make poor decisions that were self-destructive. For me, I had to take a hard look at myself and see who I needed to become to achieve the goals and dreams I’ve set out.

I had to really look into myself and empower myself. I gravitated towards women also who were building their own ventures and joined supportive environments to encourage each other. In that, I realized how important goal manifesting, setting boundaries, wellness and self-care is to everyone but especially to actors artists and entrepreneurs. When you have your own business to build, those elements can only help overcome difficult challenges and hectic schedules.

I began making coconut wax candles that had crystals in them which had specific intentions and helped me re-direct my grief into pieces of art. They reminded me of what I needed to be reminded of, manifesting my dreams by changing my lifestyle and the way I thought about myself. Le Divina was formed, a candle and wellness line named after my mother Ledivinia. Her name meaning “the divine.” My mother is very strong spiritually and I wanted my candles to have a mental, spiritual, wellness element to it that encourages whichever practice helps overcome, ground, and remind people of their why.

Each candle has an intention: love, empower, abundance, wealth, success, prosperity, protect, strength, rebirth, calm, tranquility, and many more. There is a section to write down what you are manifesting so you can remind yourself if you are meditating.

So in addition to acting and filmmaking, I’ve been passionate about Le Divina which inspires wellness and self-care. To me, I ask “what person do I need to become to achieve my goals and dreams?” A question that is only answered with constant self-work and consistency with habits.

I realized the key was knowing my worth, my value and being connected to my belief in myself. That helped me re-evaluate and right any wrongs I’ve made, learn and move forward with a good heart.

A lot of the struggles I think also had to do with my belief in myself about what I’m capable of. I stopped trying to be this person I think I should be for others and live more authentically.

Alright – so let’s talk business. What else should we know about your work?
Icarus film studios is a television and film production company that I started as a result of feeling a need for diverse perspectives in media. I strive to develop stories about overlooked marginalized groups that can hopefully change the perspective of how people view the world. I can’t tell you how many films and pieces of art that opened my heart to see things differently, people differently.

And therefore make informed choices and hopefully, those educated stories can help change how we vote and make systematic changes. My specific speciality would be true stories, female-led intersectional projects. I think what I am most proud of is the amount of passion in each project. I don’t take on too many but when I do I make sure it happens. I’m definitely more of a quality than quantity project. What sets me apart from others is my understanding of making marginalized stories universal to a mainstream audience. I think that way we can inspire change to demographics that normally wouldn’t be exposed to certain perspectives.

Le Divina is a candle and wellness line dedicated to inspiring goal setting, manifestation, and self-care with our crystal candles. I am so proud that a percentage of proceeds goes to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. What sets me apart from others is that we use coconut wax, our products have crystals in them, gold leaf, dried flowers, and a space to write your goals and meditate.

What makes me very happy is to know both ventures encourage other people to tell their stories and own who they are. That knowing you are capable and worthy of your dreams by doubling down in the belief in yourself. Those principles incorporated into my businesses is what sets me apart.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
That’s interesting because people have sometimes perceived me to be lucky when I hit milestones. What people don’t really see or that I’ve shared is the hard work it takes behind the scenes to get things to move forward. One of my favorite sayings, “Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity.”

I’ve been surrounded by wonderful people that have created a lot of opportunities for me to grow in my career as an actor and entrepreneur. I would say that hard work is noticed when you value yourself. When you create genuine friendships with people, not to get anything out of people. When I’ve operated from that place of authenticity, people want to support your vision.

I felt more fulfilled to be a part of the filmmaking process and see how important it is for all artists and entrepreneurs really to create their own narrative, rather than relying on luck. No one is going to care about your career more than you. And people will end up wanting to jump on a train that is already moving rather than asking for permission. I felt this shift of mindset made me feel empowered to be a part of a change in diverse intersectional storytelling.

Being grateful for my friends, family, and honoring my father has been my greatest mission in how I want to be here for my mother and brother. My father instilled in me that I am capable of anything. That includes changing karma or bad luck. To me where I am today is because of the choices I’ve made. Where I want to go is also up to me. So luck, good or bad is my ability to change my mindset. That thing didn’t randomly happen to me. A part of me created where I am at now, whether its good or bad. I am empowered enough to make decisions. Whether it be my way of perceiving where I’m at in my career with a shift I need to change with my belief system of limitations. I’ve learned that being “realistic” about a career is about my societal beliefs. So I am in the driving seat of whether my life is lucky or not because that sets the tone for the choices I make throughout my life.

I have so many people who remind me of how far I’ve gone and how much I can still push myself to keep going. I do everything for my family and friends. I know that my success isn’t about me- it is the group of people behind me who constantly love, inspire and believe in me. I am lucky because of the people I choose to surround myself by and be grateful for all opportunities. Even the ones I get to create.

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Image Credit:
Sarah Orbanics for Headshot/White dress
Vanessa Cabrillas for Candles

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