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Five actors from Barranquilla tell how they were formed

The art of characterizing with the body and with words a character in front of the cameras, flashes, on the boards of a theatre or on a recording set, is for many the ideal work.

An actor or actress internalizes the physical and emotional characteristics of each ‘role’ to convey to the audience a truth in their actions. This work has been coveted by many young people, who have had an approach to this art, either as cinephiles or mere spectators of a novel, series or play. Very few have taken the step and decided to take action as a way of life.

Some of these people, with or without support, have come to be included in programs or series recognized in Colombia and abroad, thanks to their innate abilities of observation, listening, corporality, or academic training.

In ‘La Arenosa’, the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of the Atlantic has had the face-to-face Program of Dramatic Art for 19 years. According to representatives of the institution, the five-year career trains professionals in dramaturgy under the line of voice, body, Research, Interpretation and music.

” We have 30 to 50 actors and actresses per year, ” said the coordinator of this program, Ana Milena Navarro Busaid, who highlights that the profile of her graduates is in dramaturgy and interpretation.

Despite the existence of institutions in the city that provide training and workshops, the majority of people who want to undertake in the world of acting are trained in cities such as Bogotá.

For the coordinator this fact is a ” trend in the country. The important thing is that Fine Arts is working on the recognition of the region.” “This occurs in all the processes of interpretation or creation by the culture in which we have grown up. Dedicating oneself to art is a titanic task under the conditions that exist, ” he said.

The representative of Fine Arts also mentioned that the fact that Barranquilla does not have many spaces for the exhibition of art and that it is not invested in the theatres “reduces the possibilities of circulation and creation of the works, as well as the consumption of the public”.

EL HERALDO consulted 10 renowned barranquilleros actors who have started their acting career in the city or have emigrated to find job opportunities and train in the industry. None of them went through the Fine Arts Drama Program.

Sarah Mintz

The barranquillera actress known internationally as Maritza Rodríguez, but now called Sarah Mintz, said she started the industry “with zero formation” actor, because she was not looking to be an actress, but was entering as a model.

“When I lived in Bogotá I had a roommate who liked to perform, once they invited her to a casting and told me to accompany her, I did it and it was extra to let us leave pods (a series).”

Then, in the same way, she was selected for the production “Señora Isabel”, where she began recording with parliaments. “The best thing for me has been to have all that coastal culture because one goes for whatever it is, with freshness, without pain and does it anyway, the spontaneity for me was one of my best tools in my beginning (…) Everything in my life has been empirical . When I started to play a big role, the production put certain actresses to train us with a private teacher, I remember that there were many people who had studied, but they didn’t have the experience. Mine was the other way around, ” he said.

While learning in those classes, Mintz discovered that the part of acting training is very important and necessary. “If I had the training in my early days, I would have been an arrow and who knows where I would have gone. It is important to have that support to learn how the industry works.”

For this artist the attitude is also very important. “I watched what the actors were doing, what time they arrived, if they took the script, where they were going, I asked a lot, that served me.”

When the actress performed in miracles of love she began to have a coach to help her design the character. He claims that between modeling, presentation and acting in commercials he had no time to take more classes. “In Barranquilla I didn’t do any acting because there was nothing to do. One always thought in Bogotá that was where the television industry was, there are many institutions to train, ” said Mintz, who also created on stage a modeling and acting school with headquarters in Barranquilla and Bogotá, along with his brothers. There they provide tools for aspiring actors to “fulfill their dreams.”

Victor Hugo Trespalacios

Started in the acting world in Barranquilla at the age of 17 with the group The street, where they lasted little. Feeling he wasn’t going to find his way into the city, he traveled to Bogotá. “The possibilities in Barranquilla were almost null… now culture is being turned away, so I work for my Coast, but from here in Bogotá, where I live,” he said. This actor thinks that in his hometown the art of acting is not valued because there are no places to study it. “There is an enormous deficiency, not in the level of the actors but in the structure itself because what exists public is only Fine Arts and is in poor condition, which is embarrassing.” Víctor Hugo when he arrived in Bogotá was trained as an actor in the Spanish Colombo Center, then led by Fausto Cabrera, where he taught Edgardo Román and Jasid García. “At the time I was at the Luis Enrique Osorio Theatre District School.” Despite these studies, Trespalacios said he was “rebellious” about the Academy. “I’m deeply bored with being put into pods I don’t want, like studying art history and all that. I wanted to act, ” he said. For this reason he resigned and set out to work in theatre groups and workshops with teachers. In the midst of his experience with these scholars and with research he became a professor.”

Rita Bendek

This renowned actress had a basically “empirical ” background. He remembers that 20 years ago he only took some acting courses at the University, where he studied psychology, and at the Alfonso Ortiz Academy, in Bogotá.

“Since I was a little girl, I loved to dance, sing and perform. However, little was studied at the time, it was not very common,” the barranquillera said. He later entered the world of modeling to which he attributed his first acting work. “I was called to play a character in a novel shot in Barranquilla and that’s where it all started,” he recalled. Although she has not been trained in an Academy for many years, this actress, based in Barranquilla, recommends that anyone who wants to perform should study hard. “Acting is a beautiful craft that requires preparation and dedication, apart from the fact that there is a lot of competition. In Colombia, we think it’s a rooster’s breast, but it’s not like that,” he concluded.

Lilly Colombia

Lillyana Guihurt, known as Lilly Colombia, found in the performance a way to express himself “more freely” than with journalism, his profession. While studying at the Autonomous University of the Caribbean, he joined the theatre group of the same institution where he learned this art from Professor Javier Saltarín, as he recalled. “I haven’t had a chance to do anything more formal, but I admit I have to. In Barranquilla, we usually have to pay for workshops of one week or more that are dictated by actors from other cities because there is no place as such to train, it is time to study in Bogotá or elsewhere. Here I believe there is only one course in Fine Arts, ” said Indian Award winner Catalina 2018 as a revelation actress from Colombian television for her role in the series Los Yotuve.

Pedro Palacio

After receiving acting training in the ‘reality’ novel protagonists in 2002, Pedro received personalized classes in Bogotá, from actor Alfonso Ortiz, with whom he also prepared his first character in the production “La costeña y el cachaco”. Some time later he traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to study theater for two years. He also went to Mexico to prepare in this area for a season and held several workshops in Colombia. “I didn’t prepare myself in Barranquilla because when I lived there I wasn’t part of any theatre company, because I wasn’t clear about the subject of acting, I was modeling and studying. When I arrived in Bogotá, I began to relate to the subject. I think that in Barranquilla we have a seedbed of giant talent, but we have had to go from there to train in other places because we don’t have the raw material,” the actor said.

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