Izzie Flórez is a rising star and non-stop creative
Izze Flórez wears many different hats. She’s an actress, show host, model, dancer, martial artist, and philanthropist. That’s quite the resume, but Flórez pulls it off by being tirelessly dedicated to her craft. She’s starred in features, short films, commercials, music videos, and theater productions. She has a passion for performance that never loses its intensity.
Flórez hosts the Live IGTV show Weekend Mornings with Izzie, and she’ll soon host a new talk show in collaboration with The LA Artists’ Project, which recently awarded her its Medallion Award. In addition to that Flórez is continuing to work as a dancer and actress.
We managed to catch Flórez in between events on her packed schedule to talk show biz and her love of all things creative.
When did you first know that you wanted to get involved in show business?
I began modeling at a very young age. I immediately loved the cameras, the lights, the stage and entertaining the crowd. At the age of 5 I was horribly bullied and almost lost my life in a traumatic prank. Counselors had suggested a fine arts camp in which I worked through the initial stages of emotional recovery. It was there that I was given the lead of Max in “Where the Wild Things Are”. It was there that I was completely lost to the world of entertainment.
What were some of your favorite films when you were younger?
I was obsessed with so many films. Two of my favorites as a little girl were “The Wizard of Oz” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. I loved films that included music.
How did you officially get your start as an actor?
I was scouted at a runway event by an LA manager at the age of 5. I began in commercials and a few short films. My first feature was at the age of 6, on a James Franco production, “The Adventures of Thomasina Sawyer”. Although I did not have a large role, I learned so much. It was an incredible experience.
Who would you say have been your biggest acting influences?
I really admire the work of Audrey Hepburn, Betty Davis and Joan Crawford. Old Hollywood classics are now my very favorite. In my work as an actress, I look to Victoria Summer as an incredible mentor and role model. My long-time coach, David Tom, is my rock. I look to him for not only support and growth, within my acting but also as a mentor and an advocate. He is the one who cheers the loudest when I book and the one who sits with me through the ugly tears, when I’ve lost a role that I so deeply wanted.
What attracts you to a particular role?
I love depth and layers to characters. Whether it be comedy or drama, well written scripts with poignant scenes and deep characters are my favorites.
Can you walk us through your creative process when you’re joining a new project?
The first step in my process is knowing the script extremely well and then diving in and really breaking down my character. This includes pages and pages of notes on who this character is. What motivates them? What upsets them? What is their objective (s) throughout the piece? How may I relate to the character, in my personal life? I go through each line and make choices as to the timing and way in which the character would deliver that line. Of course, the implementation of notes, relayed from writers, directors and producers is crucial as well as a great bond with fellow actors.
What’s been the biggest success of your acting career so far?
I am often asked how many projects I’ve booked or what project has been the best. All projects offer a chance to learn and leave a little piece within my heart. However, the greatest success, thus far, is the person whom I have become, along the way. I went from a bullied and very broken little girl with such low self esteem to a girl who now can speak and perform with confidence in front of crowds; stand in front of 18 producers critiquing my work for a role and even running my own weekend LIVE talk show. The industry has given me those gifts.
What has been your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?
A few years ago, I lost a large part of my finger in an accident. My entire arm was bandaged for quite some time and I underwent many surgeries in order to just save part of it. It was a very scary time for me, understandably. To my surprise, I lost both my agent and manager during the many months that I had to be “booked out”. I was treated as a broken commodity and it was really disheartening. However, true character does show during the most challenging of times. I am now happy that I saw that side of the industry as I then really knew what to look for in a team and I now have the most amazing manager and agency behind me, 100%.
Have you worked with any mentors throughout your career?
Yes, as mentioned earlier, both my coach, David Tom as well as actress, Victoria Summer are my greatest mentors.
In addition to being an actor, you’re also a talk show host. How did that role come about?
It came about quite unintentionally, during covid. With the industry closed to production, I wanted to keep active in some sort of production. I literally woke up one Saturday morning and decided to go LIVE in my pj’s while inviting various viewers to pop in a chat type environment which was initially very scattered and disorganized. Over time, the format for the show evolved and it is absolutely so much fun. I never really expected it to turn into what it has.
How is being a host different from being an actor, and in what ways is it similar?
Great question. Well, as a host I hold the role of bringing guests to my audience and asking questions that will be of interest. It is a LIVE production, the majority being improved so there are no take ones or 20’s. And, again, the focus is on my guests.
It is similar in that it takes confidence and the ability to roll with mishaps or production issues. As in acting, there is also no reward if no risk. I cannot be intimidated by a situation or guest (just as on set with other actors). It’s either “GO big or Go home”.
Do you prefer one to the other?
The differences are greater than the similarities so I really enjoy the ability to work within both arenas.
What advice would you give to an actor who’s just now trying to get their start in the industry?
I’ve often noted that one needs to REALLY be certain as to why they are wishing to enter this industry. It needs to truly be for the passion and not for the desire of fame as the chances of making it, within the industry, are slim but possible. It takes a lot of work. On top of endless auditions and countless hours of coaching as well as script preparation, one faces an unbelievable amount of rejection, regardless of their talent as an actor.
Do your research. Speak with others already in the industry. Align with a great team of a coach, manager and agency. The industry is amazing, if you are in it for the right reasons. Do it because you absolutely love to perform!
What are some of your dream roles and projects for the future?
I have many aspirations but overall, I would absolutely love a lead on a major network series.
Do you have a five year plan?
I believe it to be impossible to have a specific 5 year plan in this industry. It is so unpredictable. Regardless of my career, however, I do plan to study at a University in or near to LA.
Can you tell us anything about any of your upcoming projects?
We are just entering pilot season auditions and producers’ sessions. Thus, those will have to remain a secret, for now. I will say that you may see some changes for the Weekends with Izzie show as well as collaboration on some production work, with a well known young Hollywood actor. I will also be walking for designers in February’s New York Fashion Week.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do with your time?
I never sit still and I have never understood the statement, “I’m bored”. There is ALWAYS something fun to do. When not working, I practice taekwondo and almost every form of dance. I love to game, draw, make costumes, roller skate, ice skate, skateboard, ride horses, write skits and overall, be goofy with my friends. I am also highly involved in charity work.