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Songs, Stress, and Storytelling: How Sacha Carlson Keeps His Life His Own

Written and Interviewed by Stella Feinstein

Photography by Sophia Keefe

When Sacha Carlson isn’t traveling for work, he can be found writing songs in the living room of his childhood home on the central coast of California in San Luis Obispo. Within its four walls, he learned to play guitar, sing, and eventually write his first songs — the room has seen more of him than any person. The music created in that room helps take him places nothing else can because, between all of the places he’s traveled in his life, the places that his music has taken him are his favorite.

For Carlson, who you may know from his various performances in Julie and the Phantoms, 9-1-1 Lone Star, and American Housewife, his formative years were/have been an amalgamation of stops in cities all over North America. Forming bonds with people, cities, and songs and having to pick up those roots just as they are set down is one bittersweet aspect of the fast-paced life he has found himself a part of.

"Coming to a new place, working, forming that family you have with your coworkers and all the people that you're collaborating with and leaving makes it so memorable, such a chapter in your career," he reminisces. "You don't know when they started, and then when they end, you realize how much they meant. Have that perspective in your back pocket every day."

Storytelling is the string that follows Carlson throughout his life — from carrying out other people's words with his acting to writing his own songs; he has a loyal fanbase that seems like they care about what he has to say. To process the stressful and fast-paced nature of his life, he welds aspects of his own life into the only thing he's ever really known: fiction.

"I have a song called Mr. Go Go Go. That is kind of about a wicked man, a rambling man. Parts of myself I see in him, but also parts of him I definitely don't relate to," said Carlson. "He's this man on the road; it's a very selfish kind of shallow way of existence. So it's kind of funny because I have the very innocent kind of pure relationship with that song, which is like, I'm always busy."

Carlson has gone further than he'd ever expected he would. After just under a year living in Los Angeles, he played his first show at the famed Troubadour. Eventually, he'll worry about how to stay grounded and set goals for himself — for now, he's going to float on his high a little longer.

"We just played the Troubadour. It was like a dream come true; we ended up selling out a couple of minutes before we went on stage," he explained with an ear-to-ear smile. "It was such a blur, and I have these like mental snapshots in my head from that night that will never leave me."

No one has seen the last of Sacha Carlson. He's recording new music, fine-tuning, tweaking, ensuring everything is right, and showing the world how he's matured. He might not know exactly what's next for him, but his days are full, his heart is grateful, and his fans are ready for whatever he puts out in the world.

"Nothing time can't figure out," said Carlson. "I might not know what to do right now, but maybe tomorrow. Or maybe in 20 minutes. Or maybe in 6 months, you know? There will be an answer. It's just how you get there."

Written and Interviewed by Stella Feinstein

Photography by Sophia Keefe

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