Please introduce yourself, what you do, why you do it, and what you want people to know about you.
I’m Eliza Blair (they/them/theirs), an actor, runner, and sunny cynic with one foot on the ground, one foot in the sky, and a third foot in hell, living in LA.
I grew up in the Bay Area until I was formally exiled from San Francisco for not being able to code – so I went to Harvard and got a degree in Theatre, Dance, and Media instead. While there, I created socially-engaged experimental productions of classical texts, led public art projects, and directed collections of original art by survivors of sexual assault. I’ve also studied acting for the stage and screen at the London Academy of Dramatic Arts, Powerhouse Theatre, Moscow Arts Theatre School, and Atlantic Acting School in NYC.
I work with a beginner’s mind, ceaselessly trying to learn from those around me. I’m no original thinker in saying this, but I really do recognize that storytelling is an immensely powerful tool in changing hearts and minds.
I see the projects I choose to work on as opportunities to push for LGBTQIA2S+ equity (not just equality) in one way or another: even just recently I wrapped on a SAG feature film (with Parks and Rec’s Jim O’Heir and Friday Night Lights’ Jeremy Sumpter) playing a teen working on discovering their true self, and a series coming soon to a streaming service about historical queer icons (stay tuned!).
But if you can’t find me on set, talking peoples’ ears off about gender expansive ideology or creepily observing everyone to learn from their habits and behaviors, you can likely find me on a long run through Griffith Park training for a marathon, or solo wilderness backpacking (good luck with that one).
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I feel extremely privileged to even be able to pursue this career path, and aim to help fill the gaps in representation that made me feel alone and isolated in my identity growing both by putting myself out there for others to recognize themselves in, and by working with artists who are doing the same for folks of other underrepresented identities.
Representation isn’t the whole war, but it is a major battle, and I hope I can be one of the many fighters in it. (Violent language from a pacifist? It must be important!)
I take my craft seriously because I understand its power and, as a person who has worked behind the scenes too, I know how much love and sweat everyone across the board puts in to make this stuff happen.
Plus, I understand the value of sometimes getting away – I love resetting during a solo backpacking trip!
Describe THAT moment when you realized you wanted to do what you do now. Who did you tell first? What has it been like since that moment?
I wish I had a moment I could point to that started it all for me – maybe that would make the elusive task of self-definition somewhat simpler.
Maybe it was when I was singing My Fair Lady on my family dinner table at age 3? Or when I snuck out into the living room at night to secretly watch Master and Commander when I was eight? Or when I accidentally injured a teammate in a race so bad that I knew I had no future in team sports?
Who’s to say – though I’ve got a lot of questions, it feels like acting has always been in me, no questions asked.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?
I find often that the challenges I face come from within. From the byproducts of the cisheteropatriarchalcapitalist society we live in and the crippling self-doubt that can instill in you. From the depth of the care I hold for this career and the way it can lift you up and drop you back down.
Every day I work to find the confidence to put myself out there. Connecting with what makes me unique and with my “why” helps me keep moving forward.
So does having supportive people around me – I am extremely lucky to have found a community of people who love me as I am, and to have my ridiculously supportive management team at Kreativ Media Partners on my side.
If you had to pick the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could take your career (or business) to the next level…who would those 3 people be?
Greta Gerwig, Regina King, Alma Har’el