At UGauGrrl, we appreciate the Modern Muses who help make the world a better place or inspire others by their actions and ways of living. Each week, we will interview a new woman or girl of any age, race, ethnicity, background, field, orientation and religion on our blog to share her story with the world.
Our very first Modern Muse is actress Krishna Smitha. As a rising Hollywood star, she faces challenges as both a woman and minority that she seeks to overcome through her passion and desire to forge a path for others. We hope that you feel inspired by her. Here is her story in her own words.
“I’m Krishna Smitha, an actor-producer who discovered my path later in life. I never won any talent shows. I wasn’t the star of my high school’s musical. I didn’t study theatre at college. In fact, I intended to become a doctor.
“After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, I headed off to New York to work for Ameri-Corps for a year before starting medical school. It was here that I discovered the acting community – a world of theatre, improv, film and artists. I wanted to try it out, so I went to a class.
“I was hooked and needless to say medical school never happened.
“From the very beginning, even as a fledgling actor with very little experience, I felt home in this world. That doesn’t mean it was easy. Like any skill, it took time, patience and continuous work and growth – it still does.
“It’s not about where you end up, it’s about who you are becoming on the way there.”
“Another early difficulty was that I was an Indian girl raised by a conservative family. I came from a long line of doctors and engineers. Acting was new, foreign territory. While going into acting may be difficult for any parent to feel comfortable with, it was especially difficult for my immigrant parents who believed I was going to be a doctor my whole life. To go against my family and my community seemed ridiculous and selfish.
“The only thing I could do was to hold on to the belief that following your path and purpose in life can’t be about pleasing others. It is wonderful to love people, to make people happy, but you can do that and still hold onto your own truth.
“It was a tough stand to take, but I was lucky. At the end of the tunnel, my family was willing to jump outside the status quo box with me. They supported my decision and made it easier for me to do my work. Never underestimate the strength of the support and encouragement from the people you love.
“In a landscape of #oscarssowhite and a primarily male-dominated Hollywood, the role of ethnic woman can feel marginalized. On the other hand television is making leaps and jumps in creating content with unique and diverse points of view. Independent cinema is becoming more affordable to make, allowing for anyone with an original idea to jump into the driver’s seat of creating a new “Hollywood.” It can look really hard and daunting from the outside, and it is by no means easy. It is hard. But knowing why I want to do this and feeling a purpose to it all definitely makes it easier to stand up and keep playing. Anything worth a grain of salt in this world has been hard to do.
“Doing this work, pursuing this work – acting, auditioning, researching, understanding humanity, collaborating, standing up to people, accepting rejection, working with brilliant people, working with horrible people – it has pushed me, stretched me, forced me to be better. I’m a different person now than I was when I started, and I’ll become a different person as I continue to grow and learn. So I’m okay with the challenges, I welcome them, I step into them. It’s not about where you end up, it’s about who you are becoming on the way there.”
Krishna is based in LA, working regularly not only just acting but creating and producing original content. She works in stage, film, television, commercials, voice-overs. Learn more about Krishna on her website www.KrishnaSmitha.com.
Do you know a #ModernMuse who has an amazing story to tell? Send us her story. We’d love to know her 1) Name, 2) Age, 3) Ethnicity, 4) Location, 5) Relationship to you, 6) Why you think she is a #ModernMuse (what is she doing or has she done to make Inspire, Empower, Impact the world or the community around her?). We’ll let you both know when we’d like to publish her story, send her a few more questions and will share it on our social media channels. Looking forward to your submissions!
・ UGauGrrl ・
1. Phrase of encouragement for women and girls. 2. An upcoming line of stylish t-shirts that serve to Inspire, Empower and Impact through images of amazing women, both past and present, who have made their mark in the world in the Arts, STEM, Social Activism, Literature, Politics and Religion, as well as quotes and mantras that remind women and girls to, put simply, UGauGrrl.