Bebita Ndongo Macias her story
Bebita Ndongo Macias, also known by her pen name I.W.Fredd, is an actress, author, cosplayer, dancer, model, pageant girl, singer and songwriter from La Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial.
Bebita: I was born in Madrid, Spain. I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah in the U.S. My parents were involved in the entertainment industry in Spain, so that's how my siblings and I got our start in the industry. Once I got old enough, I kind of just branched out on my own, and started in the entertainment industry in 2017 officially. Since then, I've just done a different variation of commercials. I've done films, short films, TV shows, like somethings that are notable. I guess so far it would be "Caso Cerrado". I was in the new action thriller "Echo Boomers". I've done different commercials, like Mountain Dew, GameStop, stuff like that and that's just basically what I'm still doing today.
What is the story that changed your life?
Bebita: The story that changed my life would probably be when I started in the industry because I did not know what to expect. Growing up I would always do everything in a timid way related to my family, it was always like a family endeavor. We did everything together, so I guess like the story that literally changed my life would probably be when I entered the entertainment industry and I got my first booking on a commercial. I remember this one was very intimidating because it was actually with a basketball player, LeBron James, and there it was, it was like, I guess my first taste of what it actually means to be involved in the industry. A lot of long hours, you know, things like a 12 hour day, a lot of lines to memorize, a lot of takes right after rehearsals and things that I was not generally used to or knew about until I started. So you could say like, in terms of acting, it has its highs and lows but ultimately, it does have it's rewards. I do think that my upbringing played a huge part in where I am today, where I will continue to go.
Did you go to school to become an actress or did you pick that up on your own?
Bebita: It was something that I picked up on my own. I started and basically, initially it started as an interest. It was like a little hobby that I picked up. I was inspired to pursue it by my favorite actress, Jamie Lee Curtis. When she was in the rendition of Halloween for 1978, I thought her performance was so phenomenal and well done that I decided that I wanted to do the same thing. I saw the movie around when I was like eight or nine years old. Then from there I did my first stage production. That's when I realized I had a lot of stage fright. So I kind of avoided the stage for a couple of years but I got into it at my next gig after, that would have been when I was 16 years old. My family and I; my sister, my mother and my brother, we went to Florida because we were hired to portray a family on "Caso Cerrado". It looks like there was an actual case but the family members were not able to make it so they picked us up. Since we know Spanish and can communicate very well and we all have acting backgrounds, we decided to fill in for those people. So after that things just took off. Things just definitely took off and it's been like a never ending roller coaster ever since. That's how I ended up here.
Do you know the reason why your family decided to come to the United States?
Bebita: Initially it started off as a vacation. My mom wanted to take a vacation. She was recommended to go to Utah. It was like the capital of the LDS people at the time. It was like somewhere where she was told it would be a very good family environment, a good place to visit. So after a while, what turned into a vacation ended up with us actually staying and that's where my sibling and I ended up growing up. My parents spent a good portion of their lives in Madrid, Spain, that's like where a lot of the cluster go. It's not too far away from my country, it's just like five hours on a plane. The opportunity was right there for us where we decided to stay in and get a taste of the American dream and see how things would go for us. Then in our art, it was very good for us because we were blessed to be here and pursued a lot of different opportunities.
How is life back there in La Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial?
Bebita: Well, I have never actually visited my country. I have relatives that live down there but I have never actually had a chance to visit. I was born in Spain and then I was there until about two years old and the rest of my life basically continued in the US so I do not know through personal experience, I do not know much about my nation but I do know like second hand experience through other family members that live there.
If you had the choice to stay in Spain or stay in the US, which one would you pick? Not knowing what you know now.
Bebita: Oh! That is a good question! Um, I do not know, I don't even know which one I would choose. For one part I would choose maybe Spain, just because it is like I have grown up with more of my Hispanic heritage. So it is like it is something that I feel like I am closer to because it is something that I know better. But on the other end, the second part of me would probably pick the US because it is where the majority of my life has taken place.
How do you feel about yourself, being the person that you are right now? Are you comfortable with your life, who you are right now or is it something you did not choose and you wanted to pursue something else?
Bebita: No, I would definitely say that now that I am 26, I have a better understanding of who I am now than I did when in my younger years, my childhood or my adolescent years. I would definitely say no, I do not think I have any regrets. I think I am right where I am supposed to be and I did not think that all the time when I was younger, I felt like maybe I was on the wrong path and maybe I should be valued for what I was trying to do with myself or what I was trying to do with my life. But I feel like I have hit the point now where I am very comfortable with who I am as a person, with what I do with my life, what I choose to do in terms of a career and what I choose to do in terms of how I act for talents and other opportunities. I think everything happens for a reason and I am happy that everything in my life happened the way that it did, even if in those moments, in the dark moments, you know, you don't always see it as an opportunity or a blessing in disguise, but had those things not happened then I wouldn't have been here today to even talk to you or even go through everything that I've been through and achieved what I have so far. So I don't have any regrets.
There are a lot of people who would like to be in your position right now but for reasons unknown they are not there. What would you like to say to them?
Bebita: Never disregard an opportunity, no matter how small, try to take as many opportunities that come your way, no matter how small, at first it may seem like anything but over time it does open doors that you probably never thought. You never know where you will get started. And you never know without one audition that you decided to make, maybe that could have been the opportunity that you were looking for but because you disregarded you will never know. It is better to go and just embrace any opportunity path, any good path that comes your way and just try to see it through to the end, cause you don't know what's at the end of the tunnel, maybe there's a rainbow at the end, but you are not going to know unless you try. At that point you have to try to be focused on what you want to know well and make sure that you are not surrounded by people or other influences that can distract you from good things. Have you gone down a bad path, cause sometimes you go down and you know that you don't come back from it, many people don't. So do try to avoid negative influences and try to look at the bright side of things. Try to do the best in what you are doing.
