photographed by David Christopher Lee

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Blanca Blanco – Overcoming Poverty and Thriving

Blanca Blanco is a Mexican-American actress. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Washington State University and earned her master’s degree in social work from Eastern Washington University with honors. When Blanca came to LA, she began training under DGA Award winning director Gordon Hunt. Her first major role was in 2008 feature film Dark Reel, opposite Edward Furlong.

She can also be seen in Anatomy of Deception (Lifetime), Crimes of the Mind (Lifetime), Defending Santa (ION). Notable on-screen credits include Torch opposite Rita Moreno, Fake news opposite Eric Roberts, 6 Children & 1 Grandparent opposite Oscar nominee Burt young, Woman on the Edge, opposite Rumer Willis, Hold On opposite Luiz Guzman, American Romance opposite Nolan Gerard Funk. Blanca is an advocate of many charities including: the LA Mission, American Cancer Society, The Salvation Army, Step Up and has worked as a counselor for End-of-Life hospice patients. She currently resides in Beverly Hills California. 

photography by David Christopher Lee
hair by Rene Maldonado Cortez
makeup by Patrick Santa Ana

Where are you originally from? Tell us about your upbringing:

I was born in Watsonville, California and at 3 months old we moved to Mexico where my family is originally from. We came back to America (Washington State) at 9 years old and I didn’t speak English, so you can imagine how difficult that would have been. My upbringing was challenging. As an immigrant family, we experienced many struggles including severe poverty, discrimination, and language barrier. My siblings and I developed a strong bond at an early age and my mother was the glue that kept us all together. My childhood included a lot of daydreaming, role-playing and pretending. On the bright side, coming from extreme poverty is what understandably prompted my imagination. I learned at a young age that challenges make us stronger, not weaker. I also learned to turn barriers into challenges to achieve goals. I wrote, Breaking the Mold, to share my upbringing and to share a story of hope, resilience and overcoming hardships. 

Can you tell us about the type of poverty you experienced growing up?

My most memorable childhood home would be the garage my family of 7  lived in for 2 years in Chelan, Washington. We had no hot water, no shower hook ups, only a small toilet. Since there was no heat or insulation, frozen ice would be apparent from the inside of the garage walls.  I would go to sleep around 4pm so I can be warm by the time I fell asleep. I wore 2 winter coats, 3 pair of gloves and a beanie hat.

Even though I felt judged and bullied, I couldn’t wait to go back to school, as this is where I received most of my meals. My family often sought out clothes and food banks like The Salvation Army, whom I still have a supporting relationship with today. I was determined to get out of this situation because I took my studies very seriously. Once I arrived on my college journey, I had to wait for my financial aid to come in, resulting in me being homeless in my car for the first couple days of classes. Looking back, I am so proud of my younger self.  My parents made 4 dollars an hour for a family of7.  But they instilled strong work ethics, responsibility, and appreciating what we do and not to take life opportunities for granted.  

You are a woman of many talents. How did you get into the film business?

As a child I knew I was passionate about acting and that passion only grew throughout my life. Before I made the big leap to move to LA I knew I had to study my craft and do so much research. I always like to be prepared especially when it comes to my future and things I care deeply about. I enrolled in The Groundlings Theater and School taking improv classes and doing stage work.  I auditioned so many times a week and to give you an idea of the statistics of booking a project, out of 10 auditions one might get 1 callback. A lot of perseverance and hard work and workshops landed me my first role. In 2021 I starred in Tale of Tails as Lola and now my role is being recognized and is getting an Emmy consideration, my category Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In 2022 my first western film Eye for Eye, was released and I won best actress for my role of Lola. 

Tell us about the book that you published?

I knew my story was meant to be told, someday. I wasn’t planning on publishing anything this soon but during the COVID lockdown subsequent to the pandemic, I thought no better time to start. My book is a deep dive into the real me, where I came from, what I’ve gone through and how I persevered. I wrote Breaking the Mold to give hope to everyone who is or ever went through struggles and overcoming hardships. I share in my book to deal with the problem in a positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts, so one stays motivated to keep moving forward and achieving goals. 

How do you achieve higher consciousness?

