Let's start by telling us a little about yourself. What is your background, what you do and what has led you to what you are doing now?
I am a Cuban- American actress who grew up in Southern California. I began acting when I was 4 years old, an age that normally wouldn’t begin someone's career. It did for me. At a very young age, I recognized that I had a certain “feeling” when I would show up on set to work. It became a passion and thankfully from the example of my very hard working family, I also learned that work ethic would be a necessity for success in my business. I worked hard even when I had to, at times, sacrifice normal childhood activities. I moved to Los Angeles when I was 19 years old and continued to pursue my dream. With perseverance, acceptance of failures and rejection over and over again, I finally started to feel like I had “made it”.
What makes you decide to sign on to a new project? The role, team, message?
Taking on a new project usually means that I had to work very hard to even “get” the role. The audition process can be grueling with multiple rounds of auditions and each step feels like a victory. Once you’ve started to build a body of work that you can be proud of, there are times when your work proves itself and a direct offer will come in, which is something to celebrate! Ultimately, for me, I have to connect to the role. Without connecting to the role, there is very little an actor can offer. When I was first starting out, it didn’t really matter what auditions were coming my way. I would take any opportunity when they came regardless of material, location and pay. Now I can afford to be a bit more selective. Every role that Ive had the opportunity to portray, I can honestly say I have connected deeply with, hopefully that shows on screen.
How do you navigate the more challenging moments in your career and what do you tell yourself in these moments?
I feel like I’m constantly navigating challenging moments in my career! It's one big constant challenge. Joking. Kind of. The thing you have to realize is that the only constant in life is change. Right when you feel like you’re settled on a show, it might get cancelled. You may be replaced in a role, you may have been auditioning over and over again without any traction. You must go on knowing that there will be obstacles. I do believe though that if you are prepared, on time, build a good reputation and have some skill, you will eventually be rewarded. Tenacity is key and don’t take yourself too seriously! Also, only focus on what you can control, there are so many factors that are simply out of your hands in this business. Don’t take it personally. Keep doing the work.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I spend most of my time now in Austin, with my family. I am also filled with gratitude that I work on a TV show, Walker, that shoots in the city that I live in. This luxury is not lost on me. I am able to take my daughter to school and shuttle her to extra curricular activities as much as i can and spend quality time with my husband and new baby. We are a strong family unit and I credit that to the move from Los Angeles to Austin. While I will always consider Los Angeles my home, I do know that for us, there was a toxicity that sometimes enveloped us. We are now able to focus on family and the things that we prioritize most without the other noise. I don’t know where we will end up but I do know that I will forever be grateful for this chapter.
What has been the most rewarding part of becoming a mother?
The most rewarding part about becoming a mother is knowing that I am solely responsible for guiding and raising good humans. It can also be the most challenging as we all know. I have two tiny best friends now and I love harder now that I am a mother. I also see the world differently, there's a bigger reason for me and it's because of the two girls in my life.
What is something you’re learning about yourself now?
I am learning that I really love to be alone. Spending time with myself to re-energize and fill my cup is so important. I am an introvert disguised as an extrovert. The right people can energize me and certain personalities can completely deplete me. I have learned that carving time for myself to cook or read or spend time with my girlfriends who understand, see and love me is really important. When I was younger, I really feared being alone. I didnt understand how to fully embrace who I was and what I needed. Learning to love all parts of me has been a journey, but embracing the messy and learning and continuing to grow is where the good stuff is.
What is your mantra?
My girlfriend came up with the triple A’s. This has become my mantra— Accept, adapt, appreciate.
Tell us about your all-time favorite summer trip.
One of my favorite all time summer trips was going to Montauk and staying at the Surf Lodge. We saved our money and hopped on a helicopter through New York city at night, I felt as though I could hold hands with the Statue of Liberty that's how close I felt passing her while riding in the helicopter. My husband and I woke up in the warm and salty breeze of Montauk. Nothing beats those warm summer evenings on the East Coast.
Any fun summer plans this year?
This summer we plan to go back to Los Angeles for a much needed family and friends visit. Most of my family and friends still haven’t met Andi. Then we plan to go see my best friend Bevin in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and we will close the Summer out with a trip to see other best friends who live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The plan is to beat the heat and get out of Austin for the Summer. It's always nice to travel around a bit when Charlie is out of school. When Andi is a little older, we plan to travel abroad and show my girls other cultures. It's so important for me to show them the world and for them to understand that the way we live isn’t the only way to live.
Favorite Shop: Maufrais, Take heart shop, Estilo kids, By George, Imogene and Willie, Alexa James baby
Go To Restaurant: ABA, paperboy, Sammies Italian
All Time Best BBQ: Original Salt Lick
Caffeine Kick: Summer Moon
Sunday Activity: Frontyard Brewing, Ski Shores
Hidden Gem: The Broken Spoke
Rainy Day Destination: My couch, I go nowhere when its raining :)
Tourist Attraction Locals Love: Kayaking on Lake Austin or taking a boat out on Lake Austin or Lake Travis
Best Thing About Living There: How genuinely kind people are