Meet Adriana Mather, Actor and Author
[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]A[/dropcap]driana Mather’s work combines two of our very favorite things: witchy vibes and subverting gender roles. She’s an actor and writer with two really awesome projects on the go right now. The first is called Honeyglue, a film that follows a woman’s relationship with someone who’s genderfluid, and the second is called How to Hang a Witch, a young adult novel set in Salem, Massachusetts, where witch trials suddenly become very relevant again. This week, we chatted with Adriana about the uncertainty of launching media projects and how feminism plays a part in all of this. [divider type="dashed" spacing="10"]
Introduce yourself! Tell us who you are and what you do.
I'm an actor, producer, and author. I love jumping into projects with reckless abandon and spending years on them. Buuut only if I believe in the messaging and content of the stories. I think the most important decision I will ever make in my life is how to spend my time. Currently, I co-own a production company Zombot Pictures with James Bird and Anya Remizova where we make feature films with diverse casts and crews. Our film Honeyglue recently went to theaters and just became available on Amazon and iTunes. And I have a novel coming out with Knopf Random House called How to Hang a Witch.[divider type="white" spacing="10"]
Both of your projects explore gender-related themes - can you tell us a bit about how you define feminism for yourself, and how that plays a part in the work you do?
Honeyglue has a genderfluid romantic lead and definitely explores gender issues. How to Hang a Witch parallels modern day bullying with the historical hanging of a witch. It uses "witch" as a labeling word.
Feminism to me is common sense and a piece of a larger issue of equality and diversity. In film, female characters are often sidelined, with white cisgendered males taking center stage. We need to change this. The stories we tell in creative industries help shape our culture and our youth. They show us what matters and who matters. Right now, the perspective is greatly skewed toward the privileged few when we should be teaching inclusion and diversity (in front of the camera and behind).[divider type="white" spacing="10"]
What's the most challenging part of your work? The most rewarding?
The most challenging part of my work is the unknowingness of it. When I launch a project I never know exactly where it is going, whether it will be big or small, successful or cringeworthy. Additionally, once something goes public, it takes on a life of it's own and I have to give up control.
The most rewarding part is my freedom and my ability to choose. The closest comparison I have for how I feel about my projects is my pre-teen years, when I would explore abandoned houses, jump off roofs onto trampolines, and never turn down a dare. My work is my playtime.[divider type="white" spacing="10"]
What advice would you have for other women who want to make media projects that explore feminist themes?
Learn to treat the successes and the failures with the same amount of "meh". And let go of the end result. Because as soon as you accomplish something, there will only be another goal post in the distance. If you are doing something you truly want to do and something you ardently believe in, you just have to keep moving forward no matter the speed. But most importantly, take risks.[divider type="white" spacing="10"]
What's next for you after Honeyglue and How to Hang a Witch?
In film, Anya, James, and I are starting a project called We Are Boats. And in books, I've already written the companion novel to How to Hang a Witch, which is currently in the editing process with Random House. Also, I'd like to build a fairy house, spend my winter holidays in a castle in Scotland, and meet a yak.