Jaime Murray CREDIT Angelo Kritikos High-Res

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive?

Jaime Murray: Feeling inspired, being challenged. Learning something new, something meaningful. Knowing change is possible and I can make that happen. Understanding and loving others, feeling truly connected and authentic. Good food, great sex, and belly laughs. All the basic foundations of happiness, really!

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

JM: I honestly think vulnerability is a beautiful thing: it’s tenderness, authenticity, and risk-taking. It means you’re living a life where the stakes are high and you are continuing to push your own boundaries and learn new things. It keeps you flexible and young. Fear is vulnerability’s ugly little sister. I fear getting things wrong and messing up, and this makes no rational sense. When I’m mindful and awake, I know mistakes are part of a creative process. But when I become disconnected, I can be incredibly mean and hard on myself. This is an old pattern of reactive behavior kicking in when I’m not conscious, and then the pain of yesterday creeps in and you doubt yourself and even fear the future. Absurd! F–k fear!

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

JM: Sometimes I don’t even know I’m in it, and I’m just fighting not to feel it. Isolating, shutting down, and feeling guilt about pain makes it linger so much longer. Reconnecting, trusting, and being open and honest is really the only cure. Reaching out and talking to loved ones and friends is a must. Knowing that pain and conflict is just change trying to happen, that there is something beautiful on the other side, that it is just a cycle is helpful. Humor is always essential.

MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

JM: Defiance on Syfy. I play Stahma Tarr, an alien, refugee, mother, and wife. One of the most interesting things for me in playing another species is that you want to make them different enough to be alien but have enough human qualities to be relatable. This really forces you to look at what it is to be human from a totally new perspective! The thing I like about the sci-fi genre is that you get to examine universal themes and polarizing moral choices. The characters have a lot on their shoulders and are often trying to survive in some very difficult and hostile environments. This is particularly true in Defiance.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

JM: I try to stay sane and grounded by hunkering down, eating right, and exercising. I make a routine of spin class, yoga, and Pilates, places I push my body so hard I can lose my mind. Cutting out caffeine and sugar, being mindful, and getting enough rest are important. I get clarity through quiet time, reflection, reading, and meditation. Finding the space between thoughts gives me the energy to take on new challenges with enthusiasm.

MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

JM: Everyone’s doing the best they can with the tools they were given.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

JM: It’s not personal.

MP: How can young people make a difference?

JM: Be nice to old people.

PHOTO: ANGELO KRITIKOS

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