Introducing the Hard-Working and Inspirational Entertainer and Editor-in-Chief, Holly Glasser

Photography By: Spencer Kohn @spencerkohn

In this highlight we turn our attention to Holly Glasser, model, actress, singer and Editor-in-Chief of MITH Magazine. MITH stands for Modest Is The Hottest and is all about tasteful fashion, inner beauty and knowing ones worth. MITH tells the stories of the new faces in acting, modeling, singing, dancing, fashion design and more, with an emphasis on those who want to give back to their community as true leaders and innovators.

A portrait of Holly Glasser Photography By: Jon Macapodi

I was able to work alongside Holly on a film set back in 2013 and was blown away by her professionalism and willingness to be a team player. These types of artists are what the industry needs more of, artists willing to work hard as well as giving to their communities. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to interview Holly and I am excited to see where her endeavors take her in the future. I asked Holly a series of questions, and here is what we discussed:

Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended, etc.

I was born in Anchorage, Alaska, when my father took a job in pharmaceutical sales and thought the location would be fun! I get my adventurous side from my dad, for sure! He loved to trek snowy mountains, fish for salmon up to his waste in cold rivers, and chop firewood with a mustache and flannel. When I was 5, we moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, onward until young adulthood. There was a cow pasture and pond behind our house, as well as a forest, and I had endless adventures in nature with my brother and sister and the neighbor kids. My most fun memories as a child were catching crawfish in the streams and building a ten-foot tall teepee in the woods which might still be standing to this day! My brother and sister and I would sit in the teepee Indian style during snow storms and drink hot chocolate with our friends. We were very proud! I was home-schooled and watched my Core Curriculum classes in high school on TV. I still remember my biology teacher, Mrs. Ericson, and I could email her questions. I even got to order my frog dissection kit and do it at home alongside her televised class. I was very studious and self-taught in a lot of ways, as well. I read a lot of books. My father helped with science and math and my mother helped with social studies. While still in high school, I fell in love with the Spanish language, and learned with an audio tape that took me on a textbook adventure as a detective searching for clues traveling through a foreign country. I LOVED IT. Total nerd heaven! I spent 2 hours a day working on my Spanish. While still in high school, I also took college classes at the community college and later transferred to and graduated from N.C. State University a year early with a Bachelors in Spanish Language and Literature, magna cum laude. I was somewhat of a teacher’s pet in college, often sitting in the front row and leading study groups. Usually in a hoodie and jeans running around with frizzy hair on campus, my favorite college memory is holding an impromptu debate with some false evangelist in our university square who was condemning everyone who walked by him, and I stood up to him and talked about God’s mercy and grace. About 30 people gathered, clapped, and cheered. This was when I realized I liked to talk and also write. (Chuckles) I realized I was somewhat of a challenger, and liked to stand up for ideas and causes and have a voice!

Holly (to Megan Fox’s right) acting in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Photography By: José A. Perez

What inspired you to get into the fashion/ entertainment industry? Early experiences worth sharing?

I had actually not really planned to be in fashion too early on! I always wanted to be a doctor/pilot/humanitarian that traveled to remote villages around the world bringing aide to the oppressed. I grew up reading many books that inspired this vision. My favorite book was a biography on Clara Barton, the war nurse hero of the Civil War who dashed from wounded soldier to wounded soldier on the battlefield while bullets whirred through her jacket as she fed the men bits of soup or tended to small wounds. She later founded the Red Cross. I found this story to be so utterly romantic and heroic… When I graduated college, I started out as an aide to a disabled boy in his classroom, and soon volunteered at a medical clinic as a Spanish interpreter for doctors and physician assistants, where I was later hired part-time to work in their clinic.

