Charlotte Taschen, Interview
All you really need to know about Charlotte Taschen is that when she was six she started competing in an ancient sport that combines vaulting and gymnastics, and is performed atop a galloping horse. That — in a mind blowing nutshell — encompasses who Charlotte truly is.
I asked her childhood friend Nina Wesemann, a documentary filmmaker based out of Germany, to write a short introduction to give you a little more insight into Charlotte Taschen.
“I remember when we were about 16 years old, Charlotte told me how happy she was about the fact that someone couldn’t look into her head and see her thoughts. Being her best friend, I was a little freaked out and thought, ‘What is it she is not telling me?’ Later, I understood that being happy about the invisibility of your thoughts and ways of thinking in your own head doesn’t have so much to do with hiding things, but about being independent and free.
“Charlotte has been independent and free from an early age. She had to be both these things to create her strong individualism and not conform to convention. She built up her ambitions and learned how to concentrate on the things she cared about, and how to leave other things aside.
“Besides her intense focus, Charlotte has always been a very sensitive person who can be incredibly compassionate. I often watch her reading books while walking around in one spot or stretching her legs while being on a long bus ride. Maybe that is one of her important characteristics: never standing still for very long.”
Who are you?
I was born and raised in Germany and moved to L.A. about 4 years ago to pursue my dreams of acting, which remains my main focus. I just wrapped a great project in New York and now I have post-shooting depression. But luckily I’ll be onto the next one soon — a very exciting, unconventional role in a feature film here in LA.
I also work for my family business at TASCHEN Gallery. There, I’m involved in the organization and preparation of new exhibitions. I do sales, I help curate shows — pretty much anything and everything. I occasionally help my brother with his photo gallery HARDHITTA Gallery, particularly for art fairs. I love working with him! I also just started a small catering business with a friend… we’ll cook for you and dine with you.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I went from wanting to be a photographer to opening a hotel to being an architect. I think I was always keen on the idea of opening my own business, which is why I ended up studying economics. Acting was something I loved doing throughout my teenage years but I didn’t want to admit that to others or myself; I thought it was stupid to want to be an actress. My dream kept chasing me and now I’m the one chasing my dream.
What do you love?
I love what I do, which is pursuing acting and working in a gallery. I thrive on challenges as
they grow me as a person. I love learning new things. I love stretching my physical limits (I do Taekwondo), I love nature, the forest and the beach. I love connecting with people. I love
going to the sauna. I love my family and friends. I love living in L.A. — the city has so much to offer! I love being inspired because it makes me feel alive.
Where do you find inspiration?
I think people’s life stories inspire me the most. I have this 97-year-old friend for instance, who has experienced so many great misfortunes in her life, seemingly too many to handle for one person. But she doesn’t let that get in her way. It’s absolutely fascinating how she chooses to approach what life brings her way. That is probably why I love acting — I take on somebody else’s story and life and make it my own. How fun is that?
What is something you had to learn the hard way?
I have an artistic as well as a logical/pragmatic side to me. I used to envy people that are totally right-brained; I felt like those were the true artists and I wasn’t. What I realized in the last couple of years is that the business side of thing comes easily to me and is part of my nature, but without a creative outlet, I dry up — I get unsatisfied and sad. Acting is my creative expression and keeps me motivated and inspired.
What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
Hmm… maybe that I’m a black belt in Taekwondo?
What are you grateful for?
I’m a very lucky person, in all regards really. My drive in life sparks from that. I feel like it’s my duty to live life to the fullest because life offers me so much.
I need to remind myself of this every day, but I get lost in the unimportant details in life a lot.
How do you define success?
I think success means to achieve something that matters to you. The goal is to create a position for yourself where you love what you do. We mostly try to resist change and don’t want to push past our comfort zone, but I think success has to do with personal growth and overcoming obstacles.
How do you think we can make the world a better place?
I really don’t have that figured out for myself yet. I think a good start is to care and watch out for the people around you. To be a good friend, partner, family member and co-worker. And to stay open with and for others.