Victoria Mahoney (VIDEO)
Hey guys! I am EXTREMELY excited to introduce you to a special group of women. As some of you who follow me on Facebook may know, I have been tapped as one of the hosts of a new, original program on Magic Johnson’s Aspire network (check here for local listings). Exhale is a unique talk show featuring views and well, real talk, about issues pertinent to African American women. It features strong women, not only in front of the camera but behind the scenes too; I feel incredibly honored and blessed to work on it.
So I this week I’m introducing you to my co-hosts and the women behind the concept. You’ve already met Issa Rae, Angela Burt-Murray, Erin Jackson and Malinda Williams, who are my co-hosts. I also introduced you to the woman with the vision, our fabulous executive producer Lynne Robinson; now to the woman she entrusted to take that vision from script to screen. Victoria Mahoney was our fearless director who took five diverse women and made their voices harmonize. I loved how she was able to make us tap into that place that we might not have otherwise, no matter what else was going on in our lives. I’ve worked with a lot of people in my years in TV; I can honestly say she was the one who brought out the best in me. More now on Victoria and don’t forget to catch Exhale Wednesdays on Aspire!
Are you happy at the moment?
Yes. I shape-shifted the definition of “happy” a long time ago. As a kid, I would see people who had perceivably acquired, “all the things Madison Ave, tells us—bring about happiness”. Yet, their eyes relayed otherwise. As I set out in the world, I quickly learned from personal experiences, “happiness” wasn’t an acquisition; it wasn’t in a zip code, a person, or in a purchase. It had to do solely with my complete and utter sense of present moment awareness. The degree with which I am emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, physically available in a moment, to an experience, for a person or myself vs being checked out, distracted, shut down or numb.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
Your instincts were true–about everything.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
The community you’re designated to often may not protect or support you. However, the community you build always will.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
Most filmmakers, at any given 12 month stretch, are trying to get a film either financed, into prepro/principal/post/release. So, aside from that fun ongoing cycle with each film, I’m aching to start this monthly class for H.S. film students without means.
What’s your secret to happiness?
[See above] Present moment awareness.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Morning Meditation, and daily walks to nowhere.
What’s your biggest regret?
Zero, every single, solitary experience has been an invitation to grow.
I am carved, from my thoughts, actions & responses (to events & people) throughout life.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Impatience/waiting for answers on certain things.
Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
Sincerity, depth, balance and loyalty within my closest friendships. As well as, accomplishing artistic-professional endeavors where people say, “you can’t”.
When were you happiest?
Two minutes ago, when I woke up and realized—Cool, I’m still alive. Two seconds ago writing the previous answer…two seconds from now when my niece arrives and we go have a day together…
What ten words best describe you?
Ten words to best describe me: Curious. Intuitive. Disciplined. Relentless. Precise. Conscious. Inclusive. Empathetic. Loyal. Humorous.
Marking her debut feature film, Victoria Mahoney developed “Yelling to the Sky” through the Directors and Screenwriters Sundance Institute Labs and was named an Auerbach Fellow, Annenberg Fellow, Cinereach Fellow, Maryland Fellow, IFP Narrative Lab fellow and a Tribeca Film Fellow.
She was named one of, “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine, one of, ShadowAndAct/IndieWire’s “Filmmakers to Watch” and one of, “3 Filmmakers to Watch” in Elle Magazine’s, Women In Hollywood issue.
“Yelling to the Sky”, had its World Premiere in Competition at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Bear. A North American Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival and since gone around the world screening in Competition at; Deauville, Mumbai, Giffoni, Guanajuato, Urbanworld, Gen Art, New Orleans and Film Society Lincoln Center among others.
Between prepping her second feature, “Chalk,” Mahoney has directed the pilot, and recent twelve episodes of “The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet”, as well as the pilot, and first season of “Exhale”.