SFND Magazine: First and foremost, Isadora, we want to thank you so much for interviewing with So FN Dope Magazine. We are so glad to have you. How are you?
Isadora Ortega: Thank you so much for having me. I am doing amazing, enjoying traveling and the Christmas season with my family.
SFND Magazine: Tell us a little about yourself ... Where are you from, and how did you get your start in the industry?
Isadora Ortega: I am Dominican and Venezuelan, raised in New York City. My first taste of this industry was my participation at the IMTA, which is an International modeling and acting competition.
SFND Magazine: At what point did you feel that this was something you wanted to pursue professionally? Was there a defining moment or has this always been your dream?
Isadora Ortega: I used to watch telenovelas with my mom, and that's when I fell in love with acting. While watching those telenovelas, I realized that I wanted to pursue an acting career, so my mom put me in modeling and acting school.
SFND Magazine: All too often, we see people who wake up one day and suddenly decide that they want to be an actor or a singer or entertainer. For some odd reason, people think that it is easy or that it happens overnight. That is simply not the case. We love the fact that you've spent time developing your craft and being educated in the arts. What were some of your most valuable lessons learned while you attended Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and Susan Batson Studios and how much of an impact has it had on your career?
Isadora Ortega: I learned at The Conservatory to always have your inner monologue and to always treat a prop gun like a real gun. At Susan Batson studio, I learned to access my emotional instrument.
SFND Magazine: In your career, you've done some Off-Broadway shows, TV shows, and films. We are curious. As a student of the arts, which do you prefer, the Stage, television, or the Silver
Isadora Ortega: Television and the silver screen are my favorites because your work last forever. I honestly would love to do more stage in the future.
SFND Magazine: You are a woman of many talents. You're also a published author as well. You've written graphic novel called "The Curse of the flower"//" La Maldicion De La Flor" based on the legend of Anacaona. Tell us a little about your book and where we can go to purchase and support it. Also, I must ask, with you being an actor, writer and producer, is there any chance you'll be turning your book into a screenplay for a movie somewhere down the line?
Isadora Ortega: Thank you so much for your support. The Curse of the Flower is available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. I am currently in post-production of its adaption into a short film directed by Oscar-nominated director David Massey that is expected to make its rounds in the festival circuit soon to follow its release.
SFND Magazine: Let's switch gears a bit! Christmas is around the corner so let's talk about your most recent holiday film, Hope Street Holiday. Tell us a little about the film and what we can expect to see in this movie?
Isadora Ortega: Galia García is a successful Afro-Latina attorney in Los Angeles who returns to her small hometown after getting dumped days before Christmas. She realized her life has been lacking meaningful relationships since losing her mother and best friend. With the help of a 5-year-old orphan, her three crazy Aunties, and this small town's magic, Lia heals from her past trauma. Ultimately, she'll rediscover her self-worth, and the true meaning of family and fall in love all over again with an old friend. Written by: Brandon Morson & Isadora Ortega.
SFND Magazine: We watched the trailer, and the movie seems dope. Can't wait to check it out. What do you think will set this movie apart from other Christmas or Holiday themed movies out there?
Isadora Ortega: This is the first time that 5 Afro-Latinas are leading a Christmas movie. Hope Street Holiday has the culture and flavor of the Garcia's beautiful Dominican family. This family is bold in their communication and how they love one another. Hope Street also has drama, romance and comedy, a perfect balance for the entire family.
SFND Magazine: I think it is very important to mention that not only are you starring in this movie, but you wrote this movie as well alongside Brandon Morson who also directed the film. What inspired you all to write this movie together, and what is it like to create a project of this magnitude and to watch it blossom from conception to fruition?
Isadora Ortega: We believe in each other, and we believe in our visions. Inspiration is found everywhere, and we look to include our own personal lives and our circles of friends.
SFND Magazine: You all have made other films together as well and even won awards for one of your recent works. Does this mean we can expect to see more films written, produced and directed by you all in the future?
Isadora Ortega: Oh yes, all I can say for now is that we have a large portfolio of film treatments and finalized scripts.
SFND Magazine: When will Hope Street Holiday be released and where can we expect to see the film.
Isadora Ortega: HOPE STREET HOLIDAY was released on December 6 and is now available on:
Dish Network and Sling TV
Vubiquity (30% of cable market – Verizon Fios)
Swank (colleges, hospitals)
YouTube Movies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wg7pY-qvRk
SFND Magazine: Where can our readers find more information about the film online and where can they find you on social media?
Isadora Ortega: @lablacklatina @hopestreetholiday
SFND Magazine: Last question. So in all of our interviews, we like to ask this question to all our interviewees. Before you go could you name for us one other person (actor, artist, someone who inspires you etc…) that you think is So FN Dope and tell us why?
Isadora Ortega: I am inspired by my mother, grandmother, Shando Rhimes, Issa Rae, Maya Angelou, Anacaona and many other women that have walked in their purpose, and because of them, I can walk in mine.
SFND Magazine: Once again, we would like to say thank you Isadora, for interviewing with us. Clearly, you are an inspiration. Keep up the amazing work! We wish you much more continued success.