…Start empowering people from a young age. Start teaching children the power they possess inside, self-love, and positive affirmations. Teach them how powerful they are. Teach them how to listen to and trust their intuition. We’ve been taught from a place of fear and lack, not from a place of love and abundance. If we learn to embrace and trust how powerful we are and that we are enough, we can do anything!
Asa part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maria Jose Bavio. Maria is of Argentine and South African descent graduated from Drama School in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2000. Best known for her role as Maria Picasso Lopez in the critically acclaimed & Emmy winning National Geographic series, Genius: Picasso.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Iwas always a playful child singing and dancing and clowning about….but I think it all started when I was a little girl, age 4 when my mother took me to watch Hansel & Gretel at the Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Something ignited in me. Since then, I’ve always been drawn to performing/ acting/ theatre. Originally I wanted to be on the big screen, after watching some Charlie Chaplin and Audrey Hepburn films, but I was told that a good actress had to be skilled at everything (at least back then) , so I needed to go to Drama school if I wanted to be taken seriously. Little did I know I’d fall in love with theatre. It wasn’t until much later in life that I got to perform in front of the camera where my second love affair started.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
It’s hard to pinpoint one moment as each one has been amazing and has lead me to meeting incredibly talented people and gone to wonderful places…but I guess meeting Antonio Banderas has been a highlight!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Not sure about funny but little things like standing in someone else’s light, not acknowledging where the camera is and giving it my back, covering my face, looking down so that you can only see the top of my head or forgetting your mic is on when you go for a quick wee break. Little things like that, that you learn from experience, from doing it and being called out on it. A lot of it you get to learn on the job (especially if you haven’t done screen acting courses).
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m working on a tv series based on my dating ‘adventures’…
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I’ve had the opportunity of meeting people like Johnny Depp, Reese Witherspoon, Gerard Butler, Antonio Banderas… at the time it felt surreal, kicked myself for having said something or not having said something. I remember sharing a fag with Johnny Depp behind the scenes of Sweeney Todd at Pinewood Studios. He was looking for a light and I had one tucked in my corset. It was the most surreal moment ever- having a smoke and a casual chat with Johnny Depp. JOHNNY DEPP!! My childhood crush. Best moment ever!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Remember to have fun. Do things that aren’t industry-related or connected to our craft. Live, explore, be curious. Go to museums and exhibitions, go on vacation. Take dance classes, painting classes, cooking classes.
Do things that don’t involve acting. It’ll enrich you.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Start empowering people from a young age. Start teaching children the power they possess inside, self-love, and positive affirmations. Teach them how powerful they are. Teach them how to listen to and trust their intuition.
We’ve been taught from a place of fear and lack, not from a place of love and abundance. If we learn to embrace and trust how powerful we are and that we are enough, we can do anything!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- You’re enough (you are unique- no one is like you in this entire world. Trust that. Know that and if anyone ever makes you feel that you are too much or too little- it’s their stuff, not yours.) I was always told I was too loud and too emotional growing up- I realized later on that it was their inability to deal with my emotions that made them shut me down.
- What others think of you is none of your business. (You can’t please everyone- what’s important is that you love yourself and are proud of yourself — you can’t change everyone’s opinions so focus on you don’t worry about them)
- You can’t control everything -you can only control what you think and feel. (this one is a good one…especially if you’re a people pleaser- and/or if you struggle with depression. It’s sort of linked to the one above- but this one helps when you’re feeling down. You have a choice of how you feel. Be conscious of your thoughts, what you are telling yourself. Choose to be kind. When you choose to think good thoughts you will feel better.
- There are no wrong paths/journeys & stop comparing yourself to some else’s journey/achievements. This is very common amongst artist-we are always comparing other successes to our own. We are even taught in society what we ‘should’ have achieved by a certain age/stage in life (marriage, kids, career, house, car, etc.
- If you dwell on regrets and the things you think you should/shouldn’t have done you get stuck in this negative spiral- trust that Where you are right now is exactly where you are meant to be. Every lesson has brought you here and you are the result of all those lessons.
- It’s not a rejection just a redirection. Don’t take a NO as a rejection -look at it as if it’s showing you another way, giving you another chance to try it differently. And never take a rejection personally- you just weren’t right for that job- or something bigger and better meant for you is waiting around the corner.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have many but this one is close to my heart.
‘People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’ (Maya Angelou)
This quote really had an impact on me when I realized how important the work of an actor/storyteller/ filmmaker/ writer is… we forget the impact we have on people’s lives by the stories we tell, what we make them feel, how we make people reflect. I became very aware of how important it is to connect with people, to understand that we all go through the same things and we can reach out through the work. That’s when I realized it was much bigger than me. It didn’t just stop at an opening night or premiere screening or a small one-night performance in an unknown theatre in the middle of a suburban neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Our stories change lives. Our storytelling opens minds and imaginations, Ignites dreams and inspires people. It literally changes lives. Sometimes even saves them.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I don’t think everyone has just ‘the one’ person. Every encounter I’ve ever had has shaped and molded me (good and bad) and brought me to where I am today. I am the result of many years and many different mentors/ teachers/ lessons/ peers/ experiences. But one that stands out the most is a teacher, mentor, and friend who made me look at my light and darkness and taught me to accept and love myself for it. Her name is Cynthia Levin, one of the funniest, most talented people I know.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
I’d love to sit down with Reese Witherspoon, pick her brain about how she transitioned from Actor to producer and how she started her production company ‘Hello Sunshine’ in this very male-dominated industry. But mainly, to just have a nice chat person to person, woman to woman and connect….leave business out of it. Maybe I’d ask her if she remembers the first day we met many years ago on the set of ‘Penelope’, she was dressed as a bumblebee and I was a burlesque dancer! We were standing side by side, (she’s as short as I am 5ft btw), we looked at each other and she just reached out her hand and said; ‘ Hi, I’m Reese!’.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Instagram: @maryjbavs or Twitter: @mariajosebavio Facebook: Maria Jose Bavio-Actor
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!