Today we’d like to introduce you to Vivian Wells.
Vivian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in a military household where we moved every 1-2 years. Traveling and exploring has always been in my blood, and my love for it continued well into my adult years. When I was 15 I began working in an orphanage in Mexico every summer/winter until I turned 23. I moved to Puebla, Mexico after graduating college and began working as a teacher. It was an incredible journey and I’ll be forever grateful for my time there.
After I moved back to the states, I continued my education in the area of music and prepared for my next adventure to…Barcelona! My sister had been working in a church there for several years and I was accepted to join her. I got my visa, acquired travel papers for my dog (yes my dog came with me:-]), and left for Spain. It had always been my dream to do social work overseas, and I felt like this was a great chance to do that as well as living with my sister. My sister has always been my best friend so it was really an easy decision for me!
While in Barcelona, I improved my Spanish exponentially, but I also gained a lot of perspective on life. I was 20 minutes away from being on the road where the terrorist attack occurred. I was right around the corner from protests and police brutality response to the Catalan Revolution. I loved every moment of my work with youth and the homeless. I loved teaching kids guitar and vocals. I loved caring for others, but I also knew something was missing. The question ringing through my mind was “What’s next?” I wanted to stay in Barcelona but I knew I wasn’t living the life meant for me. So I began having dreams of casting calls…acting. Before I called the shrink because that’s pretty crazy, I checked in with some friends. They, surprisingly, agreed that it was a great choice for me.
So I packed up my bags, moved back to my parents in Texas, and waited for the next steps. I spent much needed time resting, and then found a summer intensive course for acting. I applied and was accepted two days later. I was elated! I thought it would assist in making me become a better actor. What I didn’t foresee was that this school, this teacher, would push me to become a more whole and confident person. The more freedom I gained emotionally and spiritually, the better my craft became. I moved to LA, continued in classes with my teacher, Diane Venora, and began to go after the industry. I did all I could, audition, background acting, modeling, and music. I fell in love with this city, traffic and all, and it became my home. Most of my life, I have been moving around, always looking for the next spot. I had always been searching for the next adventure because the home wasn’t a concept I truly understood. My life was all about moving. But today, in Los Angeles, my life has shifted to staying. This city and industry isn’t perfect but it’s mine. It’s my home.
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’ve had a lot of medical issues over my lifetime. When I was five years old, I contracted Lime Disease and struggled with it for ten years. At 16, I had reconstructive surgery on my nose as a result of a broken nose. At 18, I tore my ACL for the first time. I played soccer through college so I actually tore it again when I was 21. I had my last surgery at 22 before my senior soccer season. After graduation, I struggled with joint pain. I gained quite a bit of weight and had trouble working out the way I used to.
Before I moved to Spain, I decided it was time to make a change. I worked out more safely and started a journey or spiritual/physical healing. I’ve lost about 55 pounds since the beginning of that journey two and a half years later. One thing I’ve learned about myself and challenges is that I have more strength than I think. If I’m knocked down, I get up. If I feel I can’t go any further, I just keep pressing on. It’s imperative to keep pushing on with this perseverance, and I’m grateful for every challenge.
Please tell us more about your work. What do you do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
I’m working within the industry. My most recent project was a featured background in Space Jam II, and I was consistently on that movie for two months. I also have recently begun work within the voice-over and continue to audition for projects.
The thing that sets me apart from others is my life experience. I’ve seen a lot, experienced quite a bit for a 28-year-old. I was able to learn Spanish while living abroad in two countries and work with many people from different nations. What sets me apart is that I’m strong mentally and am very culturally aware.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
While working on Space Jam, I was able to make a lot of new friends. My favorite part of working in the industry here is the connections I get to make. When it comes down to the “why” I am passionate about the work here, it’s because of the people I get to connect with. I love the quality of work, the creativity, and passion that goes into it, but my favorite moment is always the people I get to do it with.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @viv_and_let_live
Dana Patrick Photography