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Jan 7, 2021

Welcome to the first SOUNDFOOD conversation of 2021. In this episode, we are joined by the radiant and multi-talented Olesya Rulin. Olesya is an actress, environmentalist, poet, and kindred spirit. She was born in Russia and spent her formative years living off the grid with her family. At the age of 8, Olesya moved with her family to the United States, where she was scouted and found her calling in the form of acting. She is best known for her starring roles in the High School Musical franchise as well as other Disney films, her role on the hit-show Greek, the Marvel Comic show Powers, and is currently playing a Russian spy on NCIS: Los Angeles. Olesya also co-owns a nature reserve in rural Russia with her mother that is run almost entirely by single mothers. She also authored a collection of poems called “The Hounds of Love”. We discuss her childhood journey, her love of acting, storytelling, conservation efforts, our New Year's resolutions, and so much more.

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Infinite gratitude!

Key Takeaways:

[1:06] Nitsa’s preparations, nourishments, and resolutions entering the New Year.

[10:38] How did Olesya get here, now?

[18:54] The start of Olesya’s acting journey.

[22:25] How Olesya’s upbringing created a strong work ethic and independence at a young age.

[27:35] Olesya was working for many years for Disney while also going to school and working 2 jobs.

[30:19] What have all these different “lives” that Olesya has lived taught her.

[32:19] What would normal look like to Olesya?

[34:02] How Olesya ended up in Los Angeles and how her career has unfolded.

[41:20] What excites Olesya about acting.

[47:10] More about Olesya’s conservationism and environmentalism background.

[53:40] Nitsa and Olesya discuss the differences in dietary choice based on location and circumstance.

[1:00:35] Olesya shares a story about a family Landseer dog.

[1:03:31] The nature reserve in Russia that Olesya and her mother co-own.

[1:10:41] We digress into a conversation about My Octopus Teacher.

[1:14:00] How Olesya finds purpose in her work.

[1:16:09] How Olesya’s world has changed due to COVID-19.

[1:20:55] Does Olesya feel pressure and nerves while on set?

[1:24:06] Identifying a good director and good feedback.

[1:34:44] How Olesya nourishes herself.

[1:40:10] Olesya’s New Year’s Resolutions.

[1:42:58] Olesya’s last meal on Earth involves her foraging on her reserve in Russia.

Mentioned In This Episode:


Where to find Olesya:

Olesyas Instagram

Olesyas Website


Mentioned in this Episode:

Nitsas Immunity Broth Recipe

Activist Manuka Honey

Activist Elixir


My Octopus Teacher