Moet je nou echt persé een klimaatactivist worden?

De klimaatcrisis volgens een activist, en Beethoven

Read English version here

Toen de eerste noten werden gespeeld, in een ruimte waar de grote groep mensen eigenlijk maar net in paste, greep het me ineens naar de keel. Hier stonden we dan. Tussen jassen en tassen en cello koffers en schoolstoelen, de meeste aanwezigen volstrekt onbekenden voor elkaar. Hier stonden we dan, een geïmproviseerd orkest en een bijeengeraapte groep mensen die zich had aangemeld ter support van de orkestleden, mochten dingen tijdens het optreden uit de hand lopen. Hier stond ik dan, te luisteren naar een repetitie van een stuk dat meer dan twee eeuwen geleden gecomponeerd was. Ineens overspoelde het complete absurdisme van het moment me. Wat we hier stonden te doen. Waarom we het stonden te doen. Dat we het überhaupt moesten doen. Ik dacht aan de componist van het stuk. Zijn leven. De tijd waarin hij leefde. Hoe hij toch nooit zou kunnen hebben voorzien dat zijn symfonie meer dan twee eeuwen later zou worden ingezet voor dit doel. 

Of toch wel?

De beste man leefde in een tijd waarin muziek alleen kon worden geluisterd als het live was. Een tijd waarin vervoer per koets, boot of paard was. Een tijd waar kleding op maat werd gemaakt, thuis werd genaaid of tweedehands werd gekocht of geruild. Een tijd waarin het doel van landbouw voornamelijk was voldoende voedsel te produceren voor eigen gebruik of het gebruik van de gemeenschap – van commerciële doeleinden was nog zelden spraak. Een tijd waarin olie vooral bekend was van olielampen en als smeermiddel. Waar bedrijven die producten leverden die na een beperkte tijd kapot gingen, konden rekenen op boze consumenten. 

Maar het was ook een tijd waarin alles begon te veranderen. Midden in het leven van de componist werden de eerste stappen van de industriële revolutie gezet. Stoommachines waren al in gebruik, en twee jaar voor zijn dood zou de eerste stoomtrein voor passagiers vertrekken. Kolonialisme nam tijdens zijn leven in rap tempo toe en bracht zowel een stijging van import en export als de eerste aandelenbeurzen met zich mee. Groei was ook tijdens het leven van de componist al een magisch woord waaronder alles verantwoord en geaccepteerd kon worden. Groei van het Rijk, groei van het aanbod van producten die men kon kopen en groei van de winst. Het zou nog ruim een eeuw duren voordat overheden deze manier van doen zouden opgeven

Daarbij was de symfonie waar ik nu naar luisterde – volgens de componist zelf zijn beste werk – vermoedelijk geschreven als verzet tegen Napoleon. Als verzet tegen de zoveelste oorlog voortgebracht door de megalomanie van één man. Ook niet bepaald een probleem waar de wereld inmiddels van genezen is.

Had Beethoven het dan ergens misschien toch wel kunnen zien aankomen?

August 3rd, 2023|Categories: thoughts|Tags: |0 Comments

Do You Really Need to Become a Climate Activist?

The Climate Crisis According to an Activist, and Beethoven

When the first notes were played, in a room that barely fit all the people that were present, my throat suddenly constricted. Here we were, between coats and backpacks and cello cases and school chairs, most of the attendees complete strangers to each other. Here we were, a makeshift orchestra and a ragtag band of people to support them in case things got out of hand during the performance. Here I was, listening to a rehearsal of a piece composed more than two centuries ago. I was suddenly hit by the complete absurdity of it all. What we were doing. Why we were doing it. That we had to do it at all. I thought about the composer of the piece. His life. The time in which he lived. How he could never have foreseen that his symphony would be used for this purpose more than two centuries later.

Or could he have?

The man lived during a time when music could only be enjoyed if it were played live. A time when transport was by carriage, boat or horse. A time when clothes were custom made, sewn at home, or bought or traded second-hand. A time when the main purpose of agriculture was to produce enough food for the family or the community. A time when oil was mainly known for its use in lamps and as a lubricant. When companies that intentionally created products that didn’t last could count on angry customers.

