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Michaela Ternasky-Holland is a multi-racial award-winning creative who combines immersive and interactive mediums with non-fiction content. She is an Emmy, Webby, and Sheffield Doc/Fest award-winning XR/metaverse storyteller1. She creates non-fiction and socially impactful stories by using immersive and interactive technology.

Join us as we talk about learning self-love and discovery, the future of media, why representation is important…and Hippos!


Michaela Ternasky-Holland: [00:00:00] That’s sort of how I see where we all are at in the digital reality right now. We’re like, we kind of are gumming around like our parents’ toys. We’re like, ah, does this work? Does this not? I don’t know, like who do I wanna be? What’s going on? Like we’re very much in like an infantile phase of the digital reality.

And I think just like in the physical reality, the digital reality is gonna go through its own revolutions, it’s gonna go through its own governments, it’s already going through its own currency economics with crypto right now. It’s gonna go through its own sort of changes and transformations.

Maris Lidaka: I want to give a big thank you to Michaela Ternasky Holland for joining us today.

She is a creative strategist and consultant as well as an Emmy and Webby award-winning documentarian whose created award for Disney, national Geographic, and Verizon Media. And we are so pleased to have her with us today. Thank you for joining us.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Thanks for having me. It’s incredible to be able to be here and share the space with you and have a conversation today.

Maris Lidaka: So I [00:01:00] just wanna dive right in. Tell me, when you were growing up, what did I guess, love in popular culture and media look like versus what it looked like in your household?

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: It’s a deep question. We start off strong. So for me, I think, um, a lot of my outside media input really came from Disney movies. My family was pretty strict growing up, so I didn’t really have access to television or cable.

So I didn’t really get the constant input of Disney Channel or Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon that a lot of the kids that grew up in the nineties got, I’d get bits of it, but it wasn’t something I consumed every day. Growing up I consumed a lot of VHSs, and so I remember early on a lot of the early VHS movies I would watch were Hunchback and Notre Dame and The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, and then.

As I continued to grow up incredible classics like Tarzan and Mulan [00:02:00] sort of came onto the scene and I started consuming those as well. So a lot of what my idea around love growing up in the mainstream media really looked like people finding each other in these big, dramatic, drastic ways. I think the movie that resonated most with me just in general about love was Mulan because it was sort of, I think the first time.

That is like great, that’s a great film. There’s no focus on like a male, female driven sort of romance relationship. It’s really about Mulan and that. I think for me, Mulan is really a journey of self-love and so Mulan being able to like find herself by shedding her femininity and shedding like the expectations of being a woman and joining the army really out of the concern to please and honor her family, it was so resonant to me and I think that that’s actually sort of how I actually felt in a lot of my situations growing up and what I saw as [00:03:00] love growing up.

I really felt I had to shed a lot of things about me in order to get the love and approval, approval being the synonym to love in my family. I think my situation with my family is very, it’s a challenge to give you a little bit of background. My mom and my biological father had a very different type of lifestyle and relationship of love and caring for each other that I never had the privilege to see in person.

I’ve only been able to see it through pictures because my dad, Passed away suddenly due to a car accident when my mom was pregnant with me. And so early ideas of love for me, I think were a lot of the co-dependencies I had on my mother when I was really young, cuz I was sort of born into a lot of stress and anxiety.

And then after my mom remarried, my stepfather, they started having a lot of children together. And at that point, you know, I was like five or six years old and my mom was [00:04:00] just having a brother and I was having my sister and having my other brother and having my other sister. And I ended up being the oldest of six kids in less than 10 years, which was a lot.

And so I think a big part of that, like shedding a lot of who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do in my life in order to just fall in line, in order to blend in, in order to survive was really something I saw in my day-to-day life because my mom and my stepfather. Don’t have the same type of relationship that I think my mom and my father did and their relationship’s.

Not always the healthiest example of love. It’s more of an example of patriarchy and expectations on the woman to sort of do everything domestic. And I didn’t find that being a version of love that I wanted to take on for myself. And because of having so many siblings growing up, I really had to just like step up and take responsibility and basically put on the armor and join the army sort of in a way.

So I think that area of [00:05:00] sort of neglect that I felt, because I just knew my mom was so overwhelmed with having so many children. My stepfather was always away working, and I really sort of had to realize that the love that I saw and the love that I saw growing up is not the quote unquote love that I think is healthy or is not a love that I think I found for myself until later in life that I think is now a healthier love.

So, Yeah. And then that journey of self-love from Milan coming back and being like, I’m just gonna be who I wanna be and who I am is enough. And her family loved her anyway. And that’s a really nice end to that story. I came back to my family and they were like, yeah, we don’t love you for who you think you wanna be.

We love you conditionally, but not unconditionally, which is really interesting coming from a very conservative background. So, yeah.

Maris Lidaka: So I guess, tell me more about that moment where you find out that you tell your parents like, yeah, I’m gonna be whoever I want to be. And then you find out like, oh, there’s conditions to.

Your approval and love for me?

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Oh [00:06:00] yeah. It happened so many times. The first moment was in high school when I told my parents that I wanted to just pursue dance and creativity and not maybe go to college right away after high school. It turned into this whole ordeal where they actually took me out of dance, wouldn’t allow me to go to dance class, wouldn’t allow me to train and dance until I had applied to college, cuz they said they were saving.

They were saving me and my future basically is what they claimed. And then even after I went to college and while I was in college, I was dancing professionally. My second year of college, I actually left school for nine months to dance on Disney cruise line. And I told them this is who I wanna be and this is what I wanna do.

And I was actually going to Disney Cruise line to portray Mulan, which is so good. There’s full circle for you. And not just like the female, like feminine Mulan. It was very much like the masculine Mulan who’s like saving China as the warrior. Right. And my parents basically like, no, don’t go pursue your dreams.

You [00:07:00] need to stay in college. And I was like, what? They’re like, yeah, if you leave college, you’ll never go back. And this is mainly like my stepfather talking. I think my mom fell in line, quote unquote with my stepfather. Again, kind of speaking back to the dynamic the two of them have. But this is really like the stronger toxic voice I’m speaking to is like my stepfather’s voice.

Being like, you’ll never go back to college. You’re just gonna be caught up in that for the rest of your life. It’s not gonna be a sustainable way to make a living, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, well, f you. I’m gonna go do what I wanna do. Anyway, so that’s one of the moments I realized, again, the love had a condition to it and that it wasn’t just about celebrating me and who I wanted to be and what I could do in my life.

