Beyond The Lens – This whole week many names coming up have been getting featured on Internet Hollywood. I happen to always find myself writing about another talented person that I strongly feel has the potential to go very far in there career. One of those talented people I feel strongly about when it comes to this is Independent Massachusetts model and ballet dance Lunara Devers.
I have known Lunara Devers since 2014 and have spoken to her a few times but never really interviewed her. Now that I have Internet Hollywood running with a lot of time to spare I got in touch with the model and we did this awesome interview. Enjoy!!!
~*~*Beyond The Lens /w Lunara Devers*~*~
Internet Hollywood: Hey Lunara! Welcome to the Internet Hollywood universe. I’m sure we both could agree that this interview was long overdue. How has everything been? Did you do any dressing up for Halloween?
Devers: Hi! I’m so excited to chat with you! Things have been going well, thank God. Lots of performing and teaching. I love teaching and helping others accomplish their goals. I wore a tiara and told people I was Grace Kelly for Halloween. Boom.
Internet Hollywood: You are not someone I would consider the “normal” kind of person. You are multitalented and extremely creative and it shows all over your social media pages. Two things that you are very active in is modeling and ballet dancing. Which one would you say has your heart the most and why?
Dancing was my introduction to the arts. There are dancers and singers in my family as well as lawyers and engineers, lol. Dance is how I take care of my body; where my soul lives. I will always try to stay healthy, and teaching and performing is great motivation. I love the science behind photography. Folks have agreed to take my picture but I’m always asking questions and happy to jump in and help (with my own photoshoots or someone else’s) I like to learn because you never know if you might be able to pay it forward and help someone out with what you’ve learned. I’m also fascinated with the science behind creating images.
Internet Hollywood: One of the things I remember you saying is that you wanted to open up a dance studio. How has the journey been going to fulfill that dream goal?
Devers: Ooooooooooo! I’m so happy! I have a space at home for my company’s rehearsals but I also teach at two other locations at the moment. It’s great. I try to teach as many people as possible, especially Afro-Carribean dance. Not many people specialize in that style. It’s funny when people figure out that dance is not, in any way, as easy as it seems. You are pushing your body to the maximum in every way, you have to smile while you do it, oh and tell a story…. While you are probably also funding yourself and pouring your heart out to anyone who will listen. I try to tell people real facts about a day in the life of an independent artist. Like for example, why is it important to stay independent. Also, growing up I feel like all I heard was that it was going to be hard and you have to really want it (like you have to make that “I want it” face because no one knows your heart and how bad you want it. I’m still dancing after two knee surgeries so you would think I want it pretty bad, but thinking back most people just treated me as if I thought I was entitled, never having known me). People didn’t worry so much about me because I had a family that would help, yet you can have all the wonderful parents in the world but, if no one teaches you how to run a business, only how to get your leg up, your leg isn’t going anywhere. I wouldn’t call them scams but there are definitely packages out there that cost hundreds and thousands of dollars and it’s not all that was promised. You have to use your birthday money, your Christmas money and get a job to pay for these things. Classes are the best investment because you have teachers who are working in the field and one day, maybe, if they take favor on you they can introduce you to people or help you in other ways. You need help from people in the industry who can get you in touch with an agent, a good photographer (so you don’t lose hundreds of dollars on a random person with a camera), the difference between a 9-5 and being an independent artist and just how to get a job. I received lots of dance technique, especially in my H.S. honors ballet class and some training on writing a grant but no one ever helped me get a company audition or showed me how to fill out an invoice or use my leverage as an artist to quantify my sacrifice and the monetary investments I have made to my art in order to negotiate a contract. How do you write a resume when you haven’t been encouraged to work in the field? You know, just write up all the H.S. plays you’ve been in while other folks are living on the set of Disney? Yeah, practically the same, same. I hope to encourage my dancers to work in their field, create and leave as much of a legacy as possible and receive compensation. We may not be “big” names but we deserve fair pay for often times superior work.
Internet Hollywood: I’m one to know you have a whole lot on your hands that keep you extremely busy. What is it that keeps you motivated enough to get up every day and keep going until you get what you want?
Devers: I want to see my students dance better than me and to succeed more than I have. They really keep me on my toes. I have no other excuse, other than being hospitalized, to show up late to class. Every time someone figures out a step that was giving them a hard time it reminds me of challenges that I have overcome and I’m so proud of them and myself. I recommend that people lean on things that give them a hard time. You learn things about yourself; what challenges you could turn into one of your many talents with some focus and lots of (consistent) hard work.
