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Meet Maria Hojas from West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Hojas.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am originally from Santiago, Chile, and I moved to LA five years ago. I wanted to be a dancer, but I ended up going to acting school almost by accident. I had never considered it but when I attended, I knew I was going to do this for the rest of my life.

How did I get here? I didn’t think about that either until my sister suggested I audition to study in the US. I sent the audition, got a scholarship, and with the love and support of my family I am here. Everything started when I fell in love with telling stories. I truly believe that a story can change lives. Once we get to know the intimate story behind the faces, colors, flags, communities, and labels around us, we step into the intimacy of a person who is not ourselves. We realize there is not much difference in our motivations, hopes, and dreams.

I am an actress, writer, and producer, and I am obsessed with experimentation. I love exploring different storytelling formats — a play, a song, a movement piece, an image. I thrive on that moment of reflection and unique encounters. Telling stories keeps me connected to others, questioning myself and everything around me. It gives me the infinite opportunity to see the world in different perspectives and share those perspectives with others. Stories have changed my life. It is healing to tell stories and experience the stories of others. Creativity connects people and opens minds and hearts. Stories are everywhere when we talk when observe our surroundings. Our point of view can be shared and appreciated in a way that we never imagined. Life is a story, reality is a story, a living dream. Our creations become their own living, breathing thing, transformed continually by the audience, and to me that is pure beauty.

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?
I’ve had the support of amazing friends, family, and colleagues along the road…I am so lucky. But I’ve also had to work very hard in order to be here. When I chose to be an actress, I knew that it wasn’t the safest choice to make a living. But I would not have it any other way. I can’t imagine any other thing to do. When I am doing it, everything makes sense. I feel alive and disappear at the same time, it’s a moment of entire presence, it’s meditation.

I’ve had some difficulties, but I know they are part of life, so I accept them and do what is needed. For me, that is: take a big breath, go run, meditate, connect with nature. Call someone you love. Remember all the things that I never thought I would be able to do, and yet here I am. I’ve struggled before and had the strength to recover and to be transformed. This is only making me stronger; failure is part of growing. As an actor there are so many struggles, but when I make the balance, they are all worth it… I love it. And I’ll keep going. I’ve chosen to focus on the positive.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As an actress, I work in many different projects. I am very proud of the film “Aphrodite” directed by Nicolas Varela, part of the Newport Beach Film Festival and Outfest Fusion 2019. I also had the recent challenge of playing a character much older than me in the newest film of Nicolas. I played a 45-year-old woman, which was exciting and certainly a huge discovery.

Last week I was recording the last pickup lines for an audiobook in Spanish, which I am also very proud of, it’s a whole different format and I love working with my voice. I had the pleasure to read “Becoming Mrs. Lewis” by Patti Callahan, and before that book I recorded “Of love and shadow” by Isabel Allende a very well-known and awarded Chilean author.

I have performed in LA with my solo shows, which I have also written. I love that because it gives me freedom and it keeps me creating, moving and experimenting. The main purpose is to write stories with a strong sense of humanity and critical opinion. Which lately is connecting with doing stand-up comedy at the Comedy Store, and it’s been a great experience, very scary but amazing. Comedy is thrilling and necessary.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Part of me loves planning the future, or more than planning it — setting goals and reaching them. But another part of me is enjoying the present and making decisions moment to moment. I know I have one more year working in LA. I have the idea of going to Spain or of course, Chile. For now, I am really loving this opportunity of working here.

I am so grateful for all the people I’ve known and the beautiful projects I’ve been a part of. I have learned so much throughout these five years. I am looking forward to doing more stand up next month at the Comedy Store. I can’t wait to watch all the films I’ve been involved in, keep learning and taking classes, listening to other people’s stories and letting life surprise me.

Big changes are always a part of my life. I never thought I would be here in the first place. I came here originally for two years, and here I am three years later! So, who knows what’s going to happen? All I know is that I love acting and telling stories. And I am looking forward to keep doing it, wherever it is. More film, theater, comedy, series, books, life and stories to share!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Paola Zadra, Adrian Jaramillo, Adelaide Subtil, Sebastian Hinestrosa, Samara Ehlke, Dana Patrick, Nicolas Varela.

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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