We had the good fortune of connecting with Felipe Andrés Alcalá and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Felipe, what do you want people to remember about you?
I want to be known as that person who everyone knew would succeed. I want to be a world class actor and filmmaker and for people who have known me all my life to say “I knew it… no surprise there.” Something that has always characterized me is my confidence & the fact that I’m the most comfortable when I’m not comfortable. I come from not 1 but 2 cities where comfort is a powerful presence amongst society. Most people don’t leave more than a 4-5 hour drive from home, and that’s okay. Everybody is entitled to their own happiness, that’s just not me and I want that to be a notorious factor in what I show in my person and in my work. I don’t want my surroundings to describe me but what I did with them to determine who I am. I’ve always been a person that loves “special” & “limited” edition things: clothes, shoes, video games, etc., in other words, being the first (or only) person to posses a certain thing. I’m a first generation Mexican-American in my family and you have no idea how proud that makes me. My non-english speaking parents made sure we got everything we needed and that our uprising was one with poise, strong character, morals, but, overall, humility. There’s a saying we have at home: “Casa Alcalá, dónde cada lorgo se comparte en familia.”
Every goal & reward achieved is and will always be shared among my family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want it to be well known that I’m my parent’s son and my sibling’s brother. In 2014, Lupita N’yongo delivered an Oscar speech that really resonates with me. She said: “No matter where you come from your dreams are valid.” That is what I want my legacy to represent. I want to be an example of what can be achieved if you want it bad enough. I want for people to see through me the beauty & class that my family nurtured in me. I want people that have known me for a long time to see me succeed and remember who I was & that I’m still the same person. I want to succeed in the most moral and ethical way, all the while trusting God’s plan. I want to be remembered for my lovable, confident, unique & humble heart. I want my legacy to matter.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m an actor and filmmaker & I’m no where near where I want to be, but I’m so proud to be pursuing such a beautiful profession. I decided to pursue this crazy dream since early 2015. 6 years, 30+ short films & a Cannes Film Festival selection later I’m happy to say my excitement only grows and the dream is very much still alive. That is what sets me apart from the rest, my consistency and confidence. Deciding to pursue this career was the easiest decision of my life. It doesn’t scare me in the slightest. Has it been easy? No. The main thing i’ve had to overcome has been my parent’s, especially my dad’s, 100% approval. It’s not that they don’t want me to be an actor or filmmaker but they just rather I be something else and that is very valid. It has, however, been the constant struggle in my life since I decided this path. The way I overcome this is just letting it not bother me even though it’s hard, especially for me that I value my family’s opinion very highly. It will be worth it in the end and that’s what I tell myself. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you must be ready to reroute your dream. I’ve had to do this and more than one occasion. When I graduated from Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) in Monterrey, Mexico in December 2018 I was ready to move to LA to study an MFA, but this wasn’t financially possible because I never worked in college and my parents were struggling, so I had to move back in with them back in Texas. I thought it was going to be a temporary thing but it wasn’t and soon I had to get a job in South Texas. I decided I was going to work for a year, save up, and move to LA on my own and be independent. In 2019, I was a bartender & an Uber driver and when 2020 came round, many emotional breakdowns later, I was ready to move to LA. I left Texas in March 2020. The day I arrived in LA COVID-19 became a national threat and we were in lockdown. The year and 3 months I worked and saved up were being spent in quarantine. No auditions, no sets, no seeing old friends just a new apartment and the City of Dreams. After the month in my Airbnb was up I took the heavy, adult decision to drive back to Texas until COVID blew over. After more than a year of serving drinks & driving drunk people everyday and telling myself that soon I will be in LA LA LAND had come and gone, but hey, I MADE IT TO LOS ANGELES ON MY OWN. Even though my timing was the worst ever I am so happy and proud of myself for doing what I did. For leaving my hometown and my family with only my earnings and my drive to chase a dream. I want for people to know that I did that. I’ve been back in Texas since April 2020 and have been planning my next step, constantly rerouting my dream but not changing. Never changing it. God has his plan for us. I want the world to know that even though my dream has been on standby I’m still here. I’m finding my way back and will be back soon.
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.
So first, we’d plan our morning hikes. To me, hikes are the best thing LA has to offer & i’d take him to every one. I’d take him to my favorite brunch spots & restaurants such as All Day Baby & Reblique. We’d obviously get coffee at Alfred’s Coffee and probably have a photoshoot there. At night, we’d go to my favorite karaoke bar in Burbank and to my favorite bar of all time, Good Time at Davey Wayne’s. We’d take beach days to Venice and Santa Monica but I’d love to also take him to my favorite beach, Manhattan Beach. I just love the vibe. I’d also take him to the scenic route at Mulholland Drive & to walk at City Walk. All of these activities will be done with the company of my LA friends. Few things compare to combining friend groups. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, my family. It’s such a struggle to deal with an aspiring artist (even I can’t deal with myself sometimes) so the support my family gifts me is unparalleled. It hasn’t been easy for anyone and although it’s brought many arguments, discussions & confusion, love always prevails and that is thanks to the warm, loving hearts my family posses. It will all be worth it, I promise. I also have my friends, my REAL friends to thank. From my group of 14 guys (Los Bacardiacos) that have been my rock for the past (almost) 10 years, to the friends who I can call telling them that I want to quit and they slap some sense back into me and remind me what I’m worth & that I am on the right track. God has blessed me with friend I don’t deserve, and I am so thankful. Lastly I’d like to give a shoutout to Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston & Jenna Fischer. Mr. Hanks and his movies were what made me decide to pursue film. Mr. Cranston’s craft is the best in the world and it keeps me motivated. Mrs. Fischer’s book “The Actor’s Life” gives me life each an everyday. Thank you, my idols. Thank you, God. For blessing me with so much beauty in my life.
Other: https://www.instagram.com/inmonologueswetrust/ This is my Instagram page dedicated to cinema and my craft, It’s a Cinema Appreciation page and I also use it to post original content, mainly monologues.