We had the good fortune of connecting with Andres Mejia Vallejo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andres, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is the definition of excitement. Risk is the definition of doing without projecting or over thinking. Risk is fuel, energy and instant turned into action. Every since I came to the USA my life has been all about taking risks. Leaving my country behind, my family and my life in Colombia was itself a huge risk. Coming to the USA at 19 years old, speaking no English, having no papers, having no money or connections was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. Every since my life in the USA has been based on taking risks, professional risk (like submitting for roles that I’m not a fit for and going to the audition. Like crushing auditions and booking the parts. Like emailing casting offices and raising my hand in public events and having an opinion in public at an acting class or networking event. Like exposing myself). Those are all professional risks I don’t seem to want to stop taking. On a personal note, being from another country and not speaking the language the same way a US born does, puts everything I do under risk. I am labeled as latino, I have an accent and my support system revolves around friends or acquaintances since my family is not here. That means I have to expose to society more, so that I can build more friendships and support systems, and that’s a risk. Being an athlete puts me at risk ALL THE TIME! Jumping, lifting, competing, crossing obstacles, winning TV competitions, all those things are CONSTANTLY putting me at risk, Being a RISK TAKER is the best thing that could have happened to me. I live without fear and I’m always on the verge for something new and something big.
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.
The purpose behind my art has always been to help people feel better, to help myself feel better and to inspire everyone watching. I’m an actor, video creator, photographer, and most importantly, I’m a listener. I listen to people, to their problems, and just by listening I help them overcome things, I bring ease to their life and help them feel at peace, even if it only lasts for a moment. But that’s my purpose in life. I want to bring tranquility, serenity, stability, peace to peoples’ live. That’s how I feel my art sets me apart from many, even if they have the same purpose. I like and try to be real, honest, I try to let the world see me for who I am and the way I am. It’s been a long journey. I started very young as a musician when I used to play the piano professionally, then I transitioned to acting and writing and then to video making and producing content. Today, I can put all those professions together and accomplish master pieces. Whether a video, a monologue, a painting or a dance move, I felt like my essence is clear and my personality well established, so it’s easy for me transcend with my art. Has it been easy? I don’t think so, but the harder I work, the more I focus, study and research, the easier it gets. I overcome challenges by throwing myself right at them, for instance, when I started my YouTube channel, it was hard for me to speak eloquently to the camera. But weeks and months later I saw my improvement and today I thank myself for taking that risk. I always knew it “the more I do it, the better I’ll get at it”. Practice makes the master.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d take them to the top of the highest hikes and mountains of Los Angeles or whichever city we are in. I’d drive them through Mulholland drive. Take them to parks, theaters, little shops, book stores around Los Angeles, Silver Lake area. We would stay on the ocean side one entire day. drive across the Pacific Coast Highway from Malibu all the way to Manhattan beach. I’d take them to Marina del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica. We would eat anywhere and everything. And try to catch as many live events as we can. Def every night we would find a place high above the city to watch the city lights and the stars.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The first thing that came to mind here was the book “The Champion’s Mind” by Jim Afremow. A book I read a few months ago during a reality competition game show for Telemundo Networks, where I ended up winning. A life chaining experience. The energy and mind set that the book gave me will impact my life for the better, for ever. On the other hand, I have to mention my mother, Gloria. A woman that became a single mother very early, with two children to raise. She managed to give them an excellent education, while she continued pursuing her dreams; to be an excellent teacher and an accomplished athlete. My mother is the pure definition of discipline and her words of encouragement accompany me throughout every new challenge life brings to me. She definitely deserves a lot of credit for who I am.
Also, I recently joined a CrossFit community. Seeing 10 to 20 people every day, at 6:45 am or 8am, doing a full hour CrossFit class, pushing, thriving to be better, makes me the happiest man on earth. And they definitely deserve credit in my life. Even though I just joined CrossFit, I didn’t just join a champion’s mind set. I’ve been making huge changes in my life in the past few months, and more and more I feel like life is putting me face to face with success. Meditating, stretching, being disciplined with my acting career, my diet, my mind and my soul are all factors that I take care of, every single day of my life. I’m stepping into the greatness I’ve always wanted to achieve and I am ready to share my success and INSPIRE others to the same.