Listen to Late Night Snap Chat Here!

In 2016, working at my job in animation, I was unhappy.  I had a great job and worked with people that I loved, but I knew in my gut that it wasn't where I was meant to be.  After a decade of avoiding my truth (see here), I became increasingly dissatisfied, yet still terrified to make a change.

I started 'Late Night Snap Chat' late one night on Snapchat.  I had stayed up all night reading a book about dating (because at the time I thought dating would fix my problems!) and all of my dates seemed to be going nowhere.  I had epiphanies that I hadn't had before, and started to realize that it wasn't the dates that were giving me heartache, it was me.  I wanted to immediately share what I had started to discover, so I Snapchatted a black screen and spoke over it like a podcast.  I began to get feedback from friends who shared their experiences with me. The more I learned, the more I shared, and the more feedback I got, the more I realized that I wasn't on a journey of dating, I was on a journey of personal growth, and was excited by the thought that those realizations could help other people, too.

While the name stayed the same, over time the podcast transitioned from its platform on Snapchat to Soundcloud.  I've since quit my job, become an actor, and live a life of growth that I love every day.  I know that not everyone loves to read self-help or meditate or participate in all of the woo-woo things that I like to on the regular, so LNSC is the platform where hopefully I can share with you what I've learned, and that information will in some way, help you too.

Thank you as always for listening!  xoxo

Late Night Snap Chat Ep 16 "On Vulnerability and Authenticity"

I think that one of the hardest things to do is to be yourself, especially if it's outside of what is considered normal. It can be isolating to be true to who you are, when your instinct is to belong, to protect yourself from pain and rejection.  

These are things that I've been exploring both in life and through acting, and in this episode I discuss dealing with those feelings and wonder about how much people secretly suffer and how deep we all really want to go.

Late Night Snap "Chat" Episode 14: Effort is Attractive

Sometimes the holidays, while awesome and a great time to be around family and friends, can also trigger feelings of loneliness. This episode is a discussion of how to get through that feeling, and ultimately through continued effort grow as a person in the process. It's all about progress.

Thanks as always for listening!



Late Night Snap "Chat" Episode 13: Take Pride that You Still Believe

It been a tough couple of weeks (anyone else feeling the same way?).  I've struggled with what to say, and if I should say anything at all.  But I wanted to say something, even in my uncertainty because I believe that it's important to share.  This episode is the best that I could articulate how I feel about this election, about fear, about love, and about how it all breaks down to communication, engagement, and education.  Not only in the wider scope of the current state of our country, but in the scope of our interpersonal relationships with others in our lives as well.

My friend Smita shared this quote, and in her sharing it, I'm able to share it here, and hopefully that will bring some light to someone who feels lost in darkness:

"Be Soft.  

Do not let the world make you hard.

Do not let pain make you hate.

Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.

Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."

- Iain Thomas


Late Night Snap "Chat" Ep 11: What I've Learned Since Leaving My job

After a month long journey down to Mexico and across the United States to New York and back, I'm excited to be back in Southern California.  I've learned so much in my travels, a lot about myself and about others too.  It's a lot to process, especially going into this next phase of my life, but I wanted to touch on a few things that have hit home for me the most, including letting go, living in the moment, learning to trust, dreaming more, and being okay with aspiring. 

I hope this episode is helpful to anyone contemplating changes big or small.



Late Night Snap Chat Ep 10: Pursue Your Interests, Even When You Feel Like You Shouldn't

I really wanted to do a podcast on pursing your interests, even when you feel like you shouldn't, because for so long, I did what I thought I "should" be doing as opposed to what I was actually interested in or excited about doing.  In my mind, especially when I was younger, it wasn't in the realm of possibility that I could actually do something that I wanted to or thought was cool -- like work in entertainment -- and actually to get paid to do it.  A job or career to me meant something conventional, that maybe even made you suffer a bit, and didn't necessarily bring you creative fulfillment.  

But, it gave you a paycheck.

Where did I get those ideas to begin with?  I'm not sure.

What I have learned over the course of my life so far is that when you pursue things that you're interested in, it actually leads to doing more of what interests you, and doing cool and interesting things can very much be sustainable.  It may not always be easy, but it can be done.  It may take time, but it can be done.

After all, there was a point in my life that I thought working in television or film was completely out of my reach.  It took a lot of hard work and risk taking, but eventually it became my reality.

That's also what I try to remember myself as I move forward in this next phase of my life with photography and videography.  I was once in this exact spot with working in entertainment, and it seemed so impossible.  But, I did it.  So when I feel any fear now, I tell myself that I did it then, and I can do it now. 

Have you ever pursued an interest that unexpectedly led to more cool things or opportunities (or maybe even made you forget about your initial interests?).  I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.

I hope that you enjoy this episode, and that you believe that you can do the things that interest and excite you, too.



I'm Going to New York!

One of my great loves in life (and on my list of life priorities) is traveling, and I'm so happy to say that I'll be travelling to NEW YORK this October!  It's been four years (too long), and I've been dying to go back.  The stars have aligned and I'll be there starting October 14th!

The last time I went I was fortunate enough to do two shoots, one in the subway and the other on the Highline, and they were both incredible experiences.  This time around I'll be shooting some video around the city (video is the next thing for me), but I'm also scheduling some photo work while I'm out there too.

So, if you've been wanting photos in the park or among the tall city buildings (or in a market, in a boat, the list goes on), now's the time!  

It's my first time in NYC in the fall (also on the bucket list), and I know it's going to be just incredible -- the changing leaves, the warm cups of tea, the layered clothing!  It's really going to be something else.

