I’m an Actress / Singer, who also writes, produces and directs projects that I love.
*Member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA and BMI.
Read my writings published in the media:
2015 Rome Web Awards
“Best Sexy Actress”
2014 Rome Web Awards
“Outstanding Lead Actress”
2013 LA Web Festival
“Excellence in Multimedia”
2013 H.O.L.A. Awards
A bit about Vanessa Verduga
Vanessa Verduga is a multi-talented actress, singer and writer who is laser focused on creating bold and explosive career opportunities – but those inclined to start using the shopworn phrase “Renaissance Woman” to describe her will be quickly corrected for being too limiting. These days, the Los Angeles born, Bronx raised performer—who legitimately includes “producer” and “lawyer” on her resume —is making her mark instead as “Justice Woman,” the lead character in the popular web series she created and launched in 2012. And for which she has won numerous awards including an “Outstanding Lead Actress” award at the 2013 L.A. Web Festival, the very first “Excellence in Multimedia” award from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors, the “Best Sexy Actress” award at the 2014 Rome Web Awards, and the “Golden Star” award at the 2015 Rome Web Awards in Italy. Currently in post-production for Season 4, the show has earned positive reviews by NBC Latino and its first three seasons have garnered over 2 million views on its dedicated YouTube channel. Written, produced and directed by Vanessa, “Justice Woman” was inspired in part by her passion for superheroes growing up. The concept is also rooted in the disillusionment she experienced as an attorney. “Being a solo practitioner was an eye opening experience as I got to see firsthand how our legal system and the people in charge of it can work for both good and bad under the guise of the law”.
The series follows the story of Sofía Escala, a.k.a. Justice Woman, a spunky Assistant D.A. by day, defender of truth and justice by night. With the help of her office-mate and sidekick Robert (Roberta) Gallion, she fights to right the wrongs committed against the innocent and powerless by a corrupt legal system – and naturally winds up in some tight spots along the way. A smart, funny, fast-paced series with a touch of risqué business and perhaps the first Latina superhero and gay sidekick duo ever, “Justice Woman” tackles serious issues, but with large doses of campy humor. Expanding her creative outreach further, Vanessa has written a comic book entitled “Justice Woman Begins” and has designs on eventually translating “Justice Woman” into a television series and musical play.
Vanessa produced and starred in “H.O.M.E.,” a feature film by award winning director Daniel Maldonado, and “The Hunting of Lost Characters”, a short film by multiple Emmy-award winning director Gustavo Sampaio. She also produced the “Latino Thought Makers Live Series, hosted by Rick Najera” at Oxnard College, which spotlights influential Latinos in the fields of Performing Arts, Politics, and Social Issues. Her play “Implications of Cohabitation”, which she wrote and starred in played at the Clurman, Theatre Row (NYC), the past August 2016 to great reviews. Last but certainly not least, Vanessa is a recording her very first solo album, a bilingual urban Latin album, titled “Soy Mujer” (“I am Woman”), with multiple Grammy- and Billboard award winning producers DJ Napoles and Kenny O’Brien.
An active blogger who writes about current events and the reasoning behind her many artistic endeavors, Vanessa has written articles for NBC Latino, Latin Heat Entertainment, PolicyMic and MOSH.Opinions, and has been praised for her writing by fellow Latina actress/producer Eva Longoria. Vanessa was named one of the 25 Club Leaders of the Future–New York 2013 by Latino Leaders Magazine.
Destined for a multi-faceted life and career from her earliest days, Vanessa started acting, singing and dancing at age four, encouraged by her mother, a trained dancer in Spanish dance whose own mother (Vanessa’s grandmother) would take her every weekend to sing live at the local radio station in her native Ecuador. Coming from a family that valued the performing arts – but also stressed the importance of a strong education and practical career path – it’s logical that Vanessa would eventually find her way back to performing after a lengthy college and law school hiatus. A graduate of both the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Seton Hall University School of Law, Vanessa returned to acting during law school when she joined the theater student group there. With a knack for developing strong yet vulnerable characters, she has appeared in numerous theater productions and films since graduating from AADA.
