Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.
Bianca Alexa Santos, born July 26th, 1990 in Santa Monica, California is an American actress of Cuban and Brazilian descent. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, she is best known for her role as Lexi Rivera in ABC Family's new series The Fosters. In April of 2013, it was announced that Santos would join the cast of the new television series The Fosters, a family drama from executive producer Jennifer Lopez following two moms and their multi-ethnic family.
And on December 11th, 2013 she confirmed that she would be joining the cast of upcoming horror film Ouija.
Santos now will lead the cast of MTV‘s comedy pilot Happyland. Also cast in this project written by Ben Epstein and directed by Lee Toland Krieger are Zulay Henao (Love Thy Neighbor), Shane Harper (Awkward), Katherine McNamara (Contest) and Cameron Moulene (Raising Hope). Happyland is a teenage comedy exploring the workings of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and the people who work there.
It centers on a girl named Lucy (played by Santos), a cynical teen working as a greeter at the park where her single mother (played by Zulay Henao) has played the role of a fairytale princess for 15 years, and explores the realities of growing up and falling in love while living in a fantasy make-believe world. Shane Harper will play Ian, the son of the park’s new president who is newly hired at the park and who becomes smitten by Lucy.
The Fosters was a break for Santos, who only had two credits to her name, including the television comedy Channing. On the one-hour drama from co-creators Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige, she will recur in the key role of Lexi, the best friend to fraternal twin Mariana Foster played by Cierra Ramirez.
Part of the reason why Lexi had to go away was because of the MTV show that Santos was cast on and as the lead of that show she can’t really be on two networks. But the producers said if things didn’t work out with Happyland, she can always come back to continue to play Lexi.
"They’re great, great people and you know, I can always grovel back." said Santos.
As to her new character Lucy - Santos says: "Lucy Valez is a responsible, smart, witty, and sarcastic teenager, and she loves that about her. Part of the reason her personality just fits with who she is, is because she has this single mother who was a park princess for 15 years who totally buys into the whole Happyland fantasy land of dreams come true, and she thinks every guy she meets is prince charming. Lucy on the other hand is like...'okay mom but have we to pay our bills.' You know?"
"She’s like that grounded girl that just has her head on straight and takes care of a lot of people. She takes care of her friends, and her job at the park is taking care of the characters and making sure that they’re safe at the park."
"What I love about Lucy is that she’s the type of girl who has already got things figured out, so you’re like - 'okay how can I relate to this character who seems so ahead of her age?' But the path she travels is one of learning: Can I fall in love? Is that okay? Is that safe? "
"It’s scary, you know, liking someone and trying to see if they like you back. And that’s one of the journeys that she tries to go on. I think that’s one of the things that I hope really resonates with viewers because I know that I’m still going through that stuff."
"There’s also a lot of - 'can I trust people?', and I think we kind of deal with that too. There are a lot of themes that I think viewers will gravitate towards in Happyland. So much goes on. So much."
"When I was a kid I didn’t ever play with a Ouija board . I am very much like my character Isabelle in Ouija. She’s the one who plays too cool for school, but then when it comes down to playing the game she’s like - you guys I’m out. I’m out!"
"She’s like - 'no let’s not even do it.', she's scared out of her pants. That’s me. I’m like - okay, there’s that whole world and I’m good with not exploring it."
When Santos was asked what makes her proud to be Latina her response was:
"I’m proud to be Latina because I am a first generation American. My mom was born in Cuba, my dad was born in Brazil and my great-grandmother was born in Spain when the revolutions were going on and she left on a boat when she was 15. She came to Cuba and she was a maid, and she came from like dirt, dirt, dirt. Like her life in Spain was so bad and she came to Cuba and she worked as a maid, and she worked into a better life and got married, and she had my grandmother. Then my mom was born when Fidel Castro came into power and nine years later, they were able to get out."
"It took them nine years! My grandfather had to go to these working camps, which were really concentration camps, and my mom didn’t see my grandfather for three years. And then they came to America. So that was my grandmother's life. She started in Spain, in the dirt and she made it all the way to California. That was her whole life and I'm just proud to be Latina because I know where my family has been."
"I’m really so blessed to be able to do what I want to do because my family didn’t have those opportunities, it just wasn’t possible. So the fact that my parents both ended up in the United States and I can live my life but still be so proud to be Latina — because those are my roots and it's what makes me who I am — it feeds that fire. We have that fire in our blood. I’m happy and I’m proud to be Latina because I know where I've come from, and I know where I am, and I know where I’m going."
"I know in the entertainment industry, Latinos are still not there when it comes to being equally represented in media. I think we’re working towards that. I think diversity is such a big part of what they’re doing with casting right now, but there still needs to be so much more. And I think the Latino voice is a little bit under-represented. It’s crazy when you actually look at statistics."
"I think one of the highest numbers of viewers when it comes to watching movies are Latinos, and what does Hollywood do to cater to that audience? I think we still need to work towards that, it’s definitely a goal and we’re not there yet."
"My Latina icon is Jennifer Lopez. More and more I look at the empire that she’s built and she did it all. She has her own production company, music, acting and everything - it’s so admirable to see how far she’s come. Eva Longoria also and what she’s built. I mean these are incredible women who not only came in and acted but made a difference, you know? Through their voice, through what they’ve accomplished, and I think those are the same types of things that hopefully, eventually, I would want to do."
"I’m hungry for a passion project. I don’t care if I get paid. I’m looking at a lot of independent film makers right now, but I’m really looking for that role for me that kind of fuels that creative side of me that I’ve just been wanting. I just want to play! I just want to find that role where I can just play."
"Recently a friend of mine came to me with this script and it’s just so good. It’s about this girl and he goes, I think I’m going to make her Cuban - I’m going to make her you. And I said great, let’s start doing it."
"If I were to have a message for other Latinas it would be the same message that propelled me into actually going for acting because I always wanted to do it, but up to that point I never took the plunge. Here it goes - 'you regret in life the things you did not do'. And that’s it."
Olivia Wilde and Barbara Burchfield have partnered in a project which is their attempt to be useful productive humans, and theyâ€™d like to share what theyâ€™ve learned along the way. It can seem impossible to eat, shop, travel, or bathe without somehow destroying Planet Earth and most of its inhabitants. Maybe if we all took small steps in the right direction, we could at least avoid being the degenerates that are fast-tracking the total destruction of the world we live in together. Click on the Conscious Commerce logo above to see what these two are up to.
A hidden hunger is limiting the potential of millions of children around the world. Caused by a lack of essential vitamins and minerals, iron-deficiency anemia can impair physical and mental development, weaken the immune system and increase child mortality before the age of five. The Heinz Micronutrient Campaign is dedicated to preventing this hidden hunger. Through partnerships with governments and NGOs it is providing innovative, cost-effective solutions to give children the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives.
Lee National Denim Day is a fundraiser created by Lee Jeans to support the American Cancer Society breast cancer programs. Since its inception in 1996, Lee National Denim Day participants have raised more than $88 million for the fight against breast cancer. With your help, they hope to add to that total. Your donation of $5 today helps the American Cancer Society discover new ways to prevent, find, and cure breast cancer while ensuring access to mammograms and providing free support to people with the disease. Lee National Denim Day occurs during the month of October,but you can help them raise money year-round.
Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats...
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