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Emma Malouff: A Professional Daydreamer

Emma Malouff: A Professional Daydreamer

What is love? How does love feel? Can we love unconditionally? The word ‘love’ has so many meanings, but when something deeply resonates with us, we simply embody a state that is perhaps indescribable—we call it love.

According to Emma Malouff, an artist who plays Allison Tripp in Ryan Murphy’s Impeachment: American Crime Story, “My joy and mission of life are to love people. And if I can walk around and make one person’s day better, it’s worth it. I love waking up every morning and thinking to myself, ‘How can I live today focused on other people? And so, I love to be happy. I love to be joyful. I love to speak life into people. And a big part of that comes from my faith and love for Jesus.”

Emma is the daughter of pastors at the City Reach Church in Austin, TX. To Emma, her relationship with God is more important to her than her religion. She says, “I know that He will always be there for me. He will always love me unconditionally, no matter what I do. It’s a relationship. I could talk to Him like I’m talking to my best friend. I feel comfortable sharing things with Him because I know He’s got my back. So, it’s more about a relationship, not so much following the rules of religion.”

It’s no surprise that Emma refers to herself as a Professional Daydreamer. Emma’s mother has always reminded her that she has been imagining things and creating her own worlds since she was a small child. “Ever since I was three years old, whenever I saw a film, I would memorize it, went into my room, reenact the scenes, and create characters. I also enjoyed making films on my iPad with my friends. So ever since I can remember, I’ve had this yearning in my heart to create, dream, and go into other worlds and just live a life that is not my own. And so, I was thinking to myself, a Professional Daydreamer, what a lovely term for an actor. That defines me as an actress as my job is to daydream for fun on a day-to-day basis. I get to do what I’ve been doing my whole life as an actress: daydream and create and live a life that is different from my own, step out and create a world, and share a story with an audience.”

Photography // Dylan Perlot
We all enjoy daydreaming from time to time, having pleasant thoughts and imagining scenarios in which we are in a fantasy world, exploring new possibilities, opportunities, and perspectives on life. It’s inspiring to see all of the imagining and creative expression materializing within the entertainment industry and connecting with a broader audience as narratives are becoming from what was once a daydream to real life stories.As a professional daydreamer, Emma envisions her contribution to the entertainment industry’s expansion by saying, “The beauty of humanity is that we are all different. We all have different purposes, passions, stories, and backgrounds. And I think my contribution is that I just want to love people. I just want to be a part of stories that emote, love, share that love, where when people watch it, they feel good, they can see themselves in it. I just want to love people through projects that I do and people that I meet. That’s just what I want to do.”

When we feel love, it feels so good. Emma keeps shining as an example of how to live a life fulfilled with love, passion, and purpose. Confidence and belief in ourselves come from within; we can’t fake it because our existence is the evidence of our inner state.

“I have been very blessed and fortunate to have supportive parents and family, amazing friends, and incredible church community. As I said, I believe that we were all created for a purpose and on purpose. Also, I was extremely fortunate to believe that acting was my true calling. My family always encouraged me to pursue anything I could reach. And that’s been such an integral part of discovering that purpose. So I thought, ‘I think I can do it, trust and believe. Okay, I’m going to do it, find that confidence from the joy of Jesus.”

Sometimes, we get so caught up in what doesn’t work, or what we did wrong, or what someone else did to us that we can’t see beyond that. By raising our awareness about where we direct our flashlight of attention, we can play with it in any direction we want. That will open up a broader spectrum of possibilities, a softer perception of where we are, and the next step to walk with confidence towards experiencing what we have daydreamed about.

Photography // Dylan Perlot
Emma co-stars on FX’s Impeachment: American Crime Story, playing Sarah Paulson’s daughter. Like with any role, it allows her to empathize with another human being. But in particular, the character of Allison Tripp, Emma says, “Allison was my age—18—when all of this happened, and I had to step into her shoes, took a step back, and think to myself, ‘How would I feel if this was my mom being ridiculed by the media, society, or the press? How would I feel if I saw my family being so instantaneously brought into the spotlight in a negative way?’ It was a very negative way, and my heart broke for her. In an instant, her life changed. She saw her mother in a whole new light, and observing that expanded my range of compassion for her. It was such an amazing experience to empathize with her.”Empathizing with others is the first step towards understanding how others feel and perhaps even softening any judgment about them. But true upliftment comes from seeing others in their fullest potential of well-being and love—that’s the embodiment of compassion. “My hope for the audience is that they walk away with a bigger perspective, a bigger and different narrative from the one that was originally portrayed, that their minds, eyes, and hearts will open,” Emma says of what she hopes the audience will take away from watching the show.

We all face challenging situations that are not comparable to others, but the common thread is our reaction to them, which makes a huge difference in our experience. There is nothing more self-empowering than recognizing how we feel and then deliberately deciding to move through any inner-inspirational tools we have, such as prayer, meditation, or journaling appreciations, which will make us feel better. Thus, we will be able to see the same situation from a wider perspective and eventually add new layers of love, bliss, and the divine.

Emma shares a personal story that raised her awareness about the process of changing her perspective and seeing a situation from a different angle. She says, “I was probably sixth grade, or the very beginning of seventh grade when all of a sudden, my friends stopped talking to me. I was perplexed about why they weren’t talking to me, not saving me a seat at lunch, and this went on for about two weeks. And I remember my mom picking me up from school, and I got in the car crying and saying, ‘My friends aren’t talking to me. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what I did.’ My mom, who is my best friend, looks at me and said,’ Emma, did anyone die?’ And I was like, ‘No.’ And she continues, ‘Okay, so there’s always something bigger to focus on. Because there are so many other people who actually have it much worse than you—and that’s simply the reality of life. There are always other things greater than ourselves. I want to talk to you about perspective, about focusing on things greater than yourself.’ It was a pivotal moment for me as my mom taught me about the power of changing perspectives over life and situations. That has carried me through everything. Also, that has been one of the most important lessons I’ve been taught since seventh grade.”

Photography // Dylan Perlot
Like Emma, when we want to lovingly influence others, perhaps the best we can do is be the example we want to see in the world. And when we are in a state of love, joy, and bliss, everyone eventually will want to join us in on it.
Photography // Dylan Perlot 

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