Tina Traster is a socially-conscious, award-winning journalist, author, and filmmaker. Her 30-minute documentary, This House Matters, is an examination on historic preservation in the Hudson Valley. The film has screened at the YoFi Film Festival, the Kingston Film Festival, the Hoboken International Film Festival, and the Nyack Film Festival. Traster's work has appeared in scores of newspapers, magazines and literary journals including The New York Times, The New York Post, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, Redbook, Family Circle, Parade, Time Out New York, Audubon, Ski Magazine and many others. She is the author of the award-winning memoir Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother's Tale of Russian Adoption and Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder. Since 2006, Traster has written the "Burb Appeal" column for The New York Post.
What do I do best?
Think strategically. Organize, lead and delegate. Convert my passions and concerns into art/accessible media through writing, film and photography.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Sheer persistence. Never taking no for an answer, but knowing when to stand down, move on, and redirect my energy.
What are my aspirations?
To make sure my work is meaningful and I’m using my time wisely, both in my personal and professional capacities, which more frequently have blurrier boundaries. My best work springs from personal issues, whether it’s adoption, animal rights, or historic preservation. My predilections have guided my creative/professional patch for the last several years.
My Biggest Success?
A successful marriage and a stable home. I believe that the wellspring of my productive, creative endeavors flows from the loving union I have with my husband, who is my partner in all things. Having grown up in a chaotic home, with lots of distraction and deceit, I treasure the fact that the most significant relationship I have both grounds me and lets me fly.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Breaking contact with my elderly parents. Though I’d been a golden child, I managed to disappoint them as I made adult decisions. I tried everything to tolerate their unhappiness with me, but in the end, breaking ranks gave me the distance to see that a debilitating relationship drains ones resources. It makes me sad but it was the right decision.
Never give up. You’re Never Too Old To Be Young Enough To Do What You Want To Do. Live with animals.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Indie documentary and filmmakers including Michael Moore, Greta Gerwig, Ken Burns.
News anchor Rachel Maddow – whose love for the truth only slightly surpasses mine.
Actress Frances McDormand for playing roles that show us it’s okay to be who we are.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Home in the Hudson Valley. Newport, Rhode Island, Massachusetts Berkshires. Montreal.
All are vibrant, art- and artist-filled places that inspire me in different ways.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My Canon camera, Canada Goose jacket, the New York Times crossword puzzle, my Townie bicycle.
My Current Passions?
Helping animals through the making of my documentary Catnip Nation.