Holly (far right) volunteering with friends at the Bowery Rescue Mission in NYC to feed the homeless

After I began my interpreting job, I also became a teacher part-time. I taught Spanish for 3 months at a private school K-6 for a teacher on maternity leave, and later became an instructor at a kid’s camp for homeschooled kids who were taking their Core Curriculum classes. I taught Spanish, Geography and Guitar to 6–12th graders. Over a 2-year period as a teacher and interpreter, I had a total of 302 students and interpreted for hundreds of patient visits. I loved medicine and teaching, but I was also into the arts. In my free time, I played piano and guitar along with my mother and sister, took oil painting classes with my younger sis as well, and I attended a small modeling and acting school, receiving a one-year diploma there. This was all in between babysitting and tutoring jobs. It’s funny, I look back now, and it’s almost like I was more busy those days than I am now as an editor/model/actress/singer. I’ve always been one to wear many hats! You know, it’s funny… I found a piece of paper from when I was 9… and I wrote my dream vision… On this paper, I wanted a mansion with picnics in the lawn and charities, and I also wanted to be a doctor, linguist, professor and pilot… and lo and behold… on that list, I also wrote fashion editor!! Somehow I knew then what I forgot about until years later, but it was more of a subconscious vision…

Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.

When I graduated from my little modeling and acting school in Raleigh, North Carolina, I decided to quit my teaching and interpreting jobs and move to the NYC area to be an actress and model. This was a sudden change for me that my family and friends were not expecting, and I did not exactly have their support. I shocked everyone with my romantic, unrealistic and seemingly foolish and grandiose idea… I made the move alone, and spent many hard months transitioning without being encouraged much. It was a time of isolation but of great exploration adventure and self-discovery. Indeed, I found myself outside of my little sheltered Raleigh bubble. I will admit… the dating life was a bit brutal for awhile… After some heartbreaks and losses of innocence, I got settled into NYC, and began doing small acting and modeling jobs… from shoe modeling, to hair modeling, to e-commerce, commercials, music videos, short films, to small cameos on TV and film, and more. I then moved to LA after a couple of years, wanting to broaden my horizons. There, I began my fashion magazine with a co-founder, and we launched the MITH empire.

Holly in Paris during Fashion Week with MITH Magazine Photography By: Eva Catherine

My greatest challenge was becoming the full owner of this empire when my co-founder a year later handed the company over to me completely, and I found myself in a world of delegation as an independent businesswoman. This was a challenge that overwhelmed me at first… You know, my co-founder really believed I could do it alone, more than I believed in myself. During this time, there were many personal setbacks that hit me all at once… from dating, to family life… and I really transitioned into full womanhood with a BAM. The innocent, childlike wonder I had always had for the world was quickly toughened up and refined by a more street savvy, discerning and keen boss lady mentality. WOW, did I transform so much… but I still kept my optimism, wonder, and dreamer mindset and I now have more grit and resolve than ever before!!

Photography By: Jon Macapodi @jonmacapodi

What do you believe sets you apart from other entertainers?

Something that has perhaps set me apart, is being home schooled, which taught me early on to be self-efficient and a self-thinker. Growing up in a family with strong values, I always knew I wanted to use my talents and passions for good, so transitioning from the caring and empathetic fields of teaching and medicine into entertainment and fashion was a good choice, because I had now begun to build a platform on which I could more greatly influence a cause for social justice and start a movement to leave a lasting impact. As mentioned, early on in childhood, I had a vision to own a large estate and to have many guests attend picnics in the lawn there. This vision will become a reality in my mid-thirties I believe, when I expand my fashion magazine into an actual fashion house… where I hope to host charities, runway shows, community events, and so much more. My dream is for this fashion house to be a haven for creatives. I want to be a gatekeeper, guardian and watchman of talent in the industry, and create a safe place for talent to be mentored and to develop their careers.

As a part-time actress and a model, there were many times I was asked to do things I didn’t want to do in my career that would have compromised my values and integrity. I turned down many opportunities, and I can’t emphasize enough how essential it is to have support around you to help you make strong decisions and wise choices. We are in the perfect era of society right now, where those who have taken advantage of the innocent are being pushed aside, and there is a new path being paved for the advocates of social justice and human rights to take the reins in Hollywood and beyond. Alongside my fashion house, I would love to also have a non-profit where I advocate for the oppressed, including but not limited to the orphans, the abused, the recovering addicts, to the mentally ill. I have such a huge heart for those that have suffered and been taken advantage of or simply misunderstood, misled and/or mistreated. I want to create an empire that truly gives artists a safe place to thrive and create, and a non-profit that gives others a safe place to heal and be whole again.

Holly advocating for sex-trafficking victims with Project Beautiful Photography By: Tessa Port @honestdarling

Do you have other interests or hobbies?