And then the more recent one is, and this one actually does involve both my mom and my stepfather. Was when I told them, you know, I’m dating people that don’t just identify as male. I’m also dating people who identify as female or who are women appearing. And that was like a [00:08:00] stop everything we need to like cast the demons out of you.

That was definitely like a, we love you, but we hate your sin, or you’re hurting me by doing this. Like making it about them. And I’m just like, well, how am I hurting? Like it’s just who I’m choosing to express love to. And it’s like so interesting that you would try and use like a guilt mechanism of how I’m hurting you through my own actions when my actions have no effect on you in a true way.

Like I’m not hurting you emotionally or physically choosing to be hurt by this choice I’m making instead of again, celebrating who I am and like seeing who I wanna be and how I wanna live my life. Yeah, so those are the couple of larger milestones I can speak to. There’s definitely more, but I think those are sort of like the most poignant ones I can, I can mention in this podcast for just brevity.

But yeah, a lot of conditions. I think the suppression of sexuality in general, and the My friend said it really well, the Abrahamic [00:09:00] religions, it leads to a lot of the imbalances of feminine and masculine energy in our day-to-day lives in many different ways. Right. So interesting. I think the biggest thing I find, you know, the dynamic between this idea of a witch and this idea of like the Virgin Mary’s really sexuality, right?

It’s like, but you have to realize that when men and women and anyone in between are fully realized in their own sexual empowerment, whatever that looks like for everybody. That’s when someone is also fully realizing their own personal empowerment. Cuz sexuality I think is like a, sometimes can be a very direct mirror to our personal ideology of love and our own personal boundaries and who we are and what we wanna be and how we interact intimately with other people.

And so just even the ideology around like sexual empowerment for me, I feel like a lot of the suppression that is around my family has a lot to do with sexuality and has a lot to do with love. It has a lot to do with like the full empowerment of me being in my own being [00:10:00] cuz they’ll applaud me 24 7 when it comes to winning Emmys and webby and being successful and doing things that they prescribe to.

But the minute it’s on the fringe, quote unquote fringe, and it usually has to do with sexuality and belief system and socialism, it’s like, fuck it. You are like, you are a witch now. You know? You are like someone we literally have to cast demons out of. I have had my stepfather try to like speak tongues over me.

It’s. Absolutely ridiculous.

Maris Lidaka: I can relate to that a lot. My, so it always comes back to religion. Well first of all, it was interesting growing. I guess I’ll give a little bit of background just cuz growing up my dad was pretty much like an atheist and my mom, I don’t even know what she was, but all of a sudden we just started like going to I think like Catholic church and then we started going to my grandmother’s church.

It was like a born again Christian. And then we stopped going to church cuz my dad was like, this is insane and I want my Sundays back. And then we became like Buddhist for a little [00:11:00] while and then we became Jewish. And then when my parents got divorced, my mom went straight into like kind of Mikayla what your parents are like hardcore evangelical, take the Bible extremely literally.

Yeah. Now she’s like on some old other like Hebrew nationalist thing that I don’t even understand. But for a long time it was like, you have to, and like I’m in college and she’s like, you have to like live this certain way and you know, do these certain things. Like she gave my my sister a promise ring if you know what that is.

Oh yeah. And my sister was like, take this back. I don’t want it.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Well, and I think that’s a lot of people seeking community, right? And they find this idea of community in the church cuz the church sort of has. It sort of lays the perfect sort of structure, ideology, the perfect exclusive inclusivity that everyone always wants to feel and enjoy.

And it’s like, it’s a century long [00:12:00] as I like to say, uh, propaganda hoax.

Maris Lidaka: Oh yeah, for sure. And how do you think, I guess, sort of like media and popular culture plays into keeping kind of the standards that we have in place?

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Oh, I mean, if anything, sometimes they help reinforce it, you know, just look at the way, I mean, this is gonna sound really basic as a nineties kid, but look at the way the media ravaged.

Like someone like Britney Spears who like, just completely owned, like who she wanted to be and how she wanted to present herself. And like, you see this like, The way the media just completely, and a lot of amazing women who have come through this industry of entertainment that have just been completely ravaged by the media as like in, in a very sexist way.

I think even just portraying toxic masculinity, like there’s actually a lot of problematic things and a lot of those mainstream films that were made between, you know, the early eighties and the late nineties, even the early two [00:13:00] thousands. But I do think that there’s a glimpse of light and hope. I mean, I think, you know, there’s a lot of really incredible more diverse writers in the writers room.

Even just the writers of sexuality in general for non heterosexuality in the mainstream media. I mean, I remember when looking at a People magazine or one of those tabloid covers of two women making out was seen as like so, so bad and so scandalous and, and now we have like really celebrated entity icons coming out as.

You know, non hetero, and I think there’s like definitely a shift happening. My worry is just that that shift stalls out and gets suppressed at some point in time again, versus continuing to grow and flourish and deepening and actually changing the systemic issues instead of just being a bandaid to like soothe all the loud, angry voices around the systemic issues.

I think where we’re leaning towards in a society, but I would like to see more, a more drastic angle, is really before we start to think about who you’re [00:14:00] going to love and how you’re gonna love them. And before we even start to think about like, oh, I think I like that person is actually teaching people how to be their own human beings.

You know, I think. The biggest work I’ve done on myself when it comes to love is truly learning how to love myself and not just in a cliche way, which I know I’m sure people have said before, but actually sitting with myself and saying like, is that my voice or is that the voice of my stepfather? Is that my voice?

Or is that the voice of my mother? Is that my voice? Or is that the voice of like the teacher I had 12 years ago? Right? Like really sitting down and being like, where’s Mikayla’s voice? Where’s Mikayla in all of this? And being able to do that and also being able to give myself a toolkit. Okay, Mikayla, how do you process?

Emotions cuz emotions are just signals. I don’t think we have a very good way of helping children, young adults. Adults nowadays process and understand what their emotions are signaling to them. Because we’re not educating people about that. We’re not educating people about mental health. We’re not [00:15:00] educating people about tools that they can use.

So like journaling and breath work and not just exercise. Cuz I find everyone’s like, oh my God, just like go run. It’ll be great. I’m like, I’ve been using exercise as an outlet my whole life to survive. So sometimes exercise is actually like worse for me than just sitting down and breathing because exercise is still a form of distraction sometimes for me because I’ve used exercise as a distraction mechanism when I was in my most.

