Meet Vancouver-based actor, director and writer, Maria J. Cruz.
Maria next appears in Festa! An Evening of Portuguese Comedy & Culture on December 1. Written and performed by Cruz and Sandra Medeiros, Festa! is an immersive experience where audiences eat and drink as part of a traditional Portuguese festa, while the two actors play all the members of a typical Portuguese family.
Meet Maria J. Cruz
Maria has pursued a career in the performing arts for two decades, directing for theatre, and has returned to writing her own work. 2016 also saw her producing and starring in the independent collaborative film project, The Parties, which looks at the complex bonds of adult friendships.
Often exploring her Portuguese heritage in her work, she co-wrote, produced, and starred in the successful run of Festa! at the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival, and The Kilometres to 40 was at the Azores International Fringe Festival in Portugal in 2014.
Combining her love for her homeland with her heritage/museum knowledge – she holds a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto – Maria is launching her own travel tour company, Olive Portugal Tours.
20 Questions with Maria J. Cruz
1. Your first job.
Purdy’s Chocolates in Oakridge Centre.
2. The job you always wanted as a child.
3. Your pet peeve.
People who sit on the outside seat of a two-seater on public transit. Special level of hell for them!
4. Your hero.
5. Your biggest indulgence.
I don’t consider most things I do indulgent, they are necessary … I suppose spending money I don’t have cause it comes back to haunt me.
6. One thing no one knows about you.
Seriously? It took me years to join Facebook, I ain’t telling anyone any secrets.
7. Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.
Books, food and shelter. Duh.
8. The one word your best friend would use to describe you.
9. If you were not an actor, what would you be doing right now?
Leading a tour with Olive Portugal Tours.
10. Hero or villain?
Villains are more interesting to play, but heroes are much needed.
11. Your life’s motto/mantra.
Tomorrow is a new day.
12. The song getting the most play on your iTunes/Spotify playlist right now.
“Easy to Love” by Donna Summer.
13. The last book you read.
Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom.
14. If you were a cartoon character which cartoon character would you be, and why?
Not sure I identify with any.
15. What will it say on your grave marker?
She followed her dreams.
16. Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Idris Elba, for obvious reasons.
17. Your idea of happiness.
Living financially secure, always traveling, and having a seaside escape. With love.
18. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your twenty year old self?
Your gut IS ALWAYS right.
19. The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.
My self sufficiency.
20. To be or not to be?