Isadora Ortega – Another Love Story

Words + Interview By Lucky Smith

Isadora Ortega is an actress and writer who has been seen on “Laff Mob” on TruTV, “Cook Up” on Tempo and more. Speaking with us, we discussed mental health, toxic relationships, graphic novels and her role as Miriam Ramos in “Another Love Story”.

Tell us about the film “Another Love Story” and your role as Miriam Ramos.
Another Love Story is very dear to my heart. This movie is based on how my best friend/sister was killed. I knew domestic abuse was a big social problem, but I didn’t realize how big it was until I started doing my own research. We don’t really have laws in place to protect the victims of domestic abuse because the law doesn’t want to get involved in husband and wife relationships or couples of any sexual orientation. I dream of building a foundation where we can start a petition to change the laws in place. To use the foundation to rehabilitate people that are survivors of domestic abuse. Domestic Abuse victims suffer from PTSD, similar to soldiers that fought in a war. Playing the role of Miriam Ramos was very challenging because when I started writing the outline for Another Love Story, it was my way of dealing with the loss of my loved one. Living the life of Miriam Ramos and feeling how much she loved Mark and how she desired to heal him from his demon was heavy to carry. But overall, playing Miriam brought me closure and purpose because it opened the door to real conversations with different women and men about their stories. Just in my crew, we had four survivors of domestic abuse, and they told me their stories and prayed with me that we would be able to open someone’s eye before is too late.

In what ways did you prepare for this role? Also, did you pull from any personal experiences?
I did a lot of research online, and I spoke to a few survivors of domestic abuse. The more I spoke to the survivors, the more I understood Miriam.

Describe your most memorable moment on set.
The best moments are when the cameras are not rolling, when we are in makeup/hair, or lunch because these are the moments we get to know each other, from the cast to the crew. I love my crew and cast.

“Toxic” is a very popular word, especially regarding relationships and masculinity/femininity. What is your take on that and how people operate today as a whole?
As humans, we operate from a very selfish place; it is all about the individual’s needs and wants. If we could get back to the essence of who we are as people, we could see so much positive change in relationships. Women and men need each other, and we could have more abundance of all good things if we just get back to our essence.

How do you think social media has helped/hurt human interaction thus far?
We are so close and so far at the same time. We believe because someone is posting, they are doing well, and that’s not always the case. I don’t think social media is the issue but specifically, us as human beings.

May was “Mental Health Awareness” month. How does mental health correlate with the film, and what steps should we all take to get the help we need?
When we were writing Another Love Story, it was very important to add the factor of mental illness because it is real. A human being must have some kind of mental disorder to hurt and abuse the person they are supposed to love and protect. Check on your friends and family, and learn how to recognize the red flags. Counseling is so important. We should all do it because sometimes we don’t even know why we behave the way we do.

You are also an executive producer on the film. What all does that entail?
Usually, an executive producer gives funds and lets the producer take them from there. I was executive producer, writer, producer, casting director, location manager, and post-production – I wouldn’t change a thing. I love my journey; even though it is not the traditional journey for an actor, I still love it. I know how a film comes together from the first idea on paper to the last draft in the editing room.

What is “VOD”?
Another Love Story was released on VOD (Video on Demand) July 19th. You can watch it through various streaming platforms, including AT&T U-Verse, DirecTV, Dish Network and Sling TV, Vubiquity (30% of cable platforms – Verizon Fios), Hoopla – libraries, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Xbox, Google Play and YouTube Movies.

Is there anything you learned about yourself while working on this project that you weren’t privy to prior?
This project required so much physicality, from the intimacy to the abuse, and everything was very out of sequence. This project tested my acting instrument, and I learned so much about my own mind and my triggers as an actress.

What is the “takeaway” from this film?
That it can be me, or it can be you. Domestic abuse and mental illness
don’t discriminate by social status. This can happen to any of us, especially when feelings and sex are involved; sex is a powerful drug. Learn to identify the red flags because they can save your life or the life of a loved one.

Let’s talk about your background for a bit. How was your childhood, and where did you grow up?
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, to Dominican parents. I was raised by a single mother who was raised by a single mother who worked hard every day to give me the best education and best life that she could afford. My father was always in the picture, even if it was not physically. I grew up around strong women, from my mom to my grandmother. I always understood clearly what it meant to work with discipline, even when you don’t feel like it.

Was entertainment something you always wanted to get into?
Acting is the freedom to express all of your personas that otherwise would be judged by society. There’s no judgment in acting, and you get to use so many parts of yourself. Acting is healing because we can always bring parts of us into every role. I have been able to understand more about domestic abuse victims by playing one because understanding the needs and wants of Miriam helped me understand why so many people feel trapped. I fell in love with acting by watching Telenovelas with my mom. I loved how one person can transform themselves from the inside out and live the lives of so many.

Break down your graphic novel, “The Curse of the Flower”//”La Maldicion De La Flor.”
The Curse of the Flower”//”La Maldicion De La Flor,” is based on the legend of Anacaona. The novel follows leader of her tribe, Anacaona, as her people’s lives are turned around by conquistadores, who too willingly took more than was offered. To protect her people, Anacaona’s rage quickly evolved in a way no one saw coming, developing into a night where everything was set into motion so she could visit our world…time is an interesting thing; sometimes, it heals you and sometimes allows your rage to grow. But Anacaona’s legacy will not be silenced; it will only impact our world.

Name three graphic novels other than your own that one should check out.
‘Black Sands, the Seven Kingdoms,’ Skin of the Sea (Of Mermaids and Oriya), and Daughters Of Nri.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not creating?
I love the ocean, driving to Malibu, watching the waves, and smelling the ocean. I also love good food and traveling.

What doesn’t being an Afro Latina mean to you?
That my roots run deep, that my roots come from traditions, that my roots come from fighters and people that overcome. I am a representation of my Afro roots and my Latin traditions. The Afro roots are very present in Latin traditions and culture.

Is love as hard as people make it? Why or why not?
Love is not hard, it just takes work. Love takes two people willing to both compromise for the sake of the relationship and each other. Loving is simply protecting the love; nurturing love is the challenging part.

Tell us something about yourself that most don’t know.
I am an Afro-Latina who loves country music and is very passionate about storytelling.

Lastly, If anyone wants to see the film or keep up with you, how do they go about it?
Follow me on Instagram at @lablacklatina and be sure to watch Another Love Story, released 7/19.

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