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Meet Jade Santana

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jade Santana.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jade. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Back in 2015, I had been studying Architecture for four years. I was going through one of those “What am I doing with my life” moments. I just looked at myself and my life and realized that I was nowhere near where I wanted to be. I hated my major, I was constantly unhappy, unmotivated and just doing it to please my parents. The feeling that I was wasting my time was constantly there. One day I had a big fall out with my mom because she would never see me going after internships, not wanting to go to classes or showing any interest whatsoever in becoming a good architect. That day was one of the rare moments when my stepdad interfered. He told my mom to stop talking and asked me, “If you could pick any career right now, without thinking of money or your parents, what would you be doing?” and my answer was “I’d be on stage”.

Six months later, I was in LA and studying acting at The American Academy Of Dramatic Arts. I was finally where I wanted to be, doing what I loved. But I knew I had to help my family financially, so I found a job on campus in the cleaning staff. Everyday after my classes, I’d stay until later cleaning the rooms and the bathrooms. At the same time, I was 100% focused on my education. I arrived as one of the students with least experience in my year, but that turned me into a sponge! I was absorbing everything I could! All the classes, lessons, workshops, books… I was determined to be one of the best. It was very exhausting, but I had never been so happy. I had finally found my purpose so I didn’t care about the difficulties and challenges that would appear on my way, I knew they’d be there but my mindset was “bring it on”! I knew it’d be all worth it, and it was.

It’s been four years since I moved and it’s such an amazing feeling to look back on my journey and see where I was and where I am right now. I’m a member of one of the most prestigious theatre companies in town, The Open Fist, I’ve shared the stage with Broadway veterans and big TV names, I represented my country in a campaign for the UN and so many other awesome things and opportunities! I can honestly say I’m living the dream! Hard work does pay off.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Is it ever? I feel like the struggles are different for each person. Moving to a country that is not yours, speaking a language that is not yours (no, we don’t speak Spanish in Brazil) and living a culture that is completely different than yours is terrifying! I think that that was the challenge for me, finding my voice both in the industry and in my day to day as a foreign. But it’s just part of it. I loved my job and loved it here everyday, still do. Whatever happens or comes my way, I know I’ll always make it work. I don’t know of any stories of success that have been smooth, right?

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Being nominated for the Regional Broadway World Award for Best Featured Actress last year was definitely a moment to be proud of career-wise. But I’m also really proud that I’ve never lost myself as a person, which is a really easy thing to happen in this business. I believe myself to be someone who’s grounded and aware of my reality. I think that is something to be proud of at the same time it is a quality that sets me apart.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I wouldn’t say luck has played any role in my life so far. Everything was a result of hard work, focus and discipline. But I’m open to it!

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Image Credit:

Luara Baggi, Celso Junior Foto, Derret Sanders, Katherine Barcsay, Bruno Stuckert

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