"Do not follow a person, follow that person's dreams". Simonetta Lein
I am in Los Angeles, the air is warm, the sun is shining and I'm feeling really excited to continue my celebrity interview series. As per usual, I have absolutely no idea who I am meeting next, as my publicist loves to keep that a secret. I am staying at the historic Hotel Figueroa in DTLA, my publicist picks me up, and we head to the Valley to meet an actor friend for lunch.
"Do you remember the movie Napoleon Dynamite? You know, 'Vote for Pedro'?", she says while driving. Of course I know that film; it's a cult classic after all. I saw it while I was still living in Italy, dubbed unfortunately, as that's how foreign films are usually presented. I was specifically drawn to the character of Pedro. "Please tell me I am going to meet Pedro". She turns to look at me and smiles.
"He is in the process of getting ready for a new film." she says. "He normally crawls into a deep hole when developing a new character, and doesn't emerge until the film is wrapped. But he decided he would meet up with us for lunch, as he'd an old friend of mine, and he's interested in learning about the work you do with The Wishwall Foundation."
We arrive at this little Korean rice bowl restaurant, we sit down, and a minute later, in walks Efren. Tracie makes the introductions, we order some food- chicken and cabbage rice bowls and, while waiting for our lunch to arrive, he asks me to tell him about my foundation. He listens intently, and seems to really understand and respect the mission; that brings me more joy than I can truly express. We drink some hot tea and I start with the first question.
When you were a child, did you wish for the career and for the life that you have manifested today?
I was the kind of kid who lived in the now, I wasn't thinking about the future. All I know was that I wanted to live my life as an adventure, and I think I manifested it.
Name a wish that you had for your life or for humanity that finally came true.
To make a difference. To be a positive influence on people makes me fulfilled. I have the opportunity to speak in front of kids, to be their mentor, and that philosophy of "pass it on" makes me passionate about life. Whatever profession you are in or whatever you do, I think that is the main reason to do something, to pass it on.
**Goosebumps...I knew something about him was really special. I try and do the very same thing each and every day of my life. It's all about influencing and inspiring people in a positive and active way so that they can be involved in paying it forward. That is my life's work and it's so awesome to meet someone who shares the same values; he could really be a perfect ambassador for the Wishwall Foundation... maybe I'll ask him some day.
If you were granted one wish for humanity or for our planet, what would it be?
I wish that each person could have the opportunity to witness that they are all capable of becoming who they really are.
**Goosebumps again. In life, there is an infinite number of different philosophies and ways of thinking; as long as they do not hurt others, I believe that they are all worthy of respect. My personal philosophy is Buddhism, and the core of everything I believe is that every human being has the potential to achieve Buddhahood. In other words, we have the capacity to achieve our maximum potential and happiness in this lifetime. If someone is sad or not self-realized, it impacts not only their life, but the lives of everyone around them. When you see someone happy, that happiness is infectious. I wish, with all my heart, that we could be committed to bringing happiness and support to those who continue to struggle with self-realization. If we could all just encourage one life, and that life encourages another, then we've made tremendous strides towards making this planet a better and more peaceful place to be.
If you could go back in time and ask one question from anyone from history, who would you want to meet and what question would you ask?
I really would like to meet Carl Jung and ask him why he fought all the time with Freud.
**This makes me laugh. I hold three separate degrees, including one in counselling. I studied both Freud and Jung at University, and found it quite fascinating how Freud's most distinguished disciples felt the need to stand up for themselves and criticize their master. My message is this: never blindly believe what they tell you. Listen and try to learn from those who are wiser than you, but then create and develop your own ideology. Perhaps those continued fights allowed Jung to become the great philosopher and thinker he was.
Please tell me what influences your unique sense of style?
**For those who are unfamiliar with Steampunk, here's how it's described in Wikipedia; I was unfamiliar with the terminology myself, and needed to look it up.. "Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Although its literary origins are sometimes associated with the cyberpunk genre, steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has maintained mainstream usage, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power."
Who is your favorite fashion designer or brand right now and why?
Above everyone else, I must say Alexander McQueen. I had the good fortune to meet him personally. They invited me to New York to see his work, I saw his designs, the effort, the creativity. I have a poster of his work in my house. He is inspiring to me; the feeling of necessity through his creations makes him a real artist.
** I love Alexander McQueen so much, I think he is a true artist, he is one of the reasons I love fashion because fashion to me is a walking art and so it should be.
His lines are always unique and yet elegant, he is one of my favorites too.
What is your fashion mantra?
Do not just follow the designer, follow his dreams.
**I would add: "Do not follow a person, follow that person's dreams".
Our interview is almost complete, I thank and I hug him and then ask my final last question.
Do you have a final message for our readers?
However old you are, go out there and think for yourself, form your own opinions and ideas.
Thank you Efren, and I hope to see you again; this was very important for me and, I hope, inspiring for all our readers. As always, make your dreams come true.
From Philadelphia, Simonetta Lein The Wishmaker.
Credits Tracie MayWagner Publicist, William Russell-Edu Collaborator