But it was also a time of big changes. In the midst of the composer’s life, the industrial revolution took its first steps. Steam engines were already in use, and the first steam powered passenger  train would depart two years before his death. Colonialism was increasing rapidly during his life, bringing with it a rise in import and export as well as the first stock markets. And even back then “growth” was already a magic word that could justify just about anything. Growth of the Empire, growth of the range of products available and growth of profits. It would take more than a century before governments finally started to change their ways

In addition, the symphony I was listening to – in the composer’s own opinion his best work – was alleged to be written as a resistance piece against Napoleon. As a resistance piece to yet another war caused by one man’s megalomania. Not exactly an ailment the world has since healed from either.

So could Beethoven have seen it coming after all?

August 3rd, 2023|Categories: translations|Tags: |0 Comments

No, You Don’t Have to Work Harder: About Finding Success And Happiness

Work harder. Never give up. Believe in yourself. Get out of bed earlier. Shout self-affirmations in the mirror. Adapt the habits of “highly successful” people…

How many times have we heard those things? In award speeches, articles, self-help books… All those who have made it seem to imply this: If you just work hard enough, long enough and believe in yourself, you will be successful.

But, like…will you though?

I can’t disagree entirely. It’s not that these things don’t contribute to success. They can. But they get way more credit than they should, overshadowing some much just as if not more valuable ingredients. You see, all these golden nuggets have one major flaw: sample bias. A lot of successful people might subscribe to the idea that hard work equals success because they like to believe that they are where they are because they earned their place. It’s nice to think that everyone gets what they deserve, after all. But that does mean all this well-meant wisdom completely ignores the part of the Venn diagram containing those who are just as good and worked just as hard but aren’t successful. What are their thoughts? Obviously we don’t know, because we don’t hear much from those who don’t make it.

But you’re in luck! Because I have experienced spectacular failure in one career path as well as found some succes in another. I know people that have made it as well as people that haven’t gotten to where they hoped they would. And after spending decades on this planet overthinking, overanalyzing, philosophizing and most of all failing epically I have discerned that, in the end, there’s one real tip for succes that lies at the foundation of it all…



Yes. Ease. In perhaps a cruel trick of the universe I’ve found that the things that come easier to us are the things we can find most success in. I have seen it with actor-, writer-, make-up artist and filmmaking friends. I have seen it with different friends pursuing the same thing where one found success and the other less so. I have experienced – and dear Lord felt – it in my own life.

The cruellest of it all is that we can’t fake ease. We can tell ourselves that we’re cool and we’re chill and it’s all easy but if we don’t deep down also believe – nay, know – this to be true, it still won’t work.  Perhaps cruel is not the right word. It just is.

However, there are some things you can do. Things that not only help you find success but perhaps most importantly help you pursue it in a healthier, saner way. Things that help keep you a happy person.

So, here goes…

Read the rest at or read below…

March 8th, 2022|Categories: thoughts|Tags: |1 Comment

What’s Los Angeles Really Like? An Ode To and Takedown of the City of Angels

So, what’s Los Angeles really like? Ever since the Netflix show You and the movie Marriage Story (written by New Yorkers, just saying) have made it a point to highlight the lowlights of the City of Angels, it’s a question I get a lot. But it’s not a new question. Los Angeles is a strange place to have chosen as a person from the Netherlands. Don’t get me wrong: moving abroad as a Dutchie is perfectly normal. To London. Or Paris. Or Madrid. Even New York or Boston. But choosing LA is a little out there. Choosing LA says something about your personality. Because LA is Hollywood. LA is plastic surgery. LA is everything Amsterdam is not. It’s big, perpetually sunny, spacious, mountainous, has no real city centre, a grid-like layout, sparse public transportation, mostly post-19th Century architecture, and the car as the main form of transportation. It’s where people dream big and loud. Amsterdam is rainy, small, flat, has one city center, a circular maze-like layout, the world’s best public transportation, mostly pre-17th Century architecture, and the bicycle as the main form of transportation. Oh, and the motto is “just be normal, then you’re crazy enough.”

