Buffalo Zine

I love the interview Re Centrepoint for homeless youth
That's most important -
But
I'd like to clarify the slightly misleading introduction; It's old news
But since you mentioned
the 'sex tape' It was not 'leaked'. It was a bunch of home movies that were stolen during construction on our house. (along with a huge safe). and then the dirty thieves spliced together any film of us partly naked to make a 'sex tape'. We never 'made' a 'sex tape' 
And-
I have never been 'bankrupt' (But - did get a bit behind on my taxes years back. I was not happy about contributing to the funding of wars. 
Never the less-
It's since been resolved.

It's all behind me. 
Oh-
And
My Trailer in Malibu was on a popular surf break and for the boys. 
It was our guest house
for friends and
family visiting. 
We no longer have it. 
My priorities
have evolved. 
I'm in no way down and out- 
Maybe you were trying to drum up false sympathy for me? 
A bit strange considering the seriousness of the subject matter. 
There are homeless youth that really need our help. 
This was the purpose of our collaboration. 
Please
Next time just ask... Thanks


Samia Meah: What made you, a Hollywood icon, so interested in young people in London?

Pamela Anderson: As soon as I found out about Centrepoint through a friend I wanted to help. I have two boys who are young adults now - Dylan is 19, and Brandon is 20 - so I worry about young people, and it’s already challenging to make good choices even under the best circumstances. I left home very young, when I was 16, I was a waitress and I worked with my mum. My Dad wanted me to pay rent when I got my first job, so I left home. I look back now and see that it really taught me something, but it was hard. In the moment I was very hurt and angry, I felt abandoned and afraid, and I blamed my parents for everything that went wrong. We all do it at that age. But it made me responsible for my life early - I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t go through those challenging times. I have created my life on my own terms. I envisioned where I am today 20 years ago. And 20 years before that I knew I had to be brave to pave a new way, to do something different to everyone I knew. To be brave enough to take opportunities that i had never seen before. When I started doing this, my life changed - if I could teach young people in tough circumstance one thing it would be this. First you must believe in yourself, especially when you feel nobody else does. And, if you do happen to find yourself in a position to help others, you have to take on that responsibility. That is when you truly feel successful. We hear so much about struggling actresses trying to make their way, stories about being exploited on the casting couch and working dead-end jobs to put food in your stomach. I remember a time I couldn’t afford groceries - I worked as a waitress, so that saved me. Once I got to Los Angeles , I did pretty well. It was still a hustle, and hard work, but I got by. I had a lot of support by this time - I was 22 and ready for the world. I heard your ambitions are to become a photographer or filmmaker - what would be your ultimate career goal?

Samia: I’m a millennial and I don’t feel I have to choose just one. I’m passionate about social justice, mental health, women’s rights and equal opportunities. I am also a very creative person and a storyteller. Ideally I’d like to combine all my passions and create projects to raise awareness about these issues, or help the cause I care about by working creatively for relevant charities and organizations. There’s a lot of preconceived ideas about homelessness, that it’s just people sleeping on the street. You’ve gone from pin-up to political activist. How do you think we can change the image of homelessness?

Pamela: I understand, thankfully there are resources like Centrepoint and their counselors. At some point we look back at our lives and see the blessings, especially the ones in disguise. They make us stronger. We get to forgive, and those are the moments we are most human. It set us free. Do you have ideas about how we can change the public perception of homelessness?

Samia: We need to continue to talk about it openly on a public platform. It would help if more notable, successful people spoke about their personal experiences with homelessness. This helps remove the taboo and moves the conversation forward. As someone who’s spent her life in front of the camera, what advice would you give for someone starting out as a photographer or filmmaker?

Pamela: Art is subjective. It takes sacrifice. Art is born out of pain and passion. I believe I am an artist. I created this life from scratch, from nothing, so it can be done. Believe in yourself, but also be humble, and just keep creating. Did you ever find it difficult to believe in yourself when times were tough, and how did you counter those doubts?

Samia: Yes all the time. People often see me as high achiever, a go getter, a very social and talkative person. But what they don’t see is my internal monologue. Creating a positive life after experiencing homelessness is very difficult because you don’t have a support network. It’s a very far distance that you have to pull yourself up from and sometimes it’s difficult to carry the weight. Luckily, somehow, I’ve always had a dream of being strong, independent career woman and this picture in my head helps me move forward.

Tori Taiwo: Has there been a time in your life that you were scared to do something, Pamela? How did you overcome your fear and make it work in your favour?

