We had the good fortune of connecting with Manuel R Lozano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Manuel, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
This is one area that I constantly think about. It changes as I enter different stages in my life. Over time, I find that the focus on making tons of money decreases for me. Meaning, that as I have become older, I strive for efficiency so I can spend quality time with my family and doing things that enrich my life beyond financials and just making money. In my early twenties, I would get very excited about getting paid for “vacation time” by my employer in lieu of not using it. Now, there is no price I can put on my vacation and family time. I still have long work weeks but I ensure that when that happens, it’s worth the time away from family.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started my acting career here in LA less than five years ago. It was something I always dreamed of doing when I retired from being a business guy. I envisioned working at a local community theater and getting to perform in plays in my later years. Two years after my daughter Iris was born, I got a call from my brother-in-law who was rebranding a tech company. They were looking for a “Latino Dad” type to work as a model / actor in their upcoming commercial. I sent over some Facebook pictures of me and ended up being selected. It was a wonderful 2 days of work. I enjoyed it so much. One of the actors and casting directors on the job encouraged me to get more serious about it and begin auditioning for other projects. I decided to go for it and went out for some print jobs and ended up in a national commercial audition that I thought I had bombed. But 2 weeks later, I got a call telling me I booked the job. After booking a few gigs, I started formal acting training and now also work on TV and Film projects which have become my passion. I am grateful for the success I have had and know I have so much more to learn and experience.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them up the coast of California. I would stop in Ventura and do some surfing and boogie boarding there. Then we would have lunch at Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company and go to dinner at Lure. After a couple of days, I would keep going north, maybe stop for a swim and lunch in Santa Barbara and drive up to Big Sur. We could do some hiking, visit some waterfalls, and camp for a couple of nights before heading to San Francisco. Tons to see and do and some great outdoor eateries there. I would end the trip in Lake Tahoe for some more hiking, mountain biking, paddle boarding, and pizza!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to thank my organization at South Pasadena Arts & Music Academy. I work with some of the brightest and hardest working musicians and artists in the business. They are the reason our business has been successful and I feel lucky to get to work with such wonderful people. On the acting side, I have many people to thank but there is one person that has been instrumental in my success as an actor in LA. It’s a fairly new career for me and I have been blessed with the opportunity to have worked with Casey Ford Alexander on a number of projects. We have become very close and have continued to motivate each other constantly during good times and difficult times. He is constantly evolving personally and professionally and I’m grateful for his support.