Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Discover How to Be Your Best
Meet Christina Mauro

Celebrity Interviews:

A native Texan, an “impressive, disarmingly powerful, and talented” actress, a guy’s girl who loves pretty shoes and stylish purses, a “real pro” when it comes to producing…each accurately describe Christina Mauro. But none tell the whole story.

Christina owes her Mediterranean-looks to her parents and her uniquely Texas heritage. Of Spanish, English, Welsh, Native American, and Italian descent, she is the youngest of six children and the daughter of a south Texas cattle rancher and an East Texas artist. She began acting as a child and first appeared on stage in a performance of Brigadoon at A & I University in Kingsville, Texas (now Texas A & M – Kingsville). She has been acting ever since.
While at the University of Houston, majoring in theatre and psychology, she built a reputation of choosing roles that were challenging, physically and emotionally. Later while teaching at a private school and later while working as a real estate agent, Christina continued to hone her craft on the stage and on screen whenever the opportunity presented itself. Along the way she realized that she could settle down in Houston and continue acting in local productions or she could make a leap of faith and head to New York or Los Angeles. She leapt. In the fall of 2000, Christina packed up her townhome, rented a moving truck, and loaded herself and three dogs in her SUV and headed west on I-10.

Once in Los Angeles, Christina began studying at Playhouse West. There, she worked with Chris Liebe and Jeff Goldblum for more than four years. Other Playhouse West alumni include James Franco, Scott Caan, Ashley Judd, and Mark Pellegrino. It was while studying at Playhouse West that she began producing. She read a script for a short film by fellow student, writer/director Ward Roberts, and loved the story. She agreed to produce it even though, at the time, she had no idea what “producing” meant.

In what would become a pattern, Christina saw this first script as an opportunity to help a fellow student and friend build his calling card but she soon realized she was making one for herself as well. Her first producing and acting project in Los Angeles was the 35 mm short film, The Boy Scout, written and directed by Ward Roberts. Learning on the run, Christina looked to successful women in the industry for inspiration, such as Bonnie Curtis and the indie producing duo of Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler.

An actor first, Christina continues to enjoy working with first time filmmakers as they make their way in the business. “I didn't have anyone helping me get where I need to go,” explained Christina “but if I read something that I think has promise, I can't help but want to reach in and give them a hand.”
Success and practicality led to the founding of Fly High Films in 2003. Since then Christina has focused on character-driven projects and has produced many independent films, both shorts and features, while continuing to act on both stage and in film. To date, she has fifteen producing credits and nine acting credits including two award winning features: 11 Minutes Ago and Stellina Blue. “11 Minutes Ago was great fun because it was such a challenge to do,” explained Christina. “It was shot in one day – 16 hours. We were bound by the concept and I am very proud of it.”

Christina describes Stellina Blue as “a very personal role for many reasons.” She went on to explain: “I chose to play the role of Stellina because she is a catalyst for change. I think that may be some part of why I wanted to be involved with filmmaking. If I could make a difference anywhere…it would be wonderful. The character of Stellina gives people hope and causes them to think outside themselves. This film provides an opportunity to express that we as people are intrinsically the same, in spite of religion, culture, language, or ethnic origin. We all suffer, feel pain, and bleed and that is OK. We are all unified by the human experience and HOPE is what each of us needs to survive, to keep moving.”

According to fellow actor and producing partner Cambria Stephens, “Christina is a driving force; full of passion that she pours into all her projects and anything else she sets her mind too. This is evident in Stellina Blue not just as the character but her influences on the project as a whole, bringing it to light, and getting it out to the world to see.” Cambria went on to explain that Christina “loves the characters she plays and finishes what she starts no matter where the road may take her. She pulls things off with grace and talent. She does all these things and is good at them.”

Home is now a 1920s Spanish-eclectic bungalow in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, which Christina shares with husband Jeremy Juuso and their much loved canine kids, Oliver and Jake. Jeremy, an actor, author, and film finance consultant recently published Getting the Money: A Step-by-Step Guide for Writing Business Plans for Film and authors "The AKA Report,” a quarterly analysis of independent films. He is also the founder/owner of Jeremy Juuso Consulting.

Christina is currently working on the budget for a sci-fi thriller called Annihilation Day written and to be directed by Brian Klemesrud. She will be acting in this project as well and sees this as an opportunity to bring an outstanding ensemble cast together.

By Arleigh Hays
Another native Texan, Arleigh spends her days as the corporate communications manager for Tyler Technologies, while at home she is a wayward gardener and the first class spoiler of her much loved nieces and nephews as well as her own furry family—Scout and Diego. A sometime freelance writer and web designer, she has been a full-time friend of Christina Mauro for far longer than either care to admit.


Links
Christina Mauro on IMDb (the Internet Movie Database): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1336973/
Playhouse West: http://www.playhousewest.net/
The Boy Scout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSaWmUMrQaQ
Fly High Films: http://www.flyhighfilms.com
11 Minutes Ago: http://www.11minutesagothemovie.com/
Stellina Blue: http://stellinablue.com/
Getting the Money: http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Money-Step-Step-Business/dp/1932907645/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1250635825&sr=8-1
The A.K.A. Report: http://www.jeremyjuuso.com/film.htm
Jeremy Juuso Consulting: http://www.jeremyjuuso.com