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FIELDTESTED | LILA DONOLO, ACTRESS AND YOGINI

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Lila Donolo is a Jill of all trades being a yogini, a writer, actress and Thai bodyworker under her belt. She sent us some much appreciated feedback on our pants, and next thing you know, she took our pants to her Yoga classes and across the globe trips. She talks to us about her motivations and future plans.

Tell us a bit of yourself - how did you get into Yoga, Writing, Thai Bodyworker, and Acting?

I’ve been interested in performing since I was a child, and my first role was as Toto (yes, in full shaggy dog costume) in “The Wizard of Oz” at the local Recreation Center. I later graduated to human roles and attended an arts high school, Pinellas County Center for the Arts, where I had the chance to study subjects like acting, directing, playwriting, black and white photography, stage make-up, and theatre history. I continued to study Drama in college, graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Experimental Theatre Wing. Last year I performed in a cutting-edge immersive theatre piece called Empire Travel Agency, which was lauded by the New York Times! Performing still lights me up like nothing else does, but when I write I can enter a state of flow for hours.

In high school, I took playwriting class and won the Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Competition. In college, I wrote a screenplay. When I went traveling for a year, I cultivated a page-a-day practice. A couple of years ago, I co-wrote a stage play. Recently, I’ve begun all kinds of projects: a book based on the weekly email missives I send out to my yoga students, a book based on living in my community, an immersive play, a handful of articles…

I thought that my mother dragged me to my first yoga class, when I was fifteen years old and living with her in Florida. She told me recently, though, that I asked her to take me. Yoga is the one practice that I have returned to regularly throughout my life. Because it serves as medicine for me. I’ve traveled and taught AcroYoga across the United States and in Europe. Recently I developed a class for Crunch gyms, where I teach now, called The Acrobat’s Workout, and it’s gotten some lovely attention.

During my AcroYoga practice, I was introduced to Thai Bodywork. I’ve always felt an affinity for the art of bodywork, and intuitively understood where to touch people to bring them relief (and joy!), so having specific techniques gave me a framework for my gift of touch. I’ve now been giving Thai Bodywork for nine years, I adore the way it instantly allows myself and my receiver to enter a state of deep intimacy. I’ve been honored with some of the most profound, most vulnerable conversations while giving Thai.

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What motivates you?

Intimacy motivates me.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Five years from now I see myself performing in an Off-Broadway show or on a Netflix/HBO/Amazon series, with a published book or play or two under my belt, and engaging in projects that combine two or more of my talents and a taste of adventure. In love with myself, a partner, my collaborators, and my friends.

Top 5 things you can never leave home without.

I don’t leave home without my notebook, a fine pen, Blistex, a set of Bamboo utensils, and a re-usable shopping bag with a seahorse pattern on it.

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We are inspired by Lila’s passion for the arts, and are proud to have her as a Fieldtester, a group of inspiring friends that regularly test MATTER products in their workplace and trails to help us improve durability and design. Lila wears The Lounge Lunghi + Philippine Teal, Size 1.