We had the good fortune of connecting with Roman Maldonado and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roman, the decisions we make often shape our story in profound ways. What was one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision that I’ve had to make is not returning to my 9-5 job, so I can pursue my acting career… Knowing that nothing is guaranteed in this field. This was right after the pandemic, which I know affected a lot of people, including myself. I was worried about not returning, however, focusing on acting was something that I wanted to make my top priority.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Something that sets me aside from others would be my mindset, especially being in this industry, where you deal with a lot of rejection. It can take a big toll on your mental health. You start to doubt yourself or think you may not be good enough… When you see people in your circle, or those with your same type booking projects you’ve auditioned for, it’s easy to ask yourself… “What did I do wrong?” Learning to deal with this kind of rejection wasn’t easy whatsoever, but over time, I’ve learned that sometimes you can have the best audition for a role but not what the team behind a project is looking for at that very moment. And, this is okay. Because if the process has taught me anything—it’s that the right project which is meant for you won’t pass you by.
I have to say, I’m very proud of the mindset that my dad helped me to achieve throughout the years from a very young age. He has told me to never give up and to stay positive. There were numerous times when he would ask me: “Do you really want to be an actor?” And, that question always rings in my mind. Over the years, the answer has evolved from a simple “yes” to “I am an actor.”
At times, it has been hard to say that, because you can go through dry spells of not booking or auditioning. But, that doesn’t make you any less of an actor. Having a solid support group of other artists in the industry has been a huge help because they understand the process and it’s just really encouraging.
I am not someone who gives up easily and when I set my mind to something, I’m determined to accomplish it. I would consider myself very open minded and creative which has helped solve issues and overcome challenges that occur in my life because I’m able to see things from different perspectives.
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.
Being that I’m in New Jersey, the first place I’d like to take them is to the beach. We could go to Pier Village where they have the beach right there and places to eat and drink! Everyone who knows me, knows that I love nachos and trying new places, so we would have to tackle some of my favorite restaurants. Being in nature is something I really enjoy as well, so I would take them to Hartshorne Park which has some really nice sights. They also have Holmdel Park near me, and if it’s really nice out, it would be a great place to go for a picnic. At night, I have to take them to Applebee’s for half price apps. As simple as it sounds, we would take a good half of the day hanging out in my backyard—either in my pool or on the grass just listening to some good music and eating good food. At night, we could go to some clubs/ bars around me, such as: Porta, Redrock, or teak. Also, since the train is right near me, I’d like to take them to NYC and explore all the great things that city has to offer, such as: Broadway, great restaurants, and museums!
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?
Yes, of course! Aside from my parents and family who have always supported me in my decision to be an actor—from taking time out to bring me to auditions, paying for classes when I was younger, and encouraging me to follow through at times when I felt discouraged… I’d also have to thank some core people that have made a tremendous impact on where I am today! In no particular order: Mike Dolphy, who originally started Actor Blueprint in LA, and I helped bring it to NYC. He has always been a great friend and I have looked up to him as a mentor. Next, Julian Garcia, who has been by my side since college and has pushed me past what I thought were my limits. Then, Zack Porras, who has been such a big help when it comes to taping my auditions as a reader, especially at the last minute. He’s someone I can collaborate with. And, last but not least, Chris Soto, my friend who has been there from the very start when I started to take this whole thing seriously. He spent countless hours helping me memorize lines and prepare for my auditions.
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