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Meet Nunu Roca in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nunu Roca.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nunu. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am originally from a very small fishermen’s village off the north Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Growing up, I was able to attend an American School from kindergarten to seventh grade, where I learned to speak, read and write in English, and where I was first introduced to theater, and completely fascinated by it! The first production I was ever a part of was ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ written by Federico García Lorca, I was 13 years old and probably too young for the part I was given but by then I was already enchanted with acting and I knew I wanted to continue that path. I began taking advantage of every opportunity that arose to act and since it was a very small school, when our teachers or the older students would put up plays and productions, I would participate and even take on the roles for boys, I must’ve painted a mustache on my face at least 4 times! Since then, I knew that I wanted to perform and once I graduated high school, I began working and saving money so I could move to Los Angeles. My family could help me out with tuition but I would have to cover my living expenses. I wore many hats in order to save enough to move here: I worked as a surf instructor, receptionist, waitress, coffee barista, and babysitter before finally completing my studies here in Los Angeles at the New York Film Academy and becoming an actor!

I’ve overcome obstacles and difficulties and since then, I’ve worked on numerous projects including short films, commercials, television, music videos, and promos along industry professionals such as Eugenio Derbez, Camila Cabello, Maluma; and networks Telemundo and Oxygen Network. I also wrote, produced, and acted in my own short film ‘Incomplete’ which has been accepted into five film festivals, and was nominated for Best Actress! Besides Spanish and English I also speak Catalan and Italian and one of my goals is to work on projects in all of these languages! There’s lots of room to grow as an actress and a professional, I will keep representing my country and the hispanic community and hopefully inspire and help others accomplish their goals! Thank you and pura vida.

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?
It hasn’t been a smooth road. Growing up in a close circle of family and friends and moving away by myself can be often times very challenging. You miss seeing and talking to your loved ones every day and having that comfort and familiarity of being home, and learn to pick yourself up and motivate yourself on your own. You step out of your comfort zone, learn to be alone, deal with discouraging situations and individuals, and you also make mistakes from which you learn and move on. Unfortunately for me, at one point in this business I was a victim of fraud, and recovering from that has been a slow but steady process.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Nunu Roca story. Tell us more about the business.
I am an actor, born and raised in Costa Rica but now living and working here in Los Angeles. I work in commercials, film, and television and in this time I’ve had great opportunities working alongside distinguished artists such as Eugenio Derbez, Camila Cabello, Maluma, and networks Telemundo and Oxygen Network. Obviously, this is a very saturated business, however, I stand out because I am persistent, determined, kind, and I’ve got that PURA VIDA glow! I am very grateful and I take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way, I prepare for my auditions and roles, I deliver and say thank you. I am also a very active person, I play volleyball, basketball, and soccer. I surf as often as I can, and I dance salsa, merengue, and bachata. Adding to your skills is very important because it allows you to be versatile and competent. I think it’s very important to stay active and practice your craft regularly: read plays, scripts, books, in order to stay educated and fresh!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’d like to begin by saying that in my opinion, luck is not something I can control. In the instant I make a decision and take advantage, for example, of an opportunity that arises, that is no longer luck because I somehow put myself in those circumstances and am responsible for the consequences. With that said I also believe there is a very fine line between luck and circumstance.

For example, regarding the role of luck in my business: I was NOT lucky to be chosen as part of the cast for the Havana music video. I submit every single day to projects that I qualify for, some choose me, most don’t, however, I don’t think it’s luck that defines that, instead factors like ‘what look are the casting directors in need of’, ‘the order the submission was received’, ‘is this person in LA’ etc. But, I WAS lucky because once I was on set and we were walking to the location, I was in the back of the line and once we arrived the only seat left to fill was right next to the lead singer and they gave it to me. So, at that moment, I was lucky, and luck can help you better the circumstances you find yourself in.

In my life, I was also lucky to be born into a supporting, caring and multilingual family because that shaped me into the person I am today; I speak four languages and I’m not afraid of chasing and going after the goals I set for myself!

I was lucky to be surrounded by the people I found when I decided to study acting here in LA, turns out most of those individuals are now a part of my life and have improved it immensely: emotionally, and professionally as well!

I really appreciate this question because it made me reflect and realize that I am extremely grateful for everything I have. Besides the hard work and effort, I put on the table, I’ve also been very lucky to meet the people I have met, and to have spontaneous moments that have boosted my career and opportunities!
If I’ve had bad luck, I can’t identify it at this moment, because the times that I’ve made mistakes or been defeated, I either take responsibility for it or let it go because it was out of my hands. So, to wrap it up, luck has been present in my life and business, but I am responsible for opening my possibilities to it and letting it take a role in my life.

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Image Credit:
Loner17Photography, Alfredo Barquero, Jim Lee

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