Courtesy of Alexandria Rose Rizik
When Alexandria Rose Rizik was a young girl in Scottsdale, Arizona, her aunt bought her a journal and told her to come up with a story. And with that, a writer was born. Her latest creation, Chocolate Milk, actually started as a school assignment when she was just 17 years old.
As she recounted in a recent interview, “We had to write a fable that had a moral to the ending. I was simultaneously running an anti-bullying campaign and it seemed apropos to discuss this topic as it was during a time when so many kids were taking their own lives due to this epidemic.”
The children’s book tells the tale of a special cow named Star, who just so happens to produce brown milk. She is teased by her fellow bovines until a veterinarian discovers that she is the source of a truly “moolicous” chocolate milk.
“I feel like this is such an important topic to bring awareness to for a lot of reasons,” she explained. “One major reason is, we live in this era of social media where everyone is constantly being exposed to each other’s lives and because of that, it seems the younger generation finds it easier to bash on each other while hiding behind their computer/telephone screens. It’s unfortunate and devastating really. I feel like everyone has at least witnessed it if they haven’t been a victim of it.”
She would love for her young readers walk away with an important message in mind. “I hope that kids can learn to love themselves despite their differences and learn to love each other even more so despite each other’s quirks. No one is perfect, we’re all just humans trying to figure out this crazy life.”
Chocolate Milk is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Rizik’s many talents. In addition to being a children’s book author, she is also a screenwriter and award-winning filmmaker.
“Screenwriting is my main passion,” she admitted. “I love watching the words I write become visuals on screen. There is such a rewarding feeling that comes from it. My first short film was a five-minute short titled Contentment.”
Available on Amazon Prime, the project was based on a poem that Rizik wrote after a breakup. “I felt I had lost the true love of my life,” she revealed. “One of my biggest fears is to settle, like I so often see people do. They do it with their careers, their relationships, etc. So, I explored this concept through a poem that I eventually adapted into a short.”
A true force of nature, Rizik filmed two more short films this year, The Middle and Anti-Joke, has another short planned for the fall and is in production on her feature. Not only does she write and direct but she stars in her projects as well.
Still, she acknowledged that all that work comes with its own set of difficulties. “Acting while directing is a challenge and somehow I managed to make it happen, which I feel set me up very well to direct other films. It is hard to focus on acting while also trying to see the whole scene from a third person perspective. I highly recommend young filmmakers take on the challenge while they are still learning and experimenting with film. It gives you a unique perspective as both a director and actor.”
For her feature, Cut, Rizik has decided to stay exclusively behind the camera directing and producing what she described as “the story of several young filmmakers on a mission to shoot their student capstone but everything and anything that could possibly go wrong, does.”
And as if she didn’t have enough on her plate, Rizik is turning one of her original screenplays into her debut novel —21 Questions. She said the novel is “the story of a studious teenage girl who falls in love with the school rebel but realizes it takes more than a game of 21 Questions to really get to know someone — or yourself.”
This tale is also about love and loss. “I wrote it after experiencing my first heartbreak when I was 17-years-old,” Rizik noted. “At the time, a family friend of mine who lived in Los Angeles had written a script based upon a personal experience when she was a teenager. She had my sisters and I read it because it was directed toward our age group. She inspired me to channel my own experiences as a young person into my writing. I eventually adapted the screenplay into a novel and it is so crazy to see how the story has evolved. The whole experience was very therapeutic for me.”
With all of these creative outlets, Rizik is part of an ever-growing chorus of female storytellers. She explained why she thinks it’s important for women to produce content, saying “They come with such a unique perspective and they deserve to share it! We shouldn’t be asking why… we should be asking why wouldn’t they.”
To learn more about all of Alexandria Rizik’s projects visit her website.