Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 4/21/2021 – Isabella Gómez Girón is a Colombian artist now based in NYC. She finds freedom in embracing human complexity through acting, dancing, and writing.
At age 18 Isabella moved to the U.S to pursue her BFA in Drama – Acting at NYU Tisch from which she graduated with honors and awards. Through her art Isabella strives to create a space for pure enrichment, designed to ignite reflection, change, and bravery. A place where underrepresented groups will get to see that their voices have power as well, and their experiences are as valid as everyone else’s. She is passionate about community building, sparking laughter and joy, and spreading empathy through storytelling. Some of Isabella’s past roles include Bride in Blood Wedding, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Jean in Dead Man’s Cell Phone. She has now released her first short comedic film: Q-Friends, shot and produced in complete quarantine during the beginning of the pandemic; it can be found on mowies.com.
Share your background in film.
I graduated from NYU Tisch – Acting in May 2020. There I got to take multiple acting for film classes especially in the semester I spent at Stonestreet Film and T.V Studios, where I also learned a bit more about film production. I recently finished shooting a feature film with iD Studio Theater of the film version of a new play (Cirineo), and I was part of a short film called Mujer produced by Bryce Dallas Howard’s company Nine Muses Entertainment. Q-Friends, my recently released short film, is my first self-produced film and I am excited for the new growth to come in this area.
You are currently working with iD Studio Theater on a new play directed by the renowned Colombian actor/director German Jaramillo. Tell us about the project.
After more than a year without live theatre, rehearsing Cirineo, the play, is extremely exciting. It feels like a dream that we will be having a couple of performances with a live audience. The play lives between the worlds of film and theatre: half of the artists perform live and the other half pre-recorded their performances from Spain. The Spanish artists’ performance is projected on different walls in the theatre, and the actors in NYC interact with these projections. The play has singing, tango dancing, and intense acting scenes revolving around the themes of aging and death, loss, love, the search of purpose, and revenge. The music was originally composed for the play by Pablo Mayor (founder of Folklore Urbano NYC) and the world renowned Argentian duo Daniel Binelli (previous composer and bandoneonist of Osvaldo Pugliese’s orchestra), and Poly Ferman (recognized by The Japan Times as “ Musical Ambassador of the Americas.”). I am honored to be dancing to music composed by these masters! I also get to dance to the choreography of the amazing Daniel Fetecua (previous member of the Limon Dance Company, and fellow dancer in Pina Bausch’s masterpieces). Binelli, Ferman and Fetecua also act in the play. The project combines fantastical and extremely realistic elements to tell its story.
What intrigued you the most?
One of the things that intrigued me and still does is Aniaria’s (my role) inner struggles and how these manifest in the way she behaves. She starts the play deeply shaken, after hearing the news about her mother’s death. When she comes on stage the audience does not know that her mother died, but they can tell that something is off within her; she constantly gets emotional or lost between her thoughts. Aniara also claims that she is being persecuted by a demon who possesses her into dancing tango. She is in search of this demon and a new life purpose. Aniara thinks she might find both of these in the fanciest brothel of the area, where tango dancing, masquerades, and sophisticated dining is offered aside from the sexual services. She is lost, but her desire to find light and build any type of life in honor of her mother propels her to make these risky choices. Throughout the play she gains more confidence and thinks she finds the demon reincarnated in another character of the play. She begins a new journey of discovering what love, passion, and betrayal feel like, while also suppressing her pain for her mother’s death, which eventually comes rising into the surface and she emotionally explodes during a fancy masquerade. There is so much to uncover about her; having to discover and understand her journey, and embody her fragility and strength was and is both a challenge and a joy.
Tell us about your newly released first short comedic film: Q-Friends, shot and produced in complete quarantine during the beginning of the pandemic. What was your inspiration for this film?
At the beginning of the pandemic my roommate and I ended up being separated; she was in Hawaii and I was in NYC while all my family was in Colombia. School helped me stay busy, but many days were extremely hard, as I know it was for everyone. On a lonely Friday night, with a desire to forget a bit about everything, I opened the photo booth app on my computer and started pretending I was different eccentric women who were going through quarantine. I started having so much fun and the night flew by. I was inspired by the stories I was hearing of everyone being stuck in different situations during quarantine, and without trying, these characters came to life – each with their own worries and quirks. My desire to leave my own thoughts and stress, to let my imagination fly as it usually does when I am producing art, propelled me to start that improv session and now I am very thankful I did.
What did you enjoy the most while filming?
Transforming my apartment to make it look like it was four different ones and then having to embody five completely different characters all in one day. I had so much fun changing my wardrobe, my vocal register, my body rhythm, and mind set. I had no one else with me at my apartment so trusting my acting instincts and choices was key. I am grateful for the technical and moral support I received from my friend in Turkey who was giving me the other characters’ lines through Zoom. We would then switch and at the end I would edit out her voice.
What are your strengths as an actress?
I would say my sensitivity, determination, and curiosity for understanding life and humans. My sensitivity and strong sense of empathy allows me to understand my characters and connect with them on a deep emotional level; I can put myself in their shoes and understand why they behave how they do. My determination to grow and to produce work that I am proud of, gives me the persistence necessary to confront challenges and overcome obstacles. I hold myself to very high standards and although sometimes that brings more stress than I need, it makes me have an infinite growth mindset; I always want to dig deeper and try harder. Finally my curiosity leads me to enjoy the process of understanding humanity at a deeper level – which is what acting many times is. It also enriches my characters and my understanding of the stories I am telling because I am always curious to learn more and to try new things.
You are passionate about community building. How do you see your work in the arts as a conduit?
Every time you start a new production you are building a new community, which many times ends up feeling like family. In this case a family that has totally different ethnic backgrounds. Different perspectives are combined to create a space for pure enrichment! And then, after weeks of working together, of learning how to support each other, and propel the best work from everyone, you get to share a story, a piece, with others. In that moment the community expands. New members: the spectators, interact with you in a unique way. With more performances each night, this community grows. Art unites people. When you interact with a piece, whether a painting, a film, a song, you bring a part of yourself to it, and leave with something new. You also become part of a community that has connected with that specific art piece. It helps groups of people grow, reflect, and strive for change, or sometimes just brings light and a big smile, and that is worth a lot. Through arts I get to merge with other cultures, religions, and ideals, and I get to share my own as well.
Share your projects in the upcoming months and social media links.
In the upcoming months not only will the film version of Cirineo come out, but I will be starring and producing a new trilingual short film (Spanish, French and English) about friendship and the experience of being an immigrant artist. I am working on this with a very close friend and colleague, also NYU Alumni, Nanouli Shevardnadze. We have been co-writing the script for some months now, and are starting to move into pre-production now. Stay tuned on my social media!