She got into filmmaking as a result of acting and writing. Having done theater throughout New York City, Vanessa decided to give film a chance and discovered that she loved it just as much. Co-writing the award-winning short film “Danny First” – based on the story of her relationship with her brother Tony, who is autistic – further impressed upon her the power of film to move and inspire a much wider audience. Having traveled and lived abroad, Vanessa – who studied in Paris and Italy, and worked in Milan during her undergrad days as a computer information systems major at Baruch College – brings a rich multi-perspective to her projects – not to mention that she is a polyglot, speaking five languages, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and English.
Described by her peers as “a compassionate fighter with captivating strength and sassy humor,” Vanessa aspires to awaken our inner warriors through her art.
Check out Vanessa’s IMDB page here.
- Writer and lead actress of the play Implications of Cohabitation that played at the Clurman, Theatre Row (NYC), August 2016.
- Lead actress in the award-winning digital series Justice Woman.
- Supporting actress and producer of The Hunting of Lost Characters, a short film by award-winning Director Gustavo Sampaio, and H.O.M.E., a feature film by award-winning Director Daniel Maldonado.
News & Press
I’m in post-production for the final season of my beloved series Justice Woman, which will air in November. Although, the series is ending, I am writing the TV adaptation of the series. Keeping my fingers crossed for this one 😀
I still can’t believe I was LIVE on stage at the Clurman, Theatre Row (NYC) this past August, starring in the dark comedy play I wrote “Implications of Cohabitation”. Check it out here: http://ImplicationsOfCohabitation.com 😀
I also got the great opportunity to write for MOSH.Opinions. Sign-up and explore MOSH., a platform where Artists, Brands and Causes can come together with their Fans or Customers to directly engage and build stronger relationships.
Here’s an article, published by Hispanic News Online, Latin Heat and Subversify, Donald Trump Hosts SNL & Hollywood says F**K You to Latinos
Another article, published by Latin Heat, Michelle Rodriguez’ dumb statement poses a bigger question
It was an honor to be a guest speaker on the Women of Color in Comics panel at the 2014 New York Comic Con. “[T]he line waiting to get into a panel featuring women of color discussing their work were about what you’d expect for panels dedicated to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or The Walking Dead.” (Flavorwire.com)
HERE is a profile article written by Melissa Castellanos for the Latin Post.
2014 was great for Justice Woman with wins for Best Sexy Actress and Best Original Score at the Rome Web Awards and nominations at the Indie Series Awards, Miami Web Fest, LA Web Festival and Vancouver Web Festival.
Loved workshopping this wonderful new musical FRIDA based on the life of one of my heroines Frida Kahlo.
My comic book Justice Woman Begins was reviewed by comic book writer and critic Robert Sodaro who highly recommends it -> Justice never felt so good!
I was named 1 of 25 of NYC’s most dynamic young leaders by Latino Leaders Magazine. Thanks!
Bobby Cannavale joins Nadine Velázquez & Vanessa Verduga at 2013 HOLA Awards. I’m so grateful to H.O.L.A. for honoring me with an Excellence in Multimedia Award.
Great shout-out from Eva Longoria!
We made Latina Magazine’s list of 8 Latino Web Series to Watch “[b]ecause it focuses on what it means to be a modern Latina.”
Great to be considered by Latin Heat as one of the Latino Web Series that are Leveling the Filmmaking Playing Field.
Becoming an Official Selection of the LA Web Festival in 2013 was a pivotal moment as I was able to see the potential of Justice Woman and my ability to take control of my career. And I won an Outstanding Lead Actress award to boot!
Great mention in the New York Times as an “emerging talent…whose Justice Woman series is bringing the classic-comic aesthetic to new digital media.”
NBC Latino reviews Justice Woman. Feels good when hard work and dedication gain recognition.
Vanessa Verduga: From Legal Eagle to Web Series Justice Woman is the first review on Justice Woman, which set the spark for more reviews that can be read at Justice Woman.com.
It was a privilege to be a part of Let The Phoenix Rise, a dynamic production based on the true stories of four troubled teenage girls, and their personal tribulations and triumphs over adversity.