Pamela: That’s a good question. Because every time I overcame an obstacle, it was like a spring board. It sent me further than I could ever dream. It takes faith and perseverance. You soon see that’s what we are all doing. Fear is just an obstacle, created by our imagination, our circumstances, our belief system - someone may have implanted a fear in you as a child, or a partner, a parent. It can be anyone. To break through and learn your healthy limits is key. Because sometimes we can feel comfortably uncomfortable. If it’s all we know. We need to learn a new way. I think that’s the hardest part. We manifest what we think - words are powerful. It’s a life-long practice. Or - we don’t know what hard is, and then when we see it, it takes its toll. We need to all learn the tools we need to get through difficult times. Life is not easy. I feel very blessed that I had a difficult beginning - I can get through a lot more, I can survive. I see so many “successful”,”wealthy” young people suffer - lonely, depressed, addicted. What advice would you offer a young person who has been forced to live on the streets?

Tori: I have not been in the situation personally of sleeping on the streets but to anyone forced to leave their home situation, I would say reach out to someone you can trust. That might not be a family member, as I know from experience your family may be the reason you have to leave. Reach out to a teacher, friends, parents - someone you trust and can confide in. If that is not an option, contact places like Centrepoint or even go to the police station. They have details of relevant safe emergency places you can contact. It can seem hopeless but there are places and people that will be willing to help you. What would you say to someone wanting to work in the entertainment industry?

Pamela: If it is your passion, then enjoy it. Enjoy the process and who knows where it will take you. Just make daily choices that head in that direction and you will get there. There will always be temptations, choices. Stay on track as much as you can. Unfortunately, we usually learn later in life that the straight and narrow is the quickest way. I’ve had times of living far from that, but maybe that was my path. I never knew what I wanted to be - I still don’t. I only knew that i wanted to be in a position to help people, and here I am. I see you’re interested in acting - what kind of films do you like? Whose career would you like to model yours on, and why?

Tori: I am actually a qualified drama tutor although my interest now do lie in photography. My favorite genre of film is romance, and if I were to pursue a career in acting and modeling, it would be that of someone like Viola Davis, because of the sheer brilliance and authenticity she brings to any role she has. She always plays highly respected or wise characters and does them with such strength and elegance. What are your top tips for someone trying to get into the industry of acting and modelling?

Pamela: Oh boy. It has to be calling. It takes confidence and some luck. I think it is tough to pursue, but if you want to be great actor you should study. Read, go to museums, fill your soul. Live as an artist. Every day. What does the word family mean to you? Is it your biological family you choose? Or even a bit of both?

Tori: Family to me are people you can trust and depend on, even when you think you don’t need them, they know you’re in need and will be there without hesitation. That can be biological or not. A lot of my family I have no relation to at all, and they couldn’t be any more my family than my actual mother and father. Family to me has little to do with biology and everything to do with heart and soul. What is your happiest memory?

Pamela: Being in love. My children have given me the happiest memories. They write me a letter at Christmas every year, and I cry every time. It’s impossible to be a ‘perfect’ parent - life is imperfect. It’s the toughest job in the world, the most challenging. So when your kids tell you that they love you, it means so much. Ilyasah, did you notice a difference in the way people treated you when you were homeless and now that you’ve got a steady job and greater prospects?How would you advise someone to treat homeless people in a dignified way?

Ilyasah Ricketts: I noticed a difference in the way people treated me from being homeless, or even knowing that I was homeless, to how I’m living now. I understand that people automatically judge when they first see homeless people, but I think we all should try not to judge, we don’t know what they might be going through, or their story. Instead of just assuming they put themselves in that situation somehow, we should be more aware that it can just be a hard time that someone is going through and generally, they need help. We read the story about a homeless fan living in your house, how did you rise above that and continue to support the cause?

Pamela: I think that was my fault - I had befriended some of the homeless people in my community, and would sit and talk with them, buy them coffee, and it became know that I would do that. I also lived on the beach. I never locked my doors, and things would go missing. Then one day I found a girl in my guest room wearing my Baywatch swimsuit. Lucky no one was hurt and she got the help she needed. How do you feel about London? If you had the opportunity to move somewhere else where would it be?

Ilyasah: I have a weird relationship with London, I love it because it’s my home but I hate the rain and cold! I wouldn’t move and live anywhere else permanently but I will be traveling around the world. You spend a lot of time in London, what makes it your second home?

Pamela: I love London. I rented my house out at the beach and have been traveling around Europe. I set my life up so it would look this way - I worked very hard to build my home, so that I could rent it out and live on that income. It allows me to work full time for the causes I believe in. That was my goal before I turned 50, and it has happened just this year. Right on schedule. My boys are both independently studying and working, and they come to Europe for work sometimes, so we see each other then. It’s painful to let go as a parent, but it’s also the best gift we can give our kids - freedom. There is no easy way to get out of the way and let their adult lives begin. I’ve just stayed extremely busy. It’s also heart breaking and can be misinterpreted - I miss my kids, but I know they are OK, and they are better off not being micro-managed by me. I’m really good at that, it’s the survivor in me. They will survive and thrive, and I wish every young person the same.