Masiela Lusha can be introduced in several ways. Some remember her for her role in Sharknado 4 while others remember her as an author who “stalks the truth” through her poems.
As an author who describes her poems as modern, Masiela considers time to be “the true ambassadors of an era”. As she writes in her poem “Poets”, she says,
We [Poets] labor in our muse
Into Our Hearts
The actor believes that acting and poetry go hand in hand. She always tries to find something tangible in the activities she gets involved in. While acting gives her a chance to explore different worlds, poetry allows her to provide a closure to each chapter and move onto a new one.
Her fans also know that the actor cum author is a big foodie. Her style is International when it comes to cooking and she is always up for experimentation.
The author is set to release a collection of poetry called “The Living Air” on 19th November.
This collection is the poet’s reflection on her life as she has lived it. CelebMix got a chance to interview Masiela over Skype:
Masiela, the fame of The George Lopez show is well-known. But we would like to hear from you, how did your journey start?
Before I moved to Los Angeles, I didn’t quite understand what acting was.I was completely removed from the industry. I didn’t understand what any of that meant at 11 years old or 12 years old and then an agent came at mid-west and was looking for new faces. He ended up in my hometown. It was an open call. Six hundred people attended the open call and I was one of the three kids he picked to take back to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
So, in a week my mother started packing bags and my mother and I started a completely new life in LA and we never looked back.
So, how was your experience at The George Lopez show?
Everything was so new to me as I was very young and it was my first major project that I was in. I have worked with Ben Affleck and in a music video ‘Hands Clean’ so, I had some experience but this was definitely the largest project I have had. You know, I learned on the job, I learned from scratch about the industry, what it means to have a table read, a run-through and all the technicalities of a TV show. I feel fortunate as I was very young to learn this from some of the best people from the industry and even today, I consider these people as my mentors.
For example, the creator of the show. I consider him my guiding light in the industry as for professionalism and how to believe in your craft, pursue it and hone it.
Masiela, we were reading reviews of your new book The Living Air. It’s a poetry collection. Please tell us something about it.
I always feel a little vulnerable talking about my poetry as it is a diary entry to some degree. It’s my life wrapped in frenzied little poems. They cover my acting career as well, my love, my friendships and just redefining myself over the years.
These poems were collected from the time I was seventeen years old following my last collection of poetry called “Drinking the Moon” up until now at 30.
So, poetry is quite important to you in the sense that you described it as a sort of diary entry. How would you define it? Would you like to keep your poems under some genre?
My poetry, I consider it to be more modern especially as I grow older, I developed my craft more. But initially, when I first started out at 16 years old, I practised various technical forms, rhyming similar to Robert Frost and then I realised that one that speaks to me the most is the free verse, the blank verse where I don’t have to rhyme. I can just express myself in figures of speech that are broad enough for the readers to use it for their own like but at the same time, very specific for my own personal experience.At this stage of life, I would consider my poetry to be more modern.
In my collection, I also have poems I have translated by Mother Teresa.I felt like that one gift I can give to the society as far by pulling out her beautiful words and meditations for everyone to read in the United States because the United States has been so wonderful to me. It has saved my life and it’s the least I can do, to translate the poems for them.
Masiela, do you have a favorite poet?
Yes, I actually do. I am inspired by a broad range of styles of poets but my ultimate favorite to this day, I feel restored whenever I read his poetry is Yusef Komunyakaa. Yusef Komunyakaa is an American poet, also very modern. His words are very strong. His visions are palpable, so tangible that you can feel it. It’s like the experience I have never had before. I always go back to his poems whenever I want to feel inspired or restored to some degree.
Masiela, as we know that modernist writings go back and forth in time. A reflection on what has gone and contemplating about it in the present. Does your poetry do that?
I think poetry is one of the true ambassadors of time because poetry can truly define an era based on the language of that era, on the sentiments, on the undercurrents of the emotions aren’t clear enough because taboo won’t allow it to come on the surface but it still exists. I think poetry is able to capture the nuances of society in a way that other forms of art struggle to that degree, to that depth.
Out of all the mediums I have studied, I definitely consider poetry to be most transparent. Therefore, the ambassador of time.
So, you might be aware of Slam Poetry. People nowadays, perform poetry. What do you think about it?
I think it’s beautiful. It adds another element to the poem. To hear the author’s voice and rhythm is part of the poem itself. Usually, when the author is talented enough, you can sense the rhythm they are trying to convey. Compared to the black and white text, when the presenter of the poem presents it and by present I mean performing it, it really adds another layer to the poem and it turns it something bigger than the black and white text. I love it.
I am the true advocate of the slam poetry because the rhythm, the cadence, and pronunciation of each word become clear with these slam poetry readings. I think that’s another example of how poem truly reflects time.
If you had to choose one of your poems for slam poetry, which poem would it be?
I would say “Hardest To Forgive”. Even the way it’s written, the way it’s laid down on the page, I intended it to seem like a heartbeat. So, the lines are small and they expand out like a heartbeat.
It would be interesting to see how that would translate when the words are vocalised when they are presented verbally.
Masiela, we have noticed that you do your work with an intention to do contribute to the society. Please elaborate on that. Do you have any set goals in mind?
I guess it pulls back into my past when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I was a refugee and my earliest memory of leaving my beautiful country is being on a bus, being surrounded by the strangers some of them refugees and some of them were volunteers. I later found out that these volunteers were American volunteers from Red Cross and they had inserted themselves in the bus to stand by the windows in case there was a bombing because we had a continuous threat. It was during a very difficult, political turmoil.
These volunteers have put their lives on the line for complete strangers. I don’t know why but to this day, it still makes me feel restless if I cannot contribute to some degrees. I owe my life to these complete strangers. If I am not able to contribute to some degrees, I feel like I have wasted their efforts. I never feel it’s enough but everything I do I do it with purpose, with some form of healing. I cannot hold on to it, I have to give it back to them. America has saved me on so many different levels.
Masiela, would you like to share with us your upcoming projects?
I filmed one of the most rewarding projects of my career so far. It’s called “Forgotten Evil” and it’s from the same director, the director of Sharknado but it’s a completely different genre. It revolves around a character. She has moved away from her dad, she wakes up from the coma and she has no recollection of her past, her family. She cannot even recognize her face in the mirror. She is completely effaced. Whatever experiences she had, she cannot pinpoint what it was and she has to build her identity from grounds up and find a new family.
It’s a tragic story but what I loved about it that it offered a sense of healing. I think that’s what art needs to do. It can exist only with humanity. It cannot live in its own world without impacting society and the world.
There are definitely people in this world, people like me who are effaced and have to reestablish their identities as to who they are. I think this film kind of forces them to face that and kind of heal the process and that’s why it felt like one of the most rewarding projects.