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Meet Michael Cortez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Cortez.

Michael, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
So, I’m an artist: I’m an actor (don’t ask me what you’ve seen me in; you’ll know when/if you see me) and a Graphic Designer.

I suppose I knew I was an artist at a young age; I’ve always enjoyed entertaining people. In high school I discovered that I liked acting and I learned that I could make a living doing design work. I believe it was in my junior year, that I devised my plan: I would get a job in Advertising Design to provide for myself and pursue theatre and study acting in the evenings. Twenty-plus years and four cities later, that’s still the plan.

I was born and raised in Chicago (Southsider) on December 14th, 1978 (Sagittarius sun, Taurus Ascendant, Gemini moon). BTW, I love astrology! It’s a science to me! I started my Advertising Design career at an Ad agency in Chicago when I was 20 years old. I moved to New York when I was accepted to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I moved to Los Angeles a few years later and have been laying creative tracks since.

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?
There are always challenges. I guess the biggest for me to overcome has been the low self-esteem created by the stain of sexual abuse as a child. This has been the biggest callout point of my soul growth thus far. I brought it to light to my family at the age of 30. I’ve learned that sexual abuse is quite common. I have empathy for all the children whose flames have been dimmed from this type of incident. In my opinion, self-love is the key to everything and it’s the hardest to master. I suppose this is the road, the journey.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’ve been a graphic design contractor since moving to LA because I want the flexibility to pursue acting. I’m definitely an entrepreneur. I’m currently freelancing for an agency on a social media team. I’m on the XBOX Social Team. Ironically, I’ve never been a gamer! Working at this agency has been a great fit for me. I can’t tell you how many other agencies I’ve worked for where you’re designing things that aren’t a good fit for your inner child.

What were you like growing up?
Afraid of everything, but fear clearly drives me. Growing up, I would say I was quiet, not shy. I always made my bed. I was never rebellious. I loved making fun of my family to make them laugh. When my sister and I visited my Dad and Stepmom, we would play “ROLL’EM ACTION”. It was basically Sketch Comedy 101. We’d put our heads together and come up with skits and record them. It was my first experience acting. I loved it. I had been pretty quiet up until my Sophomore year when I auditioned for West Side Story. My Mom was floored! She couldn’t believe I had auditioned for it. I remember telling myself during the run of that show, “Yes! This is something I can do!” I was athletic in Junior High and High School. However, I am not an “athlete”. Big difference. I held my own playing football for six years. I survived Varsity Football. Watching the Chicago Bears play on Sunday’s is my guilty pleasure.

If someone wanted me to define my personality, I would tell them I’m definitely TYPE-A. I’m proud of my engrained discipline. I’m always looking out for my physical health. I am very regimented when it comes to goals. It’s hard for me to relax and let loose. I love having a good time though. I love and cherish my family and friends for who they are. I like fart-movies, documentaries, people who are polite. Sexy is way better than attractive. No, I don’t like walks on the beach. In fact, you can have the ocean. I don’t belong in it. I just know this karmically. I’ll stay inland, thank you. I like kids. I think they like me. I would like to have one. Still need to find “the one”. I think the key is not to look. I have faith I’ll meet her when it’s meant to be.

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