Meet Natalie Smyka

 

Natalie Smyka is  our featured member of the month. She has been with us since last September, when she started bringing her younger son in to get work done at Collab&Play. Natalie is  an actress turned filmmaker and mother of two boys.

Tell us about the work you do:

This year, I voiced the character of Linda on Comedy Central’s Jeff and Some Aliens.  I just finished production on a short I co-produced called Oleander Vs. The Man starring Jennifer LaFluer, Emily Robinson and Peri Gilpin. I am releasing a nine episode web series I wrote and directed while I was pregnant called ThreadBare on YouTube, and I’m currently writing a feature I hope to direct next year. 

What is your best piece of advice you would like to share?

As an artist the best piece of advice I can give is to find ways to protect yourself from the poison of resentment. Find a way work for the love of it, surround yourself with people who remain positive, and stay actively involved in the community. Even though balancing work and motherhood can be exhausting, I do my best to mediate, remain grateful for what I have, and find inspiration in my life. Also, copious amounts of coffee.

When not at Collab&Play, how are you most likely spending your time?

When not writing at Collab&Play or working on set, I’m usually on an adventure with the kids. One weekend day is spent catching up on laundry and laying low, and the other one we choose something new and different to do. Often we find ourselves ordering pizza and having a picnic in Griffith Park.

Share some fun facts about yourself

  • I’m half-Cuban.
  • I dance flamenco.
  • I went to NYU.
  • I was raised in Michigan.
  • I’m a terrible nailbiter.
  • I’m a huge fan of Project Runway.
  • I am obsessed with Jalapeño Poppers and will eat pretty much any quality of them.
  • I’m a one song at a time kind of girl. I download a song I like and listen to it on repeat, over and over, until I hate it. Then I move on.