We had the good fortune of connecting with Johnny Baca and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Johnny, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
High risk, High reward. It’s basically a motto for my life and career. If you play it safe, you get safe results. Steady, positive outcomes but nothing taking you to the moon. If you want that blast off, you need to dedicate yourself and be willing to take the hits. For myself personally, I’ve taken risks my entire life and whenever I don’t, I regret it. So jump in that rocket ship and take risks.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started later in life with my career path into film work. Acting I began in my early 20s and Directing started in my early 30s. The lessons I’ve learned, both in front and behind the camera, work hand in hand with each other. I’ve gotten better as an actor thanks to my directing and I’m a better director thanks to my acting. I can get my actors to be super comfortable on set and get them to reach places they didn’t know they had because I’ve been there, understand and can connect on a personal level. The road has not been easy but it’s important to look back and see just how far you’ve come while looking ahead to the future. Personally, I took my challenges headstrong but was never afraid to take a step back. One step back, Five steps forward. Pursuing a career in the film industry is difficult. Words can’t even describe how difficult it is but diamond hands stay the course, take the hits and keep fighting. That’s how you ultimately win.
As a director, I recently launched my official production company, Juanito Entertainment, with a focus on American-Latinx talent both in front and behind the camera. I want the world to see the American-Latinx community in all the wonderful, deep, poetic, beauty that we are. The colorful differences between us and the connection we all share. Whether we are first, second, third or fifth generation American or whether we’re full blooded or mixed, I want to showcase our talent. I aim to bring to life Latinx stories to the big and small screen that typically don’t get the time of day. One of the many reasons I’m so excited for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights” to hit theaters this summer. Representation matters and to see and bring forth multiple generations of Americans with Latinx heritage is vital. As an actor, I’m ready to work.
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.
You wanna visit Los Angeles?! I got you. My main location to visit is The Griffith Observatory. You know the cool looking dome from Rebel without A Cause & La La Land. Even if you’re not into the cosmos, it will utterly take your breath away. After that, you have to check out Miracle Mile and our museums (Also known as Museum Row). You can visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), The Peterson Automotive Museum, take in the site (and the smell) of the famous La Brea Tar Pits & this fall (finally) we will be able to visit The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Now let’s jump in the car and head for a drive through the famous road, Mulholland Drive. There are great stops along the route to jump out of your car and take in the view of our city on either side of the hill. Lastly, the beach. My personal favorite is Venice. So much life and culture. For other Texans reading this, it’s like Austin by the beach. As our week winds down, let’s get some grub! Personal favorites are any local ramen spot or taco stand.”
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s a laundry list of people I could shoutout. From my parents, who both have supported and continue to support my career path. To my friends, who have challenged me more than they will ever know namely Raul Vega, Jon Taub, Aaron Cavette, Esteban Gonzalez, Paige Herschell & Esteban Gonzalez. And lastly my teachers and mentors early in my career. Mark Mayes, a great friend and mentor, has challenged and pushed me to be better every step of my career.
Joanna Degeneres and LeAnn Oliver