Olivia Mia Orozco
-I always tell people I grew up in a house of four artists. My parents and brother felt more like collaborators than family at times. My mom was my first dance teacher. I was dancing before I was even walking. My father is an English professor but also a writer. We hope his screenplay “Delano” becomes a movie one day. My brother and I made stop motion films as children and now he’s a post-production sound editor. I was taught I could do anything I put my mind to and encouraged to follow my passions. I’ve worked as a professional dancer since graduating from college and currently choreograph and work with visual and performing artists in the event, gallery and film world.
-I always loved Fosse and Isadora Duncan. The creator of modern dance and a choreographer turned director, those are my role models. I often feel like Lucille Ball trying to juggle all the new projects I throw myself into as the conveyor built keeps coming.
-I attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts where I received conservatory dance training. The school was diverse, and I was able to also take film classes and was greatly influenced by a class titled “Art in Society.” I learned then the importance of fellow classmates as they would become future collaborators and professional peers. I then went on to study dance and philosophy at the University of California Santa Barbara in an intimate program focusing on choreography. The training in college is what really prepared me to brave the world and feel confident that if I wanted to dance I would, and if I wanted to present work I could.
-I’m reminded daily that we all have stories to share, and if we don’t they are gone forever, I believe Martha Graham has a famous quote with that sentiment. I don’t think artists are ever fully satisfied as the work is never ending, but meeting goals and certain milestones feel good to remind yourself you’re on the right path. I love to travel, and it’s a goal of mine to share more of my work over seas. It’s not about getting famous, it’s about sharing the stories to more audiences and driving impact. I strongly believe art can change the world.
ِ-About gender challengers: Oh if men only knew how difficult they can make life for women. Time and time again I know when I’m treated differently as a woman, when I’m not paid the amount as a man, and when someone has ulterior motives. As things are changing, I’m excited to work with more female creatives holding higher positions. -
-I think the isolation right now is a good thing for creativity. Many of us are finishing or starting creative projects we had been putting off. Before covid, I would say LA was having an artistic renaissance. The city was getting very exciting with tons of galleries and performance spaces opening up. Unfortunately many have closed now, but I believe new ones will open when the city gets back to normal.
-Casting is certainly being pushed more than ever to show diversity in race and body types. I think many of the stereotypes we see on tv have to change, it has always bothered me to see how advertising perpetuates dated narratives. When I lived in NYC I felt my look was more unique and often booked more commercials, I came back to LA and it seemed there were more people in every category. When the job is right for you, it is undeniably fitting. I can’t be anything but myself, if I’m not what they are looking for, then it’s not the job for me.
-Over the years I have trusted my intuition and the practice of feeling the Yes. If there’s doubt the answer is probably No. Of course this is learned from numerous mistakes, but I like to think my decision-making skills are improving. I have to vibe with the people I’m working with, and feel that we will make a good team. I want to work on projects that inherently want to do good in the world.
-I recently presented a full length dance performance art piece with collaborator Julienne Mackey. While running Radiant Space, a gallery in West Hollywood I grew from the ground up with a few partners, I was able to work with incredible artists and produced and curated more shows in two and half years than I had in the past ten years. Pushing my creativity and essentially taking on a crash course in arts management, curatorial studies and event production. Working with these artists pushed me to continue to focus on my own artistic voice, and I’m proud I was able to present this full length show “Toolbox” at Radiant Space, Human Resources in Chinatown and in Brooklyn NYC. I have many improvements I would like to make to this show and to take it to different cities next year. I’m proud of a dance film, Temporal, I made with my film partner when I lived in NYC and for choreographing Mayer Hawthorne’s “Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin” video right out of college. This music video is all one shot where the camera even goes under water and had to be very well rehearsed, I’m extremely happy with the way it turned out. I recently choreographed a CBD commercial I’m super excited to share with the world.
-There is only art in my life. My time in nature and traveling inspires my art. Living itself can be done as an art. Romance inspires my art. I believe there’s an art to business as well. Before COVID-19 we had events multiple times a week. Now the gallery is on full pause but may return as pop up events in the future.
-I advise the new generation to be kind and open-minded to everyone you meet. Trust in the process and learn to develop your intuition to guide you. Dream bigger than you ever imagined, you can accomplish anything. Learn how you work best and move on when it’s time to. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone or work with people beyond your years. If anything surround yourself with people who push you to be better. Everything takes longer than you think, stay focused and don’t give up.
Private and professional, the two certainly get blurred sometimes. Becoming friends with the people you work with can make this tricky. Having friends who I don’t work with can help balance me out and get perspective. I’m still trying to learn how to navigate this one.
-Currently, I’m using my time at home to catch up on a lot of video editing I’ve put off and doing research. For several years I have been interviewing dancers around the world when I travel. I’m still figuring out when and where they will be released. I’m planning a new dance film with a few collaborators in LA. As I postpone presenting my full length show, I envision taking it to different cities at a later time. I want to make a new piece about spirit animals. I have a love story I want to film some day in Israel on a vineyard. I’m pretty sure I’ll write a book one day, some chapters have started to flow out. I’m currently working on the La Dance Short Films Festival, and exploring new options with the founder Nicole Manoochehri on how to best share these films as an in person event is feeling unlikely. I’m planning future events inside Laurie Shapiro’s installations.