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Award-winning Dominican actress and filmmaker visits PCCC

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

By Jovan Uzelac—

It was a relatively cold afternoon when I met with Soleidy Mendez, actress, producer and writer with a warm personality that contrasted the weather outside. She visited PCCC’s campus on November 21, 2019 for Professor and Coordinator of the Theater Program, R.J. Rader’s Annual “Playwright in Residence.” With an inviting smile Mendez agrees to an interview. Prior to that, students at PCCC, primarily theater and English majors, were reading through Mendez’s next film project script.

While talking to Ms. Mendez, I thought she looked familiar and that’s when it hit me. She was on one of the episodes of the show Law and Order, one of the longest lasting shows at 20 seasons. She mentioned how after she auditioned for the part in July of 2018, they didn’t call her back. But later that month a phone call came through and as she says, “its been one of my favorite experiences” and that is quite visible by the way she holds her smile and talks passionately about it.

Throughout our conversation you feel the passion behind her words as she describes how difficult it is to “make it” in the business, “you have to wear many hats” as Ms. Mendez puts it. From her childhood in Dominican Republic where its tough finding acting jobs or even being recognized, to now where Ms. Mendez is directing and writing movies such as “Things we don’t say” and “Cheesecake and Tango”.

Ms. Mendez’s plans are to have her own production house one day and she is on a path to it bringing into focus seeking to also bring to the forefront social issues within her films.

With her busy schedule being a jack of all trades Ms. Mendez stays organized and keeps her goals in mind—envisioning the plan to execute the necessary steps as she’s shown us with her success.

Acting in over 20 different titles, few of them being Law and Order and City of Mercy while at the same time, directing and writing amazing short films—who wouldn’t hire this fun, bubbly personality with a dedicated and focused mind?

Ms. Mendez sends a message forward to all aspiring film majors, theater majors and even English majors with kind words “do it, just do it like Nike” – we share a laugh. But more seriously “What I’ve come to learn is, no one is going to come and give you a role. You have to work for it, you have to prepare, you have to audition. No one is going to write the film for you, its all on you to go through the hurdles” ending the interview with a strong message.

Despite her troubles of being in a country where acting isn’t available Ms. Mendez prevails into an amazing, talented actress write and producer. We can all look forward to her future work and yet again be blow away by the performance.

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