Meet Elizabeth & Mikayla


MEET ELIZABETH BROGHANNE JESSAMINE AND MIKAYLA OLIVIA ORRSON

OF ELEMENTAL WOMEN PRODUCTIONS

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?

BROGHANNE: I GREW UP IN THE NORTH-EAST OF SCOTLAND WITH MY FAMILY, I AM THE SECOND OF FOUR DAUGHTERS FOR MY PARENTS AND WE HAVE A DOG/BROTHER CALLED MERLOT. I MOVED TO NYC IN AUGUST 2012 TO GO TO COLLEGE. IT WAS DEFINITELY HARDER THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AND HARDER THAN I THINK I WOULD LIKE TO ADMIT TO EVERYONE WHO EVER ASKS ME. WHEN I FIRST MOVED HERE I HAD NEVER BEEN TO THE US BEFORE AND I COMPLETELY CAME HERE ON BLIND FAITH THAT IT WOULD WORK OUT. I ALWAYS TELL PEOPLE THAT IF I HAD ACTUALLY THOUGHT IT THROUGH I PROBABLY WOULD NOT HAVE DONE IT.

MIKAYLA: I’M FROM A TINY TOWN IN NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, MOST OF MY FAMILY LIVES THERE. I GREW UP VERY CLOSE TO MY EXTENDED FAMILY SINCE WE WE’RE ALL LOCAL, THAT MEANT EVERY SUNDAY DINNER WAS MORE LIKE A FAMILY REUNION! MY FAMILY HOME IS LOCATED ON A DIRT ROAD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WOODS. GROWING UP LIFE WAS QUIET AND FULL OF NATURE, I AM TRULY BLESSED FOR THE PICTURESQUE BACKGROUND OF MY CHILDHOOD. I WAS RAISED BY A SINGLE MOM AND I HAVE TWO OLDER SIBLINGS. WE ALSO HAVE (AND HAD) AN INSANE AMOUNT OF RESCUE ANIMALS! MY MOM HAS A BIG HEART AND IS ALWAYS OPENING HER HOME TO ANIMALS IN NEED. 

WHAT WOMEN (OR MEN) INSPIRE YOU? WHY?

BROGHANNE: PAMELA DELGADO THE FOUNDER OF THE BRAND RAWLY BOLD IS A CONSTANT SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR ME. SHE IS SO COMMITTED TO HER BRAND AND BUILDING AN AMAZING COMMUNITY. NOT ONLY THAT SHE IS ONE OF THE MOST SUPPORTIVE AND LOVIEST PEOPLE I KNOW. I ALSO FEEL INSPIRED BY MY SISTERS A LOT, THERE ARE THREE OF THEM, ROWAN, CARYS AND XYANTHEA AND MY MUM AND MY DAD HONESTLY I WOULD NEVER BE THE PERSON I AM WITHOUT THEM PUTTING UP WITH ME, SUPPORTING ME AND CALLING ME ON THINGS. AS A FAMILY WE STICK TOGETHER AND WE TACKLE SOME OF THE HARDEST SITUATIONS BY BEING THERE NO MATTER WHAT, THEY TEACH ME A LOT ABOUT LOYALTY AND THEY ARE REAL. THEY DON’T HOLD BACK WHICH SUCKS AT THE SAME TIME AS BEING SOMETHING I REALLY NEED IN MY LIFE. AS FAR AS PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT DIRECTLY IN MY LIFE I AM INSPIRED BY THE WRITER JENNY LAWSON, SHE WROTE A BOOK IN REGARD TO HER EXPERIENCES WITH ANXIETY THAT ACTUALLY CHANGED MY LIFE AND THE WAY I RELATE TO THAT PART OF ME. EVERYONE SHOULD READ HER WORK.