When I am not working on my magazine or doing modeling and acting jobs, I love to make music. I have recorded my first pop single, and am recording an indie song this week that is more singer-songwriter style, as well. I haven’t shared my music with the world much yet, but it is something I hope to really emphasize at a later date soon-to-come. My single is not released yet, as I’m redoing the music video. It’s taken me a long time to put this single and the video together, as it’s been a learning curve for me! As far as music style goes and my goals with that, I love creating vast, expansive, contemplative and dreamy cinematic, orchestral music above all other styles, so doing instrumental movie soundtracks would be my ultimate goal as a musician. My first pop single, however, has vocals and style more reminiscent of Lana Del Rey, Lada Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna or Lorde. I have a few different styles of singing, from pop princess, to Enya-type high soprano arias and falsettos, to classic indie rock and dream pop rifts to sometimes even more folky sounds, since I’m from near the North Carolina mountains. In the coming months, I can’t wait to show this other side of myself that I’ve hidden for so long! It’s a very eclectic hodge-podge.

Holly playing piano at her family home in North Carolina — Photography By: Rachel Linder

Any projects you have out or are currently working on?

Currently with my magazine, I’m creating an identity movement for others to know their true worth. This is something you will see coming into greater fruition soon, as I will be telling many stories of others in the industry who faced various personal challenges and overcame. My first pop single is also about overcoming strongholds and rising above. I really want to empower our generation to be bold leaders who stand for what is right and who lead with substance, value and integrity, knowing that their worth is not defined by exterior factors, and to tell the stories of those who have been resilient over insurmountable obstacles. I’ve also gone on a personal purity journey, where I’ve dedicated three years to sexual purity awaiting my future husband. This is something I did to prepare myself emotionally and spiritually for a very powerful union. I’d like to encourage others to join me in this challenge, as it brought so much freedom and breakthrough to my personal life.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years, I would definitely like to see the MITH fashion house and non-profit in full-swing. I want to be a beacon of light on a hill shining like a lighthouse and bidding others to come to be inspired and healed, so they can thrive and lead our future generation with might. Of course, I also would love to have a family. I believe my future husband will be a strong leader in the community. He will be a powerful man with a testimony and a voice. He will be an advocate and a father to the oppressed, a man I can really follow. I want to walk behind him and lift him up to shine. I always joke that I will marry the next Blockbuster Batman and my dream role on TV and Film is Cat Woman. Hey, anything is possible for those who believe… ;) I will always settle for a simple Halloween costume escapade, however… with future hubby! Meow!

Photography By: Adrian Caisaguano (@opoline)

What advice can you give to aspiring entertainers?

The greatest advice I can give to aspiring entertainers, is do not compromise your integrity to get ahead. Take no short cuts. Do the honest, good hard work, and you will be rewarded in time. Stay true to your values and know that you can gain the whole world but lose your soul. Success is not about being mega-famous and having millions of followers. Success is being a good example to others, even if you only change one life. What is better? To change one life for good, or to influence millions in the wrong direction? I really think about these things when making choices in my career, and I urge new talent to do the same. I would also say, give yourself grace whenever you make mistakes. You are not defined by your successes or your failures. Your character is what is most important, and your willingness to learn and grow into a better person every day is essential. Stay humble, stay kind, work hard, be good, and never give up on your dreams!

How can we follow along in your journey? Social Media?

You can keep up with my journey on Instagram @hollyglasser and @mithmagazine You can also check out my magazine’s website at mithmagazine.com. From time to time, you will see new acting projects posted on my IMDB, as well. My favorite role so far was as a school girl in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a scene with Megan Fox. It was a three-day shoot filmed in Grand Central Station in New York, and I had a blast. You may also see me jetsetting from LA to Vegas to NYC for various modeling and acting jobs, or you may catch me in London, Milan and Paris for fashion week. Mostly, I hope you will see that above all my adventures, the thing that stands out the most is my desire to share relevant and tasteful content that inspires inner beauty and instills values of true worth into our generation.

Holly in her dressing room for a pilot to talk about her appearance on TMNT 2

Causes and charities Holly supports: Bowery Rescue Mission, The Nylon Project, Project Beautiful and more.

“With love, unto the nations, and for future generations”

-Holly Leah Glasser