Here I am again on the CBS/KCAL 9 Sunday morning news talking about the San Diego Comic Con and the two panels I spoke on Web Series Creators: The Next Generation! & Women of Color in Comics:
Stopped by CBS-KCAL9 Sunday morning news to talk about Justice Woman and the need for diversity in Hollywood and the comic book industry:
Here’s an interview I did for the Spanish Milwaukee Radio show “Guillermo & Rosita” on La Gran D 104.6 FM, where I address Michelle Rodriguez’ hurtful comments on minorities stealing white superhero roles and being too lazy to create their own. Something I wholeheartedly dispute. Listen here.
My interview on Dollhouse Radio’s REELTalk! Listen here.
Check out this Justice Woman interview at the 2014 New York Comic Con by ToyMasters Video Magazine:
Here’s an interview I did in Spanish for the Multiple-Emmy and AP Award winning Journalist Naibe Reynoso-Hodsden 😀
Check out my interview on LatiNation below. Feels nice to be recognized for doing what I love
Being nominated for a 2014 International Web Television Award was exciting and further being asked to be an award presenter at the ceremony made it all just magical.
A one on one interview I did with Elia Esparza of Latin Heat Entertainment providing a sneak peek on Justice Woman Season 2.
Sometimes a little controversy is needed to set the record straight. Vanessa Verduga on the Hotly Debated “Devious Maids” Controversy.
Jorge Medina of MAS Media Studios interviews me at the 2013 Bronx Heroes Comic Con.
Here’s a very candid interview I did for ToyMasters Video Magazine at the 2013 Women in Comics panel and gallery event.
Here’s a fun string of interviews a few web content creators did for GenreTainment at the 2013 LA Web Festival. My interview begins at 20:31.
It was an honor to be one of three Latina Content Producers speaking about my experiences on creating Justice Woman for Prime Latino Media Salon’s Webisodes: The Future of Content is Now, recorded for television broadcast.
Here’s a Spanish interview I did for Mundo Fox’s “La Revista Semanal” television program discussing my web series Justice Woman.
What I'm Doing
Implications of Cohabitation
The implications of one man’s life choices seem non-consequential until his wife dies and he attempts to reconnect with his three adult children. “Implications of Cohabitation” tells the story of an old-fashioned Ecuadorian father, Nelson, who after the death of his wife, wants to get reacquainted with his three adult kids by inviting himself to live with each one of them, one at a time, which leads to wickedly funny cohabiting situations that reveal past family wounds. Matters do not go smoothly as Nelson seeks to reconnect with estranged middle child, Sara, his daughter from an extra-marital affair with Carmen, whom he has not seen in twenty years. A heartfelt dark comedy written by me and directed by Leni Mendez that played at The Clurman, Theatre Row (NYC) from August 5th – 26th.
For updates, visit http://ImplicationsOfCohabitation.com
The Hunting of Lost Characters
A sci-fi action short film that dares to ask the question, “Are you a lost character in life waiting to be deleted?”
This film, which I star in and produced, had a successful run at the Laemmle NoHo 7 Theater and is now making the film festivals circuit. For updates, LIKE us at http://facebook.com/thehuntingoflostcharacters.
Meet Sofía Escala, a.k.a. Justice Woman, spunky Assistant D.A. by day, defender of truth and justice by night, who with the help of her office-mate and sidekick Robert (Roberta) Gallion fights to right the wrongs committed against the innocent and powerless by a corrupt legal system – and gets herself into some tight spots along the way. The critically acclaimed series is heading into its fourth and final season this November 2016. For updates, visit www.JusticeWoman.com.
Proud to have been a part of Latinas in Media, which brings to the forefront the issues Latinas face in the entertainment industry. Following the success of the first roundtable discussion, I was inspired to co-executive produce two Latinas Chat Media sessions in L.A. to get the Hollywood perspective. Here’s Part 1 of the second L.A. session.
Here is Part 1 of the New York five-part roundtable discussion on writing while Latina.
A social realist feature film about the human condition, comprised of 2 stories of characters on personal journeys in search for a human connection in an alienating city, NYC, and told through the immigrant perspective. For more, visit www.HOMEacronymfilm.com.