MIKAYLA: I PROMISE I’M NOT ANSWERING THIS ONE TO GET BROWNIE POINTS AT CHRISTMAS, BUT MY BIGGEST INSPIRATION IS MY MOM AND MY NANA. MY MOM IS INCREDIBLE. NOT ONLY DOES SHE HELP RESCUE ANIMALS, SHE ALSO WORKS AS A NURSE, RUNS MARATHONS, IS AN APPRENTICE WOOD CARVER, AN AVID CAMPER, KNOWS THE LYRICS TO EVERY COUNTRY SONG EVER WRITTEN, AND OF COURSE IS THE PROUD MOMMA OF HER THREE ‘KITTENS’ (THAT’S WHAT SHE CALLS MY SIBLINGS AND I.) THEN THERE’S MY INSPIRING NANA, SHE WAS WITH ME EVERY STEP OF THE WAY GROWING. SHE GAVE ME SOUND ADVICE LIKE, NEVER HAVE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET WHEN YOU GO ON A ROLLER COASTER AND IF I DON’T EAT THE CRUST OF MY TOAST, I WON’T GET CURLY HAIR! SHE WAS MY BEST FRIEND AND CONFIDANT, UNFORTUNATELY SHE PASSED AWAY FROM DEMENTIA IN 2017. 

DID YOU PURSE A HIGHER EDUCATION?

BROGHANNE: YES, I GUESS YOU CAN SAY THAT. I GRADUATED WITH AN ASSOCIATES DEGREE IN FILM AND TELEVISION PERFORMANCE FROM THE NEW YORK CONSERVATORY FOR DRAMATIC ARTS. HOWEVER, WHEN I FIRST WAS ACCEPTED, THE PROGRAM WASN’T CREDITED. IT IS AN ACTING PROGRAM AND SO I WENT TO TRAIN IN ACTING NOT SO MUCH FOR THE DEGREE. IT REALLY WAS AN ESCAPE AND EXCUSE FOR ME TO MOVE.

MIKAYLA: BROGHANNE AND MY ANSWER ARE GOING TO BE VERY SIMILAR. WHY? BECAUSE THAT’S HOW WE MET! I MET BROGHANNE 7 YEARS AGO AT ORIENTATION, AND THAT LAUNCHED OUR BEST FRIENDSHIP AND NOW A PRODUCTION COMPANY! SO, YES I WENT TO THE NEW YORK CONSERVATORY FOR DRAMATIC ARTS WHERE I GOT MY ASSOCIATES DEGREE. 

WHAT DO YOU FOR FOR A LIVING? IS IT WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE DOING 5-10 YEARS AGO?

BROGHANNE: I AM AN ACTOR, MODEL, CO FOUNDER OF ELEMENTAL WOMEN PRODUCTIONS AND MAITRE’D OF A RESTAURANT. I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN ACTOR AND I HAVE BEEN PERFORMING SINCE I WAS A CHILD SO YES I THOUGHT I WOULD BE DOING THAT THE OTHERS THINGS JUST KIND OF HAPPENED. I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT I WOULD BE FURTHER ALONG IN MY CAREER AS AN ACTOR AT THIS POINT BUT I HAVE DONE A LOT AND STARTING A COMPANY IS DEFINITELY NOT WHAT I THOUGHT I WOULD BE DOING RIGHT NOW.

MIKAYLA: I’M A WRITER, CO FOUNDER OF ELEMENTAL WOMEN PRODUCTIONS, AND FABULOUS BARTENDER. I HAD STARTED IN ACTING WHEN I FIRST MOVED TO NEW YORK BUT I QUICKLY REALIZED THAT I DIDN’T LOVE THE STORIES I WAS ACTING IN, SO I DECIDED I WAS GOING TO WRITE THE STORIES I WAS LONGING TO HEAR! I FELL IN LOVE WITH WRITING. I GET A THRILL OUT OF WRITING CONVERSATIONS I’VE NEVER HAD OR ARGUMENTS THAT I CAN ACTUALLY WIN! I WOULD NOT HAVE GUESSED I’D BE A WRITER BUT NOW THAT I AM, I COULDN’T IMAGINE LIFE ANY OTHER WAY! AS FOR BARTENDING, I LIKE IT FOR TWO SIMPLE REASONS: I LIKE PEOPLE AND I LIKE BOOZE.

HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR PASSION IN LIFE? IF SO, WHAT IS IT?

