Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
My name is Natalia Patiño and I’m a Colombian-American arts and media professional. I act, sing, write, create, and market digital content. My career story begins as an introverted five year old enrolled in musical theatre classes for the sake of being socialized. It was there where I discovered I had a passion for performing. This love evolved as I explored different facets of the arts through band, theatre, chorus, and visual mediums. After years of community theatre, I auditioned for and was accepted into a magnet high school for drama. Upon graduation, I found my first talent agent. During my college years, I booked day player roles on Nickelodeon shows, regional theatre shows, and commercials. I’ve also done stand-in work, been an extra, and a celebrity seat filler. I’m not always front and center, but I do always show up, play the part expertly, and lead with heart.
It was also during my college years where I unearthed my love for creative, multimedia storytelling. My master’s program pushed me into the digital marketing/content creation space. I even won a film festival during this time for a short that I storyboarded/directed/composed/starred in. Acquiring these skills, I’ve honed my mission and vision as a multi hyphenate creator. I’m here to tell stories that uplift, inspire, educate, and entertain- be it on stage, onscreen, or behind the scenes. With my skills in digital media, I’ve worked with brands such as LaCroix Sparkling Water and even started my own art, accessories, and merchandise brand, Nati P ( @natipcreates). I’ve also my multimedia skills in my music, composing my own original songs, available to listen on all major streaming platforms.
While I believe in the fluidity of my identity as an artist, at my core, I am a creative storyteller and a loving soul enjoying the human experience to the utmost. I believe in being a simultaneous masterpiece and work in progress. I stay curious and in awe of all that has been, already is, and has yet to be. I always tell myself I am the luckiest person I know, but deep down, I know it’s because I stay prepared and unafraid of grasping opportunities by the horns.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I believe creativity is an energy, and my creativity and imagination have helped me through it all. I’m also very much connected with my faith in spirituality, so a lot of what I do is intuitively led. Having received higher education and learning the ins and outs of my industry in addition to my extensive experience onstage and screen geared me up in ways I never imagined. I stay ready and open to receiving.
I know I’m only in competition with past versions of myself, and I believe in the power of positivity, the law of attraction, and karmic reciprocity. Its not so much about others understanding what I do or why it is I do it, but rather me knowing my intentions and overall mission and vision to spread love and light through my passions and skills.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
I have several snapshot moments where I feel like I’m on top of the world. Most of them have been onstage or in front of a camera. My earliest of these memories is performing my first dance show at 6 years old. I wasn’t my typical nervous and fearful self under bright lights in front of an audience. I sang and tap danced to “Over The Rainbow” at the historic Olympia Theatre in downtown Miami, Florida.
At the end of our number, as we all marched off stage in single file, my tap shoe popped off. Instead of turning red with embarrassment- a default reaction of mine- I relished the chance to run back onstage and get more time, all to myself. I picked up my shoe, and bowed yet again feeling empowered to booming applause and laughter. More moments like these showed up in big and small ways, and I learned to feel powerful from the inside out over the years. But that moment was a turning point for me and began what was to be a lifelong, wild ride.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
Something I’ve struggled with over the years is debilitating anxiety over new situations. Panic attacks and all. Sometimes to the point of being hospitalized, running EKG tests, only to find my feelings were induced mentally, not physically. I’ve spent sleepless nights with a drumming heart during major life transitions. Nerves over the unknown have made me feel sick for months on end.
The irony being, in the arts/media/entertainment industry, I am always having to meet and work with new people under new circumstances. Holistic self-care has been my saving grace. Yoga, meditation, breath work, and the act of creating are my form of healing. I’ve heightened my awareness through mindfulness, grounding me in all areas of life. I actively work to bring presence, power, and warmth to everything I do. More often than not, this attracts more likeminded creatives who have been amazing collaborators and instrumental in helping me advance on my journey.
If you had to pick the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could take your career (or business) to the next level…who would those 3 people be?
My idols are all multi hyphenate creators. That said, my top 3 people I’d LOVE to meet that I feel could help elevate my career would be: Mindy Kaling, Judd Apatow, and Lin Manuel Miranda. They’re writing echoes with humanity and comedy. They all have their own production companies. They’ve all produced critically acclaimed television shows.
Mindy Kaling’s responsible for a string of television series that are diverse, female-driven, and hilarious including: ” Never Have I Ever,” ” The Mindy Project,” and ” Sex Lives of College Girls.” Not to mention she acts in a lot of what she writes and owns Kaling Enterprise.
Apatow has made my favorite comedy films in the last decade and favorite short-lived cult classic series, ” Freaks and Geeks.” His body of work showcases talented authentic actors; the funny things he writes come from a bedrock of truth. Also his daughters Iris and Maude are killing the acting game right now and seem cool, too.
Full disclosure, being a #miamigirl in the theatre community, I know people, who know Lin. Several people in my network have had awesome collaborative opportunities and nothing but amazing things to day about their experiences. He is a genius in our generation and wears all the hats.
I feel if I could pick their brains, or work with them to some capacity, I would learn, grow, and laugh a lot.