Your People | Halleta Alemu

Halleta 8 - Halleta Alemu.jpg

We really don’t have time for me to stan the way that I want to, but just know that Halleta Alemu is that bitch. She just is. I know that. Ariana Grande knows that. It’s known.

Halleta, ilysm. You know this. Tell the people about you so they can love you too.

I am an actress, host/interviewer, and a recently discovered writer? Lol. I've been drawn to the arts/entertainment world since I was very young and always knew my life would be rooted in it. However, it's very unconventional in my family to pursue a career in the arts so I kept my desires a secret. When I turned 18, I decided the best way to make my parents happy and also begin a career in entertainment was to pursue broadcast journalism. After some success, I got braver though! I finally started to pursue acting, something I've wanted to do so dearly. Now to present day, my focus is on expanding my work into music, writing, and making my own films. I started a brand called Spinning Gold where the focus is to create content revolving around how the art we digest affects our humanity - and vice versa, how the art we make allows us to be more human. It's still in its baby stages but stay tuned.

I’m screaming. What is your ideal end game with Spinning Gold and your other aspirations?

My main goal in life is freedom. To be absolutely anything I want to be. That said, in the realm of the work I currently I do, my vision is to be a multi-disciplinary artist. Similar to Donald Glover/Childish Gambino and Janelle Monáe. They've allowed themselves the freedom to work as actors, musicians, writers, etc. So acting wise, I'm working on booking an epic coming-of-age indie movie. Then as far as my own work, I'm developing Spinning Gold to be a place where I can interview artists and eventually create my own short films. I initially created it so I could express myself artistically and existentially, and now my goal is to design an experience that encourages exploration on what it means to be human through an artistic lens. Oh, and I also want to be a DJ. See I told you - I want to do everything.

I’m just so fascinated by humans and our existence - that’s the root of where all my work stems from.
— Halleta Alemu

Nothing wrong with being multidisciplinary sis. What’s the common thread between the things you do? What do you want people to know you for?

I think it's my ability to connect to people. It sounds so simple, but it's had such a profound effect on my life. I feel things very deeply and I empathize with people to a degree that shocks me as times to be honest. I'm just so fascinated by humans and our existence - that's the root of where all my work stems from. I've just recently started to honor this about myself and make it my main intention, instead of solely being on booking jobs. It's crazy, I'm starting to see different reactions to what I do and more people gravitating towards my work. Who knew! All this time I just had to be me.

That’s inspiring af, but I can imagine how challenging that must be. What’s your best advice to other women who find themselves in a similar boat?

Looking back, all of my challenges stemmed from me denying myself the right to just be myself. I was always waiting for someone to give me another job. Waiting for someone to tell me the actress I should be. Waiting for someone to give me the keys to my own future. Ridiculous. That's when everything career wise dried up. I was too tied into the notion that the industry needed to validate my existence and my identity before I could put out my own work. So stupid. I didn't love myself and I really suffered for it. But the great thing about rock bottom is that it gives you a chance to create a new foundation solidified solely on who you are and what you value. A tip to anyone going through rough times, the things about you that make you who you are, are the things that are going to make you a somebody someday. You have to honor them. Who you are is your gift.

A Ted Talk. What’s the main challenge right now for women in the industry that you’d want to help change?

The industry is getting more inclusive but we still need more women of color! In front of the camera, behind the camera, in agencies, etc. We need more women of color in charge of all aspects of film and tv making. That's the only way to really tell our stories. I think the best way to make change is to start with your own community. My friends and I have been working on our own films and shows where we solely use people of color in front of and behind the camera. Eventually, we'd like to work with an all-female crew. Issa Rae said some great advice during an interview that was along the lines of stop trying to network with people above you, work with the people alongside of you and build with them. So that's what we're doing, building with an inclusive foundation.

Aside from Queen Issa, who else are you obsessed with right now?

I am so obsessed with Charli XCX. She is a such a free and experimental pop artist. She is completely revolutionizing pop music not only with her sound but by ditching albums and releasing mixtapes/singles whenever she wants. I really stan.