Anxious insecure states, but knowing that about myself, having the ability to have those conversations with somebody in a safe way, that I can start to unpack those types of things. And like for some people that’s therapy. For some people that’s spiritualism. But I don’t think our day-to-day mainstream society or mainstream media is giving us that type of messaging around you can’t love somebody.

And I don’t even like the word love, to be honest. Like I actually try and avoid using it in my day-to-day world. Like you can’t truly be authentic with [00:16:00] somebody else. In a healthy, non-toxic, non codependent, non enmeshed way until you know who you are fully grounded and how you can communicate who you are as a fully grounded person, how you can establish your boundaries of who you are as a fully grounded person.

And then watching how that person responds to your boundaries, watching how that person responds to who you are, watching how that person responds to you, and recognizing if that person in it themselves is also grounded. Also can make their own boundaries, can also follow through with the boundaries they make.

And that’s things like, I just don’t think we’re taught how to read and write and arithmetic, and we’re taught about how to get into college and we’re taught about how to. Start finding certain things for ourselves, but we’re not guided to be curious about our own inner selves. And I think that’s sort of for me, where as a society we can lean in more to.

So we have a bunch of healthier people running around, getting into relationships, choosing to have children, choosing to do. Certain [00:17:00] things with other people and not just living under the guise of this is what’s expected of me because this is what I’ve been told my whole life. And this is my last point, cause I know I’ve been speaking for a while, but like if my mom and my stepfather probably had it their way, I would be married with at least a child at this point as a 26 year old.

And ideally that marriage would’ve been through the church to some Christian Guy, you know? And that’s just like, not at all who I would want for myself or what I would want for myself. And thank God I was like, had the capability, the ability to have certain people in my life to help guide me away from that path.

That my parents were really pushing me down, I think. And in hindsight, I’m so glad that I sort of avoided that type of fantasy that was sort of projected onto me. So yeah,

Maris Lidaka: definitely not black.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: We’d know that God, I just, it just really troubles me. Like it actually makes me uncomfortable even to like share that story sometimes cuz it’s just so overtly like terrible.

It’s not [00:18:00] just like, oh, male being with a female, like, and it’s not just black or non-black. It’s like I have a friend who is mixed race and she’s dating someone who is Indian or she’s engaged now to someone who’s Indian and she has a lot of hardships with his family because to his family, the only woman that could ever be good enough for their son is an an Indian woman, not a woman who’s mixed race.

You know, and it’s just like, oh, you didn’t even think that. Like, you know, it could work always to men and men and daughter’s families, women and son’s, families. You know, it just, it’s all kinds and it’s in all cultures. It’s not just in the American diaspora.

Maris Lidaka: I think for the, until I was born, my mom was not allowed in my dad’s mom’s house because they were convinced that because she was black, she would like steal things from them.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Wow.

Maris Lidaka: And I think the first day that she actually set foot inside and it was really only my grandmother, like my grandfather was like my grandfather actually. I mean he died when I was really little. But [00:19:00] from what they like told me about him, he was like pretty chill. And he was like, what are you doing?

Just let ’em in the house. They’re obviously like gonna get married and have a kid just let ’em in the house. And, and until, and the day that I was born, I think my grandfather fought. I was like, okay, this is ridiculous. Just go see your grandson, let them come in

the house.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Wow. Yeah. Holy moly. I mean, what’s so interesting is like, You learn so much about people by the way they interact and react to you and your choices that you make in your life.

Right. And the things that I learned about my family when I told them I was decided to be queer, I don’t really, I don’t really identify as bisexual. I think it’s a very, it’s like feels too harsh of a terminology to me. But when I decided to identify as queer and really like kind of be very open sexually to any gender, it was just so interesting the people I pegged as reacting in a certain way versus the people I pegged reacting another way and just.

Sort of getting thrown off on some of the bets I made in my life and thoughts around that I made around that. [00:20:00] Definitely couldn’t go to Vegas with those bets. I would’ve been outta a lot of money.

And there’s something else that you, I guess speaking to that media building healthier, I guess, relationships with not only other people, but also ourselves.

There is kind of this thing that we still see in like a lot of love stories. It’s the person whose life is a mess and then they meet somebody else and then everything is okay, or it’s like everything was okay and then they separated and then everything else like fell apart. There’s never like a healthy like, I guess, examination.

Of what a relationship actually is or should

be, or even like what a relationship with yourself is, right? Like so often the person that’s dying alone is the person that’s not the, like, is the person that we all either like feel sorry for, we think, you know, oh, like that’s always like the sidekick character, but the girl that has the guy interested or the guy that has the girl interested, like that’s the hero, you know?

And just being like, excellent. Maybe not.

Maris Lidaka: Maybe they just got sick of putting up with that person’s [00:21:00] shit and said, screw


Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Yeah. Or making films that are so much less about people finding each other romantically and so much more about people actually like supporting and respecting each other and then other people just like supporting and respecting themselves.

You know, I don’t really even see the live action Mulan as the new Mulan. I see the live action Mulan as, as like a nice, a nice try. I thought there were some great moments in that film that I was like, oh, I’m really interested in how they’re doing the story. And I thought they made, for the most part, remain pretty true to the overall concept.

But there was some slight things in there like making devotion to family. One of the virtues that I was like, mm-hmm. Yeah, okay, well I see that and I don’t really enjoy that. Cause that actually takes away a lot of her agency as a person. But it was a good try. I think that they had really leaned into the magical world of having chi and like, you know, I think my [00:22:00] biggest issue with that film is the locations are all over the gosh darn place.

I’m like, how did they get there after being there? I don’t know. But if they had really leaned into this idea of there being almost like a magical realm of chi, people who have really clear access to their chi and those magical realms have like magical creatures like dragons and phoenixes and hawks. I would’ve been.

All for that, but I just don’t think they, like were able to lean into like a really strong concept and theme. I think they just sort of, were grabbing at a lot of different straws, which tends to happen when you have a lot of creative voices in the room. Why

is representation and seeing yourself represented in media and popular culture so important?

Yeah, so I love, I love this question. So when we think of ourselves, In our day-to-day lives, we create little avatars of ourselves. You know, think about when you’re trying to make a decision, you play out a scenario in your head. We’re constantly telling ourselves stories, right? Okay, Mikayla nine year old Mikayla, if you choose to eat [00:23:00] dessert before you eat dinner, and mom finds out, you could potentially get grounded for the week, but you can have the dessert tonight.

