We all are dreamers, but do we all allow ourselves to pursue those dreams and discover them in our physical realm? All of our dreams can come to fruition when we tune in and allow it. Many of us would ask now, “but how?” Often, what brings us the most feeling of resistance is when we act against who we truly are. Love, happiness, trust, and faith are engraved within our beingness. We can’t learn it or earn it—we can only recognize and embody these innate states of being within ourselves.
Artist Anna Hindman begins, “I’m a dreamer. I was raised as an only child. I have a half-brother, but by the time I was born, he moved out of the house. And I spent all my time using my imagination. I was imagining myself as all [sorts of] different people, all different characters. And that’s still who I am. I know that a lot of actors say that they’re storytellers, but I’m a dreamer who wants to experience every single life possible.”
Our creative expression is the evidence and sum of all and everything around us. We can observe the vast variety of our beautiful world from countless angles: two people standing together and looking at the same spot can perceive it only from their unique perspective. In our era, where information travels at the speed of light, our unique expression is not only evinced through technology, but it has access to and from any part of the world.
Anna goes on, “I think social media is a huge driving platform of creative expression. As a society, in the past, when we would ask, ‘Oh, what’s your job?’ People usually would have one definitive answer, I’m a doctor, I’m a plumber, I’m this or that. But with social media, I think that we’ve been given permission to expand who we are and show off all these different facets of ourselves. Because I think that people are inherently creative and want to create in so many different ways, whether that be like an engineer, or a writer, an artist who is painting. There’s so many creative drives in us, and this social media world has opened up that platform for everyone and given them permission to show off these parts of themselves. I personally love TikTok. I know it gets good and bad sometimes. But I love TikTok, because you can really showcase your personality there and you can showcase any kind of art. There will be people telling a story in the front seat of their car. And I think that’s art. And that’s creative, because you’re telling a story. And then for me personally, being able to have spaces to sing, to write, to create little skits even with my wife—Hallmark lesbians skits on TikTok.”
We all are inclusive by nature, but inclusivity always starts within ourselves: we must care for ourselves first, meaning care about our state of being so we can fully include who we are becoming. We often push against those who seem hesitant to accept us. But when we stand in our wholeness, we can only love, including ourselves and others beyond our perceived differences.
“In a broader term, to me inclusivity means accessibility—there’s more accessibility to be creative. There are actors out there who have previously not been able to audition for as much, but now, they’re seeing access to more roles, because there’s more inclusivity. I keep going back to social media, but even just people who would never even think about picking up a phone and starting to record themselves. There are 90-year-old grandparents on TikTok who now have this amazing following, just because they had the accessibility to get onto TikTok and share themselves. I also think inclusivity means a larger chance for people to connect to others’ stories, because that’s the main thing for me about social media and TV—being able to see other people’s stories and feel empathy for them. And if you’re doing that in a diverse way, with diverse people, I think that’s giving the world so much more access to understanding people’s stories and people’s backgrounds and people’s upbringing. And I think that empathy will change the world. What I love so much about TV and film is that if you can feel something and understand how that person is feeling, it makes you want to do something about it,” Anna says.
When we think about what we want to accomplish, our thoughts—regardless of whether they are negative or positive—eventually become our beliefs. We can’t eliminate or control our thoughts, but we can soften them by using any tool available to us, creating space for new, perhaps more pleasant thoughts in harmony with our dreams to be received.
Anna is open about her self-doubt. “I’ve struggled with my beliefs. And myself—I’ve definitely had very limiting beliefs about myself. In the past, I struggled a lot with anxiety and depression in high school, and just super low self-esteem. But I always, always wanted to be an actor. So, it was this weird balancing act. I also grew up with social media. So it’s been a continual process to stop comparing myself to others and to allow myself to be proud of my accomplishments, regardless of anyone else’s validation. But one thing that’s really helped me push past limiting beliefs about myself, in comparing myself to others, is this belief that success is not finite. Just because someone else is having success doesn’t mean that I’m not going to have success. And in fact, there’s like an abundance of success, it’s all over, it’s never gonna run out. So I shouldn’t worry about comparing myself to someone else’s journey. It’s all possible and there’s an abundance of it. And in lifting others up, it’s a much more joyful place to be. I instead recommend for others projects and work with them and lift them up. It’s just a much more joyful existence. When instead of comparing yourself, you’re uplifting everyone and making that your focus; and so that’s been a huge process for me because in high school I was that’s not who I was. And so, I’m 29 now. It’s been about an 11-year process.”
There will always be some kind of temptation—some kind of comparison stimulated by the variety and contrast we observe. But this doesn’t mean that we continually perpetuate the comparison such that we perceive each other as unequal. Comparing can be just a starting point from which we build preferences for something we like in someone else. Then, we can take that aspect of others we admire and make it our own; this leads to a joyful expression of new layers of our authentic self. We are all continually becoming and expanding; therefore, our authenticity is in this vibrational movement too.
As an actor, Anna has the opportunity to become someone else and explore different angles and perspectives of diverse characters and contexts. On the portrayal of her character Grace Baker in the film American Siege, she says, “I would describe Grace as pretty much the exact opposite of how I am day to day. She does not care at all what people think. And there’s such a freedom in her. And I think that’s kind of what I took with me was not only that freedom that I got to embody, but also, when I was doing this role, I wasn’t second guessing myself. For the first time in my life, I was going for it and going with it. And so all of that freedom that was tied up and bundled up in this role, I think I’ve been able to really take with me, and bring that into my everyday worldview and everyday life.”
