We had the good fortune of connecting with Jude Salazar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jude, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
To leave my hometown of Chicago and move to Los Angeles where I had no family and friends. I had always wanted to live in California and then the right opportunity presented itself so I went for it. I moved out here after graduating law school and had every intention of pursuing Entertainment Law. I got here and immediately found a job as a paralegal, I ended up hating the law field. I had just invested three years of my life in a field I didn’t fully love. In the midst of all of that I started acting more and more and realized art was what really made me happy. So, here I am 5 years later, turning the most difficult decision I ever made into the best decision I ever made.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My background in art can be traced all the way back to my childhood. I always enjoyed performing for family and friends and putting on a show. I drew inspiration from many Latina women that I idolized as a kid. I was a huge Selena and Shakira fan growing up and loved their rebellious nature that was often reflected in their art. As I got older, I occasionally would participate in school plays and fashion shows. However, in college I very heavily focused on my academic career and that led me to pursuing a career in law. After completing three years of law school and taking the bar exam, I made the decision to move out to California and potentially pursue a career in Entertainment Law. When I finally settled in Los Angeles I joined a couple of casting groups on Facebook for fun and ended up getting a meeting with a commercial agent. I soon started going out for auditions while also shooting photos with photographers who were looking to build their portfolios. In doing so, I discovered that my real passion was still art. I attempted to take the bar two more times in California and when I didn’t pass, I took it as a sign that it was time to pursue that passion. That was three years ago. I now find myself completely immersed in acting classes, workshops and collaborative opportunities that continue to foster my growth as an artist. I have shifted my focus to creating art that is centered on the celebration of women and the amazing beings that we are. More specifically I want to encourage women to explore every part of their multifaceted identity and really accept every part of themselves that makes them unique. I want people to find my art and walk away learning something important about themselves. I believe my biggest struggle has been a life long battle with my identity and really embracing who I am. Because of this struggle I have learned the importance of mental health and the need to really focus on learning who you are as a person. I hope that I can continue to share these lessons with the people who find my art and want to follow me on my journey as a creative and an artist.
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.
My goodness, I’m the worst at planning! But here goes it: Monday: I feel like the day after a flight should be somewhat relaxing. So we are spending the day catching up on life at Matador Beach in Malibu. We are bringing some snacks and some good rosé to drink. Tuesday: Santa Monica Pier and The Promenade. Lunch at Silver Lake Ramen. This is followed by the Venice Boardwalk because it’s the touristy thing to do. Abbot Kinney. Dinner at C&O’s because GARLIC KNOTS. Wednesday: I feel like this is a good day for Disney Land! Thursday: We have been doing a lot of walking. But maybe a hike at Runyon followed by the views of Griffith? We are getting food at Home and having some margaritas. Heading home to relax for a little bit and then we end up in West Hollywood for night time drinks at E.P & L.P. Friday: Great day for Universal. So we are definitely drinking beers at Moe’s Tavern. I can’t say the food is all that great but likely snacking throughout. Grabbing dinner near home at Natalee Thai. Sounds like a great night for Cliftons. Saturday: Relaxing most of the morning because that hangover is brutal. Lunch at Cafe 50’s and we are getting milkshakes. But we are going to make it to Mama Shelter with a group of friends at some point. It’s taco truck night. We are getting Leo’s Tacos for dinner. Sunday: A day at the beach of friends choice. Lunch by the beach. Night time drinks and food at The Ace Hotel.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to thank the women in my life that have encouraged me to follow my passion. I am so lucky to have so many solid friendships with incredible women that consistently support me in my dreams. While I am here, I’d also like to thank Bell Hooks for writing “All About Love” and truly opening my eyes to what loving yourself really means.
Main Photo: Photographer: Jethro Alaba 4 Photo Upload 1, (Beach) Photographer: Jon Batario 2. (Headshot) Photographer: Jonny Marlow 3. (Gown) Photographer: Attila Adam 4. (Black & White) Photographer: Chase Shi