There are so many things that excited me about my Mujer Project. If you missed my introduction to this project read about it HERE. I could not think of a better woman to start off this series than my sweet friend Miss Natalie Warne.
It's not that Natalie is going to change the world one day; it's that at the age of 22 she already is. She has been a catalyst for several international events with Invisible Children, has traveled throughout the US and world as filmmaker and story teller, AND has been invited twice to tell her story and inspire others at TED Talks
Please take a few minutes to watch her speech Anonymous Extraordinaires HERE.
Through many transitions and ups and downs she has persevered on towards the goal of living a deep and meaningful life while challenging others to do the same. I am so proud to do life with such an unbelievable woman, and cannot wait for you to get to know her better:
Q: Who is Natalie Warne, and what do you do?
A: I tell stories, through filmmaking and public speaking. My dad always said, “Find a job that takes you places.” I’m fortunate to have discovered a job that allows me to do that. Both physically and imaginatively, my job allows me to travel to new places while getting to hear and experience new stories along the way. But most importantly, I am a daughter; the product of an unbelievable family. That is the role I am most proud of.
And yes...Natalie is rockin' some rad jewelry provided by 31 Bits.
Q: How do you stay inspired to create?
A: By surrounding myself with inspiring, creative, and driven people. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that inspiration and creativity don’t always come easy, if ever. It’s a discipline, a muscle that has to be trained. The more it is used the better quality of work it produces. I’m far from mastering that discipline, which is partly why surrounding myself by others who are moving and creating is so important to me. They push me to my own limits to move and create, as well.
Q: What drives you?
A: I am infatuated with and driven by my beautiful, ragtag community. It is made up of friends and mentors that I have worked with, sought with, and struggled with. People whose lives consistently challenge and inspire me as we do life together. Their investment in my life and mine in theirs has shaped me into the woman I am today.
Q: What was the catalyst in your life that made you want to pursue your dreams of activism?
A: It was a film. At 17 I watched Invisible Children, a documentary that exposes a 25 yearlong conflict about a Ugandan warlord, named Joseph Kony, who abducts children to fight in his rebel army. I was shocked to learn that something so atrocious had been going on unnoticed by the rest of the world for so long. Once I heard the story I was moved to action; at 18 I began working for Invisible Children to help bring the war to an end.
I’ve learned since then that this conflict isn’t the only cause worth fighting for, but I know now that this particular organization gripped me in part because of how they tell their story. Theirs isn’t one only of conflict and despair, but also of incredibly resiliency and hope. Learning from Invisible Children about the power of a well told story causes me to wonder about the countless other causes, conflicts, and extraordinary people who would benefit from having their story shared.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure? (Food, Bieber, cheese fries, etc.)
A: Ask me at any given moment to quote from beginning to end The Newsies or Princess Bride and you will not be disappointed. These movies were childhood favorites in the Warne household, and even in our twenties my siblings and I know every line, song, and dance routine. Guilty pleasure? Or material for America’s Got Talent? America’s Funniest Home Videos? You choose.
Q: Right now, who are the bands/artists that you're listening to?
A: I don’t have one specific taste in music. I love it all. My Spotify history would read, in no specific order, something like: Justin Beiber, The National, Les Miserables, The Lumineers, and I’m still not over Watch the Throne or Beyonce’s 4 album. Like I said, I love it all.
Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Funny story: I recently found a letter that I wrote to my “grown up” self when I was 10 years old. I told myself that I wanted to be an actress, and also a spy for the CIA, two very different career paths. Almost every weekend while I was younger my friends and I would make our own home movies, and I wanted to continue doing that as I got older. My dream for becoming a spy was probably influenced by watching a few too many action movies with my older brother, and although I haven’t acted on that childhood dream, I haven’t completely ruled it out, either.
Q: What is your mission statement?
A: To create, share, and advocate for stories that matter.