I’m sure the fascination behind the question “what’s LA like” therefore is part sincere. But the other part, perhaps, is the expectation of the answer that You and Marriage Story have provided. That LA is fake and shallow. A cultural wasteland. A tacky summer postcard inhabited by botoxed Barbies and imported palm trees. A smoggy suburb of full freeways and empty souls.

And relax, I’m not here to climb into the role of Defender of Los Angeles. As many LA transplants do, I both hate and love LaLaLand. Sometimes simultaneously. Honestly, I could write a book about LA and it inhabitants. But alas, I will not, since I am busy being an Angeleno cliché: working on a screenplay. I will attempt to condense my thoughts to a Millennial cliché though: a blog post. Here it goes, assumption by assumption…

So what is LA really, like, really, like?

January 14th, 2020|Categories: thoughts|Tags: |6 Comments

12 Years Later: What Really Happens to Actors Who Come to LA

I was 18 when I first set foot in Los Angeles. I was on a road trip with my family and I didn’t see much but the horrible tourist sites, yet I knew I’d be back one day, to pursue my dreams of being a Hollywood actress. And I did go back. At 19 I took off on my own to spend a summer in LA doing acting classes. I had the time of my life and returned at 20 to do the same thing. At 22 – after attaining my BSc and working full-time for a year – I returned again, this time for eight months in pursuit of an agent and O1-B visa. It didn’t work. At 23 – after one final three month trip and nine months of waiting – I finally moved to the promised land.

Last August 17 I turned 31. That means I now have known many aspiring actors in Los Angeles for over 13 years. This realization more or less coincided with the news of one of them booking a series regular role in a sitcom. Of just one of them having that elusive proverbial breakthrough. I started thinking: what has happened to all the other aspiring actor friends I’ve met over the years? What do the lives of these dedicated dreamers look like after 10+ years in LA? Wouldn’t that be interesting to share? We read the succes stories of actors who made it plenty. But that’s not a very representative sample. What happens to the the ones not in the news? To the other people that packed up their lives into their car and drove from Ohio to LA? The other people who went through the im-migraine-tion process to get the O1-B visa? The other people who left everything they knew behind for a chance to be a working actor?

Of course, I can’t claim to bring a completely representative sample either, as I’m sure I myself have been a biased selection tool while navigating LA. A Dutch girl on a pink motorcycle with ladybug helmet isn’t for everyone, after all. On top of that I switched from acting to writing pretty quickly after moving to LA.

But I can give you a more complete picture than what the stories of successful actors in the news paint. I can tell you what happened to the people I met in all those acting, improv and audition classes. The people I bunked with in dorm rooms of dingy guest houses. The people I met at casting director workshops, networking events, or through Facebook groups. Even on OkCupid dates.

I can tell you what happened to my friends.

So, here it goes…

August 19th, 2019|Categories: thoughts|Tags: |12 Comments

Why I Stopped Blogging, Acting and Living in LA and Yet This is A Happy Post

Hi! Remember me? Maybe not since it’s been two full years + nine days since I’ve posted, and I’ve accumulated some epidermal wisdom aka wrinkles in the process. So what the f took me so long? Well, various things. I started this blog as a 21 (!) year girl who wanted – correction: was obsessed with/desperately needed – to move to Los Angeles to become an actress. I started it during a time when blogs were fairly new and not everyone above 11 and their dog wrote op-eds on TV show episodes yet. I chronicled everything from visa drama to acting classes to motorcycle accidents, and tried to help other artists who wanted to move to Los Angeles. Fast-forward and I’m now a 29 (!!) year old woman who lives in Amsterdam, is not pursuing acting anymore and has a lot more perspective and mental stability – most of the time anyway. So, what’s the story? Have I become a bitter quitter and is this gonna be a “just give up already” post?


This is gonna be a “know thyself” post that will help you find true happiness and eternal bliss. Kidding. But if you’re someone who’s die-hard pursuing something it might help you reflect and make yourself a little more content. Still a lofty promise, perhaps, but lemme explain…

April 9th, 2018|Categories: thoughts|Tags: |11 Comments