*LA~Work&Culture Series: Daniela and the Vibrance of Venezuela

April 30, 2016

Los Angeles. The most influential city in the world. Many would
argue otherwise, claiming political or tech hubs like DC or Silicon Valley
would take the crown. However, the truth is, LA’s biggest export, the culture of entertainment and the entertainment
of culture,
has literally shaped world views, trends, and patterns across the planet.

influence is no new concept, but the heaviness of the impact and reach Los Angeles
has specifically had, both domestically and internationally, as an entity of its own, is often

of this phenomenon refers to the fascinating Electronic Colonialism Theory,
which states that, …well, I’ll let you google it =)

cosmopolitan paradises like Miami or New York often receive the favorable
reputation for carrying widely pluralistic populations, with a Latin or
European flair often felt in the air. But when you take a good look inside the
City of Angels, you actually encounter far more cultural diversity than expected. These varying
influences are evident not only through the innovative art scenes that are
producing trends through music and film, but they are also shaping the very
rhythm of the city itself.

properly spotlight these internal movements, I decided to have a few
conversations with some extraordinary individuals who took the leap to move
here, work here, and thrive here, bringing with them more than just a glimpse
of their roots, but a force of fresh inspiration bypassing boundaries and

first to be featured on the *LA~Work&Culture series is the charismatic Daniela Azuaje.

native of Venezuela, Daniela originally had no intention to move to Los Angeles
at all. Her passion for dance and film took her straight to New York city,
where she studied rigorously. However, when her program abruptly informed her
that the only way to complete her education was through the university’s Los
Angeles branch, Daniela found herself in the middle of a trying

always looking for a real person. It was so easy for me in Venezuela and NYC,
but not here. I felt alone.”

channeled these emotions into her craft as an actress, which reflect not only
her personal experiences as an artist in a new city, but also many of the
political and cultural issues facing Venezuela.

was first a part of the film ‘Spark‘, an initiative inspired by the student
protests that shook Venezuela in 2014. It tells the story of a 19-year-old
Venezuelan student who is detained after helping organize a protest against the
violence in his country. I could not be more proud to be a part of this amazing

addition to using film as a vehicle for political change, Daniela, who is
passionate about empowering women who have been robbed of their voices,
produced and starred in the film “Sophia’s Song.”

“It’s the story of a woman who is a victim of a domestic
violence. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, but especially in South America
with the “machismo” mentality. So I wanted to show the world that no
matter where you are, you must always ask for help when abuse begins to manifest.”

Fueled by the impact and success of “Sophia’s Song,” Daniela is
now working on another upcoming film that teaches women how to defend
themselves in the face of danger. She hopes it will spread awareness to
survivors and anyone at risk both in South America and locally, here in Los

But it’s not all sad and worrisome. Daniela’s extra warm and
vibrant spirit (that you can’t help but appreciate the moment you greet her) is
also an extension of her Venezuelan upbringing. Her most recent work, “Fatal Impulses” which has reached further acclaim at the 48 Hour Film Festival, displays her
playful and comedic spirit as well.


are so happy, we’re enthusiastic, we like to party, get together and have a
good time, tell jokes. Dancing is ALWAYS involved, whether others like it or
not. I love our food, it’s to die for! Arepas, cachapas, tequeños, malta
beverage (I miss it every day), hallacas and pan de jamón on Christmas.”

Though Daniela has made quite the splash internationally (check out her feature on Venezuela’s most widely read publication, El Nacional), she looks forward to continuing to leave her imprints here as an Angeleno. And
whenever she does need a taste of her roots while navigating the ups and downs of Hollywood, she stops at her favorite Latin establishment here in LA, Cafe Bolivar
in Santa Monica.

“For Venezuelans, the friendships that you build through the
years, whether in Los Angeles or abroad, are non negotiable. It’s a colorful,
passionate, joyful culture that I’m
grateful to be a part of.”

To keep up with Daniela’s many upcoming projects in LA and
beyond, follow @daniazu and danielaazuaje.com.