We had the good fortune of connecting with Gloria Figueroa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gloria, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It all started with just wanting to tell stories beautifully and to share stories from my community. These were stories I was familiar with and others like me were also familiar with, but they were hardly ever heard of outside of our community, let alone the media. At first it felt like a responsibility, but shortly after I realized that it was a calling.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I knew choosing a creative career path was going to be challenging, but I knew I was passionate and that it was the right path for me. I had no luck landing a job or even a part-time in the social media field even with the network and connections I made along the way. I mean, even being from LA.. it was tough trying to find a place in that field/world since so many, influencers and transplants have taken over. There were multiple times where I literally wanted to give up and settle for a regular day job because it was so challenging and competitive. I was dealing with imposter syndrome and kept telling myself that maybe I wasn’t good enough or that I made a huge mistake going down this path. But I continued working on creative projects that I was passionate about and every single one of them helped me get to where I’m at today! I’d say the lessons I learned along the way are to be authentic and true to your passions. I want the world to know that Salvadoran stories and experiences are important. We’re not a monolith, and I’m just one slice of the pie, but I’m trying my best to represent my heritage and community in the best way possible.
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?
As someone who was born and raised here, I’m going to keep my answers to myself lol.
No seriously, I’ve seen how so many neighborhoods (including mine) have changed because of gentrification and it’s truly unfortunate.
However, I’d show them the typical LA spots since that’s what most people think of when they want to visit and the hidden gems I know, but i’ll keep those hidden..
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?
Wow, ok no pressure here! I have a full list, but at the top of my head I’d like to give a shoutout to a few friends that I met along the way; Hally, Vanessa, Kat, Mel, and Victor you have all been such amazing, supportive friends and this journey would not be the same without any of you!
To my Tia Susy who has been a mentor and amazing role model to me, I hope to be half the woman you are one day! To my community and listeners of my podcast, thank you for all of the support throughout the years. I hope that it brings you joy just as much as it did for me.
And lastly, shoutout to the author of the book ‘It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How To End the Cycle’. I literally swear by this book and I can’t stress how much it helped me understand and heal my generational trauma!