Marcella Marie Riley
Born and raised in Long Beach, California. I am a bit of a Jack of all trades. Photography is just one of the many things I do well and also enjoy doing.
Currently, my passion for the arts has led me to The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. There, I write and perform improvised, sketch, and musical comedy.
The world of comedy has taught me to be a more honest person, to accept the "gifts" from life, and most importantly, to have fun.
As a kid, I was super athletic. One summer, I was convinced to participate in a theater workshop at a local high school. That is when I fell into the arts. When summer ended, I tossed my basketball in to the closet and joined the drama department at my high school, Long Beach Polytechnic (Yes.... that's also where Snoop Dogg graduated from).
From there, I auditioned and was accepted into The Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Today, I dance, when I have the time. Tap has always been my favorite. I still have a crush on my DADA tap teacher, Jason Samuel Smith....
While in high school, I listened to John Mayer for the first time and then decided to dust off my purple Ibanez guitar with the, impossible to tune, floating whammy bar. Around the same time, The NAACP also gave me an award and a free trip to Florida for a poem that I wrote.
For four years, I worked as a performer at The Walt Disneyland Resort. I basically was paid to have fun. It was, hands down, the one of the most memorable times in my life. I am not allowed to talk about my job there, but let's just say I was good friends with Chip and Dale.
My college years was spent at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I have always been naturally gifted when it comes to sketching pictures and despite always turning in the best work, my storyboarding teacher Oliver Sin, never gave me a grade higher than a C...... and I can draw pretty well! But my major was in film production, so my drawing class was the least of my concerns. During this time is when I began exploring with photography.
After college, I worked in Hollywood as a production assistant on various projects. Eventually I landed a job as a video editor at APA Agency in Beverly Hills. I hate offices.... so that got old pretty quick. From there my job went from bad to worse after I left the talent agency to work as an Apple retail specialist. It took four lousy years before I realized that Apple Retail is a place where artists go to die..... The Artists Graveyard, is what I nick named it. Though, the fruit stand was the catalyst to me moving to New York City. And, for that, I am grateful. I also walked away from retail with some totally legit friends.
I eventually forced myself to be confident in my work and built up the courage to break out of the glass box and get back to my roots, so to speak. I have been working as a freelancer ever since. Working occasionally in the television industry, while also maintaining as a photographer. It is tough. But being on my own has never felt so rewarding.