Hi Alejandro, since we last spoke, you’ve have been up to some pretty exciting stuff and also focusing on keeping a positive mind and staying healthy –which in a town like LA, is pretty important. I would love to talk to you about all this stuff;
First of all, how far do you feel you have come from a few years ago when you first arrived in LA? What have you learned the most?
One of the main things has been the way people do business and operate in the entertainment industry. Most people coming to LA—including myself of course—have a preconceived idea of how things work just because we’ve watched movies and the entertainment news section, social media, etc. We’ve all probably underestimated the complexity of the business, and the time it takes to either get yourself seen or to put a project together.
How have you remained grounded and not stressed out in an industry such as Hollywood?
By not being entirely attached to the results. For example, on the many auditions that anybody goes through trying to break through in the first couple of years, you really expect to get a call back after an audition that you know you nailed -then nothing happens. Other times, at auditions that I didn’t think I was going to get, I get a call. So now my approach is to give it the best in the moment the audition takes place, and when I’m done, I get on with my day and my life and forget about it.
As actors, we tend to look for approval from either the audience or the director, and we are constantly shooting ourselves in the foot expecting that approval in the audition room. We have to deliver, as much as possible, what we feel its required from our performance, and once we go with a choice, we have to go all the way with it. Of course we do it hoping it is the way the casting director will like, but we still have to create our own interpretation of a text, and give a fresh performance, rather than what is the most likely to be the first impression on a read. This way we keep ourselves in the edge as performers, and bring new exciting interpretations to an audition. Then let it go.
How do you find California compared to where you grew up?
I actually grew up in a town called Cuernavaca in Morelos, about one hour south from Mexico City. To be more specific, I attended up until the 4th year elementary school in Mexico City, then the rest until just high school, in Cuernavaca. So although I’m from a very big cosmopolitan city like Ciudad de Mexico, I still come from a kind of small town background, or at least in between. California has a very progressive mentality for what I’ve seen, although I’ve just been able to be in the southern part of the state. I would love to visit the northern part of it, especially Mount Shasta, since I’m very much about spirituality and the kind of things I hear that happen over there.
Overall, I think about also the differences between the two countries. The way the system works, to put it in very general terms. The way things are done in Mexico is a different kind mentality. It’s been interesting to have that middle ground point of view between the two. Taking the best of both and trying to avoid the worst in both. In a way, however, I’ve always been an American, since Mexico is in the American continent (technically, right?), then having the US media influence back home.
Have you found it difficult to transition into the LA lifestyle? Or do you feel you have easily adjusted?
LA is so much more culturally multi-layered. Back in Mexico City there was also quite a lot of diversity, but mainly from the different Mexican nationals from different heritages and looks, but Mexican by generation. In LA, people are from all over the world. Its funny how in my experiences so far, I seldom get to meet someone that is actually from LA! A lot of people are from only the US for sure, but a lot are from the other side of the globe. I really like that part. It’s great to hear different languages on different days.
About adjusting myself, luckily or by cultural happenstance, I learned really good English back in school -from both school and in the media. From there, I have consciously developed talking almost without an accent for the most part. Some people just think I’m from LA so I think I got it!
What are some of the most important things to do and remember as an actor in LA?
Holding on unto your own sense of who you are without caring too much about having the approval of others. Actually it is harder than it seems, especially if there is a ‘certain way’ in which the industry works or the things that the audience wants. One thing is to work in order to get work or to put a project together -and the different steps and expertise it takes to accomplish them. That is definitely a good thing to remember (you’ll have to learn more than only just acting and there is always more to learn). But from there, don’t lose the sense of what you value or your own unique approach to any part of the whole creative process.
Tell us about some of the films you have done and which one was one of your highlights?
Some of the ones that I’ve liked the most is a web series called Beautiful Fools directed by Steven Soria, where I interpret the character of Dick, and the name fits him too! He’s quite a dick of a guy; I play an arrogant entertainment journalist. I also really liked to be part of Alone in the World the music video by Rei Kennex -an amazing artist from the Ukraine; she’s amazing, does her own stunts and sings. I performed the role of a type of nightmarish Viking that pursues the hero with others throughout the video. So a very different type of character. From there, I’d say that my highlight has been The End of the Night a film by Alexander Weinberg, where I interpret Bryce Walton. I really enjoyed this production, the characters and the story that Alexander created, taking place in L.A, and with a great mystery to be solved while the audience watch; I loved to do murder mystery film noir type story. The film is about to be released this year.
Which character was your favorite to play so far?
Bryce Walton from The End of the Night I think was one of my favorites. He’s the one who’s more unpredictable and a little bit of a loose cannon while at the same time, he has a very sensitive side to him, which he doesn’t just show to anyone.
What keeps you the most humble and grounded?
Having gone through—and still enduring—a lot of the challenges that mean finding your way, both, as an artist and an immigrant have given me the better perspective of appreciating what I have, where I come from, and what I’m able to do. I’ve also gone through enough experiences in my life and dealt with so many kinds of people -from the modest, to the very rich, so very little phases me. I take it as a person going through their life journey, as I myself am, then I really try not to judge.
What can we expect to see from you in 2018?
I’ve been getting several V.O. jobs over the past few months, and I’ve found the experience very exciting and engaging. So you may not be seeing a lot of me, but hearing my voice for sure! I’ve mainly done commercial V.O. work, and I would love to transition into character work, whether in animation or video games. From there, I’ll keep myself searching for interesting roles in film and collaborating with up and coming directors with new and interesting visions for the screen. Then I might have the occasional commercial I get picked for!