We had the good fortune of connecting with Joe Solana Simon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joe, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Since I was a little boy, I always had this wild sense of imagination and the love to create and tell stories. I was always told that this career was “too hard”. But as I got older and went to different avenues, I kept realizing that the fire to play and tell stories never left. It was always there! I was told once by a friend to “do the biggest thing you can do for God”…to really go after the thing that burns in your heart and to not live out of fear. I believe that thing in your heart was put there for reason. Go and find it do something about it. And if you don’t “make it”, at least you gave it a shot. That’s the life I want to live…. “Giving it a shot”. You get one life. Love it and live it. If being artistic and creative doesn’t burn within you, find something else that does and do that.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a professional actor residing in Los Angeles, California. It’s always been a dream to be here. It’s the entertainment capital of the world and it’s where my dream and craft belong. There’s no limit to how far it can go here! I also dabble in writing and directing. I love writing and directing projects and just bringing a bunch of my friends along to make something really sick. I got here professionally from putting in the work in college. As a film student, my focus wasn’t on a degree, but a portfolio. I acted in projects with peers as well as created my own. I had a strong demo reel leaving college. It got me my first agent. He even reached out to me because how much he liked my reel. Before I uploaded it online, I prayed that God would just bless it and take it where He desired. I think He did. There is no way I would be where I am right now without boldness. This career excites me in that way to just be bold and aim high. But it hasn’t been easy. I have dealt with rejection, heartbreaks, life’s worries, etc. through my career thus far. But honestly it’s made a me a stronger actor, and a better person. It’s a cliche but you hear it a lot because it’s true! Sometimes you are waiting for someone to give you an opportunity, but you can’t JUST wait. Don’t waste the waiting and do something about it. You’re an actor? Writer? Don’t just give someone permission to do what’s in your heart, go and do it. Create something with friends! Get out there! Let the world outside of your bubble know you exist and have a story to tell. I believe opportunities will come from that in some form or fashion. Don’t waste the waiting!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
You have to show people around Hollywood and the landmarks that film placed its roots. It just fires me up. But West Hollywood is a cool hip part of town that is very lively and fun. Also it’s kind of in the middle of everything. Not too far from Beverly Hills as well. There are also so many beaches here. They each have their own flavor which is so freaking cool. I love Santa Monica because the boardwalk is an iconic spot with restaurants and rides but also walking around the city is fun too. My church is even in Santa Monica. I love going down there. Also go to Malibu. Just go. Why not. It’s Malibu.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family who have shown me so much love and support. They really are my biggest fans. I couldn’t imagine having a career like this without their love that always grounds me and puts a smile on my face. Grateful. I have some wicked great friends. Some in the industry and some not. Having people excited for the things that excite you is such a blessing. My acting coach in my hometown who taught me to act from a place of authenticity, not just “performing”. My video production teacher and drama teacher in high school who gave two very important creative spaces as a teenager. My manager and agent for believing in me. The love of God which has never failed me and never will.
Chris House Albert L. Ortega