BROGHANNE: I THINK I HAVE FOUND A FEW PASSIONS IN MY LIFE, WORKING AND CREATING ELEMENTAL WOMEN PRODUCTIONS IS DEFINITELY A FULFILLING PASSION FOR ME. I LOVE THAT WHAT WE ARE DOING IS CREATING A COMMUNITY AND SPACE FOR WOMXN TO BRING THEIR STORIES TO LIFE. I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND EQUALITY. BEING ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO IS MAKING THE CHANGE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY TO REALLY PUSH AND BRING OUT THOSE STORIES THAT ARE HIDDEN OR USED AS PLOT POINTE FOR MALE LEADS IS FULFILLING FOR ME.

MIKAYLA: MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH. PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME, KNOW THAT I WILL GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO MAKE SOMEONE CRACK A SMILE. I GET SOME MUCH GRATITUDE FOR SEEING OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY. EVEN IF THE SMILE ONLY LASTS A SECOND, THAT’S ONE SECOND BETTER AND THAT’S WHAT MATTERS. HOW THIS CONNECTS TO MY CAREER ASPIRATIONS IS THROUGH MY WRITING. I LOVE TO WRITE COMEDIES AND TELL JOKES! 

WHAT EVENT OR MOMENT OCCURRED THAT LED YOU TOWARDS YOUR PASSION?

BROGHANNE: THERE ARE A FEW EVENTS THAT WERE THE CATALYST TO ELEMENTAL WOMEN PRODUCTIONS BEING FORMED AND ME REALLY EMBRACING THIS AS A PASSION AND CAUSE IN MY LIFE. ONE IS THAT I WAS TIRED OF ALWAYS GOING ON AUDIOS TO BE THE GIRLFRIEND. ANOTHER IS THAT I WAS IN TWO PRODUCTIONS THAT USED THE #METOO MOVEMENT AS PLOT DEVICES TO MAKE THE MALE LEAD SEEM LIKE THE HERO EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE NOT. THIS ISN’T NEW OR DIFFERENT AND I HAD BEEN IN MANY PRODUCTIONS BEFORE THAT DID THE EXACT SAME THING. THIS TIME I WAS DIFFERENT I HAD EXPERIENCED AN EVENT THAT CHANGED MY RESPONSE AND I HAD ENOUGH. I HAVE SO MANY FRIENDS THAT ARE AMAZING WRITERS, PERFORMERS, TECHNICIANS AND WE WERE ALL SAYING THE SAME THING AND WAITING FOR IT TO CHANGE, I MET UP WITH MIKAYLA AT A BAR FOR THE SENATE AND HOUSE ELECTIONS AND I ASKED HER TO WRITE ME A PLAY AND TO BE MY BUSINESS PARTNER. WE WOULD CREATE PROJECTS THAT WERE THE STORIES WE WERE EXPERIENCING AND THOSE OF THE PEOPLE WE KNEW WERE DEALING WITH. WE WOULD MAKE SURE THAT THE TEAM WERE 75% FEMALE IDENTIFYING AND WE WOULD BE THE ONES TO DO IT AND WE HAVE.

MIKAYLA: AS A KID, I WOULD BASICALLY WALKED AROUND AS A TINY STAND UP ROUTINE! I WOULD TELL JOKES AND TRY TO DO IMPRESSIONS, ALL BECAUSE I LOVE SEEING PEOPLE HAPPY. EVEN IF I’M EMBARRASSING MYSELF, IT’S ALL WORTH IT. SO, NOW I WANT TO BRING THAT TO A LARGER SCALE AND BRIGHTEN UP AS MANY PEOPLE’S DAYS AS I CAN.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS ONE KEY ELEMENT OR EVENT THAT HELPED TO GET YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?

