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Meet Vanessa Conde

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Conde.

Vanessa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Honestly, I don’t remember when I first wanted to be an actress. My brother and sister say it was when I was 2 or 3 years old… so I believe I didn’t pick this profession, the profession chose me.

I come from the Basque Country, Spain. But I moved to Madrid, where I studied my Bachelor in Drama and other training with amazing acting teachers. I worked for many years in different TV shows, I was the lead of two independent movies, commercials and of course, my passion, theater. I also signed several contracts of projects that were never made.

One day, my friend Diana encouraged me to apply for the Green Card lottery. So I did it and I got it. I couldn’t believe it. That was my first step in my journey to come to LA.

In my first year in the United States, I lived in Miami with my sister. I thank her for her unconditional support. But there is no industry over there, and always I knew I had to come to LA.

Honestly, I couldn’t believe I had been so lucky to get my green card. I am very grateful for having this. It is really hard being immigrant but when all the papers are in your hands, the road is much easier.

Once I was here, I have to say I am grateful to LA for teaching me everyday lessons as a human being. This city has great energy and puts you to the test every single day. Even though I had experience as an actress in Spain, here you have to start from the beginning. We are new and we have to be humble. No one knows who you are and you have to deal with new things, the language, the accent… Even when they ask me to act in Spanish, they want Mexican, no Castilian. But more than that, I think this city is so tough that it is a challenge to living here. You have to learn another culture, another system, etc. So ever since I arrived in LA, I feel I have been living in a different world. You have to get used to driving, buying a car… I spent my first two years taking uber every day. I felt as if I was in jail, I wasn’t free. Since I’ve had my car, my life in LA is completely different.

I am acting, coaching, living, and learning new things every day. Working on set in these amazing productions teaches you how much you still have to learn. You feel as a part of a big industry. So it is exciting every time they call me to work on different projects.

Sometimes we take things for granted and we forget how grateful we should be every single day, just for being alive!​

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Of course, is not a smooth road having to start all over again. You have to show it every day to everybody. But the lesson I am learning is that I am the only one that needs to see it.

Being an actor is a struggle every day. You might have nice days because you are working, but when you are at home, first you have to figure out how you are going to pay the bills, and also you have to deal every day with rejections… It is funny. Sometimes I want to give up, but here I am in United States where people encourage you to start as many times as you want, no matter your age, what are you doing. There are always really positive people pushing me to the next level and reminding me every day not to give up.

And this is something very different from back home. I have to recognize that on the other part of the world, instead of encouraging you, people are always making you doubt yourself, your possibilities and if you should start again.​

For me, Los Angeles has a very powerful, magic energy. You can feel the energy here, it is really strong. And it is true, this is the city of the dreams, you can feel that everything is possible, everything could happen … But when? Ever? One day?

We’d love to hear more about your work.
My business is my skin, my body, my soul and mind. I can play with all these together as an actor. I always remember a teacher I had when I studied drama in Madrid. He told us, as many bad things come your way, remember to use those feelings for your next character. I thought that was cruel but nowadays I agree with him in that.

I love acting because I like to studying the characters, the way they feel, what is behind them, why the person I’m playing is doing this or that. So in every project, you learn a lot from every role.

This led me to enroll in a workshop, “Positive life with theatrical techniques.” So by chance, I discovered the marvelous world of Coaching. How powerful could a ten minutes session be for one person. As my teacher says, “Coaching is like love, you can not explain, you have to experience it”.

In Spain, most of my characters were drama, but I love comedy of course. However, my favorite genre is Greek tragedy and everything close to it.S o I am here in Hollywood, ready for my Clitemenestra, Hecuba, Electra or any of these huge roles I feel passionate about.

When I first came here, I thought this was the place to dream about all different roles that you could ever imagine, heroes, vampires, period movies… So here I am.

Back home, I had to start many times. I was the producer of a play, I worked as a stage manager, I had to deal with all the contracts of a big play, I did entertainment for kids, face painting, teaching… It is a real challenge to start again, but I am grateful for all the work you can get. In Los Angeles, if you want to work you can work. At least, that helps to pay the bills in this no so cheap city.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Since I was a little kid I was obsessed with the role of Scarlett O’hara in “Gone with the wind”. Watching this movie over and over again with my mom… eating pistachios.

One day in ballet class, I threw a ball screaming “I want to be Madonna…”, and one of my friends ended up losing one of her teeth…

My best memories are with my family, all of them dancing, singing… My dad is a really good singer, my brother could be a really comedian, my sister is a good dancer and my adorable mom… watching us from the heaven. She was lovely and amazing. I have nicest memories with all of them in my favorite place in Spain, La Rioja, where we spent all the summers. Above everything, family and friends are the most important things in life for me. So here I had to make a family of my own with my friends… very supportive always. If you let loneliness take over you, I think it is easy to lose control in this city.

I have to confess a little secret: Since I was a kid, I was always in my room playing music and dancing for my invisible friends or people that I decided that could stay in my room looking at me dancing and singing.

Maybe that’s why I love acting. I recognize I would have liked to be a rock star, singing for thousands of people, feeling that energy. It is magic, as in the theater. I can only imagine how it must feel to be on stage in front of 60 000 souls or more… maybe in the next life…

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Fotography:
Edurnesalasphotography
www.edusalas.com
IG @edurnesalas1
Yellow dress:
María Lafuente Fashion Designer
IG @marialafuentefashion

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