We had the good fortune of connecting with Juan Felipe Restrepo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Juan Felipe, so given that most of us are stuck at home due to the crisis, we’ve been asking folks about what they’ve enjoyed doing during quarantine. We’d love to hear what your favorite thing to do has been.
I feel like quarantine came as a challenge to the artist in me and get to know myself better. I decided to try some new things like streaming video games, reading more often get singing lessons, among others and also create my own little routine. I’d wake up at 8 am have breakfast and then start working out at home with whatever it was at my disposal. After that I would get ready, make a smoothie and either work on my dialects or read for a bit, then I would take an online singing class, since I love musicals and I want to participate on one in the future, this was the perfect time to work on this skill. Next I would make lunch and depending on the day I would set up my stream on Twitch. I usually stream on Thursdays and the weekend, Im trying to keep that schedule and is a good platform to have that human interaction while having fun gaming! I also focused a lot on self care, I started counting my calories, meditating, doing breathing exercises and balancing the time I spend in front of a screen and being productive in other ways like my singing, reading, cooking, etc. Of course I am still working on Acting, which is my main thing. I have an online class every Wednesday and because of quarantine, we get homework to film an audition at home during the weekend and send it to our coach before the next class. Overall I’ve realized is more about what you decide to do with the time you have, we don’t have the excuse that “we don’t have time” anymore for trying new things, or learn a new skill, or work on our passions. It was hard the first couple of weeks, but after taking some time for myself and figure out what I love or enjoy doing at home, I managed to exploit this opportunity to the best I can so far.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I might sound like a broken record, but not giving up is I think the main characteristic that has made me overcome my challenges all my life. I feel like I’ve walked a thousand miles, but I still have another thousand to go. I am a sole believer that nothing that’s worth its value is easy, at least not in this life. I sometimes feel unhappy about where I am, but then I remember to be grateful because is about perspective, I’m sure there’s a million people who would give a leg to be in my position. I used to get mad with myself and beat myself up saying I wasn’t good enough because I’d see other people around my age range succeed, the funny thing is that these people would be strangers to me. I’d just happen to have that same audition or something like that. With time and help from loved ones and my teachers, I came to the realization that I am on my own path, I can’t compare myself to others, I should compare to myself and try to be better today than the person I was yesterday. Perspective and kindness to yourself is a powerful tool that will change your life. If you focus on seeing how good others do, then you lose focus on how you are progressing, where you are at the moment and what you need to do to improve, you could get lost on that wave of negativity and lose your focus, or even worse, the love you have for what you do. My advice is easier said than done, trust me I know, I’ve been there. However, life is full of challenges and a lot of times is about trial and error, you can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results, you have to, at some point, see what is actually happening even if is hard to accept it, and try to work to fix it, sometimes we can do it on our own, sometimes we might need help, so is good to always be willing to listen to creative criticism from the ones you trust. I personally have gotten to know myself a lot better, I have also allowed myself to share who I am with others, I know my defects and qualities, I accept I can;’t be perfect or please everyone, I can only fully satisfy myself and the way to do it is by focusing on what matters to me which is acting, working on my craft, reading books, practicing my accents, taking classes and keeping creative, reaching out to read scripts or participate in any project I find fit for me, even better if is a challenge that I can overcome and/or if it allows me to take a step forward on my career as an actor, I keep in mind that the difference between pros and amateurs is that the Pros have failed more times than the amateurs have even tried. So try to see failing as growing, and get as much growth as possible.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is such a great question!! I think I’d divide it in 4, I’ll pick the first day and a half to show my friend the places I love from L.A like the Getty Museum, Round 1 Arcade in Burbank, LACMA, little Tokyo, Manhattan Beach, I’d made them try Korean bbq, for sure and maybe at night get drinks at The Edison. Depending on which friend it was maybe I’d take a bit longer and take them to Disney as well. The second part of the trip would be a day and a half on Yosemite National park, for camping, and also stopping by the Grand Canyon. I love camping and nature so I think even if that’s not their cup of tea, it is worth going and it would only be for a day anyway. The Third stop would be two days in San Francisco! Visit the Golden Gate bridge, the Palace of fine arts, check Chinatown, a tour to Alcatraz, eat at Fisherman’s Wharf and ride the cable car. Finally our last stop would be a weekend in Vegas, I’ve never done it and having a friend from home or somewhere else come to visit would be the perfect chance to dive into that adventure. It would be a memorable time and discovery for both of us. I’ve been to Vegas, but I was there before I was 21 and have always wanted to go now that I can enjoy the fun part of the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think that my family, friends and my acting coach are the ones who deserve this shoutout the most. Maybe Im extending it too much, but since quarantine I’ve also realized who are the people closest to me and how much they mean in my life. My family in the first place since they have always supported me towards my dreams and always reinforce I can count on them for anything, days off, good times and bad times. They always have time for me and fill me with love and support regardless the distance. I am grateful to have such an encouraging and loving family. I am sometimes impatient and quick to get disappointed, they are my strength and the pillar that holds my core. Now, regarding my friends. Living in LA can be a bit lonely, the more years pass the more I see that, although is a city full of people with different cultures and races, it can be quite a lonely place, since most people have to “look after #1” I’ve sometimes felt that is hard to connect with people, even break the ice could seem like a challenge. Luckily I’ve made a small group of friends, who, although not everyone is close to everyone, they are close to me, and they are there for me when I feel off or am having a tough time. More remarkably they are there to genuinely celebrate the victories on my career and push each other to always improve. I know some friends can also see each other as competition, so is refreshing to not have rivalry among my close circle. Last but not least, I feel my acting coach Jim has been one of the most remarkable people on the art of being human, he has taught me so much about acting, making me break my shell multiple times with challenging “slices of life”, that’s how we call scenes. Moreover, he has been there for everyone in class, continuously checking in on us, offering his time to help us deal with any emotional or psychological issue we may be going through at the moment. He emphasizes on being yourself and I personally love that, because as actors, people tend to see us as creating a character and “being someone else” whereas in fact is just our genuine self brought into the circumstances of the character and living their life without losing our essence as a person.
Other: IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8844127/?ref_=nv_sr_4
Marc Cartwright Photography Mairi Soelsepp Aguanta Film Ficg LA Anusha Jain Grant Terzakis