I believe I try to achieve higher consciousness by having an open mind and facing my fears head-on. I also appreciate all the challenging obstacles I experienced because that’s what made me stronger and gave me personal growth and to remember to cherish the little things in life. Also keeping a tight inner circle with less toxic people around me. Even if sometimes families or friends bring toxic into our lives one got to place strong boundaries.  

What are some anti-aging practices that you do?

I’ve always been into my skincare routine for as long as I can remember. Sunscreen and drinking plenty of water is an absolute must. I like to live a healthy and active lifestyle including having a clean diet. 

What are some of the mindfulness techniques that you practice?

For the most part I’m a calm person but I do discuss overcoming and dealing with anxiety quite a bit in my book.  When feeling uneasy I try to remember to stay in the present moment and breathe. Calling a friend or going on a drive or listening to music that makes my heart happy have been some good techniques that have worked for me and have been a form of meditation for me. 

Why is gratitude so important?

I am thankful for being able to breathe without pain, to be able to take the opportunities coming my way and to have my health and drive to work towards it.  I also appreciate and respect building strong relationships. To be kind to others. If you have a bad attitude people will be less likely to want to work with you. It’s important to value and respect your peers to build lasting relationships. Having gratitude can shift your mindset in a positive way and help your career and life in general.  

One’s reality is achieved through the thoughts one believes in their head. How do you take a thought and manifest it into your dreams?

I want to make sure my thoughts are connected with my actions. Otherwise, it is just talk. I like to come up with a strategic plan then really commit once I have started and ensure my execution. Without any execution, your dreams will never become reality. You got to put in the work. Hard work does pay off. Be consistent, focused, and determined. 

Who inspires you?

My mother and grandmother were always strong women which inspired me to be responsible and self-reliant. These strong women in my life taught me that we are in charge of our future and that happiness starts with us.

What projects are you working on now?

I’m currently working on season 2 of Tale of Tails. I’m also traveling for my Book Tour, which started in Europe and now in the US; the feedback on my book Breaking the Mold has been one of the most incredible journeys I’ve ever been on. I’ve also booked a movie where we will be filming in Sweden. I have amazing projects coming soon.

What does beauty mean to you?

Being a good and happy person and comfortable in your own skin is a beautiful thing. Beauty really shines from the inside out. Also, the journey we experience as individuals throughout life, the good and the bad, is what makes us all uniquely beautiful. 

How would you describe success?

Success to me is a continual process of personal growth, not an end goal. Everyone begins their road to success at a different starting point. And what is important is how far we come; not how high we reach. 

How would you describe your style?

I shy away from trends and try to be more unique when it comes to style. I like to start my own trends. I like to wear brands that are creative, colorful, unique and high-quality fabrics, shapes, and bold styles. I like to push the boundaries and have bold looks, especially on a red carpet. Even when wearing a very professional look I still need to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing because confidence is the best accessory.

Breaking the Mold by Blanca Blanco

What would you tell yourself 10 years ago?

I would tell myself to hang in there, stay consistent and never give up because much brighter days are ahead. Believe in yourself and don’t let anything come in between your values and achieving your dreams. 


Who are some of your influencer friends that we should be following?

One of my favorites is Chiara Ferragni. She’s so funny and has the best fashion posts. 

Who are some of your favorite places to travel to?

It’s hard to pick favorites because I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen so many beautiful places all over the world. I love Europe, Africa, Latin America and so on. I enjoy going to places that are relaxing and have rich culture. As much as I love California it is important for personal growth to get away to see varying cultures and understand various perspectives on life. There is a big world out there and believe me the more you get to know it, the more you will learn about yourself. Although it didn’t seem like it while I was growing up, living between two cultures now seems advantageous. And why stop at two? 

What are your favorite restaurants?

Where do I even begin? I love fine dining and a glass of white wine at Craigs in West Hollywood or Avra Beverly Hills. But also, occasionally I love ordering Pizza from Dominos because it is amazing and because it reminds me of my college days. 

Where can we find you? 

Find my book Breaking the Mold at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You can watch me on the series Tale of Tails on Amazon. Follow me on Instagram @blancablancoactress. I also have a YouTube channel under Blanca Blanco

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