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Leven Alice Rambin is an American actress. She is known for playing look-alike half-sisters Lily Montgomery and Ava Benton on All My Children, and for her recurring roles on Grey’s Anatomy and Gone, as well as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, One Tree Hill, Wizards of Waverly Place, and CSI: Miami.
She appeared in the sci-fi film The Hunger Games (2012) as the District 1 tribute Glimmer, and appeared as Clarisse La Rue in the fantasy film Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013).
Most recently Leven played Kara in The Big Ugly and will be staring in the 2021 film, The Forever Purge.
Rambin is a fashion enthusiast and has written several editorials on New York Fashion Week for Paper Magazine and Page Six. Rambin is very passionate about autism research and awareness as well as the humane treatment of animals. Rambin is also involved with Surf for Life, an organization that creates educational and cultural development projects in coastal communities around the world.
SUCCESS STORY PODCAST
Stories worth telling.
On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
people, success, acting, feel, teachable, podcast, film, directing, incubator, step, fail, point, actor, life, helped, years, women, watching, friends, voices
Scott, Scott D Clary, Leven Rambin
Scott D Clary 00:06
Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between. Without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Alright, thanks again for joining me today I am sitting down with Leven Rambin, who is an American actress. She is a very well known actress, playing half sisters, William Montgomery and Ava Benton on all my children recurring roles on Grey’s Anatomy and gone as well as Terminator Sara productcart Chronicles One Tree Hill, Wizards of Waverly Place and CSI Miami, she appeared in the Sci Fi film Hunger Games as district one tribute Lemmer and appeared as Clarissa root in the fantasy film Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters. Currently, she is celebrating her latest release starring as Kara in the big ugly, which was just released July 24. And is slated to appear in one of my personal favorites, the Forever purge, which is supposed to be coming up in 2021. So thank you, I really appreciate sitting down I want to I want to understand you know, your journey, tell me how you got into acting. Tell me, you know, how you came to be where you are at today, which is incredibly impressive things.
Leven Rambin 01:41
Thank you. When you’re running, oh my gosh, they just painted this building pink in my neighborhood. It’s really bizarre. Um, anyway, when you were running down that list, I was like, Wow, all those shows are like no longer on on television, but you know, iconic at their time. And obviously super successful smashes up their time, but it just sort of just sort of reminded me how often things change and how nothing lasts forever, basically, in this industry or any, in any, anywhere in life, actually. Anyway, so I started acting when I was 14. I sort of just always had like this natural, innate, like, very deep curiosity about performing, I guess, singing and acting. And I think I wasn’t as good as a singer as I, like, should have been, or I, it was didn’t come as naturally to me as acting, I guess. And so honestly, it was just really a combination of my willingness to say that that’s what I wanted to do, and actually believe that that was like a path that I could attain. And then, you know, when I when I made that known, like, people just came into my life that facilitated in helping me, you know, I mean, that sounds really effortless. And honestly, it kind of was. That’s my story. I can’t really apologize for that. But it just, I had mentors coming in my life and people that wanted to help me at that age. And they really did, and it changed my life as far as becoming professional actor, and then kind of just kept going for 15 years. So that’s what I can say to that. I think I dug my heels and about 19 and realized, wow, this is still going. And I need to like elevate myself and take myself to the next level. As far as my craft, and if I’m really doing this. How do I make myself the best, you know, and have more to offer as far as what I bring to the table as an actor. So yeah, that’s kind of how it went down. And thanks be to God, I still have that sense of like, How can I be better what can I do to invest in myself as a, as a commodity as an actor and all the things that
Scott D Clary 04:35
I noticed something that you said and you know, you said unapologetically. It wasn’t as stressful as perhaps you know, you always hear these stories of people struggling, struggling, struggling. Yeah. And going to the performing arts. And that’s, but I think you also pointed out one thing, you pointed out that you dug your heels in you’re purposeful, you’re driven you’re like focused and then you aligned with mentors that helped you get to the next level. So success is never accidental. Like everything you said, I think all those things that you sort of did at a very young age, people just end up not doing those too much later, they flip flop, they maybe don’t have the right help. They don’t know what they don’t know, they don’t want to look for help outside of themselves. They think they know it all. All these things is sort of inhibit a career. So what what guided you to find the right people to align with? What, what allowed you to dig your heels in? Was it a family support system? Walk me through how you made so many good moves at a young age?
