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Getting Into Mariana Sanjuan’s Journey as a Riveting Actress

Updated: Feb 28

How many of us have stared longingly at the cast of our favourite movies or shows, wondering how they discovered their passion for acting and what it was like to pursue this career?

For Los Angeles-based Colombian actress and singer Mariana Sanjuan, the calling to perform for audiences has been present throughout her life.

Driven by her dream of acting success, Mariana embarked on a journey to LA. She excelled at the prestigious New York Film Academy, graduating with top honors. In just four years, she's landed roles in over 15 short films, some garnering acclaim at renowned festivals. Notably, "Alone" (2021), an award-winning short exploring pandemic loneliness, featured Mariana's portrayal of Helen, grappling with anger and isolation.

Mariana infuses her characters with elements of her Colombian heritage, reflecting her ambition to showcase its beauty and challenge stereotypical portrayals in the industry.

However, her dream began to materialized in 2019 when she landed the lead role of Megara in a local adaptation of Disney's Hercules. Under the tutelage of renowned vocal and acting coach Yanetsis Alfonso. She embodied the seductive yet playful heroine, captivating audiences with her voice and presence. This sold-out show at Bogota's 924-seat ABC Theatre marked her stage debut and a triumphant first step before industry professionals and loved ones.

In the meantime, Mariana’s commitment to her craft has allowed her to show versatility in different genres and shift from various mediums to tell a story. She worked on several music videos, such as “She’s A Siren” and “Be Happy”, and most notably “It’s a Girl”, directed by the Matt Alonzo.

When it comes to films, one of the many highlights of her thriving career is the short film Heartbeat Act by Anahi G. Luna. Mariana played Claudia, who found herself in an abortion clinic after being sexually assaulted by her teacher. This film is a letter of hope to stop injustice and discrimination, advocate women's rights, and encourage sisterhood among women. Selected in esteemed film festivals such as the California Women’s Film Festival (2022), Dallas Independent Film Festival (2023), the Los Angeles Women in Film Festival (2023), and the esteemed International Film Festival: Hollywood Art and Movie Awards (2024). 

Heartbeat Act is already a moving short with many raw emotions, and Mariana’s performance made it even more relatable for audiences. She transforms the role into her own, making it more memorable.

Mariana also brought an equally enthralling performance as a series regular in various web series, for a channel with 8.6 million followers. Including the dramatic series “Cutting Ties Forever,” where she played Virginia, and the comedic coming of age story “League of Love”, Vanessa, was the backstabbing friend that gets in the way of her best friend's love interest.

As she continues to navigate her career in the entertainment industry and play meaningful roles in each project she takes, Mariana is reaping the fruits of her labour and seeing how nurturing her passion for the craft propels her to new heights. Beyond that, she’s making her way by captivating the rigorous American public and both international and national film critics.


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