You probably already all know the beautiful Amercian actress and model that goes under the name of VictoriaNYC (Victoria Beltran). She has been seen in movies “The Dictator” and “New Year’s Eve” and the tv series “Ugly Betty”. She has also been seen in the Christian Dior’s Homme fragrance commercial alongside Robert Pattinson. She is an upcoming star and we had the great opportunity to interview her and get a little sneak peak on her life. Do not hesitate to follow her on Instagram under the name “VictoriaNYC” for to see more of her.
- What made you move to NYC at 18?
I had visited New York before with a few friends. Coming from Texas and its relatively conservative culture, I was enamored with the progressive energy of the city. So much was happening, and it was all so fresh and thrilling. The neon and night rhythms magnetized me, and I could not deny the pull. During that time, I was fortunate enough to be offered a few modeling opportunities with various agencies. Suddenly, I had the potential to be making some money, and that was the final incentive I needed to make the leap. In retrospect, it was a big change, but it was one I was both ready for and determined to make.
2. At what age did you know you wanted to be an actress?
You always hear that performers know they want to be on the stage or in front of the camera when they’re young, that it’s just something that they instinctually gravitate towards. I was no exception. At age four, I was putting on little plays for my sister and mother, but, initially, if I’m being candid, I was slightly intimidated by the New York acting scene. My modeling work had opened some doors for me, and several casting directors, especially Jennifer Sable at Grant Wilfrey Casting, pushed me to pursue it. Yet, there are so many schools, techniques, philosophies, etc. It took me a bit longer to recognize that each method had its merits and that each actor did too. While a Yale School of Drama graduate might have a particular approach based on their experience, someone who grew up in a family of actors would have a different one, and someone trained in Method would have a vastly different approach from the first two. No one approach is better, but one is going to work better for the specific part. Once I realized that I was able to really seek out roles that I felt aligned with my sensibilities and intuition.
3. At which university?
I’ve been studying with Bob Krakower, among others. I never actually went to an undergraduate program. That is not to say that I’m an avid student. I am. I work hard. Even those with natural talent need to push themselves in the performance realm. That’s how we improve. In terms of university, perhaps I was just not geared towards the more conventional, the more traditional theatrical education. I have preferred finding my own path, shaping my own curriculum. Fortunately, I’ve encountered some great programs and classes that are more malleable and pliant in that respect.
4. What is your favorite part of being an actress?
One of the beautiful things about acting is being a part of something larger than yourself. Acting isn’t a solitary pursuit. You need people with you to put on the production. You work together, unified for the purpose of telling a story, and that collective spirit is invigorating, rewarding and meaningful. This is what I love.
5. What was your favorite role?
THE DICTATOR was special. From a performance standpoint, the shooting was very liberating. Director Larry Charles and Sacha Baron Cohen were both keen to discover improvised and impromptu moments. They really took the shackles off of conventional filmmaking in a way that was glorious for an actor. What actors are predominantly looking for is support, and they were really always encouraging us to take risks and to not being afraid if something fell flat. Many things did, but others worked and in ways that nobody thought they would. They saw the whole process as fun, fruitful and largely experimental. So much of it was gut-reacting to what was in front of you, truly believing the fiction of the scenario and losing ourselves in the absurdity of the antics.
Plus, I had never done stunts before, so that was an exhilarating time as we were put through pretty extensive physical training in combat and pratfalls. Top all of that off with the opportunity to glean some wisdom and insight from a living legend like Sir Ben Kingsley, and it made for a really inspirational and wondrous experience.
6. What is your relation to fashion?
Clothes are like personal poetry. They are a kind of shorthand for your feelings. They’re really critical in my process as I develop characters as well. Once I put on the right shoes or the right pair of pants for a role, the whole essence of the angle in which I’m going to approach the person I’m playing crystallizes.
7. After your Christian Dior campaign, how do you feel about becoming a model or brand ambassador?
I had modeled before, and I continue to do so now. The brand is appropriating you, your aesthetic and your attitude. If you think too deeply about it, that is a tad unsettling, but I’ve come to realize that it’s not truly me that they are putting out there. In my experience, what they are depicting is their own specific shade of my image, a slender slice of myself that they’ve trimmed off in that one moment in time and deemed emblematic of their brand. In that way, it’s not all of me, just a piece, and I’m flattered that they want to share this small sliver of me as theirs with the world.
8. What brand would I like to work with in the future?
I don’t know which brand I’d like to work with. I think that’s an impossible question to answer. There are many brands that I admire, but it’s also about the people at those brands. That’s an aspect that motivates me professionally. For instance, you could have a great art director at an accessories brand, and I might be interested in working with her even if I hadn’t heard of the specific accessories brand before. I suppose that makes me open to any/all types of opportunities for brand collaborations.
9. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Candidly, I tend to like to shop vintage and mix it with more modern pieces. Doesn’t everyone? To me, there’s always been a beautiful and exciting reaction when you contrast something old and nostalgic with something new and original. For the former, there’s a place called Hamlet Vintage downtown that I love. I think everyone has one or two places that they know intimately and that suit their style. That’s one of those for me. It is the kind of shop that inevitably has one more more pieces that appeal to me every time I enter it.
10. Who is your favorite designer?
Alexander McQueen. I used to go into his store and just feel the clothes. His use of texture and pattern was a wildly visceral world. As you walked through the store, you’d feel not just colors and tactile materials, but you’d run through a gamut of emotions. I felt the same way about his runway shows. There was a level of thought and consideration that elicited an affecting response. It wasn’t just physical or intellectual. He tapped into something deeper. His collections were kind of like a great piece of music in how transportive they could be. You’d see a design and be whisked away to somewhere that he wanted to share with you. Clearly, he was a genius, an apparently tortured soul as many geniuses are, but, nonetheless, he was a shooting star that burned brightly and brilliantly and will be long remembered.
Photo credits: Cynthia K. Cortes