Leven Rambin 05:30
Well, when you’re saying that, I think another thing that came up was that, you know, I was 14. So it’s like, I didn’t have the voices of like cultural conditioning telling me, I couldn’t do it or telling me how hard it was or how much of a struggle it was. I hadn’t entered that like, Plexus of like, cynicism and negativity, yet, I was still, you know, watching Disney movies and thinking how I could be anything I wanted. And as a child. And so I think that definitely helped me enter that world because I hadn’t faced, you know, that sort of cliche, turning to not, you know, all the voices, all the, all the trash that you hear as an adult, like, you’re supposed to believe that everything is hard. So that definitely helped me. And I wonder if I would have had the same gusto at around 20. You know, and I had experienced a little failure, I had experienced, like, a little heartbreak or disappointment at any point. But what regardless, it did serve me at the time. So, you know, my parents, were also they never said, like, oh, you can’t do it. They’re like, okay, like, here’s the next step you should take, and you should find an acting coach, and we’ll take you after school. And, you know, you’ll have to work really hard, because this is like, expensive. And this is like a commitment. And I took it seriously because also they they encouraged me, they were like, you’re you’re good. You know, they they instill this confidence in me that I didn’t see how I could fail at that point. I didn’t even know what I was actually trying to achieve. But I just was like, this seems like a natural step in pursuing something. And you know, I had my mom who is very, I guess, interested, like she’s, she’s very adventurous and like, interested in a lot of different things. Like she’s not like she’s done public speaking before, for like, charities and stuff. And she had a public speaking coach, because of her issues with that, you know, she’s someone that is curious about a lot of different things. And if your kids are, she has a problem, like she wants to find answers. So luckily, I had a resourceful like mom, who got me with this acting coach that helped her through her public speaking. stuff. And this woman really believed in me and was like, I think you have what it takes, and you have like a natural guest, and I can help you kind of take it to the next level. And I think you should pursue this, honestly. And I was like, really? Okay. And that’s, this is simple.
Scott D Clary 08:17
And it’s, well, it doesn’t have to be complicated. That’s another that’s another really good thing that I’m, I like that you’re sort of, I like the way you position that you were, you were younger. And that’s what really let you take those steps that a lot of people they don’t take, because they’re the fear of rejection, negativity, like it’s man, like, you know, this shit that you you put out into the world, and people just just absolutely destroy it. And it’s tough. It’s very tough, right to get to that level where you have that momentum, and you have that self confidence. And I think that building that up young is important. Yeah, yeah, go ahead. Sorry.
Leven Rambin 08:55
I think it’s like your natural inclination as a child, right? Like, you have this sense of limitlessness and I can be anything and you don’t care. You know, you don’t care about being rejected, because you have a family and you have a solid foundation and your self worth isn’t, like pinned on rejection or other people’s criticism of your art. I mean, you’re not thinking in those terms, you’re just like, this is fun, is that it’s like playful sense that if you fail, whatever you can, can become an astronaut. The next day, you know, there’s another door open, and you’re not pinning your whole future and self worth on that. But I think, you know, around, you know, 1718 When you become an adult and enter the real world, you know, all these voices and conditioning tells you that, you know, it’s too hard this is too that you’re not this enough, you know, or whatever you’re you’re inundated with that last for about back in last year, entire life that bullshit, you know, but for me, I feel like I I bought into that for about 10 years, and now I’m back at the place where I was when I was 14. I was like, fuck it Fun. I don’t care. This is for me, it doesn’t matter if it works out. Um, this is like, just personal to me and this is what I want to do. I can’t fail. This is fun. Like, it comes easy to me and yay. You know, I because I bought into that crap for so long. And I’m like, where did that get me except anxious, subconscious upset, you know? So I feel like you start that place you go to that, you know, place of self doubt and just crippling anxiety and then you if you’re lucky you get returned to that place of like, fuck it.
Scott D Clary 10:34
Yeah. So I like that the place to fuck it. I like that.
Leven Rambin 10:39
I mean, it’s really, you know, a good place to be. It feels great all the time now. Because, yeah, like I said, I did that thing where I doubted myself and, you know, was my own critic, and it sort of just shrunk myself into like, an unrecognizable version of myself. And that’s not what I I’m not doing anymore.