And then you tell yourself, oh, but Michaela, if you eat the dinner, then you eat your dessert, you can eat your dessert, you can wait and you won’t get grounded, right? You’re creating these scenarios of your decision making in your head, and you’re playing out the scenarios. You’re playing out a narrative.

You’re playing out a film of who you are. Especially when I work in like immersive, interactive storytelling, we’re constantly thinking about how are we casting the audience? And to me it feels like a really natural thing to do because we’re constantly casting ourselves in our own stories. We’re constantly casting ourselves as the hero and we’re constantly seeing ourselves trying to make decisions as the hero, right?

Like, oh, do I ditch the soccer game and go hang out with my friends? Or do I go to the soccer game and like see my friends next week? And those are like real life storytelling. We’re telling ourselves to make decisions. So I think when we have the externalized version of those [00:24:00] stories, a k, a media, and we see people that look like us or have the same scenarios as us.

It is a such a viscerally powerful moment we have because we are literally seeing things that we potentially think only we go through as human beings, inside of our own brains become an external avatar for us to be able to actually see a unfold, and we don’t have to suffer those consequences. We don’t have to be the ones that are sitting there skydiving out of the airplane, but because the person looks like us or because that person has the same name as us, we can empathetically put ourselves in that situation and be able to play that scenario of that role in our head.

So if I don’t see an Asian woman jumping out of an airplane, I constantly see like men who are white jumping out of airplanes. It’s a lot harder for me to put myself in those people’s shoes. But if it’s right there for me to capture and grab visually, Audibly then, like I could be five minutes [00:25:00] later daydreaming about myself jumping out of this airplane in a way that might not have been accessible to me if it had just been someone who doesn’t look like me, doesn’t sound like me, doesn’t have the similar background as me.

Still possible for me to jump into those shoes, but not in the way that it would just be so easy and accessible. So I think that’s why diversity and inclusion and seeing those types of stories and seeing those types of people on the screen doing human things is so important because when you see yourself casted only as the nerd, or only as the villain, or only as the ninja, or only as the sexy Asian goddess, you start to absorb those narratives about yourself in your day-to-day life because you think that’s how the rest of the world can see you.

Versus being able to see other forms of those narratives. You know, 12 year old high school kid struggling to get through wife, Asian woman. Oh wow, that’s me. You know? So yeah, that’s like for me, what, why I think it’s so powerful cuz we already have that avatar making mechanism. Media just makes that avatar more [00:26:00] visceral, more accessible.

And in a way it helps us tell the stories we tell ourselves easier for us to access.

Maris Lidaka: I think ninja and sexy Asian goddess were like the only roles for Asians in the eighties. I feel like that’s all that I, I saw in the eighties was like, oh, it’s the Asian guy. There’s gotta be a ninja star coming out sometime soon.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: I joined gymnastics because I felt like I needed to be able to do back flips to impress my friends, you know?

Maris Lidaka: And I wanna build off of your, that is a great answer by the way, and I want to love off and ask you like how better representation, especially with not only interracial and intersexual relationships.

Is important, but how and how that can like sort of like just change the way that we see relationships using your avatar example.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Yeah, I mean it’s exactly sort of what I was getting at is like not only are the stories we tell ourselves so powerful, but the stories that people see about us are also [00:27:00] stories they absorb.

Right. So, There was an assumption for me that when I saw the cute white kid at school, that he was probably the player and he was the one that I should have a crush on, right? And that vice versa. When people saw me as the only Asian girl in school, they just assumed like, oh, you need to be a ninja. You need to do back flips.

You need to be good at math. Right? Those stereotypes, which stereotypes in of themselves are like a form of storytelling that gets told over and over again to the point where we believe they’re always true no matter what. And media helps us believe those stereotypes more and more than other outputs in our life, right?

Like if people actually didn’t just see Asians being good at math and Asians being ninjas, and they just. Came into a school environment and actually talked to Asians and got to know Asians or an Asian-American at their school, they could be like, well, I have a friend who’s not good at math, or I have a friend who’s not a ninja.

And instead of using what the media has told them, is the truth about those Asian type of looking people, right? So [00:28:00] it’s not only the narratives we tell ourselves, but it’s also the narratives that people start to assume about us because of what they’ve learned from media in a constant, rigorous cycle of information that keeps getting spit out to them or casted to them to use an entertainment term.

So I think having roles that break those stereotypes in mainstream media will also help break the rigorous cycle of belief system that people just assume is what is in the world, but they don’t realize is maybe what they’ve just learned from watching media or consuming media. That isn’t diverse or isn’t inclusive or isn’t accessible,

Maris Lidaka: There’s still kind of an attitude of, well, if you don’t like it, then maybe you should go out and make your own media that better reflects what you want.

But at the same time, that’s not really possible when you’re making stories like that because we don’t, I guess, have the access or have the ability just to like go out and where there’s not a lot of Hawaiian [00:29:00] Disney’s running around or there’s not a lot of Disney’s that will, well now they’re making more films about China, but just there’s not a lot of large companies that make other stories.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: And that’s kind of the uphill battle that we’re fighting. Yeah, because those larger companies don’t feel like they have to prioritize those types of stories. And that’s, to me, the systemic issue of. What we value and what we value in a capitalist society is money and profit. So everyone’s just chasing profit, which I’m like, all right, if everyone’s just gonna chase profit, am I really making a difference?

Just telling people this is the type of content they’re creating, they need to be creating. Or can I make an impact by starting to become a voice in the room, not just an outsider voice? Right. So, How can I help steer the line of finances? This is why like it’s really important to me to be a part of boards of Directors.

This is why it’s really important for me to sit on grants. This is why it’s really important to me to get involved with like grassroots organizations that I [00:30:00] identify with and help them strategize and figure out ways to make them financially stable or financially sustainable so that they can. Not have to worry about just making it a survival mechanism that they’re doing this passion thing, but actually being able to say like, okay, I can like pay my rent and do my bills and blah, blah, blah.

And then I have this passion thing. And that’s also why I think it’s really important too for me, that when I’m in a place of power, when I’m in a place that I kind of determine where the money goes. I take that extra step to make sure the money is going to where I think it should be going ethically and authentically to what is happening within my project or what with what is happening within the client’s project.

But yeah, no, I totally agree. Like how much do you boycott x. Film because it doesn’t have any people of color to really get someone’s attention. Right. And like that’s a reality, you know? Versus being like, okay, well how can we be really sustainable? Cuz there can only be so many Ava Verna’s in the world.

