She's Swell! >> Augustine Frizzell
Hometown >> Dallas, Texas
Occupation >> Filmmaker/Writer/Yoga Teacher
Previous Career >> Vegan doughnut shop owner, film and stage actor
Fear She's Conquered >> Stage fright
Companion Animals >> Four felines: Lurch, Willo, Downsey, and Little K
Beauty Secret >> Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash. "Since I started using it, I almost never have breakouts."
Favorite Foods >> "I love cherry tomatoes and sliced tomatoes more than almost anything. Kale Salad--kale, tomatoes, avocado, flax oil, Braggs aminos, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast--is probably next on the list."
Beverage of Choice >> "Water. Oh--and red wine!"
"I came from a very rough background and find that the lower socioeconomic demographic is vastly underrepresented in film. I’m in a position to represent these characters on the screen and I feel an obligation to do so."
At just 35 years old, Texas native Augustine Frizzell has already lived many lives. Before her current career incarnation as a filmmaker and yoga instructor, Augustine worked as an actor, ran a vegan doughnut shop, and still maintains a full-time job as mother to a teenage daughter. Her next big project is a feature-length, humor-infused film that delves into the lives of teenage girls as they navigate the cusp of adulthood. Here, she shares some of her good-living secrets and invites you to learn more about her current passion project, Never Goin' Back.
Describe a day in your life.
A day in my life is almost never the same but sometimes things go like this: Rise at 10 am. Have breakfast with my daughter and, if my husband is in town, him, too. I generally have hot green/lavender/rose tea with Ezekiel toast and sliced tomatoes. Check email, clean up around the house, and then work. Lately my work is pre-production on my film; meetings, re-writes, rehearsals, research,
scouting, etc. It’s hectic and busy, but fun! Throughout, I advise my daughter on her lessons, run her around town to do her errands/gym time, then I teach yoga and often take a class before or after mine. I take evening walks with my daughter and stay up reading and working until generally between 1 and 3 am.
How do you manage maintaining your own career and interests with motherhood?
At this point, my daughter is almost 16 and pretty self-sufficient. She’s also homeschooled, so we have flexibility that works for both of us. We work in an organic flow. We both do our own thing but also work really well together on any number of projects. I’m not sure how I got so lucky but things are pretty harmonious and it feels effortless on both our parts.
There are times when she needs to go somewhere and I’m just too tired and she respects that. Then there are times when I have to rearrange things or really struggle to make something happen for her and I do it because I respect her needs. We’re both super easygoing for the most part, so our personalities work really well together. There’s very little tension.
How did you develop an interest in filmmaking?
I’ve always been a big lover of film and always knew I wanted to make movies myself. I’d make small home movies with my daughter--she and I acting in them--but never thought I’d be able to afford to make something bigger. I was an actress for many years, and along the way, I met my current collaborators. They’re people like me who love to work on projects and are creative in finding ways to make them happen.
My current focus is on the teenage years. I came from a very rough background and find that the lower socioeconomic demographic is vastly underrepresented in film. I’m in a position to represent these characters on the screen and I feel an obligation to do so. At the moment, I’m steering away from the usual parent/child conflict and rebellion that we often see and instead focusing on the comedy.
Tell us more about your current project, Never Goin’ Back. How you decided on the premise ?
This story is based largely on my own teenage years, which were difficult and unconventional but also filled with fun adventures, strong friendships, and life lessons.
So many of the people I knew back then are not in a good place today. Many are in and out of prison, still doing drugs, or worse. I was one of the lucky ones who got out and went on to live a decent life. I feel lucky to be in a position to tell this story. There are so many teenagers whose lives are very different than what we generally see on screen in teen movies. These kids deserve to see themselves depicted without the usual focus on the negative. I want to show another side of the story. If Superbad took place in a lower income neighborhood with kids who didn’t have steady homes, that would be this story.
Switching gears completely, do you like to travel? If so, what’s your favorite destination?
I love to travel and at any given time of year, this answer changes. At the moment, it’s summer and I want more than anything to go back to St. Barths! I went with my husband on our honeymoon in 2011 and it felt like being in Paris, but dropped in the middle of a tropical
paradise. We visited all the beaches, sunbathed topless, and went every morning for coffee and French bread at the local boulangerie.
I also fell in love with Ghent, Belgium last year when I went for a film festival. The city was dreamy and the weather was rainy and gray, which is my favorite type of weather. We went to an old castle, ate fresh spicy mustard, and saw movies. It was amazing and I would love to go back! The entire city is vegan-friendly and the food is outstanding!
How would you describe your personal style?
Casual, sometimes sloppy and careless! HA! I wish I had better style, but I’ve been poor so long, I’ve not allowed myself to care about clothes. I always made sure my daughter had good clothes and I taught her how to shop cheap. She has incredible style and can put together great outfits on a dime. She’s a genius at thrifting.
What causes do you support?
I am passionate about human rights of all kinds. Women, LGBT, racial equality, etc. Animal rights, too. I foster kittens/cats and am vegan because I love animals. I’d never hurt or eat something I love!
To learn more about Never Goin' Back straight from the director's mouth and make a donation to support her project, head over here.