We had the good fortune of connecting with Ani Agassi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ani, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
Success naturally comes when we take our craft seriously and work on ourselves consistently. On the other hand, most of us experience failures more often than not. This is when one of the most painful and emotionally paralyzing question arises – do I keep going or do I give up? The reality is that no one can give us the answer. Asking for advice is great, but sometimes someone else’s opinion can cause more confusion.
A few months ago I found myself in a battle with intense doubt and had to ask myself this question. The uncertainty was indeed disturbing. Discovering the reason why we get there is what we need to do. I had to take the question “whether to keep going or to give up” a few layers deeper to find out the answer. You have to have an honest conversation with yourself. Why do you want to keep going? Why do you want to give up? What are some of the most important things for you in the life? One thing that truly helped me get back on track was a book that a friend of mine gave me. It was The Artist’s Way: 25th Anniversary Edition by Julia Cameron. The book helps you discover and experiment with gifts and desires you have in you that you haven’t been able to see or tap into. It makes you step out of your comport zone and pushes you out of your limiting habits and beliefs.
No one knows what makes you happy better than YOU! Taking some time off and really reflecting on who you are, what your values are, what happiness and success mean to you is important. Once you find out these things for yourself then you’ll know the answer. And if doing so is hard for you, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get yourself a copy of The Artist way! It will be your best friend for 12 weeks!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well, I create visuals. I’m a video director/producer/editor, photographer and a designer. I am currently a video producer at Audacy. It’s one of the largest multi-platform audio content and entertainment organizations in the United States. I also create independently in music, art and fashion worlds. My journey has been a lot of fun but not easy. I started my career from graphics. Got my BFA from Woodbury University in graphic design and gained professional experience from various entertainment and fashion companies/corporations. Then photography got my attention which then took me towards video. The transition took a few years. I dedicated most of my time to teaching myself everything video related; from cameras to softwares. Within two years of my creative exploration I started directing and filming music videos. Working a camera and creating scenes became second nature. I now capture some of world’s most recognized people. I also very much enjoy working with up and coming musicians and fashion brands. It is important for me to challenge myself artistically and overcome them by constantly learning, observing, reading, trying, failing, trying again and making it happen. It’s non stop. It didn’t get easy, I just got better at it. What I learned along the way is that nothing is impossible if you’re willing to make the sacrifice and remain open for change. What I want the reader to take from my story is that nothing is holding us back but our own excuses. Success doesn’t come to whiners and lazy potatoes. It’s really that simple!
I’m excited for what’s yet to come. Maybe I’ll make movies one day, maybe I’ll buy a cabin in a forest and bake cookies for a living. What matters is what moves us, brings us joy and scares us a little! Nothing great comes easy and fast, but greatness lives in all of us. You just gotta have the courage to unlock it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Verse in Taluca Lake is a great cocktail bar and restaurant with live music. Manhattan beach is awesome. Getty is beautiful. Live music, art shows and exhibitions, rooftop dinners and quality time out in nature is the experience I can provide for my friends.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I can go on and on on this section but the reader won’t have that much time! I’m a big book nerd. Most of my inspiration and encouragement comes from self-Improvement, personal growth section of bookstores. Some of the recent books I read that raised my energy are “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron (I have already mentioned), “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz and so many more! I non stop listen to podcasts and interviews of successful people and dig the philosophy for living an examined and meaningful life. But I give the real credit to my family and friends who really support me and crazy impossible sounding goals of mine. Without that support and love we can’t get much further.
my picture was taken by Sasha Vasha (@sashavasha)