And even that in of itself is like a tokenization of race, right? [00:31:00] Like, oh, but Ava Verna, she’s so successful as like a black filmmaker. It’s like, well, she shouldn’t have to fight her way to be a successful black filmmaker. She shouldn’t be a success story. She’d just be one of the many great stories out there, right?

Like very similar to like a Frederick Douglass or like Chloe. But I hope like Chloe and other Asian female directors out there are just gonna constantly get funded just like Chloe got funded. Like, you know, it’s sort of like that double-edged sword. Anyway, I digress and I start to get on my, I start to get on my soapbox.

Maris Lidaka: Yeah, I have a soapbox. Well, the one soapbox that I have is a lot of times, I mean, you’ve seen it where it’s like there’s. Director usually seen as white dude, whereas everybody else is like woman director, black director, Asian director. It’s like, no, no, no. We do the same job. Like there’s not a stop with the extra qualifier.

We’re doing the same job. We do the same thing. Give us the same amount of, I guess, respect.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Yeah. But unfortunately, because it’s so rampant, It’s like you almost need those qualifiers to be able to help give people the realization that [00:32:00] people who are black are people that are women can all be directors.

You almost need the qualifier in there for now, so that one day we don’t use that qualifier. And that’s why I’m more involved in emerging technology than traditional media because I just did not like the type of. Bigotry and walls I saw in traditional media and I was like, well, I would rather be able to make an impact as a young Asian American woman in an industry that maybe I can really help move forward and not just constantly break down barriers.

Maris Lidaka: Yeah. I guess tell us that story of how you got into, I know you kind of transitioned to. Documentary and then eventually into AR slash XR. So just tell us about that.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Sure. I mean, it, it all goes back to my love for dance. It’s so interesting cuz I think all the things my parents were like, dance is never gonna make you successful.

I’m like, I have, I owe everything to dance. I think. So I left school for nine months and worked on Disney Cruise Line and that to me was like my experiential study abroad. And that’s where I really realized that people [00:33:00] engaged with storytelling that was immersive and interactive in a way that they don’t engage with storytelling that’s more passive.

Because I was literally sailing on a Disney palace and I came back to school and I was studying journalism and I was studying digital media and I realized this isn’t going to be the way that we consume content forever. Like, There still will be a need for passive content. And I think it’s still beautiful form of, and it’s a beautiful medium, but I’m more interested in the type of content that gets people active, that gets people thinking, that gets people engaged, not just because, oh, that was a really great article and now let me walk away, but actually gets them thinking like, oh, that was a really great experience.

How do I change my behavior because of this experience, right? Like people change their behavior all the time after they go to Disneyland. Suddenly, you know, the kid that never liked Star Wars rode, you know, the smugglers run. And now that kid is like obsessed with Star Wars, like being immersed into an interactive environment changes people’s behavior.

And I wanted to see that happen in journalism. I didn’t want it to [00:34:00] just be this apathetic, non-biased sort of industry that I saw when I was in school. And so I started marrying all of my passions together where I was like, all right, how can I do like, Performance art and immersive interactive storytelling and journalism.

And that’s really where I fell upon virtual reality. And instead of just saying like, oh, well I’m just gonna do a virtual reality documentary, I was like, I wanna do a virtual reality film documentary about homelessness in Orange County, but I just don’t wanna film homeless people. I also wanna film a dance experience that unfolds in between this documentary of dancers portraying some of these characters that I have met through journalism.

Right? So making a performance part of the journalism and then making a journalism part of the journalism. And that caught the eye of someone at USC who caught the eye of someone at Time Magazine. And that’s basically how I was able to, just very similar to the cruise ship where I just up and left school.

I just up and left LA. Left being a production assistant in la. I left being a [00:35:00] dancer at Disney and I started working at Time Magazine and had an incredible experience there in 2016, if you can imagine, cuz that was the year someone got elected and was able to cover some incredible events and protests and series and did all of that with VR filmmaking.

And then worked on room scale vr, which is more of the game engine based vr. We did like remembering Pearl Harbor, which took you back in time. We did a hologram with Buzz Aldrin, which took you into the future when we could travel to Mars. And I realized, you know, I was working on these really cool projects, but these projects aren’t about people that look like me or have my same background.

And that’s really where I was like, okay, cool. I wanna take what I’ve learned here at time and I wanna apply it to, what I didn’t realize was people of color and women and L G B T Q I A communities. And that’s where I’ve been ever since. So a lot of the work I do is based in social impact. It’s based in documentary, it’s based in nonfiction, it’s based in awareness, based in education, and it’s [00:36:00] always has some sort of immersive or interactive element to it, whether that’s virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, holographic capture, or even like a social media campaign that has a really interesting sort of twist to it.

So yeah, that’s who I am. That’s what I do. That’s how I got into it.

Maris Lidaka: I can’t believe you left the lucrative careers or production assistant in Los Angeles.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: I know. Who am I

Maris Lidaka: Could had a future of getting coffee and then worked your way up to production. Coordinating.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Yeah. Yeah. Shit was so soul sucking. I.

Thank God I live in New York now.

Maris Lidaka: Before I transitioned back into Post I was a production manager, and that was the last time I was like, I hate life. This is like being a wedding planner for reality tv. This is terrible.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Oh yeah. Especially reality tv. I mean, and look, again, like the type of toxicity and frustration that I felt in the traditional media [00:37:00] world of traditional journalism and traditional filmmaking, those are the things I needed to see so that I can make sure that I don’t perpetuate that type of behavior where I work now in immersive and interactive media technology and also so I can call out that type of behavior now when I’m in immersive and interactive media technology because my hope and my dream is that we are able to avoid a lot of the.

Grievances that some of these older industries didn’t know any better or didn’t have better ways of helping themselves see their own blind spots.

Maris Lidaka: Where do you see, I guess, immersive and interactive towards the future? Like I remember, I think it was like three years ago, like a lot of people were starting to jump on, especially the VR train, and then it kinda like dropped off a little bit and I feel like it’s kind of coming back a little bit.

So I’m just curious where you see that heading.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: That’s a great question. So I personally subscribe to this idea of the digital reality. Some other people call it the metaverse, some other people call it other things. But I [00:38:00] really think we really live in a physical reality, right? Like when we’re born, we have to grow up from being little toddlers playing.

