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The Importance of Having a Life!

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Fanny VelizLife takes many unpredictable turns. This I know. As life would have it, for some reason, I have been doing a lot of casting lately. I find this a little funny, since I’m an actress and I get utterly nervous sometimes around Casting Directors and relate to them as the holders of the keys to the kingdom.

From doing all these casting jobs the universe has gifted me, I have learned a lot about the business of acting.  I get to see me in all those actors who bravely enter a casting room, begging for the job. And I’ve realized… That’s the big problem, as actors we become beggars!

Actor after actor, comes in to the room nervous. And we as casting directors can sense that (Wow I’m calling myself a casting director.) Explanations are given about what is needed during the audition, but actors are so nervous, so needy about getting the job that they don’t listen. Some of these actors I’ve seen, are my friends and I know they are talented and can get the job done, but once in the room all confidence goes out the window. All those classes and years of doing theater seem to vanish when a casting director simply asks “Tell us your name.” Of course there are those very few actors that come in the room, and you can tell they got it. They don’t NEED this job, they are pros and just very easily NAIL the audition. And casting directors love them, why because they WANT US TO GET THE JOB. Think about it, we make them look good, they need us not the other way around.

I started asking myself, why is that? Why are some actors so confident when they come into the audition? And then I started thinking back of the times when I have booked a role. Most of the times when I have gotten a part was because I walked in confident, knowing I’m good and I can get the job done. And it’s not because I’m full of myself, it’s because my life is full.

This is my theory, when your life is in order and you are content with everything outside of your acting career, then you don’t walk into a room with the weight of the world on your shoulder. When you have people who love you or a community that supports you, then it doesn’t seem as if not getting the job is the end of your dreams.

I know I’m very lucky, because unlike many actors in this city, my parents live close to me. I also have two kids, so I have a constant reality check, taking place in my life. And sometimes when family is not enough, I take time to take care of my spirituality. I go to Agape or the Catholic church, I’m learning to meditate, I take workshops for growth and development at Landmark Education, I practice Yoga pretty consistently for over 2 years now, I go hiking, I spend time with my boyfriend and dear friends, and I volunteer for organizations that I believe in…In short I have a life.  Some of the most successful actors I know have full lives as well. Acting is not everything; it is something I chose to do. It’s so important to always remember, that being an actor or an artist is a choice.

So this is my advice to you, whether you’re an actor, filmmaker, writer, etc. Get a life. Get a life that makes you happy.  Have fun in that next interview because when you’re desperate it shows. And when you’re happy and fulfilled it shows too, and I don’t know about you but those are the kind of people I want to work with!

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About Fanny Veliz

Fanny Véliz, is an award winning filmmaker and actress. She writes, directs and produces short and feature-length films. She has appeared on television shows such as SOUTHLAND and independent films like the cult favorite WASSUP ROCKERS. Fanny is a citizen of both the United States and Venezuela and has created projects which offer new opportunities for Latino Americans to portray human characters with depth and texture beyond the stereotypes that are common in current entertainment faire. She has received several awards and recognitions for her work. Fanny attended the University of Colorado and is the mother of two delightful boys. Her latest project is her award wining Homebound feature film. Homebound is a film that aims to transform the conversation about Latinos in the media and offers a heartfelt human story about what it means to struggle with real problems in the United States. It was funded in part through crowd-funding campaigns as well as multiple fundraisers. The film is currently on the film festival circuit.