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Conversations Magazine Feb./March 2017

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Actress Sandra VanNatta: Teaching So Others Can Learn

by Cyrus Webb

For actress Sandra VanNatta her journey in the entertainment industry has been about more than just the glitz and glamour and the privileges from being seen. With roles in movies like Untouched and The Notebook, it is her love for the craft that has really made her someone to watch.

"I feel very blessed," she told me recently in an interview for Conversations LIVE. "To have these opportunities I feel very fortunate to be able to pursue a career. In a lot of ways I feel as though I am just beginning, because I've just inched along slowly in moderation with family as a priority. I feel really fortunate and thankful."

It was interesting with Sandra to talk about how she got to where she is today. At the time when we talked she had just wrapped on a film project called A Cry For Justice (formerly called Georgia Justice) and was preparing for upcoming productions. "For myself being an actress is similar to being a teacher," she explained. "As a little girl I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I worked as a teacher for 10 years and love it tremendously. I see similarities because you help people make new discoveries and provoke change. The realization came to me when I booked my first Screen Acting Guild commercial. I have always been very sensory-driven. That connection is just an innate part of who I am. I have just continued to pursue it from there."

Education has come not just in what Sandra has learned about the craft but what she can impart to others as well. "I still define myself as an educator," she told me, "because I want to have that equal impact. I want to be very much connected in young people's lives and be an encourager." Sandra has come to realize that you don't have to be in a classroom to accomplish this feat. "You can do that through film as well," she says.

When talking about the movie A Cry For Justice, Sandra seems to have the same reaction as everyone else I have talked with who are associated in some form with it. "You're going to love this movie," she says. When talking about working with the cast and those who were bringing the film to life, she says it was an amazing experience for her in many ways. "I have never experienced anything like that before, where there is such a commitment." Sandra says everyone involved embraced her fully.

I asked her what she thought the public will be able to take away from the film, and Sandra told me that she believes that with every chapter of our lives there is a lesson there. "We all come from different perspectives, and we can be so judgmental of others," she explained. "Via the media we hear of a story and we decided where we stand with it. It really isn't until you have intimately known what has taken place that I feel you are in a position to make a decision and determine justice. It's a delicate thing and a frightening thing to go through. It requires the responsibility of everyone. It's about coming together as humans."

In keeping with her mission of imparting knowledge to others, I asked Sandra what she had to say to individuals looking to follow a dream. "Truly work begets work. When you go in and show solid commitment and professionalism, it really does lead to the next thing."

Stay in contact with Sandra on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sandravannatta as well as on Facebook. Stay in contact with A Cry For Justice at www.acryforjusticemovie.com.

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