Andrea Navedo stars as Xiomara Villanueva in the hit CW show Jane the Virgin. Navedo received her bachelor’s degree in theater, a major that no longer exists, at SUNY Old Westbury.
Navedo said, “I went to Old Westbury because it was the only school that took me. I applied to a bunch of colleges and Old Westbury kind of considered me but it was a teacher that encouraged me to write a letter and that’s why I got in.”
Navedo wanted to be an actress even as a kid watching television. Being raised by a single mother and working at multiple, full-time jobs, being an actress did not seem possible. It was at Old Westbury that Navedo saw an opportunity for a new beginning. Her first time acting was in a play at OW.
She said, “It was my first semester as a freshman when I was walking down the hallway by the theater, that I saw an audition sign. Literally, my heart fluttered! It was like love at first sight! I forced myself to go and to my amazement I got a part, I did the play, and I loved it. I decided I was going to be a theater major.”
Her time at OW was “the best time of my life!” She added: “In high school everyone was so immature and I wanted to be in a learning environment. I just wanted to be in an atmosphere where people were more serious about their studies, motivated; I wanted to get ahead in life and that’s what Old Westbury did for me.”
She described her time in high school: “For the majority of high school, I wasn’t a good student. There was even one year that I decided to not go to school and just hungout with my boyfriend. I guess my junior or my senior year, I had a wake up call and decided to turn my life around. I broke up with my boyfriend. I became an honor student and I had never been a good student!
“I don’t want any regrets. I already had so many from high school and I didn’t want that going forward.”
She explained, “I usually read books that will inspire me to stay more organize and more focused. I used to have a full-time civilian job, so to speak, but I was constantly focusing on the things I wanted. Acting was my priority. I thought about everyday.”
She explained, “One needs to be open as much as possible and to listen to their inner voice. Get out of your comfort zone because that’s where the magic happens. When you try to stay in you comfort zone, everything’s boring. Do things despite your fears.”