A Moment with Valery Ortiz

Valery Ortiz is not only beautiful, she is also multi-talented. Valery can sing, act, and dance. Her passion for dancing exposed her to various opportunities from hosting local and national television shows to playing in some of TV’s popular scripted series. Aside from being in the spotlight, Valery also spends time writing poetry and volunteering at Los Angeles Mission, Special Needs Network, Inc. for Autistic Kids, Best Friends Animal Society, and Eva Longoria’s “Padres Contra El Cancer”. You can currently see her on VH1’s ‘Hit the Floor’. Also, be on the lookout for her upcoming bilingual children’s book series.

Words + Interview By: Krystal Luster

Do you think it’s important for actors in the entertainment industry to be multi-talented? 
Absolutely! I think it’s important for anyone, regardless of their career to be multi-talented or multi-skilled. You want to be able to say, “Yes!” as often as possible if/when someone asks you if you know how to do something. That’s something my HS theater magnet teacher (Karen Rugerio) always reminded us! She called it our “suitcase”. Just pack as many different things as you can. You’ll always have it to pull from. You never know where the “train” (something else she always said) is going to stop. But you’ll be packed and prepared!

How did your passion for dance lead to you wanting to pursue singing and acting?
It really didn’t. Ha! Ha! My brother Hector was actually more of my inspiration to pursue acting. He played around with our parents video camera, taught himself how to edit with two VCR’s, etc. So, being that it was just us two growing up, I was always the actress or host for his crazy ideas! We had so much fun. A lot of my family actually got involved as well. Those videos are worth more than gold.

Although you were born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, would you say that Orlando, Florida is home for you?
Yes, Orlando will always be the place I consider home because that’s where I grew up. But everyone who knows me knows, I am a proud Puerto Rican!

Have you choreographed any of the dances for “Hit the Floor”?
I wish! Ha! All that credit goes to the amazing Michael Rooney and Danny Valle. These individuals are talented beyond words!

How has your character Raquel Saldana, changed in the new season of “Hit the Floor” compared to past seasons? In what ways has she remained the same?
Raquel has always been a fighter. She’s confident, strong, and driven. She returns as a Devil Girl and it seems like she’s on a high more than we’ve ever seen before. But as quickly as she soars, her world quickly crumbles. Again. But this time, Raquel doesn’t pick herself back up. Kyle is to thank in helping Raquel recover from her despair after finding out her health forced her to leave the team. It’s a different Raquel. She’s changed. This time, her heart condition is something she can’t control. She can’t fix. Luckily, her old friend snaps her back out of this funk and gives her things to be excited about again. Life. “Once a Devil Girl, always a Devil Girl!”

What was your favorite dance routine on the show?
Ooooh, that I did? The Firetruck dance! I had so much fun, I felt sexy, and it turned out so good when I finally saw it on TV. I’ll never forget that. My first love was dance so it was like a childhood dream came true again being able to revisit my roots. My mom particularly got emotional seeing me dance on the show. It’s was like 5 year old Valery “made it”.

Does social media/networking play an important role for your career?
Honestly, I’m not really positive. Networking is always great and it’s a dream to work with people you know and like, so I can say it’s good and can be beneficial. As far as social media, I’m really not sure. These days it seems the number of your “followers” and “likes” on certain social media sites is important to your career. I would love to ask some executives at a big studio, and see how they’d answer this when they’re considering to hire new individuals. It’s a little frustrating. I have friends with CRAZY talent but if their careers were validated by their followers, you’d never know it. I hate that. I love social media to keep in contact with my friends/family who live far away and of course, the fans! How lucky are we to be able to thank them for their support first hand. Obviously, it’s also great to promote new projects or interviews like this too! It’s a tricky thing. I haven’t figured it out yet! That’s okay! Haha!

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What is your favorite social networking site and why?
Probably Instagram and Pinterest. I love pictures and videos, so I’d say Instagram. It’s easy to use, and I get to interact with my family/friends and fans. I like Pinterest because it’s so inspiring! I have spent a little too much free time pinning things on my different boards! Ha! Ha! It’s kind of addicting!

When can we expect your bilingual children’s book series to debut and what will the book series be called?
Soon, I hope! It’s called, “The Hola! Hello! Series”. It’s about a tiny tree frog named Coqui who teaches his friends words in Spanish in each story.

Will you be releasing your poems around the same time as the book series?
I hope to incorporate my poems into a memoir when the time is right unless a different opportunity presents itself beforehand. I’m really looking forward to that.

How much of yourself do you incorporate into the characters you play?
There’s always a little of my essence in the characters I play because I’m breathing life into them with my experiences, my body, and my point of view whether they resemble me a little or not at all.

How did it feel to be named one of Maxim Espanol’s “50 Most Beautiful People”?
Oh geez, crazy! Things like that are always flattering but feel pretty weird all at the same time. I never know how to answer this question! Haha!

Do you have a beauty regiment?
Not really! I’m always open to new suggestions and trying new products. One thing I have made more routine lately is using coconut oil on my skin and face. My childhood friend Karina swears by it and her skin looks amazing so I’ve been doing it! Thanks Kari!

What do most enjoy doing in your down time?
I love writing, working out, and visiting with family and friends. I’ve said this before, we all know when it rains it pours so when I have downtime, I’m the girl who has had a vacation planned months in advanced to enjoy every last second of that time off.

How can the public get involved with the organizations you’re involved with?
Volunteering your time, donations, spreading their message, anything! Honestly, I just encourage people to find something that makes them happy and donate your time and heart to it. Passion is contagious and then others pay that forward!

What is a favorite quote you live by?
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!”

Tell us something about yourself that most don’t know.
I’ve never really talked about this publicly but I get really bad social anxiety. I get so nervous and feel uncomfortable during certain social outings. Even sometimes with people I know but haven’t seen in a bit. It’s the weirdest thing, and honestly is why I rather stay home than go out sometimes. I love people and I love a good conversation, so I don’t know why this happens! It makes me so insecure and uncomfortable sometimes. I’m getting better at forcing myself through it. It’s a work in progress.

Any last words?
Aw well, thank YOU for the interview! Thanks to all my family and friends for their continuous support. And of course to the fans, you are unreal. Thank you. Follow me on Twitter/IG @Valstweet and on Facebook: Official Valery Ortiz Fan Page.

Photos By Marc Cartwright

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