We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Ignacia Hojas and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maria Ignacia, how do you think about risk?
I think that risk is the key to discovery. Without risk we might be staying in our comfort zone. These days fear can be very paralyzing. Our bodies are constantly looking for what’s known in order to stay safe. But many times we want to experience or manifest new adventures in our lives. I certainly have been victim of fear, self doubt and telling myself stories that aren’t encouraging. But there was a point in my life where I just decided to do things regardless of fear or the attachment to a result / expectation.

I am originally from Santiago, Chile. I went to college there and studied to become an actress and I fell in love immediately with the excitement of performing, with how alive it made me feel and how stories can change the fantasy of reality, the way we see what surrounds us.
I knew I wanted to go new places and I knew I needed to go as far as possible to pursue my passion. And I did.
Was I scared to death? yes. Did I speak English? Hell no. Did I know what the outcome would be? No.

I had a week to think about it. And in my pros and cons list (yes I love “to do lists” and “pros and cons lists”) there was one thing that made me decide I had to do it, and that was: If I don’t go, I will always wonder “what if” and I don’t want to live with that thought.

Besides, when we ask ourselves questions about our biggest fears we realize how absurd they can be and how we can’t control what the result is going to be. What we can do is to be responsible for our dreams.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is about stories, is about empathizing with other people’s stories, exploring with endless curiosity a new character, a new perspective. I love theater, to me that is one of the most magical places to be in. I am in constant change. I value the power of transformation. What makes me unique is my own experience and how I navigate those stories, what every actor brings to a role is very personal and distinctive. I have explored the world of story telling through film, theater, audiobooks, one woman shows and stand up comedy. I am versatile and always interested in new challenges, it’s very appealing to me to find different ways to communicate and go after new projects that make me feel thrilled and passionate. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that life is very short and we create the way we want to live it. Just like I tell stories I can choose the story I tell myself every day when I wake up in the morning. Perspective is everything.

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?
LA is a great city. The more time I spend here, the more I fall in love with it. There is so much nature and fun places to explore. My favorite place overall is the beach, my favorite spots are: The Malibu Pier, El Matador beach, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey and of course if it’s your first time you have to go to Venice or Santa Monica. If you stay for a bite or drinks go to The Rose in Venice.
If you want to explore the city I would go to downtown LA and stop by the Grand Central Market where there’s a variety of food and drinks. Since you’re in the area you can go to The museum of Contemporary Art.
Echo Park is a nice area too, one of my favorite restaurants there: SAGE. There are a few in the city, but this spot and then one in Culver City are my favorite.
To finish my list I would add Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory. LA is full of places to go, these are only a few! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First of all my family and friends, without them I wouldn’t be here. So thank you guys. Now about inspiration:
“Daring greatly” by Brene Brown, is a book that introduced me to the importance of vulnerability. There are many others but now that is the one at the top of my head.
Many movies have inspired me in wanting to tell stories, one that recently shook me was “Jojo rabbit” directed by Taika Waititi, ending perfectly with the beautiful quote by Rainer Maria Rilke: “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”

Website: www.mariahojas.com

Instagram: @mariahojas

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/mariahojas

Image Credits
Nicolas Varela Paloma Lingwei Chen Emma Nobbs Paola Zadra Jorge Bautista

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