We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Almendarez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
What makes me happy is being able to share my gifts with family, friends, or an acquaintance, and inspire them to follow their true path. By sharing my story, I’m able to empower and guide others towards their goals. What makes me happy is to see my art impact others in a positive way, and truly make a difference in the world. What makes me happy is living authentically, instinctually, and in alignment with my faith and spirituality, which allows me to continue to do good in the world.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
First off, thank you for the opportunity to share my story! My name is Alexandra and I’m an actress, singer and salsa dancer based in Los Angeles. I’m represented by Sapphire Entertainment Management (LA/NY) and JVC Talent Agency (LA), across the board. Some of my credits include a recurring role on “Cocomelon” as Nina’s Mom (Netflix – Season 5, Spotify, and YouTube); booking as a model on FOX’s “The Real Daytime Talk Show,” modeling an outfit inspired by JLo, session-singing for the Grammy-nominated Melissa Manchester on her track, “You Gotta Love the Life,” as well as ads for Uber and Starbucks. I was also booked as the lead dancer for the Grammy-nominated Mariachi Sol de Mexico for their track, “Por Una Cabeza.” I also have a background in musical theater, vocal performance, and vocal coaching. I currently take Scene Study with James Ciccone at the Actors Axiom (NY) and have previously studied Audition Technique with Jo-Ann Pantoja at the Annie Grindlay Studio (LA).
I’ve been pursuing a career in TV and Film since 2017, but my artistic journey truly began when I joined the school choir at 9 years old, and the rest is history. From then on, I was in choir and drama club all throughout middle school and high school. I’m also a writer and enjoyed taking AP English classes, and was a member of the Speech and Debate Club, where I won several awards and graduated in the top 10% of my class while also working part-time.
After graduating, I decided to attend Cal State University, Fullerton, where in my first year I was a music major for voice. I ended up switching majors a few times and decided to get a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Entertainment and Hospitality Management, which has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. At the same time, I was also in the critically-acclaimed Citrus Singers Program of Citrus College, where I studied voice, acting, and dance and was a featured soloist, section leader and student director of the program. In addition to attending two schools simultaneously, I was also working part-time in food service and maintained other jobs throughout, such as tutoring math and reading, as well as jobs behind the scenes. Some of my experience includes interning at a company that did PR for the Emmys and Oscars, in which I hosted a screening for the movie CAKE at the Dolby Screening Room, managing at a restaurant, and also stage managing for showcases and special events, namely assistant managing for Disney’s celebration of the Lunar New Year for the Gu Gu Drum Group.
I’ve been very blessed with many opportunities to say the least, which have all shaped me into the person and performer that I am today.
It’s taken a lot of discipline, sacrifice, late nights, and hard work to get to this point, and it’s all been worth it. One of my favorite quotes is, “When hard work meets opportunity, destiny happens.” We all have our own gifts, and with practice and dedication, we can reach our true potential, but we have to be willing to do the work. And we have to be willing to let go of the fear of not being perfect and just take action, we cannot be held back. We owe it to ourselves to follow our destiny.
And of course, my journey has not been linear at all. I had always known that I was going to be a professional performer, but I did stray from the original path when I decided to major in business. This move, however, proved to be a blessing in disguise. I now have years of experience behind the scenes and in business, which is knowledge that I can apply to my artistic career. I know how the business works and anything and everything you learn on the way is important and can help move you forward.
One lesson that I’ve learned along the way is that you have to always listen to your inner voice. I heard Jennifer Lopez say once that you’re the only one who truly knows what gifts you have inside of you, no one else. You have to believe in yourself even when things get hard, and most importantly, you just have to stay in the game. Acting, performing overall, is a waiting game, and as long as you practice and keep your instrument sharp, there will be a time when all your hard work will be met with an opportunity, and that’s when the magic happens. We have to be ready. So often we are praying for that one job, but we have to not only be open to receiving it, we also have to put in the hours so that we are ready for the challenge when it comes.
Another lesson would have to be, to remember to be happy and enjoy what you do! My life’s work is being a performer, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy all the time. When things get slow, or when you feel less motivated on certain days, it’s okay to take a break, it’s okay to reset and relax. We have to remember why we love it, and that’s what sustains you, you have to keep the passion alive, and when we let ourselves rest we honor that.
Lastly, an important lesson I’ve learned is that time is our most valuable asset. As artists, we often feel like we have to be constantly working on things in order to have value, but I’ve learned that my value is not equated to my productivity. Things that are truly important are living in the moment, being truly present when you’re with people, enjoying the little things in life, and making sure to take time off. My life has become more full by not working all the time; now, I make sure to set aside time to hang out with family and friends, or even just take a personal day to recharge. I’m very fulfilled and grateful for my life.
I’d like the world to know that it’s never too late to follow your true path. It doesn’t have to be a straight line, there can be dips and detours along the way, and that’s okay. Also, it’s important to help others. We have to pay it forward, I definitely had a lot of guidance and help from many mentors, friends, and family throughout the years and we owe it to ourselves to share our knowledge and experiences.
Also, I guarantee that if you do things with a good heart, good intentions and always work hard, you will not have regrets. You will know that you have done everything in your power, that you practiced hard enough, that you gave that one scene your full and authentic self, and that you are truly enough.
Thanks for the opportunity!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting the area, I would plan a really fun week! The LA area has a lot of fun and trendy spots. I’d recommend that she stay in a cute Airbnb in Downtown LA, that way she is close to a lot of the night life. On day one, we could go to Santa Monica to walk on the beach and visit the pier, then we’d have lunch at Urth Caffe. We’d finish the night by going to the Pantages and catching a show. The next day we could go to the Getty Villa and take in the beautiful art, then in the evening we could go to La Descarga on Melrose, a super cute and hidden Cuban Salsa club and bar that has a great atmosphere. On day 3, we could go sight-seeing and walk on Sunset; we could also walk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and get the tourist experience, maybe even take a studio tour. And of course for lunch, we could go to Tommy’s or Philippe’s. Then at night we could catch a concert at the Disney Concert Hall. On day 4, we could visit Griffith Park, then later on hike to the Hollywood Sign, then we could have Mediterranean food for lunch. Another cute bar I like is called Sassafras and near that is a Cuban restaurant with dancing called El Floridita, we could visit both of those in the evening. Then on day 5, we could visit one of the California missions that are close by, come back and hang out in Pasadena on Colorado, then at night we could go back to DTLA and go to different lounges, maybe even get street tacos after! A perfect LA excursion.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my mom! My mom has always been my greatest inspiration. Love you, Mom!
Michael Roud Photography
Hamilton Sing-a-Long Event, 3 Clubs