We had the good fortune of connecting with Selena Moshell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Selena, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Honestly it’s probably not the healthiest habit, but I generally have said “yes” to almost any and every opportunity that comes my way, even if it’s long hours or low pay, IF and ONLY if it’s an area I want more exposure or experience in. I believe it’s a critical reason as to why I have been able to stay fully employed in production all these years- I’ve happened to be in the right place at the right time, working my tail off and going above and beyond in any way I could to stand out. When I first moved to LA I was PA-ing on the craziest sets- music videos that were literally back-breaking, super-non-union commercials where I was allowed to help out in every department, so many situations where I had to figure out what the heck to do on the spot, and bear the consequences when I did it wrong. Yes, these were sometimes absolutely miserable times, and no one (thankfully) was abusive or totally took advantage of me (that’s NEVER worth it) but I will say, that these crazy gigs I always said yes to helped me learn everything I use today in the industry, and introduced me to so many people I still work with as a director to this day.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel so fortunate to have spent my entire adult life in the arts. I was a professional dancer for over a decade in theme parks, cruise ships, and finally a Broadway Tour that let me travel the country for over eight years, full time. I transitioned into film and live events over the last six years, and I love bringing my past ‘life’ as a dancer into my current work. Whether it’s literally choreographing camera moves with a steadi-op, or timing out the rhythm of edits with my editors, I see my life-long training as a dancers seeping into so much of what I do today.
The transition from dance to film and live shows wasn’t smooth or linear at all. Retirement from dancing wasn’t planned or expected, but thankfully when my show closed, I had already fallen in love with film and directing. I read textbooks that I picked up from thrift shops on film theory before I stopped dancing, and so it was only natural for me to move to LA and give it the old college try. The best education, however, was the years of being on set, learning how the industry worked from the ground up by the people around me. I feel lucky to have worked with some of the most kind, generous, and giving people out here. DP’s who took the time to let me play with their gear, Producers who patiently taught me how to craft call sheets, and AD’s who taught me how to organize schedules. I use these skills every day, and I am so grateful to everyone I met along the way to was kind to me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One place I always recommend in LA is a really strange, out of the way place called the Museum of Jurassic Technology. It’s a quirky museum of surreal art, and it always brings my heart a lot of joy. I also love escape rooms, so I would drag them to a variety of them, especially the Escape Hotel Hollywood- the theming there is so fun. Immersive shows are my absolute JAM, and I love that there’s so many immersive theater companies here doing their thing- so if JFI Productions had a show going I would drag my friend to that too. I also really love walking down Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank and hitting the vintage shops, and I would have to bring them to the beach at some point, so I would hit the Cornell Winery and Tasting Room in Malibu on the way back. It’s such a cool historic gem of a place.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to dedicate this Shout Out to my business partner and producer, Allison Calleri. I literally would not be where I am without her. I was a newbie director who she took a chance on, and she is someone who has supported me, cheered me on, and fought hard to get better and better gigs, rates, and opportunities for me at every turn. I am eternally grateful to her for all of that, and her amazing friendship.