Amanda Eliasch has lived a life only most can dream about! She's a published author, Fashion Editor for Genlux Magazine in Los Angeles, the British photographer and writer for The Collective Review, a visual artist, a playwright, and a mother, but most of all she is a woman who has taken almost every opportunity that has come her way and did not settle for less than she deserved.
As an author, Amanda has released four books, two of poetry and two of photography. "Cloak and Dagger Butterfly" and "Sins of a Butterfly" are collections of Amanda's poetry, while "Made by Indians and Made by Brazilians" features some of Amanda's photography work with Enrico Navarra Galleries and "British Artists At Work," published by Assouline, Franca Sozzani and Italian Vogue captures four generations of artists from the established to the emerging. Amanda photographed 46 artists in their studios including Tracey Emin, Gary Hume, Gavin Turk, Fiona Rae, Sam Taylor-Wood, Julian Opie, Martin Maloney, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Michael Craig Martin, Chantal Joffe, Marc Quinn, Anish Kapoor, Rachael Whiteread, Jenny Saville, Gilbert and George, and 2003 Turner Prize nominee Grayson Perry.
In addition to the books above, Amanda's photography has been seen by millions worldwide, from magazines to galleries. Her work has been showcased in such galleries as The Black and White Gallery, The Cork Street Gallery, and the Proud Galleries. She has worked with Rushka Bergman at L’uomo Vogue photographing people like Ang Lee for the Cinema Edition.
As an artist, Amanda's work has be exhibited around the world. Her latest exhibition, "Peccadilloes," was presented at the Leadapron Gallery in Los Angeles. Amanda’s new neon works were based on the cartoon drawings of her by close friend and art patron, Kay Saatchi, which looked at the decline of modern morals through neon pieces, using Amanda as the subject of these drawings.
One of Amanda's latest projects is her play "As I Like It." After its successful premiere in London, "As I Like It" will be presented at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood, CA (1107 N Kings Road) from December 29-January 15. Based upon Amanda's rich and adventureous life, "As I Like It," according to press notes, "tells the tale of a woman with a ravenous appetite for life and how her unbridled enthusiasm ultimately contributes to a string of failed relationships." Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased here!
In addition all of Amanda's projects, she still finds time to give back to many causes close to her heart such as The British Film Institute, London Symphony Orchestra, The Tsunami in Phuket (which helps children of the tsunami in Phuket).
1. Who or what inspired you to become an artist, writer, photographer, and fashion editor? A sequence of different events happened for each passion but I was inspired by my Father to write the play when he told me I would be able to write because of my DNA. He asked for 5,000 words in three days. I wrote them and he said that he loved it and I could only do something with them when he was dead. I was also inspired by Tracey Emin whose talents are numerous. Photography was a passion when I was young, I adored Man Ray. I loved his lighting, and I loved silent movies and I copied their techniques to create my original photographs. Photography has changed but in some ways has become even more interesting, but there was nothing more exciting than printing your own material. I dreamt of being a Fashion Editor when I was 12 years old. I have worked on a book with Franca Sozzani, British Artists at Work about artists and their studios. I was offered the job at Genlux when I was 46, so I took it. I have loved clothes since I was 18 months old and my grandmother took me shopping.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? I have become interested in working with music and so a normal progression would be to work with a composer and create an artwork or theatrical piece. I love the early operas so perhaps I could work with Michael Nyman, Hans Zimmer or Alexandre Desplat.
3. What was it like for you to write your autobiography at age 42? What made you decide to turn it into a stage production? What was it like to revisit it? Would you consider writing a part 2? I have written part two, it is in another play, "Flash Back Fast Forward," in fact there are two plays which I work from to create a unique play for each actress. I like the idea of working with women of a certain age. Women nowadays look pretty incredible. I love theatre, I like the fact you can't guarantee what will happen. This is interesting. A film stays the same, a play changes. I loved drama school and studied with the Moscow Arts Theatre, RADA, ALRA in England. The day I left I went and studied photography. I am a magpie, I love to learn about new things.
4. What excites you about the upcoming run of "As I Like It"? What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? What's it like to watch someone else act out your life? What is it like to have your son be part of this production? I think it is a play that is brutally honest. I sort of sit there with a cushion over my head saying "did I really say that?" or "I hate you." I am sure most people will be moved or recognize something in it about themselves. I like the idea that one of my friends say when seeing it "Your play was a bit surreal, the people you were talking about were watching it, there was audience participation." I suppose I would like people also to laugh a lot. It depends on how the actress plays it. I played my life for laughs not tragedy, or I would not have had the life I have had. That is my choice. My son Charles loves acting, he wanted to do it. He studies at Mannes in New York, and wishes to be an opera singer. He likes to do everything too. He was the only person who could possibly play the part. It is a family affair. If I could play football for the other son, I would create his team too.
5. What is your favorite part of the creative process in writing and putting a show together? Where is your favorite place to write? My favorite place to write is in bed. I like to work from bed, and I work in the middle of the night wherever I am. Making something happen is the most interesting part of the creative process. I like to finish everything.
6. What have you learned about yourself from all your endeavors? What has kept you grounded in an industry that can lead others down a darker path? I am not in any industry. I don't belong anywhere, I feel happiest when transferring energy into new places. I don't expect everybody to be a fan. I don't mind failure, I mind not having a go. That would irritate me more.
7. What has been your proudest moment so far, either professionally or personally or both? My proudest moment is watching my sons achieve what they want. I get satisfaction just from finishing things. Actually I don't think life this. The Devil was thrown out of Eden for Pride.
8. What's the best advice you've ever received? My father said you have about 7 opportunities in life and you had better recognize them and take them.
9. You've had such a varied career, what do you still want to accomplish? I have had a varied career because artistic people can do many things, just as a Banker could play Bach on the piano well. I don't think we have just one talent. I think in any case it is good to expand. In any case I like freedom away from being pigeon holed into any particular career.
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? A writer or a musician in an Artist studio in Paris, someone like Mallet Stevens. He would have been perfect. Architect and artist, he moved in all circles. I live in Tamara de Lempicka's art studio in Paris. I love it there.
11. What have you learned from traveling the world? Flexibility. All countries are interesting but generally I prefer cities rather than the countryside. I love the Far East, India, all the colors, I like the knowledge and spirituality and not knowing what is going to happen next.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Favorite way to spend your day off? Yoga, a walk through Battersea Park in London.
13. Favorite skin care product? Favorite kind of shoes? I love Dr Sebagh's products. Shoes.....I wear Yves St Laurent.
14. Favorite website? I work on Genlux's so I shall be loyal.
15. Superman or Wonder Woman? Both.