Devers: People should know classical ballet is not a look or a party trick. If you are luck it’s a way of life. Your body is always changing, especially when you are young and danced for a few years then put it down and come back to it. You notice your body doesn’t feel the same. As you get older and the injuries begin to add up you tell yourself “well good thing I’m dancing for myself, I don’t have teachers or directors being irrational and insensitive. I’m dancing for my audience who appreciates me and if they don’t they can go on to the next thing because I danced with all my heart and I, for one, had a great time! Lol!” That type of freedom comes with a lot of responsibility. I already did my time in H.S. and college. I learned the rules and got the grades so I could toss it all in the trash and go full on human nature on everyone, just how we like it. I’m also responsible for all costumes, music, choreography, transportation but, when I say this foot hurts….. then we using the other flipping foot then. Cuz this show’s going up right now, lol!
Internet Hollywood: What is the ultimate goal you feel you must conquer to complete your empire?
Devers: There are many works I’d like to create and many people I would like to teach. There is so much about the human experience on this planet, beyond politics and prejudice, that I would like to explore. For example, culture, love and our biological connection to this planet. I think interpersonal conflicts are easily accessible and I would like to see different things. I mean, tension and drama is exciting, catharsis is really good, but it’s also exhausting and there should be space and time for people to appreciate and enjoy this one life we get. It might be the way I was raised but I enjoy the classical era of music and art a lot because we use words like “sublime” and “etheric” as opposed to “reality” and “politics.” Artists have always had a huge stake in the way in which we remember our history. Art can be a mirror where we are able to pick and choose what we will emulate and what we reject. At the end of the day these images become ideas in our minds and yes there are issues that need attention but that’s what they are, issues. Not fashion statements, trends, costumes or fads. Julianne Moore was recently honored by the Museum of Modern Art and in her speech, she said “I believe that’s why we watch movies. It acknowledges our humanity, who we are, and that we’re really alive.” You turn on the news and see people doing the most horrifying things and sadly we are quick to make a movie about a tragedy rather than anything else. And I ask myself if that is truly what we are as people? One tragedy after the next. I believe we deserve more than that as artists and audience members. As far as building an empire, I believe helping others feel good and proud of themselves is wealth. I think some folks need admiration or tons of money. I want to litter the planet with art and see what withstands the test of time…. I mean that’s if I’m going to be remembered at all.
Internet Hollywood: Which creative talent of yours do you feel gives you the biggest challenge when you attempt to take it on as a career path.
Devers: I like to think a that at the moment my greatest challenge is acting. I love incorporating acting with my dancing. It gives so much depth to the movement and people really feel it and it’s great. But when it’s a sentiment really foreign to me it’s a challenge. Like “why is she running up the stairs” “why is she driving a 25-year-old car through the desert and then gets surprised her cell phone doesn’t work when the car breaks down and she starts getting chased all over the place. Obviously, the phone doesn’t work out there, you live there, you knew that and you should have kept your butt at home” oh and of course “why the heck did she not double tap? Who the heck gets scared and drops the gun and runs away? Who does that? That dude just tried to kill you, shoot him three times point blank!!!!” oh, oh oh…. “wear these panties and make sure he never cheats…..” Girl, really? So yeah, I have to get better at selling just about anything, lol!
Internet Hollywood: How often do you find yourself in a dark state where you’re questioning everything you do and how do you get yourself through it?
Devers: I want to say constantly and all the time! Lol! Artists are very detail oriented. You need to be ready to do your thing at any point in time because you never know when a really good opportunity may arise. So, you are constantly asking yourself if the make-up, the hair, the costumes, the car, is it ready to go? Stay hungry, all of the time. The presentations fly by and pretty soon you’re going to be aching for the next one. Stay ready. I’m constantly asking myself if I am doing the right things, for the right reasons and am I doing my very best for my students. It calms me to think that I am holding myself accountable. “Am I doing the very best I can on this day without harming anyone?” And then push forward to get the job done.
Internet Hollywood: Last question; What do you want Lunara Devers to be remembered for?
Devers: I hope I have encouraged people to do their best and to be themselves. I hope people feel proud of themselves and their work. I’d love to help in anyway that I can. Whether I inspire them or challenge them, you can do anything you set our mind on.
Internet Hollywood: Thank you so much for the interview Lunara!
~*~*Thank you for reading*~*~
~*~*Credits & Links*~*~
Lunara Devers: Instagram
(organized in story order)
First photo (top): Cabou – Instagram
Second photo: Seavy Creative – Website
Third photo: Mosaab Alsaray Art – Instagram
Fourth photo: Chris Brearley