Inspiring Artists Stories
Today we'd like to introduce you to Luis Avila
Current Location: Hollywood, CA
Luis, thank you for taking the time to share your story. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself?
The arts were a huge part of my life growing up. I was very lucky in that my mother had a love of music and dance. When I was six years old she enrolled me in piano lessons, which really influenced my love of music. I loved to sing and took every opportunity to do so! Whether at church or in school, I always seemed to be singing or playing a musical instrument. Extra curricular activities were a norm growing up in an Asian household. Anything from dance, to karate, to voice lessons, to Mathnasium, to Japanese school, my schedule was packed! Then, I discovered Musical Theatre and I absolutely fell in love! I saw a community theatre production of The Wizard of Oz and I knew at that moment what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I became obsessed with musicals and wanted to immerse myself in everything Broadway. Without knowing it I started on my path towards a professional career in the arts.
Can you tell us a little more about what you've been working on recently?
I am currently living in Hollywood, CA working towards a professional acting career. My focus has shifted from musical theatre to television and film. I love musical theatre and it will always be my first love but there is something about being able to portray a character on screen that I really enjoy. The creativity involved in creating a character from scratch is something that thrills me personally. While in musical theatre you do get to flex your creativity muscles, most of the time you are re-creating something that has already been done. There are definitely pros and cons to both art forms. I think that TV/Film is something that is very new to me and exciting as well.
What challenges have you had to overcome on your journey as an artist?
As an artist the road is filled with obstacles. There is constant adversity and hurdles you have to jump over. I have been lucky enough to have had a great support system throughout my life which has helped me see obstacles as learning experiences. Looking back my obstacles seem tiny compared to the circumstances other actors have had to endure. Not being "enough" of something always comes up. Not being tall enough or short enough or cute enough or skinny enough, trained enough etc. But that being said I've been able to ignore the noise and focus on what I've always needed to do. There are good days and bad days, big obstacles and small obstacles but it's all in how you react to any given circumstance that helps you through your journey as an artist.
Are there any lessons you've learned along the way, maybe something you would tell your younger self?
OMG! So many lessons. But the one that sticks out to me especially at this point in my journey is consistency and persistence-y! When I look back on the times in my life where I've been successful in my career, it was always due to some form of consistency. Consistency with my auditions, training, business etc.
We can all get burnt out while pursuing an arts career. You hear "no" more times than in any other profession. But it's important to remember that careers weren't made overnight and being consistent and persistent do matter. Of course it's ok to take breaks but the "just keep going" mentality is so key for me.
"Have fun while pursuing your dreams!" is what I'd tell my younger self. Sometimes while in pursuit of our dream we can forget that we actually love doing things. We are so focused on the goal that we forget about the journey. It really is about having fun along the way and any results you end up achieving are just icing on the cake!
What's the best piece of advice you've received?
Learn as much as you can because no one can take your knowledge away! I think really successful people are constant learners. Once you think you know everything, the growth stops. I don't want to stop growing. There is so much out there to learn and so many people to learn it from. Why would you shortchange yourself and stop the learning process?
What inspires you as an artist?
I think we are able to draw inspiration from most anything in this world so I try to be open to all the possibilities. My family, friends, and teachers have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have been able to learn so much and look up to so many wonderful people. Mentors have also played a huge role in inspiring me. It's so important to have people that you can look up to and learn from. Being able to lean on people who have been where you want to go has been huge for me. Nature also inspires me as well as great performances from top notch actors!
What are your hopes for the future of the Arts?
I really hope that one day we can see an Arts industry that is as diverse as the people consuming the art! I hope for diversity on and off screen so that everyone feels like they have a spot at the table. I hope for storytelling that focuses on the human story where color, gender, sexual orientation etc. doesn't inhibit the sales of tickets. I hope for communities to be able to see themselves represented and be inspired by the great work that the industry is putting out into the world. I hope that the arts continue to inspire change and creativity throughout all humans across the world.
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