SPOTLIGHT | Amy Trefry
I met Amy just over a year ago now and something about her tenacity was hard to miss. I saw it again during the Women Making Waves 2018 conference when she pitched her short film 'All the Owls' and won. She completely astounded me with her grace while addressing her multi-faceted skill set. Her ability to stand wholly as a woman of many skills and skills yet to achieve was a fierce and holy vision to behold. I will forever hold close that image of her at the podium addressing the box we put her and many women in, simply because they are acting differently than we had 'imagined' they should. Her words and work are impactful. Enjoy!
How would you describe yourself?
I don’t really know to be honest. I know how others *might* describe me, depending on what context they know me in, but I don’t really know how I describe myself.
Tangibly and straight forwardly I am a wife, daughter, sister, and aunt. In what matters to me, I am fiercely dedicated to building community and friendships. In how the world wants us to define ourselves? Well, my education no longer categorizes me, but often creeps into my self-identification as a justification of my value as a person, and my work is varied and I hold no specific claim to ‘being’ any one thing. I don’t really have a succinct answer to the opening social greeting “so what do you do?” I am a long list of “used to be/do” that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of. I am an absolutely certain, but always shakeable, “I want to be an actor”. But how would I describe myself? Probably by shrugging, awkwardly laughing and avoiding the question with a quick “I just am who I am”.
What role does creativity play in your life?
It is the greatest measure and control of happiness and fulfillment in my life. When I am creating I feel on top of the world. When I am around others who are creative or get inspired by other people’s work I am able to see a clear path for my own life’s purpose. But on the other side of the coin, when I question my value and worth as a creative person or the quality of my own work I am at my lowest. It demands absolute honesty and vulnerability and in that brings both light and dark – as with anything of immense value to anyone’s life I believe.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently producing a short film ‘All the Owls’ that I co-wrote with Brent Braaten as well as in the research phase of a documentary on bi-phobia that I am working on with Emily Jewer. I am production coordinating for John Walker’s latest documentary ‘Assholes: A Thoery’ and I always have half a dozen writing projects on the side it seems that are mid project and that I am applying for funding for!
Outside of making films I am excited for the 2018 film season in Halifax to see what acting opportunities come up!
What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?
Book was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro about cloned children who are bred for organ donation and must nurse one another through their “donations” until, at a horribly early age, they “complete”, or die.
Podcast was This American Life: Really Long Distance where Producer Miki Meek tells the story of a phone booth in Japan that attracts thousands of people who lost loved ones in the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. A Japanese TV crew from NHK Sendai filmed people inside the phone booth, whose phone is not connected to anything at all, all of whom place a call to speak to the dead.
Movie was “Call Me By Your Name” directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by James Ivory based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Andre Aciman.
What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?
Being creative is just like any other job but harder, you need to work at it even when you don’t feel like it and no one is telling you that you have to. Don’t wait to be inspired or motivated to work, let your work be what makes you feel motivated to create, and let your own creativity be what inspires you. Surround yourself with other people who are creative that support you and can help you feel like you are part of a community of colleagues and collaborators. Never let fear or uncertainty or self-doubt prevent you from saying yes to an opportunity, even if you don’t know how to do it – that’s what google and questions are for. Find one or two people who believe in your ability more than you do and have their numbers on hand whenever you start to question your own value so much that you feel like giving up. Celebrate your achievements no matter what scale they are on. And no matter what stage you are at, make learning your highest priority, if you do that you will enter every situation with humility, an open mind and the ability to connect with others and you will always walk away having gained something.