Would you leave your friends and family and everything you’ve ever known on the other side of the world for a chance at a dream? Would you follow your heart 9,934 miles away from home, with nothing but your courage to guide you?
At just eighteen years-old these were questions that Emma Ludbrook wrestled with before booking her plane ticket from Sydney, Australia to New York, New York to pursue a career as a film producer.
Eleven years later – seated across from each other at a long, family-style dinner – I found myself instantly drawn to the clarity in Emma’s striking turquoise gaze, flecked with a touch of mystery by a single, hazel freckle dotted in her left eye. In describing what she does for a living she humbly explained, “I find solutions to problems”.
Before I had the opportunity to dig deeper, she turned her focus on me, avoiding the typical, “What do for work?” in favor of, “Tell me what you’re passionate about?”
What was intended as simple inquiry to learn about me, actually served as a window directly into my new friend’s soul. And what an inspired soul it is. For Emma, her work is her passion and her passion is her work. There is no separation. Which explains how in seven years she transitioned from Jared Leto’s assistant, to COO of a diverse, multi-pronged organization, as the tenacious yin to Jared’s artistic yang.
What originated as just two people navigating the creative and business landscape of film, and music, organically flourished into a team of twenty-five people working across four arms of the business: Sisyphus- TV and film production; The One and Only Golden Tickets– a VIP ticketing company; Hive– a social media digital marketing company, and VyRT– a new technology company poised to change the way think of live music.
I later learned that I’m not the only one that finds Emma captivating. Even though her mesmerizing eyes are barely visible on Thirty Seconds to Mars album cover, “This is War”, insatiable fans knew it was Emma, and an explosion of YouTube videos and blogs dedicated specifically to her soon followed.
Emma Ludbrook knows the power of dreaming big. At just 30 years old, she has gracefully emerged as one of entertainments most admired game changers, fearlessly charging into any new area of the industry where opportunity is ripe, and inspiring legions of young women with each new step she takes. Now that’s WoW!
Name: EMMA LUDBROOK
Occupation: COO of: Sisyphus, The One and Only Golden Tickets, Hive, VyRT
Hometown: SYDNEY, Australia
Current city of residence: Los Angeles, CA
Ordinary Magic: If you were at a cocktail party and were asked to explain what you do in three sentences or less, what would you say?
Emma: I work in film, music and new technologies, helping find solutions to problems.
Ordinary Magic: What inspired you to head in that direction?
Emma: I moved to the US when I was 17 because I knew that I wanted to work in film. I went to NYU Tisch School of the Arts and moved to LA after graduation. I started out as an assistant and grew into the position I’m at now. I’ve been working with the same person for 7 years which feels longer than most relationships in this town.
Ordinary Magic: What is your accomplishment that you are most proud of to date?
Emma: I feel proud of the work that I do every day. I’m proud to be a part of a team that has transformed from something small and doubted to a force to be reckoned with. I don’t think I can pinpoint it to one thing but I’m proud to be someone that is driven and will not stop until I’ve achieved what I set out to.
Ordinary Magic: What has the biggest turning point been in your life so far?
Emma: Moving to the United States was a key moment in my life. I decided that I couldn’t do what I wanted to while staying in Australia and made sure I started a life in a country that I felt like gave me access to unlock a world of opportunity.
Ordinary Magic: What is your greatest passion?
Emma: Honestly, my work is my greatest passion. I hold a lot of my own identity within what I “do” and put so much of myself into my career. I’m passionate about creativity – anything and everything surrounding it I feel incredibly passionate about.
Ordinary Magic: What words of wisdom would you give your twenty-year old self?
Emma: Everything will be ok in the end. I remember moments of feeling lost or hopeless when I was younger. I had times when I felt like I had problems that couldn’t possibly be fixed. But as long as you never give up, everything will be ok in the end.
Ordinary Magic: What was the last book you read?
Emma: THE HAPPINESS HYPOTHESIS. It’s about the pursuit of happiness and psychology of that emotion but is also somewhat of a self help book for happiness in your personal and business life.
Ordinary Magic: What is your personal philosophy?
Emma: My personal philosophy is to only surround myself with people and things that inspire and support me. No one has time to have anything less.
Ordinary Magic: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Emma: I’m reminded daily to believe in my dreams, no matter what. People will always tear you down and give you countless reasons to give up, but if you have faith in yourself, you can accomplish anything.
Ordinary Magic: If you could be anywhere in the world right now doing anything, what would it be?
Emma: I travel an incredible amount already (although the list of places I haven’t been that I want to go to is endless), so being at home with friends and family sounds pretty great.
Ordinary Magic: What do you have gratitude for in this moment?
Emma: I have an incredible amount of gratitude for all the people in my life that give me love. I saw a saying the other day – “I don’t have time to hate the people hating me because I’m too busy loving the people who love me”.
Ordinary Magic: Do you have a Life Motto?
Emma: It’s not my life motto per se, but I’ve always loved this quote:
“Dance like nobody’s watching;Love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening. Live like it’s heaven on earth.”