Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us
Back again with the FINAL Passion Piece Feature of the year! Before we dive in, I have to thank you all for embracing and reading these features every month! Some of these Passion Piece Features have been some of the most viewed posts from the blog since I got started in May and it makes my heart burst with joy knowing you enjoy reading about these amazing individuals as much as I love getting to share them with you!
I’m SO happy to finish out the year featuring a wonderful friend of mine and incredible artist, Mackenzie Moyer! Here’s a bit about Mackenzie in her own words:
“My name is Mackenzie Moyer, and I am a recent grad of DeSales University (class of 2020 woohoo!), where I earned my B.A. in Theatre. When I am not acting, you can find me running my business (Some Wandearrings, LLC), playing Dungeons & Dragons, or writing. When I am acting, I am usually kicking butt in period dramas, dabbling in witchcraft, or annoying my stage husband in high comedy. My special skills include breathing in a corset, a reliable nose whistle, and being able to perform the famed dance move: The Worm.”
Yes, all of that is just as incredible as it sounds. This girl *full stop.* DOES. IT. ALL. She does it all, and she does it all WELL! She’s an incredibly talented actress, writer, model, and a freaking small business owner!!! I’ve known Mackenzie for 4+ years now, and I have always admired her for the hard work, dedication, and passion she pours into literally everything that she does. I have worked alongside her, watched her work from afar (is that creepy? let’s go with no), and the drive she possesses truly is just unreal. This girl gets shit done. On top of all that, the zest and excitement Mackenzie has for life, especially the little things in life, is so admirable and inspiring. She fights for what she believes in, she fights for others who may not be able to fight for themselves, and always leads with her good-natured heart. She has been there with me and for me in some of the best and worst moments of our college careers and for that, I am so grateful.
When the pandemic hit, Mackenzie took her creativity into another amazing venture: owning her own business, Some Wandearrings. She makes STUNNING hand-made and hand-painted earrings inspired by classical art and natural beauty (two things this woman literally embodies) and is committed to raising and donating money to various organizations helping the fight for racial justice. I’ve watched her and this business grow exponentially over the last few months, and the impact she has made and continues to make is astounding. This time has been extremely difficult for artists, but it has been so beautiful to watch my colleagues and friends, especially ones like Mackenzie, coming into their own and finding additional spaces in which their passions lie.
Here is our chat!
Who are you, where are you from, and where are you spending your time these days?
I’m Mackenzie! I’m from the Philly suburbs, and I’m currently living with my parents in PA to ride out this pandemic!
What are you currently doing for work, if anything?
HA. Well, I have been doing a lot of little things off and on, as the restrictions ebb and flow. I have a part-time retail job, I run a jewelry business (the biggie), and I have another part-time job at a local paint-and-sip place! My jewelry business (Some Wandearrings, LLC) was started in June as a way to raise money for the BLM movement, and has since become a small business, and an on-going way to monetarily donate to BIPOC organizations, while also keeping me busy and employed. I have always loved making things with my hands (I’m an avid crafter), and getting to share my jewelry with people and feel their support has been a great blessing. Plus, owning a small business has opened my eyes to a whole new section of the economy, cultivated a new skill set, and given me a whole new community! It has been equal parts exhausting and rewarding, and I am very thankful.
Tell me a little about your journey as a performer and how it has brought you to where you are today?
I grew up in an athletic household (read: my parents ran marathons for fun. Marathons. As in plural.), but from a very young age I was drawn to singing, writing, and performance. I both sang in church choir AND was on a travel soccer team for a lot of my childhood (#versatile), but late middle school into high school I transitioned into solely the arts. I was lucky enough to have always known what I wanted to do! I got my degree in theatre from DeSales University, and “graduated” this past May (we all know the reason for the quotes). While my degree is in Musical Theatre, I feel much more called to TV/Film work and straight plays, especially classical and period plays (or fresh adaptations of classical tropes)! As is the story with many performers, my career is kinda on hold right now, save for some online theatre (which has been quite rewarding, even though challenging and strange).
If you can, list for me your top 5 passions- no matter what they are!
My first and foremost passion is performance and acting. It’s just something I can’t imagine not doing.
Writing – when I was a little girl, I also wanted to be a writer, and would write lots of poems and stories in my free time. I don’t do it as often now, but it’s still a hobby I very much enjoy.
Painting & crafting – I took up painting in high school as a hobby and picked it back up in the pandemic when I started my business! I’m also a sucker for a good collage.
Dungeons & Dragons – I started playing in college, and now I just want to play 24/7. It’s collaborative fantasy storytelling – it’s so fun and is so tied into what I do as a performer anyways. It’s just the best.