Scott D Clary 11:02
No, that’s that’s the thing. Like, and you know, you mentioned like, like, I’ve read some I’ve read some interviews, like when you know, I prep for these, I’m just I’m reading some different interviews about, like, why you took on certain roles, or why you didn’t take on certain roles and, and you think that your career is still like, you know, it’s incredible, like you had an incredible career, but like you still were in those moments of self doubt. So, how did you how did you? How did you push through that and still maintain that for 10 years? You had this self doubt now you’re okay, now you’re good. But how did you get through that? Like, how did you taking on these these these projects? These films these shows? Was your Yeah, ,
Leven Rambin 11:40
honest honestly, I feel like, like I said, I dug my heels in I was like, how, you know, because I did have that crippling doubt. I was like, Okay, I have to fix this. Like, I have to work harder, I have to go to school, I have to learn this, I have to be more like her, I have to lose weight, I have to clear my skin. I have to stop partying, I have to stay home every night. I mean, I went into like, fix it mode of like, how can I get this, you know, take control basically back. And I think that there is something legitimate for that. And obviously, the only thing you can control is yourself. So I buckled down like that. But I think I almost went like too far in that direction. Sometimes where I was like, I can’t I if I don’t do everything, right, like nothing’s gonna work out. And I have to stay home and I have to be super disciplined and and like, you know, there that can be extreme. Also, so because at the end of the day, there was nothing wrong with me. There, I didn’t need I mean, yes, you can advance and you can educate, you’re always growing and always evolving. But I felt like there was fundamentally something wrong with me as I was. So I kept I kept trying all of these things to to fix myself or
Scott D Clary 12:55
there was nothing really to fix.
Leven Rambin 12:59
You know, there was nothing to fix. I was enough as I was. And I was, I was, you know, growing and evolving. And everything I did, got me to the next level, but I just felt it got to a point where it was never enough. Like, it was never enough. Rehearsing or practicing, or reading or school, I still didn’t feel enough because even though I was doing all these things, and then I just sort of realized, okay, there’s nothing wrong with me. I don’t need to, it’s already there. And to all the external things is, you know, it’s just I don’t need to scramble Yeah, like this, I just just settle into like that I am enough. And I know what I’m doing.
Scott D Clary 13:42
Class and like in like, positive mental thinking, attitude, like all these things that a lot of people struggle with? And I don’t know, maybe it’s, listen, I’ve never been in I’ve never been in Hollywood. I don’t know, I’m sure that this role in particular, when you’re on screen from a young age, just in front of you know, millions of people watching your stuff that really hits you your psyche, your mentality, like your mental health is probably takes a beating. Yeah. How did you how did you get out of that? How did you get out of that? You dug your heels in, you know, you’re doing all these things to sell some proof. What brought you to the point where you realize like, Yes, you are enough, you’re good. You’re doing amazing things. You don’t have to fix everything that doesn’t even need fixing.
Leven Rambin 14:25
Um, honestly, I’d say it was like, in the last year or two years, I just sort of I was doing, I got to the place where I was, like I said, like, so I wanted, I wanted I wanted to turn to direct and right that’s, that was that was what my heart was telling me to do. But I felt like I couldn’t because I didn’t have a school. I didn’t have this and I didn’t you know, again, back back to this shit of like, It’s too hard. It’s really, you know, you know, she’s better than me. He’s better than me. They know what they’re doing, and I don’t. And so I was just sort of like, paralyzed and I was like, Hey, I gotta do something. So I went to school. When do you see delay. And that was great. And I love, you know, just that decision alone, like, sort of got, like you said, like, the momentum started with that. And when you make these little decisions for yourself, you build trust and confidence in yourself again, because you’re like, Oh, look at me, I’m willing to invest in my dream. And I’m not just gonna sit here and talk about it, or complain that it’s too hard. So I’m gonna take one little step in the direction, and then the next thing, you know, one step leads to another step, and it’s momentum. So, I guess it was, you know, when I felt like I was, you know, at this crossroads again, I was like, you know, 15 years later, where I was, like, now I want to do something new, like, I want to do this new thing, and, you know, I’m not with acting, I, you know, I’m so successful like that, I know that I can do it. And, you know, but this, I might face failure, I might feel free criticism, this, I’m not an expert at this yet, you know, I’m not a master by any means I don’t have experience. So I had to, like, challenge my own ego to in order to step into something as a beginner, at this point in my life and my career and just sort of accept that, you know, I’m gonna have to fail, I’m gonna have to make mistakes. And, you know, because I don’t feel that in acting sort of, I feel like I’m on this train, and it’s going. But with writing and directing, I was like, Oh, damn, I’m starting something as a beginner here, you know, after all of this success and stuff. So if I had to just swallow that pill and put my ego down, and my need for need for success, or validation, and just be like, this is a, this is the beginning steps. And while I feel like a veteran over here, I’m a beginner over here. But I do know a lot more than I think I do. And that has served me. So
Scott D Clary 17:00
I appreciate that, too, that the when you jump into a new field, it’s everything you’re saying is so important. And these are all these, these are all lessons that agnostic of, of your specific circumstance, people can take in and hopefully learn from when you when you started writing, directing. First of all, I’m curious, where are you at with that right now? And how did you What were the first steps you took was at UCLA that helped you start to learn about this different craft that you weren’t comfortable with?
