An Entertaining Career
Veronica Rodriguez '13 is a screenwriter and director for film and television in Los Angeles. We caught up with her to discuss career choices, family life, and advice on how to make it in the entertainment industry.
You recently began directing. Can you describe the challenges and rewards of being behind the camera?
Directing for Disney's Gabby Duran & The Unsittables was challenging because it was in a foreign country, in the middle of a pandemic, and I was 8 months pregnant. But it was my first time directing episodes of television which was a milestone for my career, so it was totally worth it. And I proved to myself that if I can direct with all that is going on, then I can direct during any circumstances.
Let's Get Merried was my feature directorial debut, also during a pandemic and then with a 6-month-old baby. We were under-budgeted and under-resourced, which always makes things challenging but there's a special camaraderie between cast and crew that comes from going through a production like that together. To come out of that production with a film that is fun and brings some Christmas magic into homes makes it totally worth it.
How did your experience at Santa Clara University impact your career?
Mike Whalen and pretty much all of his classes were integral to me even figuring out that filmmaking was a career. I learned the fundamentals of screenwriting in courses taught by J.P. Lacrampe and Ron Hansen. I realized that being a writer and director was my dream while at SCU.
You and SCU alum Morrison Conway '12 recently had your first child. Congratulations! Has your daughter, Canela, changed your perspective on your creative work?
Having a child has definitely given me more to write about. My perspective on the entire world has changed, and I'm still trying to figure out what it all means. I know it will come out in my work. I'm just not exactly sure how yet. Stay tuned.
Any advice for current and future students at SCU hoping to go into the entertainment industry?
Find confidence in your own voice. What you have to say matters. Understand and accept that you're going into an already established industry. Play the game and be strategic when you have to, but never at the expense of what you believe in. It's not worth it. Always (respectfully and with humility) ask for what you want...the worst that can happen is they say 'No,' and it's the best when they say 'Yes