Gina Theresa Williamson

Unbranded

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I gave a lot of thought to this idea of a "brand." You hear it all the time in Los Angeles: "Know your brand," "What's your brand?" "I don't see your brand."

I was born in Texas and raised on a horse farm, so the concept of a brand is both familiar and yet utterly foreign to me in the way it is used in this business. We branded our horses so they couldn't be stolen, but this is LA. All we do is steal. Or "borrow heavily from source material," as the saying goes. We reboot, revamp, restructure, recycle, and refresh and call it new. I'm sure you have come across the cliche "Every great story has already been told," and while many tropes might feel tired, this quote, like many things repeated enough to be accepted as truth, is wrong. Or rather, misleading. Sure, the great motivators have all been explored - Love, revenge, loss, celebration - but motivation is not what makes the story. Stories are formed within the constructs of perspective, and perspective is limited only by the experiences of those of us who perceive.  

I spent the majority of my late teens and early 20s as a vagabond; drifting from country to country, touring as a musician, working as a storyteller, moving cattle across the mountains of Wyoming and Montana, and all points and jobs in between. This unscripted way of life left its own indelible mark on my perspective. A mark which is neither relied upon, nor neglected, but rather left to breathe its own life on stage or screen, wholly separate and still wholly integrated. Through these two lives, I have learned how to use my voice, and that stillness is the only place they can co-exist.

 

Of course I didn't learn these lessons on my own. As lucky as I am to have lived this life, I'm twice as fortunate to have been accompanied along the way by a wealth of mentors, other gifted-as-hell actors, patient friends, and teachers who refused to entertain excuses. For better or worse, it is for them I am most thankful. Without them, I would not have known what it meant to grow. Without them, I don't think I would have the confidence to move through this work or this life as I do: unbranded.


 

 
 

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