We had the good fortune of connecting with Ren Montoro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ren, why did you pursue a creative career?
Admittedly, I didn’t start off pursuing an artistic field. Well, let me take it a step back. Growing up, I was always setting up impromptu plays with my brothers. I’d run around the house pretending that I was this or that cartoon character. For a long while, I wanted to be a singer, but it turns out that this girl can’t sing.
By the time I graduated high school, I’d been doing theatre for a while, though I was admittedly pretty shy when not on the stage. The thought of having to audition for a living, which is the majority of acting, made me incredibly uncomfortable. For this reason, I decided to study Art History instead of theatre. I wanted to be a professor, I thought.
About a semester into college, I started to realize how much I missed performing and general storytelling. The want and need to tell stories nagged at me until I finally decided to go back to performing; only by that point, acting in film had popped up on my radar. To me, film acting seemed like something people like me didn’t get to do until I went to college, that is. I realized how different the stories you can tell with film are, how they can reach people, and it represents a wide array of people.
What I’m saying is, I tried to stray from pursuing an artistic career, but I just couldn’t do it. Though I love art and its history, all I wanted to do was help tell and share stories. I love the idea of being a part of a story that takes people away from themselves.
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.
Honestly, I don’t know what sets me “apart from others.” I love performance as a way of storytelling; I’m genuinely passionate about breaking down scripts and giving myself and the viewer an escape from life. The possibilities are what I’m so passionate about when it comes to acting.
Getting to where I am today has included a lot of trial and error and creating my own opportunities. I’m not where I’d like to be yet, but I think that makes me hungry, it’s part of what keeps me going. I want to give up multiple times a year, but I just can’t do it because no other job that I’ve ever taken on has given me any joy.
Something to know about me is that I’m a second-generation Cuban woman on my mom’s side of the family. I am proud of my Cuban heritage and the fact that I was brought up in South America. When we moved to the States, it took me a little while to acclimate, to be the “white-looking girl with the accent.” Though there have been plenty of challenges along the way, and there will most certainly be more challenges in the future, but I’m grateful for what I’ve experienced so far. Those experiences informed the issues that I’m passionate about when it comes to civil and human rights and representation.
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.
If my friend came to town and I had to come up with an itinerary for the week, these are the things that I would plan to do/see:
-Obet & Dels
I love to read, so I couldn’t not show them a few of my favorites.
-Pioneer Town & Joshua tree baby! (these are my happy places)
-Ojai (their Farmer’s Market & Bart’s bookstore!)
-Santa Barbara (do a little wine tasting) The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Many people have come into my life who’ve been supportive and encouraging over the years, so I count myself pretty damn lucky for that. My biggest cheerleader, however, has been my mom. My mom was always my cheerleader, eager to come to my plays, and probably the only mother to tell her daughter that she should go to college for performance. She deserves a lot of credit. Were it not for her, I might not have abandoned trying to teach, even when I knew that it wasn’t the right thing for me.