Hey guys, thanks for having me! I’m doing great, spending a few days back home in Ecuador to see my family for the holidays.
How were you drawn into the world of TV and the whole entertainment world?
I was drawn into the entertainment industry because since I was a kid. I loved music, film and playing other people. I remember having fun telling stories and feeling a unique adrenaline while doing it, so I loved it. Also, as an only child, I grew up feeling the center of attention of my family. But at the same time, it was a dysfunctional home, so clearly I had some lack of affection and attention that naturally made me crave that as an adult.
How does your hosting background help you with your acting and the other way around?
While you’re hosting you’re playing yourself but no 100%, there’s a part of a persona you create on camera, but it forces you to be very present, listen, and be very quick and ready to improvise on the spot, especially on live TV. So those tools come very handy for acting. On the other hand, acting is a craft that shows you how to work, to have a process to build a character, and overall to have a strong work ethic, which is something that is very useful for Hosting on television.
What’s it like to be the host for several segments on major TV shows?
It’s something that I enjoy a lot actually. Time stops for me; I’m in my element. Days at the station don’t feel like work to me. I have so much fun creating content for our Hispanic audience at Univision that I’m always amazed at how fun my job is and how much I love it.
How does your work on self-produced YouTube shows help you with these bigger gigs?
My YouTube channel (CineDharma) is a passion project that is growing one day at a time. It allows me to be myself; my most raw version comes in those videos. So just that element of authenticity is KEY for the bigger gigs that I face during my professional career. With CineDharma, I feel that I can create content that gives value to my community. My purpose with YouTube is to develop an acting community, so we can share our stories and journeys and, lately, inspire each other on our creative dreams and goals.
Does knowing there would be a major audience watching make you nervous or rather the opposite?
It motivates me, actually. It gives me a sense of responsibility, a notion that I have to bring them joy and entertainment while they’re tuning in. Attention spans are shorter nowadays, so I always have to think as an audience member and be fun, be relatable and entertaining to our audience.
Tackling different events from different cultures – how’s your preparation process?
Hmm process, I LOVE that word!! That’s something I owe to my teachers at Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Los Angeles. They taught me a technique that allows me to be specific during my creative process. It all starts with knowing that you know nothing. Being humble to admit you don’t know stuff, so that forces you to do a lot of research and then create images, memories, and everything that you need with your imagination. Once the imagination is on fire, everything is possible, and that’s the best process you can have for any sort of gig in this industry. I’ve worked on film, TV, theatre, and commercials, and on all those platforms, the process I pretty much the same.
What are some of the elements you always seek to focus the most on in your stories? What’s the thing you always seek to convey with your work?
I seek for value and authenticity. To serve the people who are the recipients of my work. It will have no meaning if it’s all about me. That’d be a selfish path for the sake of fulfilling my ego. But once I know I’m giving, I’m serving something bigger than myself, and organically the good stuff happens.
Have you gotten to feel this sort of soft spot for a particular type of gig?
Not yet, I’m always looking for new things to do. I’m very curious, so I hope to stay this way for a long time. But the ones who are my favorites are the ones that have a positive message, a social meaning that’ll help others.
What would you say has been the most challenging aspect of your work?
In the US, for sure, it has been to adapt to a new country, culture, and language completely alone. I moved here five years ago with no family or friends. In fact, I never came to LA before I moved there, so that foundation stage that took me years, including learning acting techniques and developing a craft, has been insanely difficult. But the hardest has been the fight with myself, to overcome my ego, know me better, have a deep process of self-awareness that takes a lot of time, tears, and pain — healing the inner child. Forgive others and forgive yourself. All those things have taken me years, but today I’m full of gratitude for all of that because it made me who I am today.
What else is happening next in Paul Guerra’s world?
I’ll be shooting a feature film next spring in South America. Also, I have a lot of content to create with Univision, a lot of great content to share with my audience on YouTube, and all my social media platforms. I’m enjoying this moment but definitely getting ready for more fun adventures to come in 2020.