We had the pleasure of interviewing Venezuelan actress Daniela Azuaje to talk about her work in her Lead role as Maye in Demonica, how her career has impacted people’s hearts and minds. She also shares with us about her future projects and how to live a balanced life in the very active yet beautiful city of Los Angeles:
How did your country and experiences there help you shape the character of Maye in DeMonica?
Without my experiences in Venezuela there would be no Maye. There’s a uniqueness, a toughness that is built in your system just by being born in Venezuela, it’s really hard to explain. My country is full of beauty in the midst of chaos. It’s kind of heartbreaking, and my character is the epitome of that. She feels she has (there’s) no way out. It’s too late for her to (encounter, find) forgiveness.
DeMonica is a story of redemption, of family. In a society where everything is corrupted, the deeply wounded part of Maye is, well, not feeling worthy of absolutely anything, there’s guilt, regret, she feels trapped. She thinks it’s the only way to do things in order to survive.
I also have a younger sister, it doesn’t matter how much we argue or disagree, she is my blood, and I would do anything for her. I have no words to express how much she means to me. I love her very much. So, when it comes to this character making sure Mónica is safe, I can 100% relate. Maye taught me about resilience, bravery and ultimate love, redemption and sacrifice.
I’m so grateful to be able to portray badass yet so broken characters who are doing their best, and Maye was that for me.
Do you have other things in your life that bring you the same kind of joy acting brings?
Dancing. Movement is paramount for me; it's a gateway to parts unknown within myself, and expressing myself through it it's healing and empowering. The more attuned I am, the better I can perform.
A balanced mental state is essential to me. I believe is the key to trascending in your craft. Writing, meditating, and connecting with nature helps me nurture that mindset.
Do you think this type of balance can lead to a more fulfilling journey?
Absolutely. There's nothing more fulfilling than to wake up every morning with passion in your spirit. If I can coat everything I do with that state of being then I feel I'm on a successful path.
Regardless of the ups and downs, I focus on gratitude for I have learned there is always a lesson to find if you're willing to listen. I believe life is not about finding a purpose but that WE ARE THE PURPOSE. We are a vessel containing a piece of the Universe; that's a power we can use to elevate ourselves and blossom. The present is where we build our future, and we can create something beautiful.
What phrase motivates you the most?
I had an encounter with the actor Henry Wrinkler at an elevator in a hotel in New York City and I asked him if he cared about sharing any acting tip or motivation and he lovingly told me while pointing at his heart: Do it from here (your heart), not from here (he was pointing at his head). And it’s stayed with me.
Do you have any news on future projects or plans lined up?
Yes, I’m happy to announce that “DeMonica” has been officially selected for the Hollyshorts [Oscar Qualifying Short film Festival 2021], also officially selected for the Catalina Film Festival 2021 and Winner for Best Short Foreign Language Film at the Madrid International Film Festival 2021. DeMonica has also been picked up for a Feature!
I just booked a Feature Film called “Nexus Dream”, it’s also an Elevated Horror/Sci-Fi Thriller and my character is a Venezuelan single mother with a tough upbringing estranged from her family. And you can also find me on the radio for Voice Over work for Crest, AT&T, Bank of America and others. I truly love this journey of creating and impacting the world through these fascinating characters. I’m an instrument so when the audience watches these stories they feel they can relate and also I give them a voice to those who can’t quite express themselves.
Photographer: Josué Peña