American Siege, available now in theaters and digital platforms, is described as follows: “10 years after the mysterious disappearance of teenager Brigit Baker in a small rural town. Anna, who plays Grace Baker, searches for answers about her sister’s disappearance with her boyfriend Roy (Rob Gough) and their friend Toby (Johann Urb). The trio suspects a wealthy doctor (Cullen G Chambers) may have something to do with the disappearance. Sheriff Ben Watts (Bruce Willis) is a corrupt cop who is on the payroll of a powerful businessman Charles Rutledge (Timothy V Murphy) who must guard the small town’s dark secrets.”
“I think American Siege at its core is a movie about family. Because my character is searching for answers about her sister. And that just drives her through the whole movie. And there’s also other layers of family, like other characters that are driven by family or there’s family involved. And so I think that love is really what drives the whole movie. And so I hope that people will see that love of family as the driving force, because it is, it was really apparent to me,” excitedly says Anna. She continues, “I’m developing a script called Daughter, it’s kind of a dark script about a family secret. I would love for it to turn into a TV series.”
Imagine when we are in a state of such steadiness that inspiration flows through us like an infinite stream of bliss and joy. Aside from acting, Anna’s creativity is also expressed through music. “Singing was like one of the very first creative things that I ever did. My dad’s a musician, so he has recordings of me when I was little singing. And so I also have a musical theater background. There’s just a lot of emotions that flow through me when I’m singing. It’s the same with acting. It’s a very free process. It’s definitely like voice flows, the music flows—that’s how it feels—energy flowing through me so calming that I can let myself feel all these different aspects of music and the song.”
Anna is happily ever now married to her wife. Her desire to make a difference in people’s lives inspired her to create diverse avenues for bringing awareness to the world on topics related to the LGBTQ+ and beyond.
“I do a lot of sharing on my Instagram stories. I try to bring awareness to current events that are happening. Like right now in Florida, they’re trying to pass the don’t say gay bill, essentially not letting discussions about sexuality or gender identity in the classroom. I’m also a teacher so that is a huge thing for me advocating for LGBTQ+ youth in safe spaces for them. On TikTok, I am donating 100% of my creator fund to the Trevor Project, which also helps LGBTQ+ youth. If they’re feeling suicidal or depressed or even just needing resources for gender identity and all these different things. It’s on their website. I also did a little campaign about banning books. So I try to push a lot of content that is more knowledgeable and for learning purposes. I’m obviously very bias because I am gay. But I try when I am presenting people with information to make it factual instead of then this is my opinion,” states Anna.
Anna is a teacher at the core of her being. But she cares not only about uplifting and supporting others, but to observe and learn from her students. Anna and her wife are also in the process of fostering young kids.
“Teaching for me—it’s been a gift. I want to give my students a supportive person who has their back, unconditional love, and who validates how they feel, what they’re going through and who they are. And just allowing them to be authentic. I was very lucky to have two parents who were so supporting and validating. But it also took me a little while to figure out authentically who I am. I want to provide a space for kids to come and talk to me. And so, fostering kids is providing a safe space for them, where they can bounce ideas off of me, or tell me what they’re scared of. And then they will also teach me. Gosh, I’ve already learned so much from my students. I think tough love is something that ‘s hard for me because I just want to be the nicest person in the world to these kids. But also being this person who was like, ‘Okay, I care about you. So we’re gonna do the work, like we’re gonna get this done. I’m going to teach you how to get things done.’ But then they’re also going to teach me when to let go. Sometimes I’m a little overprotective; I think that I’ll be taught about trusting them and trusting when to step back a little bit.”
On the empowering effects of accepting and being who she is, Anna declares, “I would say the most empowering experience for me was accepting my sexuality. That was an extremely uncomfortable process. For me, I come from a town that is pretty conservative. And I didn’t know any lesbians at all growing up at all, not even in my school, not adults. And so I was terrified and very uncomfortable and I cried, and I remember really denying it for the longest time. It took me until college to really accept it. And then I think in the past couple of years, I’ve really turned it into self-empowerment because I see the positive effect that being who I am can have on my life and the day to day positive effect it can have on others. I am honored that people have reached out to me and have said thank you for posting about me and my wife. Which it’s just so crazy that that is something that is considered brave. And so I’m hoping that going forward in the future, it’s just normalized. But I would say, just accepting who I am, I was very uncomfortable. But now it is the most joyful thing in my life.”
Anna adds, “I love how sensitive I am. I used to hate it because I cried very easily. And I’m kind of an anxious person. But I think that it’s trying to look at it as a superpower—it brings a lot of understanding of the world around me. I think that it allows me to be empathetic to other people. It allows me to be an actor, which is my greatest blessing. So, I do love myself being sensitive. And I love catching people in these moments when they don’t think anybody’s watching, which sounds so creepy. But I like especially with my students, which also sounds so creepy, but you’ll just see them working on something and it’s such an endearing moment to observe someone no doubt themselves or having self-consciousness, but just living. I also really love weirdness in people; that is my favorite thing.”
Like Anna, will you accept and embrace your sensitivity so that you can listen clearly to the guidance from within yourself?
Photography // Lensy Michelle