Check our latest interview with stunning actress, host, dancer, singer, songwriter and author Valery Ortiz.
Valerie is best known as popular cheerleader Madison Duarte on the groundbreaking N network series SOUTH OF NOWHERE and VH1’s HIT THE FLOOR where she plays fellow Devil Girl Raquel Saldana. In addition, Valery is the host of AMERICAN LATINO TV – a popular entertainment show syndicated in over 100 markets. Valery replaced Daisy Fuentes as host in 2010.
On the big screen, Valery hilariously spoofed Jennifer Lopez as “Jell-O” in the box office blockbuster comedy DATE MOVIE. She has also guest starred on numerous TV shows including TWO AND A HALF MEN, MELISSA & JOEY, GIGANTIC, and COLD CASE.
Valery is currently pursuing another life long dream of publishing her literary works including a bilingual children’s book series and a collection of poems.
When not working, Valery lends her time to organizations like the Los Angeles Mission, Special Needs Network, Inc. for Autistic Kids, Best Friends Animal Society, and Eva Longoria’s Padres Contra El Cancer.
Hi Valery please tell us a little about you?
Of course! I was born in Puerto Rico to Hector and Aracelis Ortiz. I have an older brother also named Hector. I grew up in Orlando, FL and I have lived in Southern California going on my 12th year now!
How did you get into acting?
I got into acting in Orlando participating in different projects at my schools and then through a local talent agency when I was older. I was lucky my parents supported my brother and I the way they did. They made so many sacrifices for us (still do!) to make our dreams come true. It would not have ever happened without their encouragement.
Did you go to acting school?
I did not go to any acting schools as a little girl but I did go to a theatre magnet High School and did two years of a Theatre BFA training at the University of Central Florida.
What inspired you to become an actress?
My first love was dance. At the age of five, I was sure I would be a ballerina! My brother Hector is to thank for planting the acting bug in me as a kid. We would do our own mini movies and music videos growing up. It was never a dull moment in the Ortiz household.
What advice do you have for people trying to break into acting?
Go for it! Get the proper training, do your research, and then just do not give up! It is a tough industry and you have to be ready for some rejection. Well, a lot of rejection! But, take every opportunity as another lesson and remember, what’s meant to be, will be! Surrounding yourself with a close knit, positive, support group really helps too!
Tell us about your role on VH1’s Hit the Floor?
Raquel Saldana is a formal Los Angeles Devil Girl. She’s also a single mom of a 5 year old boy named Miguel. Raquel is the friend you can count on for good advice. She has not exactly had an easy life and drama seems to follow her wherever she goes. Despite hardship, she’s strong, she’s driven and she will do anything for her family or friends.
What is the show about?
Hit the Floor follows Ahsha, a girl who joins the NBA Cheerleading team the Los Angeles Devil Girls, unaware of the dangerous world she’s stepping into. It is a edge of your seat drama with a hot, sexy new dance by the Devil Girls each episode.
What we can expect for season 3?
A little of everything! Like our past seasons, Season 3 of HTF delivers plenty of drama, even more sexy dances, and a lot of surprises. This season has a lot of heart too. You get to see more vulnerability in the characters than you may have had in previous seasons.
Tell us about AMERICAN LATINO TV?
I am the host of American Latino TV, a 30 minute show highlighting the lives of inspiring ‘American Latinos’ that you may or may not know. From actors, to athletes, to chefs and everything in between; we follow their struggles and triumphs to get to the top.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress and why?
That is tough! I always think I would love my career to be a cross between Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie and Julia Robert’s careers. I love so many of the roles these woman have taken and admire their work.
What are the 3 things you can’t live without?
My family, my dog, and probably my phone (with wifi & internet available!).
How’s your typical day?
It changes often (and quickly) but usually involves a workout, some house chores and just catching up with family/friends (and with myself)! I feel like there is always something to prep for or do so when I am on hiatus, I really embrace ‘me’ time.
Something people don’t know about you?
They may or may not know that my very first job was selling knives for Cutco Cutlery. They are actually really amazing knives!
Five years from now you will be….
Happy, healthy and living out my dreams! Life is so unpredictable so I have tried to stop planning so far ahead. As long as I am genuinely happy and healthy, I am good!
What kind of music do you like? And don’t like?
I honestly like a little of everything. The only thing I do not like is too much techno music. It’s starts sounding the same and I honestly have not figured out how you are supposed to dance to it. Lol.
Do you support any charity?
I support Best Friends Animal Society, Padres Contra el Cancer, and anything involving children!
Do you have any other hobbies?
I enjoy running, writing, hiking, arts and crafts, dancing, etc.
What do you think of the Social Media?
I have mixed feelings about social media and they change often. I love being able to connect so easily to old friends, my family far away and of course, fans. That is the coolest part and why I am attracted to it. Now, social media is bigger than itself. You are in the minority if you do not socialize on any of the popular sites. Cyber bullying is a negative aspect of these popular sites. And what I hear often lately is my talented friends going on interviews/auditions and being asked how many “followers” they have. There’s a validation thing that has been heavily attached to social media now and if you are not ‘followed’ as much as the next person, or your post is not “liked”, you may be considered ‘not good enough’. As if we did not have enough insecurities attached to this industry, now the popularity game seems to overpower talent in many cases. That part can be frustrating. Like anything, something positive, in the wrong hands or used with bad intentions can be made to be something negative.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t- you’re right.”
Favorite Book: The Notebook. I am a big fan of Nicholas Sparks books!
Favorite Sports Team: Eh! Don’t have a favorite. I usually cling to the teams my best friend Shylo roots for! Ha! Ha! She’s ‘passionate’ about her teams. So much so, sometimes she’s more entertaining to watch than the games! Lol!
Favorite Restaurant/Bar: Bahama Breeze! The tostones with chicken is delicious.
Favorite Drink: Hot chocolate! My moms known for hers in our family.
Favorite music: I love pop but I feel most at home when a good ol’ salsa/merengue song comes on! Wepa!
Favorite Travel destination: There’s a lot of breathtaking places I have visited but my favorite travel destination will probably always be Florida as long as my family continues living there.
Favorite Movie: Agh! That’s hard! Selena & Crash but more recently, ‘The Theory of Everything’ really blew me away.
Favorite TV Show: Hit the Floor *wink*
Photo Credit: Marc Cartwright