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Conversations with the Inspiring Magdalena Callie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Magdalena Callie.

Magdalena, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Visiting America was always one of my biggest dreams. As a teenager, growing up in Poland, I never would have thought that one day I would not only travel to the U.S., but I would also live in beautiful and sunny California. I came to the U.S. in 2006 and spent my first year in Boston as an Au Pair. After the initial culture shock, I quickly adapted and thoroughly enjoyed living on the East Coast. I started to think and dream in English and when my year was up, I knew I needed to stay longer to explore the West Coast. Luckily, I was able to transfer to San Diego and instantly fell in love with this beautiful city and its surroundings.

For many years, I focused on my professional career and I worked in banking while attending college at the same time. My goal was to get a marketing job in the entertainment industry. A year and a half ago, I took a risk and left my safe and stable job at a bank to pursue my passions and education full-time. I graduated from SDSU and explored new interests and hobbies. While I was already passionate about motorcycles, all of a sudden, I had more time to ride the scenic roads and make many new friends along the way. My life mostly revolves around motorcycles and acting these days. Both passions require consistent learning and pursuit because the more training you have, the better the outcome.

My adventure with the film industry started in December 2018 when I replied to an extra casting call on Facebook. I still remember how nervous, intrigued and excited I was on set that day. After we wrapped, I knew that I wanted to become a part of the industry, not just on the marketing side, but now also on the creative side.

2019 was a year of adventure, challenges and changes. I graduated with a Business Management and Marketing degree, volunteered at the San Diego International Film Festival, and worked as a Marketing Team Lead for them in the Fall. All Summer, I drove to Los Angeles on a weekly basis to work on acting and business development. I also started to focus on incorporating my passion for motorcycles into modeling and acting. 

The saying “Where there is a will, there is a way” holds very true. I know this is still the beginning, but every new day is a chance to get a step closer to achieving goals and every new project and motorcycle ride is an opportunity to learn, gain experience, open new doors, and have fun while doing it!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
From my experience, rarely is anything in life a smooth road but it feels amazing when all the hard work eventually pays off. Everything in between is a journey with many opportunities to learn that and also a test of our dedication and resilience.

One of the biggest struggles was my last year at SDSU. I was burnt out from prior years of working and studying but my determination helped me get through the challenging classes and long hours at the library. My advice to others would be to never give up on goals and dreams and to surround yourself with people who believe in you. No matter how difficult it can get, the effort will all be worth it in the end. It’s also important not to feel too shy to reach out to friends and family for support and advice.

Actors have to learn how to deal with constant rejection. We put ourselves out there so many times and most of the time we don’t get the job. It’s just the nature of the business and realizing this early on is important as well as learning how to cope with it. Actors should go to the audition prepared, do their best and move on as soon as they leave the room. Every callback or booking the job comes with a feeling of excitement and gratification and it makes all hard work worth it.

What I also find challenging is the amount of homework that needs to be done. As an actor, you never stop submitting. You are always looking for more opportunities, attending classes, auditioning, working on scripts. This is challenging because it requires a lot of time, self-discipline and mental focus on the top of any other jobs and responsibilities one may have. I give myself permission to take days off, recharge and enjoy other hobbies and activities. Work-life balance is very important to me.

When it comes to motorcycles, the biker world is male-dominated and that can be a challenge in itself. The sport is marketed as fast, dangerous and masculine. In American culture, this is not considered a traditionally feminine activity. According to the statistics, only 19% of all riders are women. Growing up, I remember being told by the society that motorcycles are too dangerous and not for women. I got into riding from a pure desire to enjoy the sense of freedom, have fun and leave the stress behind. I was an adult, yet still felt the need to hide it from some of my friends and family out of fear of being criticized or judged. It took me several months before posting about this online.

What always bothered me is those female riders aren’t always treated seriously. It’s difficult to find quality gear that is protective and flattering. Women have curves and one size does not fit all. A lot of times, the only other color options than black include pink and purple and often the item is not available in your size. There is also a misconception that to be bold and self-reliant are masculine traits. I am glad that times are slowly changing and I would love to see more women ride because this sport can be life-changing and brings so much excitement and joy. It is a lifestyle that comes with adventure, companionship, increased confidence and empowerment. I am hoping that someday I will be able to inspire more people, especially women, to get an M1 license and try it for themselves.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Over the last year and a half, I have been involved in regional independent films, including “Bonny’s Boys,” comedy TV series such as “The Bumble Bums” and commercials. I was also a production assistant, set dresser and a wardrobe assistant for a Hallmark feature film. I was involved in “The Flourish” production which won Film Consortium Founder’s Choice Award. Furthermore, I recently became a part of the cast at The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show, an interactive murder mystery theatre show.

I have trained in commercial and theatrical acting at Keep It Real Acting Studios in Los Angeles and I have been taking improvisation and hybrid Meisner technique classes at Los Angeles Acting Studio SD for film, television and stage. I have been fortunate to work with so many passionate and talented people in this industry. This has been an incredible experience and looking forward to seeing what the future will bring.

Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
Not being shy and putting yourself out there is probably the number one thing that someone can do. You need to seek out opportunities to connect with people that have similar interests, find events you can attend, and just show up and be yourself. It might be awkward at first but once you break the ice you can make new connections and friends. I always like to ask how someone got to where they are now and look for things we have in common. I noticed that generally people like sharing their stories and experiences. They want to help and welcome new group members.

Social media is probably the best resource to find specific groups of interest and see what others are up to. I specifically like using Facebook because the app makes it so easy to find and stay on top of events. I stay in touch with people I look up to and admire. I care about friendships and I am good at reaching out and keeping the connection going. I am also happy to help anyone who is just starting out, whether it involves riding motorcycles or acting. I am very passionate about both topics and enjoy sharing any knowledge and experience that I have with others.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Broadys Work Productions
Karen E Ott
Nate Cleary
One Good Company
The Bumble Bums

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