Period dramas. I said what I said. Catch me talking about Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Little Women, and the like any day of the week.
Does the work you are currently doing fall into the same category as any of those passions?
My jewelry business is alllll about the hand painted earrings! It’s been really fun to delve back into painting (especially such small and detailed work!) and get to share it with so many people in such a personal way. In terms of acting and performing, I have been lucky to get the chance to participate in several readings and online productions – I am currently playing Jo March in a four-person adaptation of Little Women (by the brilliant Heather Chrisler). So, I am still flexing those actor muscles as much as I can while lying in wait!
What has been inspiring you in a time where we are seeing so much change in the world/our industry?
I have loved seeing my friends and fellow creatives create their own Youtube channels, podcasts, start their own businesses, mount their own virtual shows. It’s been a blessing to see people put themselves out there in a time where I think so many of us feel limited and stifled. It’s an act of bravery, and it brings so much joy.
What are some things you like to do in your down time to foster your passions, so they stay just as alive as your work?
Honestly? I’ve been watching a lot of TV (it keeps me company while I paint and craft) which is something I never used to have time for or want to do. It has kept me excited about the industry and helped me figure out the type of work I want to pursue post-pandemic (of note: Hulu’s The Great, Netflix’s Anne with an E, and, of course, Fleabag). In terms of non-performance related shtuff, I play D&D with pals, peruse Pinterest (for inspiration for future projects), and journal or write.
What are your top 3 goals in your life/work?
1. Be a truly decent person – which seems like an obvious goal, but I believe it takes genuine effort and intellectual/emotional investment to be good. It’s easy to be kind, it’s harder to be good. I wasn’t originally going to put this as one of my goals for this question, but I think it’s important to speak on the belief in human beings to grow and evolve and learn and acknowledge that it takes work.
2. Work steadily as a performer on material I care about, with people I care about. I have specific goals and ideals about what kind of work (i.e.: period film/tv pieces, Shakespeare, new adaptations of classical styles, etc.), and I have big, outlandish goals (star in a Broadway play, be in an Oscar-winning film), but if I can pay the bills and have a laugh off stage or on set with friends, then I think I trust that.
3. Write something really good and put it out into the world. I’m not sure yet what it will be – a book of poetry, a one-woman show, a novel. But one of my childhood dreams was to be an author, and I think I have it in me yet.
What does your self-care routine look like?
Well, it used to look very different, and I am sure it will look very different again when the pandemic is over. Recently (it’s about to get real here), I’ve been struggling with lack of motivation, seasonal depression, and all that fun stuff that winter and darkness and isolation can bring us. So, anyone out there feeling this way – you aren’t alone! BUT despite those feelings, almost every day I go for a long walk around my neighborhood and listen to a D&D podcast. It’s my time to get out of the house, get some exercise, and get my mind off of whatever is troubling me. I also bake a lot, and I have been watching TV like crazy like I mentioned above. I also journal pretty frequently, which is not only helpful, but will be such a gift to be able look back on such a monumental time in my life and the world.
What advice do you have for anyone struggling to make the time for their passions in their life?
Right now, it’s a pandemic. So my advice now is different from what my pre-pandemic (or post-pandemic) advice would be. Right now? Do what you gotta do to get through it. For real.
That being said, even if you can’t actively pursue your passions right now, for whatever reason, what seeds can you sow that you can reap the benefits from post-pandemic? What skills can you learn, plans can you make, habits can you form, vision boards can you meditate on? (Listen, I love me a Pinterest board.)
I am usually ALL ABOUT the grind. I love being busy, I’m ambitious, I’m motivated. But in this season, at this moment, I’m moving slowly. I’m listening to my body, to my gut. I’m learning to swim in these feelings of uncertainty and fear and frustration instead of letting them drown me. I’m pushing myself when appropriate. But unprecedented times call for new tactics, new ways of living. Find your new tactics, invest in them, and then allow yourself to get excited for what’s to come when we emerge on the other side.
As I am writing this post and re-reading Mackenzie’s responses, I can assure you that I am in awe right along with you. What a beautiful way to end this post, and an even more beautiful and inspiring way to end this chapter of Passion Piece Features. I feel so lucky to get to read these responses, connect with new friends, and reconnect with old ones. Mackenzie is absolutely right, we are all learning, growing, and adapting to this brand-new way of life and we continue to do so within every new season the universe hands us. May you all do what you can to get through and know you’ve got people here to hold you up if/when you need it.
A huge thank you to Mackenzie for her time and energy! Check her and her business out on Instagram @mackenzie_moyer, @somewandearrings, and check out her actor website at http://www.mackenzie-moyer.com!
Stay tuned for the LAST BLOG POSTS OF 2020 coming your way soon!
Love you all!