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Megan Davis: Actress & Author On The Rise

Megan Davis is an actress, model, and published author based in Los Angeles, CA. Megan is fierce and highly talented. A self-described “theatre kid,” she had her first lead role at the Tulsa Opera when she was 12 years old in "The Cunning Little Vixen." A few years later, she was invited to the Edinburgh Theatre Festival to portray the lead role in "The Day They Shot John Lennon."

Megan found solace and purpose in the performing arts, eventually pursuing her passion at the University of Arizona, where she majored in Acting and Musical Theatre. Megan felt at home around artists and knew this was her "world." Megan is a true creative. Her academic journey led to her pursing her acting dreams full-time in Los Angeles. Diving head-first into her professional acting career, Megan's trajectory has been dynamic, spanning captivating performances in theatrical productions to memorable roles in television series like "American Horror Story," "2 Broke Girl$" and "Bones." She's also left a lasting impression in film, notably portraying Amber Heard in the Fox movie "Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial," where she played the lead role based on the sensational trial that captivated the world. Despite the challenges of the entertainment industry, Megan's resilience and dedication to storytelling have earned her recognition, including a nomination for Best Actress at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards.

Megan is a true creative and recently completed her first book of poetry titled "What Breaks Us" which is a highly personal, and provocative, collection of poems that explores the subjects of sexuality, relationships, addiction, dependency, and much more. In the book, Megan discusses her personal coming out story, her defining relationship with a woman, and how this has shaped her outlook on life and affected her relationships with her family and future partners. Her book will resonate with readers of all sexual orientations as she deals with subjects that are human experiences we can all relate to.

When Megan had a moment, she spoke with Gemma Magazine about her inspiration, her creative process, and her thoughts on the acting world. We also talked about her book of poetry. Not to mention, we share an admiration of actress Ruth Wilson. So let's get started.

What inspired you to become an actress? 

The song "Castle on a Cloud." I would sing it and clean the kitchen floors by hand. Which I am sure made my mom very happy! 

What type of roles are you drawn to? (Roles that are challenging but exciting) I love roles where people see the character as the "villain." The human experience is so enjoyable. No one is the villain in their own story, and we are all driven to take our actions from a place of love or fear. There have been times when I was operating primarily from fear. It wasn't conscious, and I wasn't the best person then, certainly not the best version of myself. So, it is an honor to have the opportunity to bring humanity to people whom others don't see humanity.

What was it like growing up in Tulsa? Also, you participated in the theatre productions, correct? Well, Tulsa has some nice things to say about it. I didn't enjoy it much. I'm not religious, and I knew pretty young that I was probably queer, so growing up someplace that is not very accepting was hard. Even visiting is hard for me. If you have to get a haircut, you find yourself sitting in the chair, and when the hairdresser asks you about your love life, you look around like, am I going to get beat up or have any hateful things said to me because I don't have the fight in me today. I did love participating in the theater and opera scene, though. I worked in theater at my school and the Tulsa Opera. I would sing if there were roles for kids, and if there weren't, I would work backstage. I just loved being around it so much. And artists are so accepting and fun – the theater always felt like home to me, so I tried to be there as much as possible. I would've slept there if I could've gotten away with it. 

Please describe your experience at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Yeah, it was a blast. I mean, Scotland is incredible, and any time I get to perform every night and then spend the rest of my time seeing shows with other great artists, it's like a dream—just 24/7 art and connecting with artists. I also got my belly button pierced; that was a bit of a mistake. I thought you just took it right out, and it healed right over, but nope. Still there. 

