The awareness about the power of making deliberate choices is what makes the difference in how we experience life to its fullest. There is a difference in the feeling and the result of needing to do something or doing something because we love it. Finding the balance in embracing our desires, choosing to fall in love with the discovery of realizing our dreams, trusting ourselves, and knowing that it’s already unfolding, will bring a more satisfying day-to-day life experience.
“I was lucky enough to discover my passion early on in life,” says actress Natasha Calis, who has created an impressive career within the entertainment industry at twenty-one years old. “I started acting at the age of eight, but I also was able to balance it with other activities and sports,”
Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and surrounded by water and breathtaking nature, Natasha has an adventurous spirit. Like many other young talents, she also expresses herself by creating new pathways of opportunities that technology offers nowadays.
“I think in this age of social media, there are so many opportunities for people to express themselves creatively and connect with others all over the world. We can create authentic content that relates to people and also have a conversation with them about important topics. For me, social media has been an essential tool. As an actress, it gives me the opportunity to share my upcoming projects, connect with my followers intimately, and hear their feedback in real-time. Growing up and being in the industry, I have certain knowledge and experiences that can be useful to others. Ultimately, my goal is to create a really positive platform and hopefully be a good role model to young people as well,” Natasha shared.
The entertainment industry is evidently expanding to more inclusive storylines representing a variety of diverse contexts and people. Natasha says, “I think we’re taking steps in the right direction that are long overdue. And my hope that the entertainment industry will take, not only in front but also behind the cameras, on set to see people that I see in real life every day.”
Natasha speaks about acting with such a passion that, of course, reflected back all the support she desired and expressed her love for the craft and those close to her with the following words, “It means the world to me! I wake up every day, and I’m so grateful that I can do something that I love. I’m so grateful that I discovered that passion so early on in life and have the family, friends, and parents who supported me all these years. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. I’m really, really grateful that my parents saw this potential in me and sort of gave me the support system through which I was able to pursue my dream. Yeah, it really means the world to me.”
It’s fascinating how actors can play to become someone else for a little while and explore different situations that bring empathy, compassion, and much more. So, Natasha says, “I think, to be an actor, you have to have a certain level of empathy. I observe people and the world around me and connect that with my acting. It’s been an interesting process because, as an actor, you have to be an open book. So, I think of it as like I’m an open book, but I’m filling my pages with different perspectives that I’ve maybe developed from playing a certain character. I’m filling these pages with different perspectives, emotions, and reactions to different situations. And it opened my eyes to how different each person is; we’re all completely different human beings who react one way or another to different things and different situations. But there’s always a deeper reason for everything, where one person might react in anger, and another person might react in sadness. I am continually learning about human psychology. I think being an actor is super fascinating.”
Natasha can be seen as Ashley Collins on the NBC series Nurses. Set in St. Mary’s hospital in Toronto, CA, the story follows five young nurses: Grace, Ashley, Keon, Naz, and Wolf, who dedicate their lives to helping others while discovering who they really are. Like in real life, beyond all the ups and downs and the connection between all of them as collogues, they seek to expand the awareness about the connection with themselves.
About the process of becoming Ashley, Natasha says, “Ashley is such a complex character. She has such a wide range to her. I think Ashley presents herself like she’s pretty tough, and it takes a while for her to open up to people. But when she does, you realize that she has a huge heart and will do anything to protect the people that she cares about. And so, it’s been really interesting for me playing a character with so many layers because Ashley is super confident and fierce, but yet, she is vulnerable. It’s been fun being able to play all of those things and everything in between.”
Relationships are essential to our expansion as human beings. Like a mirror, each relationship reflects back to us how steady we are in connection to who we are becoming. And it is not much different in the series Nurses, where all five main characters reflect to each other the relationship they have with themselves at that moment. Natasha describes their connection as: “Intimate because they are thrown into this busy downtown hospital being fresh out of school. They’re all super young trying to find their footing and their place; they’re discovering all of the things that come along with being a nurse that they didn’t learn in school. Nursing is so much more than human anatomy and medicine, it’s empathy, human connection, and being an emotional support for your patients. So, by doing that, I think these nurses have become like a family because there’s something so intimate about coming together to help save lives.”
Ultimately, perhaps the most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. Having a self-reflection about important things and making the choice that feels best is of value not only for us but also for the world around us. We can only offer to others what we feel about ourselves in each moment.
“I never want to disappoint anybody or let anybody down. It’s hard for me to say ‘no’ to plans or commitments. But if I wake up feeling a little down one day, it is important to me to take the time and not put pressure on myself to always try to please other people and not feel bad for saying ‘no.’ The reason is that, at the end of the day, you have to prioritize your own mental health. That was a significant discovery for me, not putting so much pressure on myself to please other people. And in fact, doing things for myself was an essential tool that I learned and discovered this year. I think there seems to be so much negativity and hate. But I feel like people hate on others because they’re not happy with themselves. So, taking a look within and prioritizing self-love and self-empowerment will create a better-harmonized world and so much more love,” Natasha reflects.
Natasha just finished filming Nurses the second season. Every Wednesday on her Instagram, along with her co-stars, she connects with the audience who can ask questions about the show and their experiences.