Interview with Helenna Santos
Founder @ Ms. In The Biz, Producer @ Mighty Pharaoh Films

Helenna can often be found on panels and appearances at conventions such as San Diego “Comic-Con”, and has been interviewed by major press outlets including CNN and FOX News. Her work as a contributing writer has been featured in MovieMaker Magazine, Backstage Magazine, and Women and Hollywood, and she co-authored the book "Thriving in Hollywood! Tenacious Tales and Tactics from Ms. In The Biz.". Check out Helenna's website here.
Hi Helenna! Could you please start off by introducing your work with Ms. In The Biz, and what initially led to your founding the website?
Hey there! I'm Helenna Santos. I'm an actor, writer, producer and founder of Ms. In The Biz. Ms. In The Biz is an online magazine. It's the go-to resource for female entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry and we have over 300 women who've written for the site, 20 to 25 on a monthly basis, read all over the world. And basically, it gives the ins and outs of what it is like to be in the entertainment industry. When I started it back in 2013 there really was nothing like it and I wanted to have a place where people could go and get information that was really real about the day to day, and that's what it is, and it’s become something I'm really, really proud of Ms. In The Biz dot com.
What are some of the past Comic Con panels you've participated in, and what are the main topics you're commonly asked to speak, blog and write about?
For Comic-Con panels in the past, I've spoken on a number of different panels. One of them was ‘All Shapes and Sizes Welcome’ about body image and the entertainment industry, specifically women's experience of body image in the entertainment industry. I've also spoken on a panel about geek girls called 'Geek Girls Create' where it's all about women creating content and how they do that whether it's web series, films, shows, books, comics. And the things I'm often asked to speak or write about are: being an entrepreneur, being a filmmaker, being a minority female in the entertainment industry, and Ms. In The Biz, so all of those things.
How do you balance your work with the two spheres of your career? How much of your time is spent writing, acting and producing, and how much of your time is spent managing Ms. In The Biz?
Time management, that's a big one. (So, I also have a dog who's being very, very talkative right now.) But as far as all the different spheres of what I do, acting, writing, producing, Ms. In The Biz. They're all kind of interconnected, yet all totally separate. So, with acting, it'll be… I have an audition or have a shoot, and I have to really hyper-focus on that. With producing, I feel like I'm kind of always doing it. If we are in development for something I have to be giving yes-es a no-s to stuff, same with if we're in an edit or if we're in distribution for something, I have to put that hat on. With writing it all depends on what I'm doing. If I'm writing guest articles, then I have to really be hyper-focused on that. With Ms. In The Biz I have to be hyper-focused when I'm doing that as well, and I’m managing all of the different writers and I am programming all this stuff in with my assistant editor. It's all really time-consuming but I love it all, and I had to learn that there are only so many things that I can do in a day, and only so many things that I can commit to. Because as soon as I over commit, I start to get anxiety and I have to make sure that I realistically look at the amount of time I have and what I can actually accomplish, and if it actually goes along with my final goal. So goal setting for me and figure out ways to get there are really important. (Very, very important and I apologize for my dog, I hope you're able to hear all that but I'm often dealing with puppy too, just the reality of life.) I hope that makes sense and 'Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less' is a book that completely changed my life and I realized that it's all about prioritizing and figuring out the things you have to do to get a specific goal and if something doesn't feed that, to say no, get rid of it, move on, and that's OK.
What's next for your work with both Ms. In The Biz and Mighty Pharaoh Films? What are the main projects and releases you'll be focusing on in 2019?
Okay, what's next for Ms. In The Biz and Mighty Pharaoh Films? Well, Ms. In The Biz will always be at Ms. In The Biz dot com, we have new articles every Monday through Friday so check us out there. Mighty Pharaoh Films has a lot of really exciting things coming out. Right now, 'At Your Own Risk' which is a micro-budget project that was done in co-production with Mirrortree, that is out right now on Amazon and iTunes you can check it out. We're getting a lot of really cool press because it was a micro-budget project, truly. Just check it out at At Your Own Risk Movie dot com, and we also are finishing up a sci-fi feature that we'll be looking for distribution for in the New Year. And we have another one in development and a couple of other projects that are going, so there's a lot in the works. And I'm currently up here in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada although we do go back and forth between Vancouver and L.A. that's sort of how our life is set up, and I'm doing a lot of network TV stuff and auditions and bookings and all that jazz up here as an actor which is really exciting. So yeah, those are sort of the main spheres of my life are acting, Mighty Pharaoh Films and Ms. In The Biz. So come and join me everywhere. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I'm Helenna M (as in Ms.) Santos on both Twitter and Instagram. And yeah, I'd love to meet you and hear about what you're doing and where your life is at and what entrepreneurial things you’ve got going on.