We got to talk with fellow creative and actress Kelsey Gooden about what sparked her love affair with words, how poetry affects her acting process, and advice for creatives. She let us in on how she starts every day and what mistake she’s seeing all over social media.
Ever wonder what actresses really do? How do they get into entirely different mental zones within a script? From acting to poetry and writing, Kelsey Gooden gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her creative process and how she uses outside inspiration to grow her craft.
little infinite: Introduce the li tribe to what you do and your creative spirit.
Kelsey Gooden: Hey there! I’m Kelsey and I’m an actor, poet and am currently getting a new acting blog off the ground! So as you can see, I have a serious love of words and writing. I discovered acting when I was about 7 or 8 and a few short years later, poetry found me. The bravery and openness required to express raw, honest, vulnerable emotions has always been the key ingredient in keeping my love affair with words alive. Hearing, feeling, and at times experiencing such a wide variety of emotions and perspectives through studying words has been a beautiful way to spend my life so far. Acting allows me to access and experience the emotions of characters through performance. While blogging and poetry allow me to express myself. I started sharing my poetry a few years back and though I don’t share too often, it’s the most freeing and empowering feeling writing it.
“Hearing, feeling, and at times experiencing such a wide variety of emotions and perspectives through studying words has been a beautiful way to spend my life so far.”Kelsey Gooden, @itsallgooden
li: What was the first moment you knew that poetry was going to be one of the writing styles for you? How did you get introduced to poetry?
KG: I’m not sure if there’s one specific moment when I knew I would use poetry as a form of self-expression. What I am certain of is that I discovered I enjoyed writing in elementary school when I was first introduced to poetry. Love at first stanza…Okay, I promise my writing isn’t as bad as my jokes.
li: Being an actress you understand the intense relationship between words and dialogue. How does your love of poetry and writing affect acting? How do you think it affects your relationship with scripts?
KG: I feel loving writing, and poetry enhances my ability to interpret dialogue in a wide range of ways. Language in whatever form– books, poetry, writing– expands your knowledge and your world. Honestly, the more you write, the more you see that emotions and possibilities really are endless.
li: If you could describe your creative process in 3 words what would it be? What gets you in the mindset to create?
KG: Impulsive, instinctive, influenced. Creating just comes through life experiences for me. Whenever I come across new, vivid emotions, writing is my first form of processing. If the thought to create poetry or a new blog entry comes, I do my best to let it flow. Wine, candles, and some Motown classics don’t hurt the process either!
li: When you’re working through your creative writing process, which step is the most crucial for you? Which is the most frustrating?
KG: The most crucial is the accuracy of the words because I want to evoke emotion as close to what I experienced as possible. The most frustrating step is beginning, that’s the part that requires the most bravery and honesty. It forces me to look in the mirror and process what I’m going through. And sometimes, it’s pretty scary.
li: What is a valuable mistake you learned from as a professional in a creative industry? If you could give an up-and-coming creative one piece of advice what would you tell them?
KG: Frankly, I think we’re all seeing what the biggest mistake is in creative industries all over TV and the internet and social media just now. When you’re not authentic and genuinely honest with yourself, it always comes back to haunt you. You always get further with honesty and openness than you do with trying to hide who you are for acceptance or success. That would be the same thing I’d tell any new creative, know yourself and allow everyone else to too. Your soul is worth sharing.
“That would be the same thing I’d tell any new creative: Know yourself and allow everyone else to, too. Your soul is worth sharing.”-Kelsey Gooden, @itsallgooden
li: What are three pieces of art or literature that have influenced you most? How have they inspired you?
KG: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – This I read at a point in my life when it just really hit home. The simplicity of the story that got the message across was as beautiful to me as the protagonist’s journey itself.
Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou – I mean hello…do I even need to explain? Maya Angelou’s work was and will remain raw, honest, and groundbreaking and I absolutely can’t imagine my life as a woman without this work of art in the world. It changed all I thought I was.
Valerie by Amy Winehouse – Again, there’s a simplicity and rawness to this side of Amy Winehouse expressed in the song but it’s through an uplifting and energizing performance that we rarely got to see of her. To me, I’ve just always loved that this showed layers and levels to her artistry that were different from what we typically expected, so brave.
li: What does the structure of your workweek look like as a creative? How do you stay focused as a someone with a more creative and entrepreneurial profession? Any tips?
KG: My workweek is always up in the air but I try to structure my days as much as possible to keep me focused, though it doesn’t always work. Setting reminders, alarms, and to-do lists always helps me hold myself accountable. My days start with prayer and some mindfulness reflection before I even leave bed to help me gauge my energy for the day. Then checking the to-do list comes next and what happens after that depends on what I have to do that day. But my days almost always include time for a workout, looking for acting jobs online for a few hours, and time in front of the TV for inspiration if possible!
li: What are your goals for your art this year? Do you have a creative bucket list you’re working toward? What larger impact would you like your art to make?
KG: My goals for art this year are just to explore my artistry as much as possible and become more vocal and honest about it. I believe art is meant to be shared and experienced with others so I’d like to get better at opening up and sharing my work, in poetry, in acting, and on the blog. You never know who needs to hear what you have to say, so always share your voice!
As far as a bucket list, I’d love to make a poetry book or a poetry Instagram where people can stumble across my thoughts and hopefully find something that resonates with them when they need it most.