Meet “Adrenaline” Film Producer and Actress Irene Santiago

Hey Irene!

Can you tell us where you’re from and how long have you been in the Carolinas?

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Hey Cackalack! Thanks for having me today!

Well, I am from a little town called, Kearns, Utah. It’s About 30 min from Salt Lake City, Utah.

I moved from Kearns and lived up by the ski resorts at the base of Snowbird and Alta. If you ski you know what I mean. The snow can get pretty deep. Knee deep.  

I have been in the Carolinas for 7 years. I am actually coming up on the anniversary of our move out here on August 1. I guess you can say I have had the best of both worlds. Mountains and now the Beach!

So how did you get into acting?

Being the 8th of 8 kids you always want to be noticed. We had comedians, dancers, singers, smart people, and beauty queens in my family so performing was always around me. I was a cheerleader and in drill team and dance.  An old boyfriend suggested I try acting and to start with community theater.  So I auditioned and was booked for 2 plays! Beginners luck right?

I got a job as a singing telegram.  I was performing live all the time. One night I delivered a telegram in a club, the bartender told me I made her laugh so hard! She gave me her agent’s card and told me to make an appointment. So the following week I went in and when I came out, I was signed with the largest agency in Utah. That is how I started. It was not an overnight thing. Everything I did built up to acting.

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Describe your dream character to play in a feature film. And why would you like to play that character?

Oh my goodness! There are so many good roles.

My dream character would be a Superhero or Super villain! OK, Yeah! I said it. Don’t judge. Specifically?  Black Widow, Maleficent, Miranda Priestly, ( The Devil Wears Prada), Eowyn or any female Elf (Lord of the Rings)!

Why? Because I love roles that encompass strong women characters with intelligence, sexiness and wit and POWER.  It beats playing hookers and maids all the time. Before, when I started out that was all the work that a young Latina actress could be cast for. I was grateful for the work but there is a big, wide world out there of all kinds of roles that should be cast with flavor!

You have just released a feature film that you and your husband produced. Could you tell us about that project?

Yes, It is called Adrenaline.  It is a faith based, indie feature about an illegal drag racer’s life that’s turned upside down after a near fatal car crash, leaving him semi paraplegic. Forced to face his new circumstance, he struggles to walk, to trust, to love, and ultimately, race again. The movie stars: John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard), Greg Alan Williams, (Necessary Roughness), Charlene Amoia, (How I Met Your Mother), and local actor, Michael Rosander, (Sleepy Hollow).

We also had some amazing local actors.  We are so proud of the cast and crew who helped make this movie and the lives it has already touched. Truly a team effort.

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Now that you’ve been on the production side of things; what’s the biggest thing you have learned as a producer that could be helpful to other actors and actress looking to land a role in a feature film?

Good question! This is just my opinion. There are many points. But here are some that stick out in my mind.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to UNDERSTAND the material. Get a coach to help you if you do not know how to interpret the character. We had seen several auditions: good, bad and very bad. If you are not sure, work with a coach.  

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE AUDITIONING FOR AND FOR WHOM. Ad-libbing is fantastic but watch what you say. You don’t know who is going to be offended by using colorful language or tacky jokes. We had an actor drop the “F” bomb! (That was the longest, deafening silence when the actor was done with his audition. Talk about uncomfortable!) Even if it’s not faith based just use good judgement.

Don’t send in bad self-tapes. If you’re not right for the role don’t audition. Please do not waste your time and ours. If you are paying for someone to self-tape you they should go over it with you. We had an actress whose hair was in her face the entire time. She also kept looking too far to the side. We couldn’t see her face. She had paid someone to tape her.

Be NICE to EVERYONE on set – Don’t be rude on set, don’t be difficult. You are being watched every second. When we started filming, I didn’t tell anyone I was a producer. They thought I was an extra’s P.A., (you could say I was undercover).  I can’t tell you how rude extras were to other extras, to me, and just plain difficult. I know it gets crazy but do your job, be kind because you never know who that P.A is that you were being a jerk to may be. If you want to continue acting remember professionalism wherever you are. Because you never know who will be in the casting room .

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Finally, I know the acting community is very tight here and we worked with so many good folks. But please do not keep contacting the producers for when you can get your copy of the cd or discuss money with the producers. Your agent will handle your pay contract.  We have a lot going on. I know some people promise goods and never deliver; I have had many productions that have promised did not deliver on their promise But it is so rude to constantly be hounded by emails, Facebook and so on. Producers have lives, families and are working on other components of the film. So many components are involved.  In all of this we will remember you for the wrong reasons.

What’s next for you?

Me personally, I have some acting projects in the works that will take me out of town. I can’t say what. I always have our kids to raise. (That is quite a production within itself). And, somewhere in there we will be having a well-deserved family time off.  

For Adrenaline: We are excited for the release of Adrenaline which comes out September 8th! If any or your readers would like to see, (and FEEL) this movie on the big screen, go to http://www.tugg.com to request a show in your city, on September 8th.

The film is still going strong and being accepted in more film festivals across the country and Europe. Del, and Joseph and the beautiful Adrenaline Hero car will be hitting the road on special PDRA events, and Hot August Nights in Reno, NV. It’s just crazy. Be we are grateful.

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Are you guys planning on releasing any more films?

Wow! That is just like asking if you’re going to have another kid! Ha! Well, Adrenaline has been a Godsend. Right now we just need to get through this one. (snicker). We’ve gotten so much attention from Adrenaline and we are so grateful. People from around the world have been so receptive. If that is what God wants us then He will make it so.

I got to ask you this question. Who is your favorite actor or actress of all time and why?
Without hesitation, KATHERINE HEPBURN!!!

She broke the mold of what a typical actress should look like or act like. She had style, charisma, talent, beauty and so intelligent. She inspires me to do my best no matter what the odds may be.
And where can fans go to stay connected to you?

Yes you can give me a shout out on:

FACEBOOKhttps://www.facebook.com/irenesantiagoactress

Twitter https://twitter.com/msirenesantiago

Google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/+irenesantiago1/posts

IMDBhttp://www.imdb.me/irenesantiago

Adrenaline The Movie- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adrenaline/115626328514275?fref=ts

Adrenaline the movie IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2458952/combined

To see Adrenaline The Movie in your city visit TUGG at www.tugg.com