Leven Rambin 17:31
Well, I tried it. I wrote a series last or two years ago with my friend Amber Childers, and, you know, we sort of had this, like, you know, that thing of like, we can do this, why not? It’s easy. You know, we don’t we don’t we’re doing and, you know, we did to a degree, but there was, you know, some, some structural, you know, foundation elements that would have benefited us as far as saving time. Like we didn’t, you don’t have to think about starting something new or you don’t need to make a million mistakes, because someone’s already gone before you and done it.
Scott D Clary 18:06
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Leven Rambin 20:01
And so we kind of learned the hard way on certain things, which is fine. And then at a certain point, I was like, Okay, I want to this is this is now becoming more serious of an endeavor, we had a series setup at stars, the network. And I was like, I want to go to UCLA for directing, so I can direct the show. And, and so I did that for about a year and a half. And that propelled me into all other areas. But you know, I think I don’t, so that shows like, not really going anymore. And I don’t see it as like a failure, because it got me to it. I learned so much, you know, and I learned the hard way on a lot of things like, on this next show that I’ve written. I’m like, I know what to do. I’m not going to do this, I’m going to save myself a bunch of time and money by not doing that, like, I put myself through hard knocks on that. So, you know, but now I feel so competent, so equipped, so capable, because I’ve already gone through that, and I don’t see it as a failure. Like I said, I mean, it is what it is. So, and I you know, I do watch a lot of like business, you know, Tony Robbins, and like, Yeah, Mark Cuban is my idol. And, you know, I do relate my mentality to like, a business or athlete mentality, where it’s like, you fall down, you get back up, it makes you stronger. You know, I don’t take it as, like, personally like that. I’m not good. I just I understand. Except that that’s part of the process. Yeah, I’m not like gonna fight it, or give up because I couldn’t, the first one didn’t work out. Keep going. So that’s where I’m at with that. And it’s, I’m on fire about it. So excited. And I know, it’s like, I know, now I know what to do. And it feels good to. You know, am I still scared to put it out there? Do I still have moments of hesitation and doubt and thoughts of I can’t do it, of course. But I have proven to myself now that if I just get there, if I get in my car and just go and I prepare to whatever degree I need to, like, I can do it. Am I going to feel like my clicking? You know, bodies on fire, maybe, you know, with anxiety and like, worst case scenarios, like, scrambling through my mind, yes, but I know I trust myself that like, once I’m there, I can do it. And I might, I might have to take a Xanax on the way there. You know what I mean? But
Scott D Clary 22:34
no, I feel that I feel the passion. This is something like, you know, you can tell when someone’s passionate about something, you can totally tell when something’s passionate. And, and even the fact that like, you know, you’re you’re cool with just, you’re cool with the stress, you’re cool with the anxiety. But like, you feel that you feel like those those micro wins, like those baby steps towards that next thing in your career, that’s gonna be you know, you’re gonna be super, you’re gonna be super proud of that, that’s that you took off. This is not this is, this is at the point now you’re now you’re older, you’re no longer 14, right? Like everything you’re taking on, everybody’s looking at you. And that’s a hell of a lot of stress, too. That’s a lot of stress. How? That’s impressive, very impressive. Is that where you want to look? Where do you want to take? Are you even sure where you want to take your careers? Or is this just something that you want to do for you?
