We had the good fortune of connecting with Hunter Payton Mendoza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hunter, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I first started acting at 6 years old it was really tough to balance between school, homework, acting classes, auditions and time for myself. It became easier once I started Homeschooling so I would have more time in a day to balance everything out.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an actor and I started when I was 6 years old. I think what sets me apart is that I can do parkour which allows me to do my own stunts as well as acting. Acting kinda came easy to me because I have always enjoyed being funny and outgoing, I would always dress up in super hero costumes when I was little and pretend I was saving the world. Even now I have dressed up in character for Comic Con so that much hasn’t changed except now I am anime characters. Acting is getting to pretend and become a different person for a brief period of time so, I have a great time researching my characters for roles and becoming them.
One of the lessons I learned right away when I started this industry was about rejection and how to deal with it. I wouldn’t book everything I went on and right away thought it was my fault or something I did. At age 6, there were several things I auditioned for that I was super excited about and wanted it bad. I remember getting so frustrated with myself when I didn’t book it. I remember my mom explaining to me that the kid that booked it was older or younger or taller or shorter and I quickly realized it wasn’t anything I could have done better… I just didn’t look the role. I think that is when Parkour became a good outlet to release steam when things didn’t always go the way I wanted it to.
I guess what I want everyone to know about me is that even if I don’t become the dream paleontologist I envisioned to be I still will always be the Dinosaur nerd everyone knows and loves about me. I am very humble and really don’t like to watch myself on TV as I get embarrassed. I love being an actor and with my parkour training my dream is to be in a Marvel movie and get to do my own stunts.
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?
Fortunately my bestfriends all live here and we do all these things all the time. But if it was someone that didn’t live here then there are so many cool places to go and visit and see herein Los Angeles. First day, we would go to Universal Studios until they close and then walk around after at City Walk and maybe see a movie up at the AMC Theater up there and then of course eat dinner at my favorite place Buca Di Beppo. Another day we would go hang out in Santa Monica on the beach and surf and walk on the pier and hit the carnival rides and eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp. On another day we would drive to Hollywood and go to the Hollywood Museum, eat at Mel’s Drive In, walk around famous Hollywood and Highland and then go to the Escape Hotel Room where I celebrated my 15th. Of course, on one of the days we need to go to my gym and do parkour and hang out with everyone during Open Gym at Tempest Academy. One of the days we would definitely need to go to Magic Mountain and then another day Knotts Berry Farm. I enjoy roller coasters so if this is my best friend then they do too. I think one of the last days we would head to Venice Beach and skateboard because who doesn’t love the beach, right?
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
In my journey as an actor there are two important things in my life that have helped me to not give up and get me through the highs and lows of this industry. first is my family especially my mom who provides me daily the encouragement and morale support I need as well as helping me to balance my life and get me to the places I need to go. She has definitely been the strength in my life when times are tough to keep me going and keep me on the right path.
The other is having a place of peace to go and release the normal stresses you have as a kid and that is my parkour gym Tempest Academy. I started there when I was 10 years old and it has been the greatest thing in my life to be able to go and just feel free from all the struggles that occur. I love doing parkour and hanging out with the amazing freerunners at the gym. Who knew that this path would take me to something I can use in my acting as I started doing some of my own stunts and I am really enjoying it,
Other: Tik Tok https://www.tiktok.com/@thehunterpayton?lang=en * All my Social Media is under @TheHunterPayton
HPM_4 PC Shandon Photography