New Kid in Town: Indiana Massara Tells Her Story
Indiana Massara opened up to us about her move from Australia to Los Angeles. Here's her story:
If you know me as Rooney on Chicken Girls, you’ve heard me doing my best American accent, and may not know that I am, in fact, an Australian girl through and through. So how’d I get here?
I had just turned thirteen when my life took a total and complete 180 degree turn. Thirteen is a wild age. You’re discovering the kind of people you like, you’re going through puberty and starting to meet boys, everything, everything is changing. In the midst of all that my family decided to up and move to the other side of the world.
It all started with my brother. Without him, none of this would have been able to happen for me, so I give him major props. At the time I was an absolute tomboy. I was a boxer and a swimmer, I ran track and field and participated in any athletic activities that I could. I thought everything about Hollywood seemed stupid, and couldn’t figure out why you would get your hair and makeup done if it’s just going to get messy again anyway?! But my brother was into the performing arts and decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.
At first when my parents took him to Los Angeles, I stayed back in Australia with my grandparents. I didn’t feel ready to leave my home or my friends. But that Summer vacation I went to visit him here for two weeks, and something about this place really spoke to me. In Los Angeles, something is always happening, and I hadn’t realized how much I needed that. Life is very quiet where I’m from in Australia, and it was very exciting to see the world that was possible in Los Angeles. So I decided to stay. I got an agent and a manager and it was on: I was the newest resident in the land of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
But the transition was anything but smooth.
My first year in America I felt like all the pages in my notebook had been ripped out and I had to start over. I was brand new, a fish out of water--I mean, I didn’t even know what In n Out was! At my new school, the kids shunned me just because they didn’t know me, they made fun of me for my accent and called me names. I was going on auditions but not booking any jobs. Nobody welcomed me. I was the definition of an outcast.
Meanwhile, my friends and family back home in Australia were moving on without me. I saw them celebrating birthdays and other good times on social media, they all seemed so happy. I worried my friends would forget about me and my family would resent me for leaving. I missed my grandparents the most. When I was three years old, my grandpa was diagnosed with cancer. Over the years, his diagnosis has brought our family closer and closer, so it became very hard to be out in Los Angeles knowing he was sick and not being able to see him.
When I would finally get in touch with my friends or family back home, they all thought I was living this incredible life out in Los Angeles, they had no idea how lonely I was.
Things finally started to turn around when I decided to switch schools. At my new school the kids were so much nicer, and so much more supportive. That’s where I met Carson [Lueders] and Hayden [Summerall], who I’d later come to star in Chicken Girls with! I kept going on auditions and found that the more work I did, the more people I met and the less lonely I became. I began to surround myself with good, kind people who made me feel at home. The cast of Chicken Girls became my best friends, but they also became my second family.
Slowly but surely, I began to feel as though my decision to move to Los Angeles was the right one. My career started picking up some momentum and I could see that my hard work was paying off. Even the smallest successes felt like gigantic victories. My new life--the excitement of show business plus the gratification of my new friendships--was suddenly something I wouldn’t give up for the world. I realized that, even though I loved life in Australia, if I hadn’t moved to Los Angeles none of this could have been possible for me. I’d taken a leap of faith and was finally so glad that I had.
But I want to make sure you understand: just because I love my life is Los Angeles now, doesn’t mean it’s perfect. You might see me on social media or on Youtube and think everything is awesome for me, but life can’t be awesome all the time, and that applies to my life too. While I love my fans and delight in meeting them, there are always the “fans” who are really more like trolls, who think they’re entitled access to my personal life and get angry when I don’t reveal it to them. At times I crave privacy, and I know that if I were back in Australia I could have it. It’s in those moments that the homesickness comes flooding back in. The stresses and pressures of being a public figure and a social media persona make me want to go home and run away from it all.
But I won’t run away, because Los Angeles is my new home base. This is where I plan to stay, growing my career and striving towards my best life. I love Australia with all my heart, but guess what? Now I love Los Angeles with all my heart too. Los Angeles has taken me far out of my comfort zone and sometimes that’s a really good thing. If I’m out of my comfort zone it means I’m pushing my boundaries, and if I’m pushing my boundaries it means I’m becoming a better version of myself.
I get emotional talking about this, because I know no matter what I’m always going to be homesick. But I also realize it’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to cry about it, and sometimes I do! I cry and then I remind myself that the tears are worth it, because this sacrifice has lead me to a whole new world of supportive, incredible people in a land where I’m free to follow my dreams.