BROGHANNE: THERE ARE A FEW EVENTS THAT WERE THE CATALYST TO ELEMENTAL WOMEN PRODUCTIONS BEING FORMED AND ME REALLY EMBRACING THIS AS A PASSION AND CAUSE IN MY LIFE. ONE IS THAT I WAS TIRED OF ALWAYS GOING ON AUDIOS TO BE THE GIRLFRIEND. ANOTHER IS THAT I WAS IN TWO PRODUCTIONS THAT USED THE #METOO MOVEMENT AS PLOT DEVICES TO MAKE THE MALE LEAD SEEM LIKE THE HERO EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE NOT. THIS ISN’T NEW OR DIFFERENT AND I HAD BEEN IN MANY PRODUCTIONS BEFORE THAT DID THE EXACT SAME THING. THIS TIME I WAS DIFFERENT I HAD EXPERIENCED AN EVENT THAT CHANGED MY RESPONSE AND I HAD ENOUGH. I HAVE SO MANY FRIENDS THAT ARE AMAZING WRITERS, PERFORMERS, TECHNICIANS AND WE WERE ALL SAYING THE SAME THING AND WAITING FOR IT TO CHANGE, I MET UP WITH MIKAYLA AT A BAR FOR THE SENATE AND HOUSE ELECTIONS AND I ASKED HER TO WRITE ME A PLAY AND TO BE MY BUSINESS PARTNER. WE WOULD CREATE PROJECTS THAT WERE THE STORIES WE WERE EXPERIENCING AND THOSE OF THE PEOPLE WE KNEW WERE DEALING WITH. WE WOULD MAKE SURE THAT THE TEAM WERE 75% FEMALE IDENTIFYING AND WE WOULD BE THE ONES TO DO IT AND WE HAVE.

MIKAYLA: AS A KID, I WOULD BASICALLY WALKED AROUND AS A TINY STAND UP ROUTINE! I WOULD TELL JOKES AND TRY TO DO IMPRESSIONS, ALL BECAUSE I LOVE SEEING PEOPLE HAPPY. EVEN IF I’M EMBARRASSING MYSELF, IT’S ALL WORTH IT. SO, NOW I WANT TO BRING THAT TO A LARGER SCALE AND BRIGHTEN UP AS MANY PEOPLE’S DAYS AS I CAN. 

WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE TO YOU? IS YOUR IDEA OF SUCCESS DIFFERENT FROM A PREVIOUS VERSION?

BROGHANNE: SUCCESS TO ME IS ALWAYS PRETTY MUCH I CAN PAY MY RENT, BILLS AND BASIC NEEDS WITH WHAT I AM EARNING FROM ACTING, MODELING AND NOW EWP. I THINK WHEN YOU ARE FIRST IN THIS INDUSTRY AND WHAT MOST PEOPLE SAY YOU SHOULD THINK SUCCESS IS, IS THAT YOU ARE MAKING MILLIONS AND WINNING ALL THE AWARDS AND YES THAT WOULD BE AMAZING, HOWEVER I REALLY FEEL LIKE THE MINUTE I CAN PAY MY RENT AND BILLS WITH A PAYCHECK FROM THE ARTS I WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. AT THAT POINT SUCCESS WITH CHANGE TO SUSTAINING THAT AND THEN MORE.

MIKAYLA: TO ME, SUCCESS IS CONTINUING. SO MANY PEOPLE START PROJECTS AND QUIT WHEN THEY EITHER GET SELF CONSCIOUS OR THEY AREN’T SEEING RESULTS FAST ENOUGH. SUCCESS IS STRIVING FORWARD. I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PAY BILLS ON MY WRITING BUT I’M STILL SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE I WORK ON WRITING EVERYDAY. IT’S EASY TO QUIT, IT’S HARDER TO PERSEVERE. THAT’S SUCCESSFUL TO ME.

WHAT IS A QUOTE YOU LIVE BY?

BROGHANNE: NOT REALLY QUOTES BUT; EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON AND LETS GO.  

MIKAYLA: I LOVE THIS QUESTION! MY ALL TIME FAVORITE QUOTE IS, “TO LOVE ONESELF IS THE BEGINNING OF A LIFELONG ROMANCE.” A QUOTE BY OSCAR WILDE

IF YOU COULD GIVE ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER, THIRTEEN YEAR OLD SELF, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

BROGHANNE: THAT HORRIBLE THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE AND THAT SUCKS BUT YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH AND NO MATTER WHAT IT DOES WORK OUT. TRY NOT TO BE AS SCARED. YOU ACTUALLY TURN OUT OKAY.


MIKAYLA: DON’T GET BANGS, THEY AREN’T EVER GOING TO LOOK GOOD ON YOU. DON’T BRUSH OFF STUDYING BECAUSE YOU THINK CHEMISTRY IS STUPID. SPEAKING OF STUPID, BOYS ARE DUMB DON’T LET ONE BREAK YOUR HEART IN SENIOR YEAR! START WRITING A JOURNAL NOW, YOUR STORY GET REALLY GOOD, I PROMISE.