Interview With Antonio Jaramillo | Joy Is Key to Success

We all have days when we feel good or better, and sometimes by limiting ourselves in the perception of time and sources, we deliver accordingly to how we feel towards what we do in any given moment. The formula is very simple – when we experience the emotion of overwhelming, we are less productive versus when we experience joy while doing any action, everything aligns and the results come up being extraordinary. 

Actor Antonio Jaramillo, who is starring as ‘Michael ‘Riz’ Ariza’ in FX’s “Mayans MC” says: “You have to enjoy what you do to become the best at it! Only through the enjoyment of what you do can you truly be successful at it. I love my craft, my profession and the opportunity to investigate myself and the behaviors of others.”

Hence, when we make the deliberate decision to enjoy everything we do, we will have the opportunity to experience life at its fullest – unlimited potential. 


• Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Antonio Jaramillo?

Antonio Jaramillo is a flawed man with a huge heart and a sense of humor that at times only seems to amuse himself. He is an actor, second-hand musician, a father of two, was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and a man whose life was saved by art!

• How does your personal life path have embraced your conscious decision in becoming an actor?

Personally, I didn’t set out to be an actor! But somehow through words and literature, “art grabbed hold of me, and to this day it hasn’t let go.” Once, I encountered the works of Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Clifford Odets, David Mamet, Anton Chekhov, and many others. I fell in love with words and because of that, I get to investigate human behavior with every role I play!

Entertainment Industry

• A mere action without inspiration seems too forced. Does theatre and culture literature have influenced your growth as an actor?

Without theatre and the literature that I was introduced to inside of it? I don’t think I would have been an actor; it is because of that, that I am an actor today! My beginnings were on the stage and I am the actor I am today because of what I’ve learned ‎in the theatre. I love it and will always find time to continue to do it. It makes me a better storyteller, a better actor!

• Many talents have to do other jobs before they allow the opportunity to do what they most desire. How was your path towards knowing ‘I am ready’ to transition to doing acting full-time?

I had done so many jobs from a dishwasher, janitor, busboy, cook, food server, maître d’, ‎sales and others before I decided to fully dedicate myself to the craft and being a professional actor. Once I moved to Los Angeles in 2004, I chose not to have a plan B and to work as an actor full time! If you give yourself to it 100% without a safety net and if you have the chops, the discipline, the determination, and the drive to become it? Then you will! But it will take time.

• What is your process in transforming the reality you observe into the reality you want to play during an audition?

The audition is the beginning of your work! And the most important thing is to behave as truthfully as possible within the imaginary circumstances set out on the page. You have to marry the person you are with the role you have been entrusted to play! Be a real human being with fears, insecurities, needs, desires, aspirations, dreams, habits, etc., etc.


• On stage, you can be seen as an Ensemble Cast Member of the Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale, CA. How does the combination of doing live theater and TV/film at the same time enhance each other?

Acting for the stage, film, and TV requires the exact same thing‎! The truth and only that. Of course, technically, there are some differences. On stage, you must have command of your voice and body so that you can convey the story throughout the theatre! For film and TV, you can condense the behavior and voice so that the story and the emotions can be read through your eyes and your face!

• You are starring as ‘Michael ‘Riz’ Ariza’ in FX’s “Mayans MC.” What did you feel the moment you read the script for the first time?

The first time I read the script for the Mayans MC, I thought I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing! It felt like it was top secret or something like that‎ but no doubt it was good! It jumped off the page! We all felt like it was something very special!

• What excites you most about being part of the TV series “Mayans MC” and how would you describe its style?

Being part of this show is exciting! The fans have been anxiously waiting for it since SOA ended four years ago or so. There was a lot of pressure to make it its own thing but at the same time also to honor‎ what SOA had been. Mayans MC is sexy, cool with a hint of fresh jalapeños!

• Why do you think the audience will love to watch “Mayans MC?”

I believe people will love watching Mayans MC because it is so well written and well executed ‎by the entire creative team; from the amazing cast, which includes the legendary Edward James Olmos, to the behind the camera crew! The story, the tone, the colors, the music and the rumble from the Harleys will keep audiences glued to their TV’s every week.

• What other exciting projects are you working on at this moment?

Right now, I am completely entangled and committed to Mayans MC, but I am looking forward to going back on stage soon and perhaps a few indie films here and there as well. I want to work with my fellow countrymen, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, and Guillermo del Toro!

Good Soul

• Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?

I have a little boy with autism, so anything having to do with that? I am in. I support Autism Speaks and other organizations and charities that are spreading awareness, furthering research efforts, and providing support systems for people with autism and their families.

I also get involved with organizations and events having to do with cancer! Especially when it relates to children. I fucking hate it when I see a child afflicted with cancer‎. They are innocent and helpless, why must they go through something like that?


• How does your focus paired with emotion, affects the experience of your existence?

I am not sure that I’m entirely conscious of my existence? But I am fully present for it and occasionally aware of myself and my actions.

Close Up

• The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is “The Essence of a Joyful Living.” How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?

You have to enjoy what you do to become the best at it! Only through the enjoyment of what you do can you truly be successful at it. I love my craft, my profession and the opportunity to investigate myself and the behaviors of others.

• When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words by Abraham Hicks. What is your take on such a statement?

I think it’s great to dream, wish and aspire to this or that and I certainly believe in those words spoken by Abraham Hicks, but if you don’t have the discipline to put in the time and do the work? You will not succeed. You cannot achieve great things unless you get off your ass!

Photographer: Storm Santos | Styling: Cassy Meier – *Some pieces provided by V22LA | Grooming: Emily Zempel | Location: V22LA