Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucia Joyce.
Lucia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a dancer and musical theatre actor, originally from a small town in Alberta, Canada. I started as an apprentice for contemporary dance companies in Vancouver, BC, moved on to dance for cruise ships, then made my way to NYC, where I started a long, emotional journey to becoming a legitimate singer and actor. Along the way, I blogged and wrote inspirational tidbits for a Facebook group called Happiness Club. I toured with dance companies and Broadway musicals and did an off-Broadway run with iLuminate Dance before moving to LA in 2017. Happiness Club started because I was healing from a messy divorce and learning mindfulness and self-acceptance. Even when we had 1-12 views on our posts and only a few attendees for our weekly meet-ups, it was fulfilling to just talk about mindfulness and emotional health with other people.
In LA, I studied acting, vocal technique, improvisation, dance, and Alexander technique. I bartended for years in a trendy Santa Monica restaurant, commuting back and forth from the Valley. I did some short films (most of which are still unfinished or shelved), a couple of commercial spots, a few music videos, and a play, but it has been hard to find ‘my brand’. I’m a mixed girl from Canada who endlessly learns and travels. I like seeing people as complex, unfiltered, uncategorized. I get cut from auditions because I don’t fit neatly into the categories ‘they need’, and I’m still working on consistently summoning the bravery to just being unequivocally myself.
This year I quit my—both frustrating and comfortable—bartending job and resolved to plunge into acting and theatre. I also decided to write a blog every day… I couldn’t explain exactly why that was necessary. I was simply taking a cue from my still, small voice. When the COVID-19 lockdowns took effect, I was doing callbacks in NYC and LA and starting rehearsals for a new musical at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center. I was working a lot with my partner of five years, who has been an incredible source of encouragement and growth, and who started his own film company last year: Moon Ride Films. What an incredible challenge and change of pace to build your own projects from the ground up! Producing and networking came more naturally to me, and I could cast myself and create work for my friends in the same ‘talented and undiscovered’ boat.
The lockdowns put some of our film projects on hold, but the blog has been slowly gaining traction and has provided this daily creative reflection and release for me at a time when I need it most. It has helped me to unpack my upbringing and relationships and strengthen my sense of self. It has helped me document the spiritual catharsis of everything from life-changing events to small, otherwise mundane, daily moments. It has made me more vulnerable and inspired others to do the same. It has helped me understand the ebb and flow of discipline (no matter what the reception) in any art form. It also led me to a job as a writer for Dance Plug and helped me promote lesser-known companies and artists I work with and admire. As of today, I have written 115 posts, and I’m proud of every single sentiment among them. One of the most profound realizations that have come from these posts is that I don’t actually have to fit in a category to be successful. I don’t have to give up one discipline to become formidable in another. I don’t have to fit society’s predetermined ‘labels’. I can make my own way and use all the skills I’ve picked up and adore to do so. How freeing!
The blog is just the start for me: it’s a base track for all the ways I want to help other people embrace their ‘you-ness’ and push themselves into the creative unknown, on a timeline unique to them, not necessarily Hollywood’s standards. I want to rebrand the term ‘late bloomer’ and help others be joyful, inspired, and resilient in their ‘now’.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Some of my struggles include, but are certainly not limited to: Creating my own resistance by limiting my belief in myself, or self-sabotage. Trying too hard to fit someone else’s template/expectation of me. Endlessly worrying about, not just the money required to LIVE, but the non-negotiable time and money needed to invest in training, industry know-how, outfits, marketing, travel, and physical and mental wellness. An ongoing struggle with ‘my brand’.
The journey to finding acting and dance classes that work for me, and all the creepiness, scams, financial ruin, and borderline abuse this sometimes entails. Constant rejection, and dealing with, not just my insecurities, but those of my teachers/directors/costars. Putting my heart and soul into projects that didn’t get finished. Signing on to unpaid projects for the exposure that took advantage of my time, talent, and professionalism (they are not all like that, but it’s not always easy to tell from the first impression how things will be on set.
Struggling to communicate to family/friends in other, less competitive cities, why I continually choose the life of an artist, why I’m ‘not famous yet’, and why I can’t come home nearly as much as I would like. The dance industry in general, and how ‘catty’ and judgmental it can sometimes feel if you’re vulnerable and unprepared to have your insecurities ripped apart. Low paying, erratic jobs with zero benefits and inconsistent access to basic physical therapy (for dance gigs) or health care.
I think the most consistent source of non-judgmental encouragement and support has been the delightfully cosmic presence of my partner, Shane. He just inherently believes in me and nurtures my better spirit without a hint of aggression or insecurity. He is the sweetest angel man and he continues to inspire me in new ways every day.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
Luciajoyce.net is my artist website and the home of my daily blog. I’m known for brief, uplifting posts, artist spotlight articles, and deeply personal, memoir-type essays. I’m different because I devote consistent, daily writings in my unique voice, with my unique background. I am proud of that voice and staying true to it every day no matter what my view count is.
Moon Ride Films is owned and operated by my partner: Shane Carrigan. I produce, cast, and choreograph for Moon Ride, and have begun to manage an online presence (although we have had consistent work already with zero marketing). Our focus is on commercials, reels, documentary-style shorts, and music videos. We are in the early stages of our body of work but have quickly become known for sharp edits, kind and consistent communication, and pooling our skills to create an incredible product on a budget. We are fun and easy to work with and we get behind each client’s vision with enthusiasm.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have loved to have found things like meditation, mindfulness, self-healing, and Julia Cameron’s many spiritual creativity books in high school or my early 20’s, but life doesn’t tend to work that way, and I’ve become the person I’m proud of by my own, winding road. I can’t help but think about how much more I could have achieved in a faster time period if I had done the work to really believe in myself earlier on. C’est la vie!
- Website: luciajoyce.net, moonridefilms.com
- Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @looshbgoosh, @moonridefilms
- Facebook: facebook.com/looshbgoosh, facebook.com/moonridefilms
- Twitter: @looshbgoosh, @moonridefilms