Leven Rambin 23:24
Know, I think I’ve, you know, come to the point where, you know, I want I feel and I know that I have a valuable voice aside from my work as an actor, you know, where and I have been in so many people’s creative visions as, as an actor where, you know, you step onto the sun, everything from the colors, to the design, to the costumes, to the the furniture to the camera placement, it’s, I saw the mind of the director and I have that mind, like, I can create, I want to create worlds, I have a very unique, like vision and, and point of view. And so instead of just like, sitting on the set being like, Oh, I wish I was doing this, or, well, you know, this should be that way or whatever. I’m like, oh, I should just do it myself. Yeah. Okay. So I feel like I want to have like a resource I have, I just started a production company. And I just, I feel that I have relatable, you know, millennial, female, like, voice and I just want it to be out there and, you know, share, like women’s stories of things like this, you know, like, everything I’m talking about, like sort of how to overcome your own, like limiting, like, self talk and beliefs to do what it is, whatever it is that you want to do. And I think all my stories kind of, that I’ve written and directing, like, reflect the things that are important to me. And that I feel is my purpose to share, you know, and as an actor, you know, you’re not as in control of the message that’s being relayed through the film.
Scott D Clary 24:57
There’s That’s admirable. I was I was reading an interview did with I think brief take calm it was about you attending a woman and film event. And I’m curious about your your, you know, insights on why perhaps women are not at the same level as as men and feeling like they’re not holding all those senior roles and positions, what’s like getting in the way of them having more of a foothold in Hollywood and film and television in the arts? Is that accurate to say? Or is that inaccurate? I’m just curious, because you’re in this world right now.
Leven Rambin 25:37
Yeah. I mean, if you look at the data, it’s, it is accurate, you know. But I think that, you know, there’s something about that story, and that belief that is continuing to make it so. And because it’s just this thing that hasn’t been challenged. I mean, yes, the data says that, but you know, I also know men that are trying to do exactly what I’m doing and are not going well. So I think, you know, for me, I sort of got to this point where I’m like, I look at the great men or women, filmmakers of what they’ve done, and they like, got their friends together and made a movie, you know, and you don’t need anyone to tell you, you can or can’t do it, or this is bad, or this is good. You know, and I subscribe, subscribe, subscribe to that before with my other show, where I was like, This person was telling me no, and this person was telling me no, and this person has given me notes and this person, you know, so they were going to help and didn’t this networks that they were going to, you know, and, and then I was like, Wait, why am I giving my power to so many people? Why am I getting my passion to so many people? Like, why don’t I just do it myself? Like, you know, and then I have to trust that, you know, things will align to get it seen? Maybe that’s naive, I don’t know. But it’s what’s not working? Is this knocking on doors a million times and like, you know, Billy, you know, having that needing permission from someone else to do it. I production companies called permission productions. And we give it to ourselves, now making stuff and it’s on an iPhone, or it’s, but it’s us. And it’s true to us. And it’s like, the rifle are gonna see it at the right time. And I just so you know, I think that there’s creative ways that like, women, or people or young people, or old people, or whoever can make their stuff, you know, without getting it made. Which you have to do it yourself at this point. And luckily for us, like, you know, there’s so many resources that we have at our disposal. I mean, I look at John Cassavetes, and he started with a video camera and his friends and a house. And he became one of the most prolific filmmakers of all time, but he didn’t sit there with his idea and say, If only HBO would make this, no, he just made it. And then eventually, HBO wanted everything he did.
