artworxLA Honors Matt Tolmach and Paige Goldberg Tolmach

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awxLA: What role does art and creativity play in your career?

PGT: Well, the truth is, my most important and satisfying job right now is being a mom. and honestly, creativity plays a huge role. my son is a natural storyteller (like his crazy parents!) and my job is to nurture that in him and allow him the space and freedom to tell his own stories.

my second job these days is being a documentary filmmaker and although my job is to document the truth, I have to constantly think of creative ways to present that truth. the stories I want to tell are hard ones to hear. if I don't attempt to tell them in a digestible way, no one will ever see them.

awxLA: What it's like to be part of the creative industry?

PGT: I'm not really in the industry like I used to be but I still feel like I am because matt is in deep! I love talking about projects with him, reading his scripts and watching his movies. I even love being on set -- it's thrilling for me. I think I'm basically still that little girl in the living room who wants to be moved and enlightened by characters and stories.

 awxLA: What are some of the challenges you faced as you worked towards your creative career?

PGT: It tends to get completely connected to the people I interview and become consumed with their stories and their sadness. I think the mom in me wants to reach out and tell everyone that it will be ok and I will help them get through it. but I have to keep reminding myself that that's not my job as a storyteller. my job is to hear them and see them exactly as they are and share their truth with the world so that others can hear and see them as well.

awxLA: Share some advice you would give to anyone going into your career field?

PGT: Pick up a camera and start documenting the world. there is beauty in every person and every place and wonderful stories worth sharing come from the most surprising places.

awxLA: What about your work connects you to artworxLA and our students?

PGT: I went to a pretty fancy, private high school in the south. but I was never, ever inspired. I am so taken with the beautiful, brave and inspirational young people I have met at artworkLA. I wish that I had known people like that when I was young. I think I would have had the guts to start being a filmmaker much sooner

artworxLA Honors Octavia Spencer

We are thrilled to announce that we will be honoring Academy Award-winning actress and author Octavia Spencer at our 25th Annual Evening Of Art! With the 89th Oscars being only days away, Octavia took a moment to share how the arts have illuminated and guided her towards a career as an actress.

Interview with 2017 Gala Honoree:
Octavia Spencer
Actress & Author

awxLA: What role does art and creativity play in your career?

OS: Art is creativity and as an actor, it would be difficult for me to imagine one without the other.

awxLA: What inspired you to pursue a creative career?

OS: I think art is innate, inherent.  While I have an affinity for other disciplines, I believe I'm truly designed for this. It's my DNA.

awxLA: What is it like to be part of the creative industry?

OS: Being an actor is beautifully exhausting, and yet wildly exhilarating. It's a wonderful way to meet people from disparate backgrounds who share a common interest.

awxLA: What are some of the challenges you faced as you worked towards your creative career?

OS: One of the biggest challenges I faced was access to great material; however, time, persistence, and relationships changed that. 

awxLA: Share some advice to anyone going into your career field. 

OS: Train. Never ever get tired of honing your technique.

awxLA: What about your work connects you to artworxLA and our students?

OS: I was introduced to artworxLA by a couple of your board members that I've actually worked with on film sets. It was exciting to learn that we shared a common interest in motivating students via art.