Monday, January 30, 2017

Magi Avila 2017 Interview: Entertainment & Singing Icon

Magi Avila is a rare talent who has seen success in not only Hollywood, but in Mexico as well. Singing, acting & entertaining the masses, Magi is one accomplished individual! Read her biography here but first, see our exclusive interview below!

Do you remember the first time you thought "I want to work in entertainment?"

Yes I do! When the adults see you singing-dancing-acting, at every family reunion or elementary school event. They say -You were great! What do you want to do as a grown up? After watching so many soap operas, and amazing performances of variety shows, it was so easy to just answer -I want to be an artist! But of course for many years it was so hard to be taken seriously. Nobody was in the entertainment business.  My artistic activities, executed since teenage years, were all pretty much a hobby and some supplementary income in the eyes of the people around me. Even against everybody's opinion I've never lost faith. I can still feel the communion and soulful connection that I experienced with the audience during my first stage performance of Euripides' "Electra", back in Mexico. This time I wasn't modeling, or singing or just taking a glamorous "supplement job"; this time I was reaching right into the hearts and minds of the audience! I was grounded. The analysis of this amazing literature, the depth of its characters, oh I just loved it so much! This happened during high school years,  when I consciously made the decision "This is it! This is me. I have to do this or I'll die!" As soon as I started college, the auditions and bookings for film came into place. I was so fortunate to have such great acting teachers and the film industry people in Baja California, Mexico to appreciate my talents. 

What are some differences between working in Mexican Films & American Films?

The budget! Haha no, not always. I have worked in a couple of Mexican films that also had a good budget. What is so beautiful to me is that most of the crew people I know from Mexico, didn't come from a background of a film-making family, most of the people here in Hollywood, and still have the same level of passion, knowledge, professionalism and talent. 

What's your favorite film or TV show you've worked on? 

Mmmhhh that's a hard one! Emmett / Furla is a great company to work with. Not only do they treat their talent well; starting with limousine rides and first class flights, and they are super nice and fun and they are a  all around professional team. Acting with and observing a mega-star like Mr. Bruce Willis on set has been a dream come true. The script is a page-turner, and director Steven C. Miller was amazing. I loved my role and I am sure you will love our film "First Kill", which is coming out soon. Also being kidnapped by Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe in our film "Dog Eat Dog" was so much fun! Our director Paul Schrader had them rehearsing together for 2-3 weeks so that the bonding of the 3 main characters would show they have been in in jail since childhood. As you can imagine, Cage, Dafoe (who have worked together before) and Christopher Matthew Cook were being funny, silly, constantly improvising in between cuts, and including me in their party, while I was supposed to be scared of them. The gorgeous Nicolas Cage was hypnotizing. Should I have known he was separated/getting divorced I would have flirted with him big time, haha. I am very respectful of love and committed people. Presenting this film on stage at the Cannes Film Fest. with these A Listers was surreal! (Check out the audience reaction at the end of the screening in above video) Another favorite is Chris Weitz' "A Better Life". Not only for it's best actor Oscar nomination of Demian Bichir, but also working with such an amazing director. This film is a well done piece of art with an important message that touches audiences' hearts and is deeply thought provoking. It is exactly what I love the most! Then I was nude in my scene in Shawn Ryan's last episode of "The Shield". That was a fun challenge. Especially when my scene partners, Michael Chiklis and David Rees Snell ad lib gun-pointing at me -"Drop the sheet!" Hahaha. When Woody Allen directed me in "Café Society", I swear the Twilight Zone music kept on playing deep in my ear! 😍🙉🙌

What's your favorite place to eat in Hollywood?

Hugo's Restaurant, Los Balcones, that's Peruvian food, Calle Tacos, BOA, Cecconi's, The Pump, I am such a foodie! Indian food is one of my favorites. One of my favorite things about being in Los Angeles, the most diverse place in the world, is that one can find food from all parts of the world; Yamashiro-Japanese, Cleo-Mediterranean, Stella Barra - Italian and Paley - American. Yummy Tacos Trejo!... I like those very much and I can keep on going for ever!

You sing too? Wow! What's your favorite performance you've done.
Well there are so many beautiful experiences. Probably my favorite was when I sang for ex-president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo. There was so much commotion, so many security guards, cars and excited people all over town! This was during the inauguration of Ensenada's beautiful harbor. At night there was a gala dinner where I performed, along with 3 other sopranos. I remember not being nervous at all. Our music maestro instructed us not only about music but also life in general. We used to rehearse 4-6 hrs a day 6 days a week. He taught us how to keep our feet on the ground, while building up our self esteem through amazing accomplishments. We presented many operatic concerts with songs and arias of great difficulty as the ones we sang that night for the Mexican president. In my case, I performed Verdi's Sempre Libera from the opera Rigoleto. What a thrill! Back then I was so young and naive, coming from a very humble family. I was not intimidated by being surrounded by the elite of my country. I held that high note for a long time closing my eyes and getting lost on the immensity of Verdi's music. It was one of those moments when what is happening is so much bigger than ourselves.  I was riding an immense wave. I would never be able to express my infinite gratitude to our music teacher Maestro Jose de Jesús Veliz who opened my eyes to a world of magic. 

What are your plans & goals for 2017?

Continue booking more films and TV. I have several projects planned but I am not at liberty to talk about them yet. So much to do to accomplish this... phew! Part of my strategy is to keep surrounding myself with people that are more accomplished than me. Maintain my skills super sharp while managing my time better. Then spend more time with loved ones, saying healthy and keep reading a book a week. 

What do Copymat Hollywood & Bob Gerholdt mean to you?

A perfect example of customer service! My very first headshots were printed there, when I officially moved to LA in 2005. Then I went to live in different places, trying the closest printing companies but immediately would come back to Copymat Hollywood. Their super fast services and excellent quality have kept me coming back. Bob Gerholdt and his staff have always been very nice professional people. They would make any changes to my materials right on the spot, and with the best attitude. In this town where the competition is so high and we have to get so much done by ourselves, I feel so confident when I need to order something or increase an order at the last minute. Copymat Hollywood's staff's precision, artistry and understanding of their customers needs is part my success. They have done banners, graphic design, business cards, headshots, flyers. Once a dedicated employee came Ronny event, after his working hours to fix a wind damaged banner. I am grateful to have Copymat Hollywood in my corner. 

Anything else you'd like to add?

I want to thank you for this interview, for the encouragement, support throughout all these years. Also to your followers: thank you for reading reading and following us. I want to wish you all so much success in your business. And to the artists out there, even during those moments when your hope buckets are running low, still get things done. Print out those post cards, headshots, invitations, just get it done. Believe in the cause and effect law. Learn from Bob and staff; by focusing in excellency your customers will keep coming to you for years and years. 

For more Magi, visit her website & stay tuned!

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