Scott D Clary 28:13
I appreciate that. And I feel that this, the fact that you’re championing this and and you are, you are empowering through the things that you do. So by by being a writer, by directing by producer, whatever you want to end up doing, by being that role model you are, you are empowering. And I think that you mentioned a few things like why, you know, why are people not just doing? Well, I think it’s that apprehension, right? It’s that it’s that imposter syndrome. Is that, yeah, that people can’t, they can’t do it. And you need more people like yourself, that just do it, because they know they can because they’ve achieved some level of success. Maybe it’s given confidence, whatever it may be, that allows me to do it, that I think will help will help sort of pave the way for others. That’s so
Leven Rambin 29:00
Nice. I, you know, I appreciate that. And, you know, I think I look at myself, and I’m like, Okay, I’ve had a certain level of success, but you don’t even need that. You don’t even need that like to in order to get started. Like that’s what most people wait for is like, well, once I’m successful here, then I can actually do or once I, you know, do you know, but you like my my friend that I’m writing with, like, who wrote an incredible script. I mean, with me. I had to kick her ass like mentally, like the entire way because she couldn’t do it. She was too tired. It was too emotional. You know, she didn’t know what she was doing. She was terrible. She, you know, doubted herself every fucking step of the way. And I had to literally be like, I am not going to coddle you. I believe in you and I would not be here wasting my time and investing my time in this in so get it together because I am not and we shouldn’t wrote an amazing thing. And now she feels like unlimited. And she’s like, Oh my God, if I could do that, and didn’t think I could, and I’m like, this was a masterclass and like, watching her go from the the K hole that she was in about herself, to literally like, whoa, whoa, oh my god, if I could do this, then then and then that I could do that and making like, huge decisions and other areas of her life. But it wasn’t based on the success that she’s already had. She’s She’s, she’s just got out of school, like she’s had no success, she has like $15 in her life, you know, and, but like, you know, all she needed was that like mindset change and someone to believe in her. And, you know, that happened to be me. And so I would not like let her give up on herself because of her own stuff. Like I and it was like watching that transformation of within a month’s time. Like, it was incredible. So now I’m like, Wow, you really don’t need that success. First, you just need either someone or yourself to believe in you like that. And not let you? Yeah.
Scott D Clary 31:12
No, I was gonna say, you know, you have to do you see this a lot in San Francisco and startup land Silicon Valley, you have these incubators, that, that give those people that access, right, you need to do you need to do something like that, for women in film, not
Leven Rambin 31:29
to Yeah, that would be amazing. Because, again, you don’t need success. You don’t need money, you don’t need any of the things that people tell you that you need. And it’s literally just yeah, like, I would love to do that. That’s a really good idea. And like, people have been like, why don’t podcast and I’m like, I don’t feel like, you know, I’m like, I know what my passion is. And I know what my area of interest is. And for me, it’s not podcast. So maybe it would be something that’s like, you know, hands on with people,
Scott D Clary 32:03
I think I think you know, just just take what you did there, take that, take that woman that you helped out and then get that get and then you get her to help someone else out. And that’s what that’s how an incubator started doesn’t have to be so formal, like, you know, maybe it gets big enough, it does get formalized. But at the start, like if you have the time, it’s all the time, right. But if you have the time, I think that would be a really, really cool initiative to take on because you start a podcast, right? And you do whatever you want. I like doing podcasts. I like interviewing people. Right? But I you know, I don’t I, I do my own thing for businesses, I help them out. I’ve worked with entrepreneurs before. But you got to do this for you got to do this for film, you got to do this type of of incubator, lab, startup group, whatever you want to call it for film. And you just you have that. Like, it’s just me saying, yes, you can. Well, you know what?
Leven Rambin 32:58
I’ll do it. I don’t care.
Scott D Clary 33:01
Accountability people and people are like, lose weight or whatnot. Their personal trainers, they call them they tell them what they ate. That’s it.
Leven Rambin 33:10
It’s just me telling you yes. And I’m not taking your excuses at home. I don’t care. But you know, you’d be surprised how hopeful that is? And like I you know, so yeah, we’ll see maybe next time next year. Excellent.
Scott D Clary 33:23
That’s the next one. All right. That was really good. No, I appreciate that. I won. When I first started, you know, when I, when I wanted to do this podcast, I wasn’t sure where which direction, it would go in what you want to speak about. But I really appreciate this is really, really good. With this one, I’m really, really happy with it. I wanted to ask, like some life insight questions that I’d like to ask at, you know, sort of to close it off, but before was there anything that you wanted to speak about that you’re working on now the passionate about now that we didn’t really go into? Um,
Leven Rambin 34:01
you know, I guess my just my writing and directing like I you know, I love my acting, and I have, you know, worked with incredible, like, I worked with David Fincher this year, and that was a dream of mine. Always. And I would love to work with him again. And I think, I don’t know, you just have to wait and see you have a lot more coming. Coming out and, and experimenting with, you know, all kinds of stuff. So you’ll see.
