We had the good fortune of connecting with Ela Rodríguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ela, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I grew up being the entertainer of the family, always dancing, acting and putting on a show. Watching people having a good time made me realize that that’s what I wanted: entertain people and specially make them laugh. My family are all lawyers, teachers, nurses and doctors and I was the only one who decided to pursue acting; and I’m also the younger sibling so I was “the rebel”. When I got to High School I was between a rock and a hard place because I needed to make a decision about what I was going to study in college and “acting is a hobby” so it was “not an option”. When I was about to give up on my dreams my sister told me not to care about what people say and pursue what makes me happy, and so I did. I did a Bachelor’s Degree in Acting/Theatre and a Minor in Filmmaking at the University of Puerto Rico and two years later a Master’s Degree in Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy, LA Campus. And here I am still in LA chasing my dreams. Acting, singing, dancing, among other artistic things I do, fill my life with joy; and the best part is that I chose a career where I can be anything I want and it I never gets boring.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I come from a small island called Puerto Rico and coming to the US to pursue my dreams, by myself, has not been that easy but it’s been an amazing journey. After I graduated from my Bachelor’s Degree I wanted to jump to LA but I knew it was going to be hard and I decided to stay in PR and work as a Theater Instructor to save up for my journey and gain more experience. After a year I decided to apply to do a Master’s Degree at NYFA and I was accepted. I graduated on April 2022 and now I’ve been working in some new projects; writing, producing, acting, etc. Right now my film “BROKEN” is on festivals and it has won 3 awards so far; I’m very proud of this achievement. One of the lessons I’ve learned along the way is to never give up and when there’s “nothing happening” do it yourself. I love to create; create stories, movies, dances, etc. and I don’t wait for things to happen, I like to make things happen. We have to constantly do something, otherwise we’re wasting our time. We don’t know how much time we have so we need to make the best out of it NOW. I want the world to know that this Boricua came here to LA to succeed and she’s ready to do big things.

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.
Once they arrive I will take them to the Echo Park Lake: Swan Pedal Boat to have a nice relaxing experience after a long trip. Then, I will take them to eat something delicious and Puerto Rican (of course) so we’ll go to “Mofongos”, in North Hollywood. I love adventures and roller coasters so the next day we will go to Six Flags, Magic Mountain, definitely the best one. The next days we can go on a hike to show them the Hollywood sign (a classic one) and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And then we can go to Santa Monica, have some fun at the pier and have an incredible dinner at any of the restaurants around there. We can also visit some of the museums like: LACMA or the Getty. At night we can go to the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood and have a good time dancing.

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?
If there’s someone who needs recognition in my story that’s definitely my sister Karla Judith. She is my second mom and my best friend; has always been there for me and she has never doubted my talents. She always says I could do anything I want. My mom also deserves credit because even though when I was little we used to fight, I know she loves me immensely and so do I as well. She’s my biggest example to follow; brave, kind and a fighter.

Website: www.elarodriguez.com

Instagram: elarodz_

Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/ela-rodríguez-479157b2

Image Credits
Margo Monica and Pranav Mehta.

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