At on our parents’ floor, gumming different toys to becoming little baby preschoolers, to learning how to share and sing songs. And now suddenly we’re junior hires and we have our own lockers, and then suddenly we’re in high school and we’re driving a car and then we’re in college and we have debt. Like, you know, we’ve had to really grow up in this physical reality and people have been, quote unquote, growing up in the physical reality for a very long time.

Our physical reality has also gone through major shifts and changes. We’ve gone through an agricultural revolution, we’ve gone through an industrial revolution. We’re now going through like a technological revolution. And there’s been war and there’s been crime, and there’s been governments and there’s been religions that have come and gone through physical reality.

And so what I sort of see and what I sort of try and understand about the digital reality is that it’s very similar. You know, the fact that [00:39:00] we have all. Emails, and we have social media handles, and we have computers, and we have, oh, all the things we have in the digital reality. YouTube, we have Twitch, we have Fortnite.

You know, there’s so many things that exist in this new reality that has been a part of our lives for a fairly long amount of time, long before virtual or augmented reality. You know, the digital reality has really exist, has really existed since the birth of film. And I think that where we are now, especially with the birth of the web, is that in the future, just like how we right now or just like how I was like 22 years ago, like rolling around my parents’ floor gumming at little toys, not understanding there was gonna be such a bigger world for me in the future that I had no idea I could even process.

That’s sort of how I see where we all are at in the digital reality right now. We’re like, we kind of are gumming around like our parents’ toys. We’re like, ah, does this work? Does this not, I don’t know, like who do I wanna be? What’s going on? Like [00:40:00] we’re very much in like an infantile phase of the digital reality.

And I think that the, just like in the physical reality, the digital reality is gonna go through its own revolutions, it’s gonna go through its own governments, it’s already going through its own currency. Economics with crypto right now, it’s gonna go through its own sort of changes and transformations.

I think one of those utilities, one of those tools to access the digital reality as it expands and grows is going to be virtual reality headsets. It’s gonna be augmented reality overlays on top of the physical reality. It’s going to be smartphones, it’s going to be devices, it’s going to be traditional film.

Those are really just portals. And then one big moment I think that’s gonna happen is when the web experience we have today, which is very 2d, becomes spatialized when it becomes more of a 3d 4d environmental experience. So for example, instead of surfing the web as an idea, what if you could like literally surf the web where you’re like on a surfboard and the web links are just coming at you and you’re riding the [00:41:00] wave, and you’re diving and you’re that 4D sort of environment, that specialized version of the web instead of just.

Going to someone’s Facebook profile. Maybe you’re visiting someone’s Facebook home instead of seeing their family tree as a list of people, you actually see it as a physical tree growing in their backyard. Instead of seeing their photo galleries as a just a photo gallery on your screen, you’re actually seeing their photo gallery as 3D model photos inside of their Facebook living room.

Right? Like that to me is sort of that next step, that big next processee that we have yet to see in the digital reality world. So, but we’re just gumming around in Instagram teething a little bit. We’re fussy, we’re upset, we’re figuring it out.

Maris Lidaka: Tell me about compassionate storytelling.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Oh, one of my favorite topics, so basically for me, what I’ve seen is that in journalism, there’s a storytelling idea of being like non-human.

And just like, we’re gonna just produce this piece of whatever. I also think stories are [00:42:00] magical, right? And I think for so long the anthropology of journalism has been very problematic. You know, you’ve got these privileged communities coming into the exotic communities and stealing resources, and some of those resources are stories.

And then publishing those stories for their own privileged communities to consume for their own pleasure and their own education and their own learning. And I’m like, I don’t think that’s not a sustainable economy. That’s an exploitation. And to me, stories are an economy. So I really think about how stories can give back to the community in some energetic way, shape, or form if those stories are being shared with the larger public.

And one part of that is compassionate storytelling, or this form of compassionate storytelling where you’re really, especially in the world of immersive and interactivity, where you’re not just like taking some photos or some videos, you’re really like, Seeing the essence and the data sometimes of that person and their movements, or you’re capturing them in a full 360 sphere.

Like there’s no hiding from the deep collaboration that goes into this [00:43:00] type of technology right now. And so to have compassion for the community you’re working with or the person you’re working with and telling their story, not just like in a compassionate, like, oh, you know, I really empathize with you way, but actually compassionate to be like, this is a human and if this human was my aunt, how would I want this person to be treated?

Or if this person was my uncle, would I just want their story to be on dis display. Display for everybody, or would I want this person to have some sort of recognition as a director or would I wanna be able to give this person the ability to go to the film festival to be alongside me? Cuz it’s not about me as the creative, it’s about them and their story, right?

And so having this compassion for the people we’re working alongside of to tell their story, but also having compassion for the people we hire. You know, I think, again, going back to it was so good for me to see some of the problematic and troubling and toxic qualities of other industries and the non-inclusive or the non-diverse qualities of under industries.

Because compassionate storytelling for me also goes into the type of team [00:44:00] I’m building or the type of team I want to build and the way the team communicates with each other. I’d much rather have a team communicate compassionately and trusting with one another than backhand, passive aggressive. We are power struggle dynamics, right?

And so that compassion, if I can give sort of this blanket of like we are a team who is compassionate for one another, we’re compassionate for the people we’re collaborating with outside of this team. And that last piece of compassion also leans into the audience. And that’s because again, with immersive interactive storytelling, a lot of times these people are giving you their most vulnerable states to put a headset on someone’s face and to put them in front of a screen where they can’t see anything else but the thing you’re putting in front of them, that’s a very vulnerable space for you to buy a ticket, to go to Disneyland.

You are putting yourself in a very vulnerable space. You’re saying, okay, Disney, all the input, give it to me. My smell, my hearing, my sight, my physical body. [00:45:00] I’m going to be fully immersed into these big, crazy environments. I’m gonna be fully immersed in these like experiential moments, but it’s very vulnerable.

And so the compassion that we’re having, not only for the community and for the team, is also the compassion we’re having for the audience. Because so often I think the idea around VR was like, oh, it would be so cool to put people in this really amazing, like, Skydiving experience and like you’re doing this really cool story about X, Y, Z, so you should put someone in the shoes of the person literally going through that traumatic event.

And I’m like, actually that’s really traumatic. Putting someone in a virtual reality where their reliving a traumatic event. And I don’t think that’s very compassionate to an audience member, you know? And there’s a time and place for that. I know, but like really thinking about like what would actually compel this audience member to change the behavior, not just shock them the hell out of them in a traumatic way to make them feel guilty or to make them feel a certain way.