Current and Upcoming Projects
2016 is a great year of fruition. I’m recording my first solo album and my play “Implications of Cohabitation”, which I wrote and starred in, played to great reviews at the Clurman, Theatre Row (NYC). I am definitely reaping what I sow, living my dream and feeling blessed and grateful for it all 😀
In 2015, I spoke at the San Diego Comic Con in the “Web Series Creators: The Next Generation” panel and on the popular “Women of Color in Comics” panel at the SDPL Logan Heights Branch. “[T]he line waiting to get into a panel featuring women of color discussing their work were about what you’d expect for panels dedicated to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or The Walking Dead.” (Flavorwire.com at the 2014 NYCC)
2015 came with a nomination for Best Actress at the 2015 Miami Web Fest, a Golden Star win at the 2015 Rome Web Awards for my dedication to social justice through my series Justice Woman, which was an Official Selection of the 2015 LA Web Festival, the 2015 Vancouver Web Festival, the 2015 KWebFest, Korea’s first web series festival, the 2015 Sicily Web Fest, the 2015 Bilbao Web Fest and the 2015 Rio Web Fest. And I also got to perform at the legendary House of Blues in Los Angeles before it closed forever.
Aside from working fervently on my LP, my stage play and Justice Woman, series and comic book, which you can order here. So many wonderful things are set to come so stay tuned 😀
I’m so excited to be recording my first solo album, a Latin urban fusion album, titled Soy Mujer (I am Woman), with Grammy and Billboard award-winning producers Kenny O’Brien and DJ Napoles to be released late 2016. In the meantime, here is a promo teaser of my first single Owner of My Heart coming out soon 😀
My life revolves around Acting. Everything I do – writing, directing, producing, singing, and dancing – is all done in service to my craft. Acting is life and I’m living it!
Check out my reel and actor intro on the left and look at my IMDB page here.
For more insights into my craft, check out my personal blog Owning My Inner Amazon Goddess.
Some people know me as a playwright, a screenwriter, a blogger and comic book author. These are all labels I embrace, but above all else, I am an Actor and as such I aim to understand and empathize multiple perspectives of life. I believe that writing is an outlet, just like acting is an outlet for creativity, emotional expression and logical argument.
Since my schedule is pretty hectic, I don’t always have time to write what’s on my mind. (Which at any moment could be a hundred different things!) However, when something really provokes my reaction, or hits close to home, I will make time for it. And be warned, you’re going to hear my raw and uncensored opinion!
Just like an actor needs his or her motivation to perform a scene, a writer needs a creative spark, a strong thought enabled by a strong set of emotions to see an idea through and perfect it. I write for passion. The same passion I put into acting – to stir people up, force people to think, and slowly but surely change the world.
Writing for MOSH.Opinions is a guilty pleasure, as it’s a publication that invites controversy and polarizing discussions. As a Latina trying to break the mold and not fit into a box or a stereotype, I make it a point to write on social issues that matter, that are often neglected from the mainstream, and that speak to the millennial generation. Today’s youth is smart, rebellious against conformity, and fearless, and I want to inspire them as a real life Superheroine who doesn’t accept being told how to think or what to feel by corporate media.
I was one of the lucky few who got to write for PolicyMic when the website first came on the scene. You can still read some of my articles there.
I am so grateful to Latin Heat for the support they’ve given me and continue to give all Latinos who are contributing to great art and journalism since 1992. I’ve been interviewed and have had Justice Woman reviewed by Elia Esparza and Bel Hernandez. They also ran a piece I wrote on the Devious Maids TV show, which was fairly controversial, so I bow my cape and cowl to them for encouraging diversity and free speech. When the ladies of Latin Heat were up for an Imagen award with their talk show HOLA! LA, I wrote a congratulatory piece in recognition of their talent.
I had the privilege of lending my voice to NBC Latino, prior to it shutting down in January 2014 to become part of NBC News, with this Op-Ed piece on the social trend of maternal clocks and the perception of motherhood in the 21st century.
As a lifelong fan of superheroes, I was so honored when Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson’s granddaughter, Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson, asked me to write for the Major’s blog. The man founded DC Comics and single-handedly changed entertainment history forever. Thanks Nicky!
I have been recognized at The Student Operated Press where I was able to share some of my career work and highlight Justice Woman, as well as a film I am producing entitled H.O.M.E.
I also maintain a personal blog, Owning My Inner Amazon Goddess where I share insights into my craft, my life.