The entertainment industry is a tough business to crack into. Today I am speaking to a woman that is paving the way for women and people with different ethnic backgrounds make their dreams come true. She is Isabel Echeverry, the founder and market leader of Latinx Entertainment, and the founder of Kontakto, a Latinx talent management firm focused on discovering and developing emerging diverse talent.
David:Hello Isabel, thank you for taking the time out to speak with me. What inspired you to get into the entertainment industry?
Isabel:I was inspired by watching actors like Jessica Lang, Liz Taylor, Meryl Streep, Victoria Vaccaro, and Mexican star Veronica Castro. And honestly, the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. The Oscars for example. When I moved to Miami in my early 20s, I went to all the acting schools there. Then when I was 25, I met a working film actress. She was living the dream in my eyes and that inspired me to take the leap. I began to feel that this wasn’t just a dream but that this could happen. She told me I needed to move to New York. So I studied at The Stella Adler and with William Esper. She was put in my path for a reason.
David:What do you think the entertainment industry lacks?
Isabel:Professionalism from people who think that it’s going to be easy. I sometimes find that some don’t treat it like a business but more like a hobby. For myself, coming from ICM allowed me to see how high the bar truly was.
David:What have you learned about yourself in the journey you have been on to get to where you are today?
Isabel:That I can achieve my goals and continue to do so, I have a good work ethic, and I am able to inspire others to achieve their dreams.
David:If you could change one thing in the entertainment industry what would it be?
Isabel:More diversity, more inclusion, and laws for zero tolerance in the workplace.
David:What has been the biggest struggle in your career?
Isabel:Letting go of acting and switching to the other side of the camera. It was the best thing I could have done. It’s wonderful being on the side of representation.
David:If you could go back in time what would you tell your teenage self?
Isabel:To be more confident and to love myself. To be more accepting of who I was. Confidence and inner peace bring power to what you are attempting. Many successful actors and business leaders seem to grow spiritually within themselves first to go on to achieve great things. Like when actors are able to own a role for example.
David:What advice do you have for people looking to get into the entertainment industry?
Isabel:Not to give up. Try to keep everything high quality and not to settle for things that are beneath what you are worth. Also to do research on the high standards of the industry. Try not to be desperate and attempt opportunities before you are ready. Try shadowing pros as an assistant or an intern. Keep training. It takes years to get to high places. Do your best to not get discouraged. It’s the “Long Game”.
David:Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Isabel:I see myself expanding my company with an impressive slate of already produced and released film and television projects. Also an increased list of an already gifted roster of amazing talent. Oh yes, and to also have three Oscars under my belt.
David:Thank you for you time. Any words of wisdom to all the readers?
Isabel:Always believe in yourself and never lose hope.