That to me is not [00:46:00] going to be the long lasting type of energy that I would wanna carry on from this person’s story that I’m telling. It’s sort of the difference between when you go to Six Flags to when you go to Disney, you know, six Flags. You’re like, you’re just going for the big rollercoasters.

You’re just like, I just want all the adrenaline coursing through my veins. That doesn’t mean you’re gonna feel great at the end of the day. And yes, it’s memorable, but does that change your behavior? Like, are you now suddenly going to like buy a ton of Bugs Bunny Loony Tunes merchandise because you suddenly felt so incredibly energized by all the crazy rollercoasters you rode at Six Flags?

No, but go to Disney and potentially that warm fuzzy feeling you got from hugging Mickey Mouse. And then the fact that you wrote space now and then the fact that that cast member was so nice and gave you your extra fast passes after you lost them the other day, that might make you a Mickey Mouse fanatic.

And that might make you like buy Mickey Mouse things for the rest of your life. Right. Two very different sort of experiences. And like I think that [00:47:00] form of compassion that we can show our audience to say what is more important for the audience to experience, not just what would be cool and flashy for me to show the audience.

So that to me is all those sort sort of formats of compassionate storytelling. It’s who we’re collaborating with, who’s story are we telling, who are we working with as a team to make this happen? And then who are the people that are consuming it and letting compassion drive us and lead us. Yeah,

Maris Lidaka: there is kind of a, I guess it’s almost like an arrogance with people who are creating stories a little bit, because there isn’t really a lot of compassion for the audience.

I feel like sometimes the audience is either condescended to, or even sometimes is not even thought of when they’re the most, I mean, they’re the reason why, and the body who’s in the creative industry has. Any type of like sustainable career. It is the audience that is really who matters. Not that we’re their servants, but I feel as though there needs to be more of a collaborative relationship with [00:48:00] audiences.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: I think so. I think so often when the creator loses their audience, that’s when people are like, I didn’t get it. Or, you know, that one didn’t really resonate with me. You know, I think so often in film, it’s like when the creator realizes they have a smart audience and they give the audience a movie that they have to figure out and not just a movie, they’re spoonfeeding to people.

That to me is always like a clear difference of like, oh, someone actually really thought about this audience. Someone actually did the research into this culture. Someone actually had a writer in the room that was queer. Wow. Someone actually had a writer in the room that was a refugee. Like you can feel it in the product.

And I think, yeah, just like you said, when we lose sight of who our audience is, You basically sometimes can lose sight of like the purpose even behind the creation. And that’s when you get into the world of narcissism and ego. And it’s really, I think for me, taking that out of the creative process and trying to bring in the more softness to the creation process.

Maris Lidaka: My [00:49:00] personal soapbox when it comes especially to the creation of like film is, I wish it was more like, I wish it was viewed more like a great piece of architecture where kind of we look at, when we look at a film, we think of like the director and their just pretty much the focal point of what their creation is.

Whereas if you look at a piece of architecture, we realize that somebody imagined that building. But we also sort of recognize sort of the labor and craftsmanship of all the different people that had to work to bring that particular piece of architecture to life. And I feel like we forget that when it comes to film.

You know, we think about the director and sometimes the writer, but the writer still are kind of the stepchildren. But we don’t, we forget that like, no, to make anything that appears on your screen takes at least 10 to 20 and often sometimes a hundred people all working together with individual skills that otherwise.

The thing you’re watching doesn’t happen.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: No, I totally agree. And I think that part of sort of the, what do they call it? The sweat equity, that’s like a new term I’ve been hearing a lot. People don’t realize [00:50:00] that like the dedication and the hard work that it takes to creating a piece of film and the types of people behind that and the amount of people behind that.

You know, I think so often it’s just given to them as this, like you said, this finished piece that they can just like, Oh, but why do I have to wait another two years for it? And I think that goes into educating your audience, right? It’s good to educate your audience into like what it takes to do something.

And that’s, I think another part of somewhat of the ego narcissistic, just make it look easy, right? Just make it look like there was no work. Put behind it. Yes. But also educate your audience on the work that’s put behind it so they’ll learn how to value it more. Cause if they don’t learn how to value it, then you’re kind of effed on the capitalist scale because you’re not gonna see people financially invest into these things anymore.

A k a movie theaters a k a films, you know? So yeah, I’m right there with you.

Maris Lidaka: That was kind of one of the great things about DVDs and Blu-rays is all those extras. I feel like people would watch and go like, that’s what it took to make that, [00:51:00]

oh my god,

People are amazing.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Yeah, I love a good B T S.

I love a good making of featurette. You know, I think it’s such an important part of like helping people become more aware. There’s one point I would like to make about just like suppressing your dark side or like suppressing negativity. Cause I think so often people think that negativity inside of themselves is something they need to suppress and just move through, like kind of toxic positivity.

And I think like it’s actually about learning how to accept that negativity or that poison and really turning that into like your antidote and like owning that and making that your power just as much as it is your crocs, like very, very, uh, achilles heel, superman kryptonite sort of vibe.

Maris Lidaka: And how do you think media can do a better job of, of getting people to learn that skill?

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Yeah, I think it’s really about helping people not see things so black and white. And I think media is slowly doing it, but so often it’s like, oh, that’s the hero. Oh, that’s the villain. And [00:52:00] instead of really thinking like, oh, that’s a human and that’s a human going through a human experience, right? Oh, that’s a human struggling right now.

Oh, that’s a human that needs help. Oh, that’s a human that is very much lost their way. But I think that goes into the nuances of storytelling and just getting different sort of perspectives in the room to showcase different gray areas around topics that we don’t even understand have gray areas sometimes, you know, and I’m not talking about murder, but I’m just talking about like personal struggle, right?

Like mental illness, and I’m talking about, I. This overt like toxic positivity and really thinking about, well, how can we showcase a fully well-rounded character, not just a character archetype that’s cute and bubbly and happy and gets the guy and like, you know, very much like the white supremacist ideals that we’ve seen a lot in our day-to-day media.

Not as much now, but very much more so earlier when I was growing up. So yeah,

Maris Lidaka: It does kind of [00:53:00] color how we look at things like I, I’m just looking at how people are looking at things like say critical race theory and just like history in general. This is also one of my pet peeves is the way that America understands history.