I'd say that's all, but it's not!  I also have another exciting trip planned which I'm keeping under wraps for now, but can't wait to share that with you too!




Late Night Snap "Chat" is Now Online!

Hi everyone!  I'm a bit bleary eyed as it's a bit after 4:30 in the morning, but I just had to post that my newest episode of "Late Night Snap Chat" is now officially on the web!  I kept getting suggestions that it should go from the Snapchat platform onto an online, play straight from beginning to end without breaks podcast format, so I decided that's what I should do.  I had no idea how I was going to do it, but just decided to dive straight in!

There's still a lot left to learn, and things to straighten out (like getting new photos and artwork for the SoundCloud page or figuring out profile info), but one of my favorite things that I've heard recently is to stop wasting time on setting everything up (ie making business cards or making your website "perfect" before putting out any content), and if you have something that you want to do, just do it already!

I think so often fear can hold us back because it always feels like we can do more-- that what we're doing is not going to be enough.  I didn't want to let that be me.

Which coincidentally ties exactly into what today's episode is about!  

I wanted to discuss how, in our lives overall, I think that so many of us can feel like what we're doing is not enough, and I wanted to talk about what I've found to be the best way to cope with these feelings.

I hope that you enjoy this episode, and if you do, please send me a message on Snapchat or shoot me an email!  As I always say, I love to hear your feedback, and thank you so much for listening.

Life Changes

I'm not going to lie.  It's been a MINUTE since I've last posted.  Somewhere along the way life got in the way.  Most of you who know me know that I've worked in the animation industry for a number of years now, and in entertainment as a whole for even longer than that.  I love this industry.  I love the people, I love the environment; it's always called to me.

But for weeks, even months now, I've the same nagging feeling that I've had before.  Something isn't right.  Something isn't quite right.  I go through my days and I feel..  I feel like I'm dying.

That probably sounds a tad dramatic.  I guess it is.  But it's also always been a part of who I am.  I've never been able to do anything quietly.  My sister once said to me as we drove along a highway in Germany, "Ami, you talk SO much".  It's true.  When I do something or I think something, I just have an urge to share it.  Because maybe there's someone else out there who's feeling this way too.

Of course there's part of me that's scared to share something like this.  But at 32 I think I've been through enough judgment in my life that I mostly don't give a fuck anymore.  This is my life and this is who I am.

So right about now you're like, what?  What is it?  What the fuck did you do?!  Just spit it out already.  That's what my best friend would say to me.

Well, I quit.

I quit my job.  Yesterday.  Rather, I put in my notice.  I still work there as of this writing.  My intention is not to bash where I work or to spill any sort of crazy secret.  I know that people from work will read this.  It's just simply to say, I was unhappy and I quit.

What I keep hearing, over and over, which has blown my mind, has been two things:  #1, overwhelming support in a manner that I never could have foreseen.  Just pure love and support from everyone.  Everyone!  I'm thankful in a way that I can't even begin to describe.  #2, The sentiment of, "If I could, I would do it too".  That, has shocked me.

More than anything it's also given me the opportunity to see what kind of value that this risk that I'm taking has.  That if people could, they would too.  It made me feel like I was doing the right thing.  If you're wondering if I have anything else lined up, I don't.  Did I make some grand plan before quitting?  I didn't.  

But I'm not afraid.  and I'll tell you why.  

It's not because of money (don't have a lot of that).  It's not because of security (I'm moving in with my friend and her three family members to make things work).  Did I mention I'm 32?  I must be crazy, right?  Maybe I am.  

But this is why:

I've spent the past year of my life working diligently, every single day, on myself.  In a manner that has covered every aspect of my life: mental, emotional, physical, spiritual.  I even started a pseudo-podcast that I broadcast on my Snapchat every Sunday night, quietly at first, to a small group of friends, talking about the relationships that we have with others and the relationships that we have with ourselves.  Sharing it all has been a huge awakening, and a huge shift in my life in priorities and what I really care about and value.

Those things are these:

- Love (familial, friendship, romantic)

- Experiences (building skills, making cool shit, traveling)

That's it.  Those are my priorities.  And the way I've been living?  I realized that they didn't add up to what my priorities are.  So, I decided I needed a change.

Now, I want to highlight the fact that leaving scares the shit out of me.  I've done something like this before, and I've failed.  I've been where I've been working for over three years now and it's an amazing company with amazing people.  I've been in a situation that a lot of people dream of-- I know I did for a long time.  I could even see myself potentially there again someday in the future in some capacity.  But for right now in my life, it's no longer aligning with my priorities.  Which are:

I want to live a free(lance) life.

I want to build something for myself.

I have no ties.  No family here in LA, no kids, no spouse or significant other.  So I asked myself, why am I not taking more risks?

And well, here we are.

Quitting my job, moving in with a friend and her family, with a little bit of money but not very much.

I work hard, I've worked hard to get where I am (which is for two world renowned companies, something I'm very proud of) and will work hard to get where I want to be.  Maybe sharing this makes me a nutcase.  But like I said, I don't really care anymore.  Because what I care about is growing.  Surviving.  Thriving.  Being open and honest and free with my vulnerabilities.  Because I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I will.  There's no other choice.

My plan is to keep this blog updated and also start streaming my podcast on a platform other than Snapchat as I find my way through this new chapter.  If you're interested in listening to that, Episode 8 will be up this Sunday (Snap chat username: jamomartin).  

If you're interested in hiring me to shoot photos or video, or editing content, I'm so appreciative of your support.  If there's some adventurous quality to it, I'd been even more stoked.  But the fact that you're even here, reading, that means the world to me.  I appreciate you more than you know.

Thank you again for your support, and talk soon.