Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Value of an Actor

A couple of weeks ago, I did a reading of a play written by K J Dwyer, a former actor now writer for the Huffington Post and playwright who resides in Argentina. The play was one of the finalists for the MetLife Nuestras Voces Playwright's Competition held at Repertorio EspaƱol. I read the protagonist role of Eva, an 18 year old who goes through an emotional and painful journey as the truth about her family unfolds. As an actor, the role of Eva was a dream because it was a fully fleshed, layered and complex character that I immediately connected with and was able to fully immerse myself in. Although to be honest, I don't think that would have been possible had the writing itself not been great, especially given the little amount of preparation/rehearsal we had for this reading. In any event, I want to share an excerpt of an email K J, who traveled from Argentina to New York to experience the first reading of his play, wrote to me afterwards:

"I just wanted to thank you so much for your lovely interpretation of Eva. Writing is a very lonely process and it's often difficult to hear characters when they speak to you only through your imagination. It was so inspiring, emotional and instructive for me to listen to Eva through your prodigious talent. You are a truly gifted actress and I am so lucky to have had your participation. You made the most of what I gave you and allowed me to hear my work at its best. In that way, it was instructive for how I need to revise going forward. Whatever shortcomings were my own and your beautiful, touching performance allowed me to focus laser-like on those changes I still need to make without feeling like 'if only she had played that differently . . .'.
I can't thank you enough for your commitment to the reading. Your attention to the conversation we had ahead of the rehearsal was evident. You took every note to heart and, again, gave me everything I asked for. That's an exceptional gift in an actress -- to truly take direction and internalize it the way you displayed. It should stand you in good stead throughout your career.
And this is not just me talking. All my friends and associates who attended commented on your beautiful performance. Congratulations, continued success and hopefully there may be future life for this play."

Now THIS is the kind of work and appreciation that I know every actor strives for and it really touched me because it made me understand my value as an Actor and truly believe in it. It also affirmed the value of a great Writer. Again, I don't think I would have been able to experience the realness of Eva in such a short time if it weren't for K J's writing, which instantly put me in her world and connected me to Eva. I am so happy that I was able to give K J what he needs to move forward with it and hope to someday see a full production on stage because the play merits it.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Have a Dream...You Have A Dream...Let's Dream Together!

In the Disney movie “Tangled” there's a great song number called “I've Got a Dream”. It's sung by “Gaul thugs” who at first look very scary and menacing, but who later reveal, by Rapunzel's question, that they all have dreams. They sing a merry song talking about how they all dream about happy and somewhat uncharacteristic fantasies for their monstrous appearances—like being a concert pianist, or becoming a mime, or a florist, or falling in love.

This song really speaks to me, because I am a person who still believes in dreams.  We are living in a cynical society today, one that almost assures people that you can't have what you really want.  That everyone settles for something.  That dreams only belong to the millionaires or the big bozos in power who pull the strings. 

But when I think of dreams, your dreams, my dreams, I still do think dreams come true.  In fact, I think that people wishing AGAINST your dreams, telling you that you're never going to make it, is all part of their plan to discourage people from reaching out and going after what they really dream about.  Maybe it's because they don't want you to succeed.  Or maybe they think just because they've given up on their dreams, everyone else should do the same thing.

Not me!  I have always been a supporter of my friends, family and acquaintances.  I feel that no matter what a person wants to do, if he or she has good motives, and thinks positively, that FANTASTIC things can happen in that person's life!  And I tell my friends that.  Believe in yourself first and then others will believe you too.

I know this to be true, because I am following my dream right now.  For many years, I dreamt about creating a live action comic book series.  Ever since I was a little girl, aside from being an actor, I wanted to be a superhero in the same spirit of Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter), Batman (Adam West) or El Chapulin Colorado (if you know or remember him)

I am seeing my dream happen, as I have produced the first two seasons of Justice Woman.  Not only is the series making noise online, but it has also earned me a couple of awards like an LA WEB FESTIVAL 2013 OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS AWARD and the H.O.L.A. 2013 EXCELLENCE IN MULTIMEDIA AWARD. It is gaining more and more recognition on the web and even offline, and I have many people to thank for this honor.

But the dream isn't finished yet.  We still need to cross that final lap, the one that puts us into the mainstream.  The show I produce is not just about me, but about a whole team of talented actors and crew members who work together to create a lively and relevant show.  It's an edgy show and there's really nothing else like it, on TV, the Internet or the movies. 

I do believe in my dreams, and know that Justice Woman is going to grow into something big.  Maybe bigger than anyone ever imagined.  But this can ONLY happen with your support.  I didn't create this show alone, but with the help of my supporters—people like you, who believe in the cause, and in the show.

So I want to THANK YOU for all of your support.  Amazing stuff is in store for our series in the coming months and I want you to feel like a part of it because you have inspired me to push forward and the least I can do is inspire you to do the same. 

Start living your dream because dreams can come true!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Let's Assemble Our Justice League Team by Keeping the Superhero Message Alive and Well!

Hello good citizen! While my real name is Vanessa Verduga, by night I am Justice Woman, committed to fighting injustice within the legal system and in contemporary society.

You know we live in a time of great contention. The United States we all know and love is under attack—not by terrorists or by an invading nation, but by its own people. Its own people who are politically, religiously and socially separated. The only thing more difficult than fixing the economy is finding common ground with our fellow man (and woman).
My message in my Internet crime-drama-comedy show called “Justice Woman” is what I would call a message of hope, of tolerance, and new age patriotism. We have progressed so much in the way of women's rights, racial equality, and gay and lesbian acceptance. We fight for what we believe in, and sometimes it works in a big way. We become stronger as a united nation, culturally and philosophically diverse, but still beaming with pride.

These are the values I teach in Justice Woman, a show that's appealing to all ages—kids, teens, and adults who love their social commentary with some subversive satire. I invite you to check us out at and see what we are all about. 

The creative team and cast members were selected for the LA Web Series Festival 2013 with Vanessa Verduga (me) winning an award for Outstanding Lead Actress and we are already making noise on the independent scene. However, we need YOUR support to keep Justice Woman alive and fighting by:

Visiting our website at

Watching & Subscribing at

Liking us on Facebook at

Following us on Twitter @JusticeWoman1 

Justice Woman embraces America, in all of its diversity. We are a melting pot of culture and life experience and we need to come together to make a positive change in society. Don't underestimate the arts. 

 We can help people spread a good message through comedy, drama and spandex suits.