We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Talavera Méndez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, how do you think about risk?
I’ve always been a little impulsive, kind of like jump first think later type of person, so for me taking risks sometimes came without even realizing I was doing it. When it came to my career though, that was a decision I had to think thoroughly. For the longest time I wanted to be a doctor, that was what I prepared for in high school but towards the end of senior year I had doubts. I got through one semester of med school and I decided to quit, I decided that I’d rather write a show about doctors than be a doctor myself and that was the first calculated risk I took on my future. I knew exactly what I was getting into with medicine, but with film, I was in the dark. I knew what I wanted to do but had no clue how. It’s been 11 years since I made that decision and now I know it was the right one. The way I feel about risks is that they are necessary for us to grow and learn. Coming here for grad school was a big risk, staying after graduation in the middle of the pandemic was also a risk but the way I see it, chasing your dreams is worth every bit of it. Nothing in life is really certain and playing it safe, while comforting, it’s not nearly as rewarding as taking a leap of faith and landing on your feet, even if you do wobble a little bit.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always loved telling stories, I think I got that from my grandfather. Most of his anecdotes were at least 50% fiction but we loved hearing them. At a young age I realized that people enjoy storytelling because if it’s engaging enough, it pulls you out of your head, even if just for a little bit and it makes you feel good. We all realized how important it was to have something good to read or watch last year, as our sanity depended on it. I think it’s this awareness that has made me a better writer. My creative process usually consists of thinking a lot of what ifs and soon enough a story starts forming in my head. The most challenging part is to distinguish which stories are worth pursuing and which aren’t, as a creative I tend to take my ideas too seriously and it’s hard to let go of them sometimes. When I’m writing I know I need to think objectively if it’s something other people will find relatable, because at the end of the day that’s what I’m aiming for. I want to create stories that people can see themselves in, or their friends or family, whether it makes them laugh or cry, I want my audience to relate to my work.
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.
The most important one would be Dodger Stadium because it’s beautiful and I love baseball so much I feel like I have to share it with others. I would then take them to Griffith Observatory, that’s a must, even now that it’s closed the view from there is amazing. I would also take them to the Iliad bookshop, I love books and this is one of my favorite spots here in LA. When it comes to dining it’s kind of hard to pick but my top three is: Mashti Malone’s ice cream, which is to die for, Canters Deli for a delicious pastrami sandwich and last but not least, there’s this pupusa food truck called Vchos that I would chase around the city if I had the time. And as a huge Harry Potter nerd I would also take them to Universal Studios.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, which includes my close friends because for me, friends are family that you choose. I have such a great support system, all these wonderful people that have given me their unwavering support, have cheered me on or kicked my ass when was needed. I’d like to specially mention Sim, my best friend, writing partner and producer for pushing me to work through the pandemic lockdown so we could keep our careers moving forward even when the whole world seemed to be sitting at a standstill.