It’s very much like, okay, who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy? Like I need to know during this historical event, like who was good, who was bad, where it’s like, no, it’s a little bit more complicated than that cuz it’s a bunch of humans experiencing an event as opposed to like, I feel like our understanding of like it’s all about, it always comes back to like World War ii.

Hitler was a bad guy. We were the good guys. And every, I feel like every understanding of any historical event comes back to that. Like, who’s the bad guy? Who’s the good guy? And more often not like how do we, how do we overcome the bad guys usually through violence.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Yep. Agreed. And that’s very much like that colonizer sort of mentality as well.

Versus respecting that someone’s different than us. Let’s just go in and make sure we bully them into thinking and doing and being just like us. Right? And there’s a lot of nuances [00:54:00] to the way we retell history, but I definitely agree and really looking at things from like a neutral perspective. It’s very much like a cast, the role of hero and villain in every single story we can because the stories we know are so kiro and villain based, right?

Not everything is the hero’s journey. Yes. Not everything is based on the Abrahamic religions. Yes. Right. The Abrahamic religions are very much like follow God, you’ll be pure, you’ll like live a good healthy life and follow Satan and the darkness and the like witchery and this whatever. And you’re gonna be cast as a demonic being, you know,

Maris Lidaka: Judaism’s a little different though, at least, I mean, Judaism is like, well it would be nicer if you did this.

Like it’s more like based off of like there’s no real punishment cuz there’s no like, I mean they kind of talk about an afterlife, but there’s no like real heaven that they really mention. It’s more so like, well things will be easier if you go along with us. Really, if you don’t, well, [00:55:00] I’m not saying that that things will necessarily happen.

It’s just more likely that they will. It’s also the only religion I feel like where, you know how everybody else is trying to convert everybody. Judaism’s kind of like, eh, if you want to, fine. But otherwise we’re good.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: I feel like Buddhism and Hinduism is similar to that too, right? I don’t know if there’s like full on like needs to convert people.

Just more like, well, as long as you like yourself and as long as you people around you. Right. I have to say, I think some of the more ancient technologies probably had it figured out way better than we did when it came to like dealing with generational trauma and survival mode and all of the. Things that I think we’re all kind of coming out of realizing we deal with and struggle with.

But yeah.

Maris Lidaka: Tell me about how you became involved



Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Yeah, Mixed Asian Media! I mean, I just think it’s an extension of like who I want it to be and how I wanna be in the world. Like, I mean, [00:56:00] what’s great is now I have a fairly financially stable creative strategy consulting kind of work that I do. Client tell wise and projects wise. I’m very happy with the type of projects I’m working on.

I’m really happy with the type of people I get to work with those projects on. So that next step of saying like, how can I give back? You know, or how can I help someone else? Or help another entity or another organization. And for me, that organization was Hopa Magazine. I was like, wow, there’s these epic, amazing, incredible, wonderful people doing an online lifestyle magazine about being mixed Asian.

And I’m mixed Asian, so, well, that’s another thing. Am I mixed Asian or am I mixed Pacific Islander? I don’t know because the Philippines is a very gray area. But anyway, so I was like, this is epic. And then they were like, we’re completely volunteer run. And we’re like, we could really use some help. And I’m like, well, I mean I could become a staff member or you know, we could really think about a way that we can expand this vision to be stable [00:57:00] financially or to at least be more impactful.

And a big part of that went into this idea of doing a rebrand and even putting together a big festival so that they could help grow their audience and they could engage their audience. Outside of just being a magazine. And you know, I think putting on an event in of itself is an immersive and interactive experience.

So I’m so excited to be able to consult from mixed Asian media to really think about how can we help your processes? How can we make this more efficient? How can we help value you in the room so that you’re not paying all of this out of pocket, but you actually have sponsors and backers who are paying you to do the work that’s already being valued.

So yeah, that’s sort of how I got involved and that’s where I am with them now. And it’s been a journey and they’re just incredible friends and incredible people and I’m so lucky to get to know them and continue to have a friendship with them because, They’re mixed Asian Pacific Islander like me. So there’s so much about them that I feel like I finally feel seen in a way I’ve never really felt seen [00:58:00] before in a space when I’m with them and hanging out with them as friends or even on a business producer-

–rial level

Maris Lidaka: Hippos. Tell us about hippos.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Oh my gosh, what isn’t there to love about hippos? I’ve been obsessed with Hippopotamuses since I was basically born. I don’t have any earlier memories of me not liking Hippopotamuses. My mom used to take me to the San Diego Zoo and I could just watch the Hippopotamuses for hours.

It was like free babysitting for her. And still to this day, like you can draw me off at a zoo with Hippopotamuses and I’m happy as a clam. So they’re my favorite animals and they have a very soft, warm place in my heart. What about you, Maris?


Maris Lidaka: up, my favorite animal was the cheetah. I think I like them cuz I like big cats and they run fast.

Of course, now I got my first dog, so I love dogs, but I have a very soft spot for otters. Like the ones with the white face, cuz they have like little hands and they like swim backwards and they like break open their food. Yeah.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: And they use, they use little rocks to open [00:59:00] their shells to eat the stuff inside the shells.

Maris Lidaka: I feel like we need to do a part two where we just talk about our favorite animals

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: For sure.

Maris Lidaka: And before we leave for today, where can the people find you?

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: Oh, you can find me in the digital reality. Just gumming around my parents’ living room. Teething as a toddler, but what does that mean? You can find me on the Instagram.

My, my, uh, professional quote unquote professional personal handle is Michaela Ternasky Holland. So just my name, my dance Instagram, cuz I still perform and dance and I’m very athletic and very active is Michaela dot moves. You can also find me at my website, which is just michaela ternasky I’m also on the Twitters another like toy.

I’m just gumming around with at, I’m michaela th you know, you can also email me. I’m fairly open and very much like always wanting to talk to people and connect with people who have any questions for me or have any thoughts cause I’m always wanting to learn new [01:00:00] people in the world, but also like, learn new points of views and also help and support other people.

So my email is hello michaela So, yeah. Thank


Maris Lidaka: That was Michaela Ternasky Holland. Look her up everywhere. Hire her as a consultant. She is very, very good at what she does, and thank

you for joining us.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland: It’s been my pleasure. Thanks again.


This episode was produced with the help of Beth Chin. The Mixed Creator is a Blended Future Project. To find out more, go to blendedfuture If you want to listen to more episodes or if you’d like to be a guest in the podcast, go to

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