Scott D Clary 34:30
All right, well, you know what that means? You got to do another one in a year. When you have the the Women in Film empowerment incubator set up? Yeah. Yeah. All the writing the directing all that stuff. All right. That’s cool. I appreciate that. All right. Let’s go through some of these you do more more or less like rapid fire however you want to answer them. What is one of the biggest one of the biggest challenges that you’ve had in your career and how did you learn from it?
Leven Rambin 34:56
Oh, I mean, I think like, twofold. This is like, the biggest challenge I had was, how do I, I would look at, you know, an actor like Natalie Portman or Jessica Chasteen? And be like, Okay, how do they do that? Like, what, what, how? And I didn’t know, you know, I knew what I knew, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And I wanted to know, and I think I went to, I went to acting school, you know, and even if I don’t use any of that stuff today, which I do, but just just, you know, taking that step, like I said, to learn that, and expand myself and challenge myself and always be challenging myself, gave me you know, invaluable education, but also a sense that I can, I can get better, and I and there is more to be done. And I been I wanted to stretch past my own comfort zone. And my own acting, I guess, is what I could say. And I think the biggest challenge I’ve had is just my own, holding myself back or comparing, you know, myself to people, and that’s a daily struggle still, and of like, oh, how would she do it? Or what is she doing? Or he wouldn’t, you know, and I have to constantly remind myself, like, I don’t want to be her, I want to be me. And who I am is not, you know, who they are. And I’m, you know, weird and quirky, and talk like a sailor and have a sense of humor and don’t really give a shit. And that’s, that’s who I am. I’m not I can’t be Grace Kelly. Like, that’s not who I am. So, but that’s taken me a long time to come home to also so and you know, staying in my lane and, and not the comparing and the feeling less than and that has been the biggest challenge for me, which I’m, I know everyone faces, which breaks my heart. But every time I have that impulse, I remind myself to just lean into who I am even more. Because I look, the people that I do admire are so unique and original and unapologetic, unapologetically themselves and me trying to be like them is not serving me. So I it’s a practice to be like, whenever I have the impulse to compare or, or, you know, my mind spins about how someone else would do something. I just go no, like, how do I do it? And what do I like? And I have to practice it all the time. And it is getting easier.
Scott D Clary 37:46
Very good. Good. Yeah, very good. Where do you go to to learn and to stay on top of what you want to take on?
Leven Rambin 37:58
You know, I went to UCLA directing program, which was incredible. I always want to be in a classroom actually. I just always do. And I always know. But I, I there’s there’s a class and a book and a community for every thing that you want to learn. And, you know, I don’t think it’s like, sometimes it’s not like sitting at home and watching a masterclass. Sometimes it’s like, getting in a thing that’s uncomfortable for you. You know, a group of people have a new skill that you know, you’re gonna fail at. I’m always seeking those kinds of things out. See, even if I don’t pursue it or do it, I learned something. And I stretched my comfort zone. So I think I’m going to do a comedy class this month, because I’ve always been told I can’t do comedy, and then I believe that so I didn’t. But now I’m like, wait, I want to and I think I’m funny. And that would be fun for me. Who cares? So I’m, I’m going to be in a comedy class of zoom people. And we’ll see how that goes.
Scott D Clary 39:08
Good for you. Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. And you know what? That’s that’s another just like, if somebody says you can’t do it, just prove them wrong. And doesn’t matter if you don’t want to do it long term. Just prove them wrong. Yeah, exactly. There, you know.
Leven Rambin 39:20
Yeah. And if it turns out not to be my strength, or my who cares. At least I like you’ll get something from it. Yeah.
Scott D Clary 39:27
You’ll know and won’t be someone else like imposing that.
Leven Rambin 39:31
Yeah, something that I bought that they said, like, yeah. challenging that? Yeah.
Scott D Clary 39:39
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into acting?