If you had the chance to choose another career, What would it be?
Bebita: I would probably be in law enforcement. My dad was in the military, so it had a big impression on me. I do think that people that work in those kinds of fields are very admirable because of the sacrifices they make just to keep other people safe or just to lock away the bad guy. So if I wasn't doing what I'm doing now in the entertainment industry, I'd probably be in law enforcement.
How do you manage your time? Do you focus on one thing first and then move on to the next project or do you work on different things at once?
Bebita: It is hard to resist that feeling that you just want to jump into everything all at once because you are so excited. I am absolutely full-time in school, so I learned through schooling to better coordinate my time. I'll have a season where I will be on set, I'll be acting and doing all this and then once that wraps up, that is when I jump to another project. For example, I could go into modeling, music, but make sure that I have enough time to go on holidays to be at home, to recharge, to spend time with family. Family is really important to me. I guess finding your balance, finding what works for you and trying not to overbook over yourself because the last thing you want to do is burn out before you can even get to where you need to get to. So it is very important just to be able to manage your time between your professional life and your personal life and have a really good and healthy balance there.
Is that stressful for you or is it something that you picked up like normal, by nature?
Bebita: I would say it depends on the scripts. Sometimes the scripts are just very lengthy, like your part is going to be a few pages long and sometimes is different and you have to memorize that, it does get stressful. Sometimes you have to memorize more than one script because you are on this set, then you are on another set and the on another one. I guess, the best way to overcome that is just basically get a system that works for you, that helps you manage your memorization skills. Have the time to study one, but at the same time take a moment. After you are done with one, go to the next one. I noticed for myself anyways, if you are trying to memorize more than one script at once, you just kind of get jumbled, that would be going to get mixed up and it does create a bigger issue than what you need when you are on set.
Do you see yourself doing this career for a long time or do you have a time where you want to stop?
Bebita: I see myself doing this for a very long time. I feel like this is definitely my calling. Anything we are trying to do in this world it is always going to be a little bit of a sacrifice. It is going to be a little bit of give and take. So this is definitely something that I see myself doing. I feel like this is where I'm supposed to be. This is where I want to be. I see my self doing the same things, maybe not in the same exact way that i do them now but definitely in the same world.
Did you learn English in Spain?
Bebita: No, I have never been in school in Spain. I came to the USA as a toddler so I learned English here when I was around seven or eight years old. I feel like i was very lucky because I grew up in a home where English was not permitted at home. My mother wanted us to speak English outside because you are surrounded by English speakers. I grew up in a bilingual household and that gives you the advantage a lot of times in the things that I do. It is hard to find your footing sometimes in a place that you are not even used to at all. You used to live in one way and then all of a sudden you are somewhere else and you had to adapt to this new world and learn how to communicate, know how to get on but still try to keep your core upbringing at the same time because you don't want to be lost. You still want to keep yourself but still adapt to a new place. So it is definitely hard when you are coming from somewhere different. I'm here with my parents, I have nieces and nephews and my sibling here but I do have relatives and the majority of my relatives still live in Spain, Norway, Russia and North Korea.
Are you writing a book?
Bebita: In terms of writing, it is done. I'm just waiting on editing and after that, we can get a release date and hopefully get it out there for a lot of people that are still waiting on it.
What is your book about?
Bebita: The book is called "Lights Out", horror stories to read after dark. So this is like my first attempt at horror. I've been a very big fan of horror based things. I like scary things; paranormal, supernatural things, so this is an anthology book of just 10 stories. It is pretty short but it is my nod or salute to different types of horror. Sub-genres that have come throughout times that we have all grown up with. This is projected to release in March but I don't have a solidified release date just yet. It is my first attempt at horror, different types of horrors like the paranormal type, the classic slasher film type, the zombie type and everything that you are probably like in horror put in one book. All of this is strictly fiction, it has nothing to do based on your life events. These are just things I have concocted in my own imagination. This is not the first one I've written, but this is the first one I'm publishing.
When did you actually start writing?
Bebita: I've been writing since I was seven or eight years old. I still have these things collecting dust in the basement but this is basically my first attempt at horror and this is my first published work.
Do you believe in the paranormal stuff?
Bebita: I do believe in ghosts, I believe in vampires and zombies and werewolves. I believe in everything. I feel like the wall is so big and it is so old that I don't know how you can't believe in it. I do believe that we are all living in a certain way. Like we are all living in a way that is very ordinary and normal to us that we don't pay attention to things that are considered abnormal. So I do believe in anything supernatural or things that are beyond our realm of normality.
How do you feel being here in "Share my story Ed"?
Bebita: I'm so excited to talk to you. I'm having a great time with this interview and I'm very excited to have a chance to speak with your audience and have them get to know me, get to know what I do. I feel like hopefully this won't be our first time communicating within the future. We'll be communicating some more, but this is definitely like a very exciting thing for me.
Would you like to add something else?
Bebita: If you guys don't already know, which I think you do, I will be releasing a lot more projects in 2021. You can catch me on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. You are more than welcome to just check out my stuff. And again, thank you Ed for having me here, this has been a very amazing experience and I'm very happy to have a chance to talk on you show.
What do you think about her story? What do you think about people who are immigrants? Share your thoughts in the comments below.