Today we’d like to introduce you to Mercedes Maria.
Mercedes, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born and raised on the East Coast. I found my way to the West in adulthood.
Moving across the country has brought obvious change. The climate is different and the backdrop looks different. But the change that’s truly special, the change that eyes can’t see, is the strength that came from moving and learning new lessons.
There’s a lot of work I have yet to do; work on myself and my career. But I have to say, I love doing “the work” in L.A.
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?
As we all know, the life of an artist can be tumultuous and, at times, grim. I’ve pushed through the blood, sweat, tears, highs and lows.
Some say, “Art imitates life.” What happens when life gets in the way? Can art be made?
Life turned me around for a moment and forced me to look at it. Facing its’ challenges led me back to my core.
I created a web series, “Anabel’s First Date”, and found my path again and the joy in it. So, as the struggle continues (i.e.: struggling to make money, facing discrimination and sexism, along with growing pains), I return to my joy and my strength each time I create.
I create for ME. I’m in pursuit of my own happiness. I hope to touch and inspire people along the way while being truthful. With that said, however, it’s not always easy to be in your power. As an artist we tend to rely on and be affected by others’ opinions, judgements, etc. It hasn’t been easy to regain my joy. My advice is to listen to your inner child. There, you will find healing.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I once heard someone say, “Take dominion over your day.” This sparked something in me.
Prior to this moment, I was on the verge of rediscovering myself. No one personally or professionally can define you. The inner child in me that performs and creates was reawakened and I gave myself the green light.
East Coast Heart productions was born. As a company, it is a baby. As a marker in my life, it lives in a very key chapter. It is a reminder that I can be who I’ve always been. I am an actor. I am a producer. I write, sing, and direct. The life experiences I’ve lived from East to West have shaped who I am today and who I’ll grow to be tomorrow.
My mission as a producer is to tell real stories. To empower others and give light to the underrepresented. To spark the imagination that lives in all of us.
The first project was a web series. I am currently developing a film and the future is open and yet to be determined.
I want those who have taken the time to read this to know, that whatever you thrive to be in this life, if it’s in you, you already are that person. Live it! Share it! Shine! Give yourself the green light.
What were you like growing up?
My earliest memories of entertaining begin around the age of four. I remember writing songs and having my own “concerts” in the living room. My audience was my mother. She always encouraged creativity and making use of my talents. I have a vivid imagination, which in part stems from her. My mother is quite good with a paintbrush. She’s experimented with writing as well.
Singing led to acting. I began my stage experience as an actor in school productions and at a local playhouse. My first professional job was a TV commercial.
Arts has been the driving force in my life. My grandmother was a lovely soprano. My sister is a gifted musician. Having the support of my family who is also artistic, has definitely enriched my journey.
- Instagram: @MercedesMariaLA
David Chan Portfolio (headshot)
John Poulos & Tara Diego (Anabel’s First Date artwork)
Photo from “Speak I Will” produced by Charissa J. Adams.