Leven Rambin 39:45
Oh, man. Oh, my brain goes to don’t. But no, that’s not true. I guess you know, it’s such a cliche, like, thing of like, just work hard and don’t give up. It’s like, Yeah, but like, make sure you’re always taking care of yourself, you know, and that your self worth, and is not dependent upon, you know, making it as an actor, always have money always have, you know, another job or something that, you know, facilitates that and Hi. And yeah, just just always be just making stuff again, like, you don’t have to be hired by a by someone to make something you don’t have to wait until you have an agent and the whole rigmarole, you know, find opportunities to. To act. Yeah, because of the momentum. You know, the momentum that you’re like, Oh, I’m acting, and if I hear one more person, like, it’s not a big, it’s nothing really, it’s not a big deal. Shut up. You know, it is a big deal. Like, you’re acting in a student film where you wrote something, and you’re filming it? And, oh, yeah, well, it’s not good, like, stop talking down about yourself and about every, every opportunity that you get, that’s not a Marvel movie, like you, you have to believe in those little steps and be super excited about those. Because, you know, that’s the momentum that’s gonna get you, wherever, one day, so, you know, take these little steps and see all of your wins, and to be brave enough to like, even if you feel overweight, or you feel like you’re not pretty enough, or you I mean, it doesn’t matter anymore. That’s what’s beautiful about this industry right now. And the world and media is that, like, nobody wants to look the same anymore. It’s not cool to, to, to try to be like skinny and perfect, and it’s just not people want real. And so anyone can be a star, anyone and everyone has the same, you know, like, look at, you know, the girls on Broad City, or they don’t, they’re not like fitting into this cookie cutter bullshit. And so you don’t have to be that and if that’s the image that you have, that you need to be in order to act like you’re shooting yourself in the foot. So that would be it’s just like start acting and have a vision of where you want to go but still don’t you know, beat yourself up for every little thing that you get that’s not that like see that as the path to get there. And yeah, stay stay humble, and learning and growing.
Scott D Clary 42:51
What would be a lesson that you would tell your younger self?
Leven Rambin 42:56
Ah, baby girl lesson you don’t need everyone to like you at all. Like stop wasting so much energy, mental physical, emotional energy in trying to have everyone like you. Because it’s you lose yourself when you do that. And I think I was on a lot of sets and a lot of meetings and a lot of trying to be someone I wasn’t for the imaginary version of myself I thought that they wanted and I think I you know, my confidence suffered because I was trying to be, you know, something besides me because I thought I needed everyone to like me. Like, you don’t as long as you like you, and you know that that’s at the end of the day. So that’s one
Scott D Clary 44:01
that’s a good lesson. You can keep you keep going if you want but that was a good one. You don’t have to have more than that. That’s a tough one sometimes. But yeah, yeah. And this is the this is the last one before I just get all your socials a ticket probably just pull up on my on my computer right now. But what does success mean to you?
Leven Rambin 44:26
To be one. I mean, it’s meant a lot of different things to me over the years, it’s meant money, it’s meant you know, achieving certain goals. But once you achieve those goals, and you have that money, you know, you sort of wonder what now and so, I think success for me is like facing my fears. And, you know, facing my Yeah, my fears of failing and doing it anyway, and the fulfillment and pride that I feel in myself after I, after I do that. Yeah, that’s all you can hope for, I think, and the success, the money, the all of that comes after you face those fears, because you, you’re doing it at that point. So I feel successful. Because I am super happy and proud of the work I’m doing and do. And, you know, if I held what I’m doing now up to the lens of success that I had five years ago, I would be failing. So it’s, you know, I think, also to be happy with just like, so little. Just minimalism in life, I think that’s success, because then you can’t, you can’t lose like, I’m super, I, you know, I live in a really cute apartment, like, I just love the things that I have, and don’t have more than I want or need. And that, to me is success. Because I have overcome that, that belief that I need a bunch of stuff in order to be successful. And so now I just feel free, more free. And my mind is more free and my physical space is more free, and I don’t need anything in order to feel happy. So freedom is success to me.
Scott D Clary 46:35
Very good answer. Very good answer. All right. That’s all I got. Oh, yeah. So on social you’re easier. You’re 11 Rubin at everywhere. So Twitter, Instagram. I don’t know if you have a Facebook page. I’m sure I do. Okay, good. Good.
Leven Rambin 46:52
It’s also 11 Random, believe it or not.
Scott D Clary 46:54
All right there. And where do people go to find new stuff that you’re working on? Is there another site or is that it?
Leven Rambin 47:02
I my Instagram, I keep it pretty up to date. The big ugly is now available on iTunes and Amazon. Yeah, that’s where you can find the update.
Scott D Clary 47:14
That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch his podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes. It takes about 30 seconds as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast signing off