“Keep your eye on the prize,” they say. Who says this? What is the prize? When motherhood is in the mix, this is a challenging, but rewarding experience that no one prepares you for. And in some ways, I feel like I’ve already won.
I’ve always had a passion for storytelling. It’s a drive that has always been inside of me. As a little kid, I would come up with stories and use my toys to act them out. You could say I’ve been a director since I was five, before I even knew what I was doing. I love telling stories to help people bond, so my main focus right now is on writing comedy shows, because humor really helps people to connect. My web series “Crystal the Webseries” is inspired by my own experiences in my 20s. I’m taking great care in telling these stories, because I went through a lot. People can really empathize and learn a thing or two by watching the main character struggle through different situations, because we’ve all been there. Or if they’re like me,someone who always makes mistakes, we can laugh together over our common experiences. Life is hard, and making relatable comedy is very important to me.
Motherhood goes hand-in-hand with my passion for film. I’ve always wanted to have a family, to ground me and keep me growing on another level, which is being a mom. Of course, I wanted to find a loving partner before heading down that road – someone who wanted to share the journey of parenthood. So once I met my fiancé Carlos, I knew this was it. We were blessed with our “Rey” of sunshine in 2016. I was actually pregnant during the production of my web series, so you can say Rey was my Assistant Director. He kept me calm and level-headed, which was intense, because I was also producing the series myself. Indie filmmaking is hardcore, and adding a baby on board makes it tricky, but I had a wonderful talk with my team. I wouldn’t let it slow me down. I welcomed the challenge with open arms, and ultimately we stayed on track and I was able to complete production and post under two months. We had it ready in time to enter a whole range of film festivals, which was great, because I had no time to stress out about having a tough pregnancy...until it was time to do the actual festival run.
Like many moms, I struggled with postpartum depression, and it wasn’t easy. This really broke my spirit, but I had already set this plan into motion. Once I got into festivals, for the sake of my team, Rey, and myself, I went and did my best to represent my work. It was like a form of insurance to myself, to keep going no matter what. I planned out the next two years to promote this project so I could be on auto-pilot until I found my strength again. Carlos is an amazing dad, so he made sure I had nothing to worry about – he’s been in the film business, so he understood how important it was for me to show up and do my best. Going to these festivals and hearing people laugh at my jokes helped me to heal. My art has always been one of my best friends, because I am pretty selfless when it comes to the ultimate goals of my work. No matter who you are, I want to create something that you can enjoy or have an opinion on – my work doesn’t come with restrictions, and it has opened many wonderful doors for me.
All this while, I was also watching this beautiful little boy grow up. He really is the best kid. Even at my lowest moments he would say “mama” and my heart would light up. That kept me going. It’s one of those things where if you have to look nice on the red carpet because film duty calls, you feel better. There was a moment during the first year of promotion, before I was launched the show to the public, that really made me panic. Even though “Crystal” was a hit at these festivals, I kept hearing that voice of self-doubt t that I couldn’t shake. But being a mom, you want to set a strong, powerful example that these are the moments that really showcase who you are as a human. So I launched the show, and the response was just so rewarding. People have been asking for more, so I am working on more of a “Behind The Scenes: Crystal Goes Clear” companion series with director’s commentary, where I go through each episode and discuss what inspired each of the storylines. I’m so excited to get back in front of the camera
and continue to connect with my audience. I want “Crystal” to let people be able to reach out and share their personal struggles and stories, so we can laugh and cry together. I’ll be filming the BTS with the help of my good friend Skyler Barrett, whom I met at my first film festival ( she also has an award-winning web series, called Reckless Juliets). Skyler also helped me recover from PTSD after a horrible experience with a male photographer during my promotion shoot. It took me a whole year to redo the images my way without the negative influences of a toxic person. People really try to keep you down when you aren’t in the right headspace, especially when you’re depressed. You learn a lot about what you’re willing to deal with once the fog clears.
It’s been a couple years since then, and Rey is two now, which is just surreal. My other baby, “Crystal,” is still going strong. It’s been nice to have these two journeys at the same time because they do support one another. It’s never a dull moment and I am always inspired. No matter what happens, I know how to roll with the punches. When it comes to my mental health, I gave myself time to heal at my own pace. It was nice to just have people ask me how I was doing. I always tell people that sometimes that’s all a mom needs to hear. “How are you?” It’s that simple and sweet. You can’t buy that kind of care and concern anywhere, because it comes from the heart. Just like my current art project called “ Imaginary Friends,” which is based on graphics I designed a couple a years back. My old designs are making their way to the spotlight in my 30 minute pilot of “Crystal,” where we get to see the her graphic design work and not just hear about it. It helps that my kid is enjoying looking at them, too.
Too see More of crystals Graphics as well as film life visit
Follow and Connect with Crystal on instagram @cplusmedia
Want to connect w/ Crystal Photographer Skylar? Visit her site
Check out the web series on Amazon