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Conversations with Nora Isabel Cross

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nora Isabel Cross.

Hi Nora, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Thanks for having me. I’m an immigrant artist, animal rights advocate, and creative entrepreneur. My story as an actor started when I was a 16-year-old. I happened to see a listing for a drama class offered as an extra-curricular and felt curious about whether I’d be able to act. I decided to take that class and ended up falling in love with the craft. Eventually, I got my B.A. in Theater (in Mexico). To get a strong handle on the production side of the theater, I traveled to Catalonia to get my Masters in “Cultural Industries.” In all, I performed in and produced theater for over ten years before life brought me to Los Angeles. In LA, I started to explore possibilities in the film industry. Just in the last year, I’ve produced several short films and a web series. I am currently writing my first feature film.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It hasn’t been a smooth road. As an immigrant, I have to build a career here from scratch, including every social tie and practical connection. In the film industry, many opportunities are shared only amongst people who know each other or are related or who have a family history working in the business. I didn’t have any of that. My husband supports my creative efforts and collaborates on my projects, which has been a blessing because we are a great team. But– that doesn’t make moving forward easy! Film production is expensive and we’ve had to sacrifice many rest days to shoot, working around the days taken up by day jobs.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I write, produce, and act. I think what’s special about my work is that– along with my husband– I’m essentially an independent production company bundled into a surprisingly small package. We do everything from writing original scripts to editing and operating with almost no budget. I’m proud of being so independent, of being someone who is always learning and reinventing. If, for example, I need to learn some new suite of software to finish some aspect of my current film, I’ll do it, regardless of how long it takes (or of how exhausting that can be). Everything gets better with practice, including the experience and know-how required to be an independent filmmaker.

How do you think about happiness?
Spending time in nature, being around animals. There is nothing purer than those experiences. I hope one day I can translate that happiness into a movie.

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