Was being cast as Amber Heard in the FOX film Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial exciting? What was the film experience like? It was exhilarating, I guess, and also a bit terrifying. I didn't watch the trial until I got the role, and then I watched the whole thing. I knew everyone hated her, but I couldn't figure out why. To me, she seemed like a 20-something-year-old with abandonment issues. And that was me at 29. Man, I projected the hell out of my abandonment issues onto people. He didn't seem like a walk in the park either. Yet, I kept thinking that if someone had been recording all my fights with my exes, I'm sure everyone would hate me, too. They were both just human beings in a bad relationship. So, I guess I felt excited about that. When I listened to the recordings of their fights, I could hear myself in them. And that's what made me excited to take the role. Look, I understand why people found her disingenuous on the stand. However, I felt like what I heard in the audio tapes was a woman in love and terrified, and I could relate to that. I just hoped to bring some humanity to her – to remind people she was human. Shooting was challenging because the schedule was insane. We shot all the trial shots on the stand in one day. So the schedule was like that the whole way through, which made it challenging, but challenging can be fun. 

What is your creative process with acting? Sure. One of my favorite things is the first thing I do when I get the script. I put three pieces of paper side by side and wrote at the top – "What does the script say about me?" "What do I say about myself?" "What do other characters say about me?" Usually, the more my character says about myself, the more it differs from what the script and other characters say about me, and the more excited I am for the role. Because it tells me so much about that character and their perspective on life, and if those match up by the end of the script, then I know if my character has grown. It's fascinating how much we need our life narratives to survive. 

How does acting sustain you?

Oh man… this will sound so cliché and dumb, but artistry in any form sustains my soul. The rest of me can figure out a way to get through if my soul is in it. 

Who are some actors that you admire and would love to work with? There are so many—the one I would love to, but I can't – Katharine Hepburn. Ruth Wilson is one of my favorite actors. I've loved her since I saw "Luther. " Jessica Lange, Pedro Pascal, Angelina Jolie, Viola Davis, Jack Nicholson, Julia Roberts, Anthony Hopkins, Lakeith Stanfield, Taraji P. Henson. I have been lucky enough to work with respected actors like Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters. 

Congratulations on your book of poetry titled "What Breaks Us." Please tell me your thoughts on the decision to write a book. Oh man, I didn't. I never wanted to write a book. Well, I take that back. I wrote a book about a child detective named Reeces Pieces when I was about 6 or 7. And I started a book at that same age about the night the Titanic sank. But I would've sooner published those. I only wrote these poems to try and make sense of my emotions. I went through a breakup last summer that was hard for me, and it brought up a lot. It turns out I had a lot to work through – a lot I hadn't healed or even processed. And that was the only reason I wrote the poetry. But then I let someone read it, and they convinced me to let someone else read it, and they convinced me that it could help others, and at some point, I lost track of the train. But this is scary for me. I am used to being vulnerable like other people, not like myself, not like this. 

Do you believe we can only love others if we love ourselves? Hmm. That's an excellent question. No, I don't. I think we can love others. For many, it's much easier to love others than ourselves. It was for me. But that's where it gets complicated because did I love them? As humans, we talk about goalposts and absolutes – as if we can ever get to a particular place rather than constantly moving toward it. I also think love is a highly overused and underdefined word. In other languages, they have so many different words for love to imply different forms, and in English, we are so limited – we only have one, and we give it so much power. 

It depends on your definition. Mine has changed dramatically over the years, and I am sure it will continue. I think when I used to have a low sense of self-worth and self-esteem and a lot of unhealed trauma, what I was experiencing as love was attachment and bonding. The truth is that I didn't believe that I was loveable. So I was putting the people I attached to in an impossible position: Prove that I'm loveable even though I subconsciously hand-selected you because I know you'll reinforce my belief that I am not worthy of love. Although, I have been fortunate because I have had some incredible partners. However,

there was little they could do. Only when I could accept love and believe I deserved it. We look for proof of what we believe, and we will find it. So, we must believe that we are loveable and accept love. When we do that, we can love others as they deserve to be loved – exactly how they are. We don't need to change anyone because we don't need them to be different from us. 

What is upcoming for you? I have no idea. Oh wait, that's not true. I just finished filming a film with my friend Adam Irigoyen that I wrote, and it's in post-production. The composer and I are trying to find the right music for the film. So that's been really fun. And I think it's good. It's called "Hemorrhage". But we are doing that right now. I'm excited to see the final result.

To keep up with Megan Davis:

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