We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariela Irala and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mariela, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Balance can be a tricky word, because we think we are supposed to be covering all areas of our lives with the same intensity. Our attention is demanded by so many people and sources constantly, but I believe we need to be our biggest care takers, Something that works for me is to ask myself where I am in the present moment. What do I need? Where is my focus/energy? Am I being drained by this activity? Being consumed by work is never a good thing, and I realized it wasn’t so much about the extra hours I was putting in but how I was responding to it, if it was truly serving me or depriving me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
With all the titles I can attach to myself, I believe the truest one is that I am a storyteller. For over 15 years I have studied different areas, from acting and being on camera, to getting a BAS in film production technology, and a minor in journalism. This curiosity of mine has been quite the investment! and I had to take on different odd-jobs which I convinced myself had to do with my career. What if I have to play/tell the story of a bartender? or a hotel receptionist? What about a head hunter? It wasn’t easy, but thankfully I held on to my dream to continue creating.
Later on, I got to work for Disney, Telemundo, Univision, and some of the best productions acting in prime time TV, hosting TV shows, and interviewing over 50 Hollywood celebrities. It’s been a beautiful journey and It continues to excite me.
As creators become more independent today with different resources and platforms, I became more familiar with the business of acting. Today I manage my contracts and work with brands doing influencer marketing. It’s a happy medium for me because its not as demanding as TV/Film production but I also have a space to create and use all the tools I’ve learned in my career.
One thing about my brand is that I refuse to be a cookie cutter influencer, or be placed in a box. I think people connect through authentic, vulnerable content creators who share what they are really going through. I don’t make content every day, but I answer all my messages. I don’t promote things I don’t believe in, because I don’t want to lose my audience’s trust. I take mental health breaks. These are some things that have made me happy in creating content for social media.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Houston is truly underrated!! There are activities for the whole family and food for every palate.
Monday – Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. I love seeing reactions to this, its quite a sight! A waterfall in the middle of the city is not something you see everyday. About 10 min away you can also check out the Japanese and McGovern Centennial Gardens, free of charge and sometimes features food trucks you can indulge in!
Tuesday – Museum of Natural Science/Fine Arts Museum. The Museum District features some of the most varied and biggest museums, These are our favorites! Catch lunch or dinner at le Jardinier for upscale dining or Fadi’s Mediterranean for casual fresh mediterranean.
Wednesday- Katy Outlet Mall. Katy is a suburb west of Houston that has grown tremendously. They have my favorite outlet mall there featuring over 120 stores. Catch lunch at Los Cucos Mexican! Fun and delicious.
Thursday – The Woodlands. A city in the middle of the woods, with beautiful houses and a cute downtown area for walking and shopping. We love Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Bar & Store for a seafood lunch!
Friday – Downtown Houston Aquarium – See and learn about over 50 species of fish, and have a delicious dinner overlooking the biggest fish tank you’ve ever seen featuring sharks and stingrays. After dinner head on to take a salsa lesson at 8pm on the patio!
Saturday – Lake Conroe. The Margaritaville Resort has a beautiful lake-beach, with an over the top water park that you can purchase day passes to. There is also a great restaurant there for lunch.
Sunday – Galveston Beach & Boardwalk. Galveston is 1 hr away from Houston and its such a gem. The town is colorful and full of history, and great seafood options. We usually go in the morning, meditate, read a book and grab lunch near the Boardwalk.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Jasmin Terrany, is a friend, mentor and someone that I admire so much! She is a renown therapist, writer, happy wife and mother of 2, who is dedicating her life right now to help high achieving women spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Her community has brought me so much joy and inspiration, a safe space where I can be vulnerable and feel supported by so many positive, love driven women.