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Vale Genta    

Vale Genta

Artwork by FISK

BY MEADOWLARK MONAGHAN

HI VALE! FIRST AND FOREMOST, HOW ARE YOU DOING? HOW IS YOUR QUARANTINE GOING? 

Thankfully, I’m doing alright. It’s pretty crazy to think about the time we’re living in right now and how the first question is “How is your quarantine going?” It just comes to show, you really can’t plan much. These first three months of 2020 have been a whirlwind for me and for the entire world, but I’m lucky to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people, so that encourages me to stay positive and motivated. 

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT IS SPECIFICALLY WORKING FOR YOU DURING THIS TIME THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE?

I won’t bore you guys with every idea that goes through my mind, but there are definitely some key points/reasons that have helped me get through this weird time we’re in. 

  1. Plenty of time to do THAT chore you have been postponing for months. (Cleaning out your closet, fridge, room) 
  2. Plenty of time to get creative. Think of these weeks as your creativity vacation. We’ve been given endless hours to focus on creating art, whatever that may be for you, (Content, music, writing, etc.) so let’s take advantage. 
  3. Plenty of time to catch up with friends & family. Ironically, I’ve spoken to more people in the past couple weeks than I have in over 2 months. We’ve been given plenty of time to call relatives and remind them that we’re always here or facetime childhood friends and see how they’re getting through this time. Emotional relationships are so important when we are isolated from that physical touch. So make sure to take advantage of this extra time and maybe rekindle a friendship that you've been thinking about!

DO YOU FEEL LIKE QUARANTINE HAS HAD A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE EFFECT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?

I would say both. There’s a lot you can take out of this whole quarantine situation. I've had a lot of time to think (obviously) and that’s given me time to jot down any thoughts I have. Through this time, I’ve come to realize that I am innately a pretty positive and grateful person. Of Course I have my days, because well, I’m human. But I’ve really noticed the importance of having a positive mindset while stuck at home in self isolation. It could be really easy to fall into a dark place sometimes, especially when we're surrounded by negative news nonstop, but creating small positive habits in your everyday life could be a huge help. Best example, exercise. It's a proven fact that exercise releases endorphins, and that automatically triggers a positive feeling in the body. My main goal for this time is to make Yoga a daily habit. Doing something small for even 5 minutes a day could help. 

QUARANTINE SITUATION ASIDE, TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR STORY. 

Haha Hi, my name is Vale Genta. I was born and raised in Miami Beach, FL and very proud of it. Miami is a huge part of who I am! Not only because I thrive in warm weather but because I am hispanic. My mom is Peruvian and my dad is Uruguayan so i grew up in a spanish speaking household. I moved to LA when I turned 19 years old to pursue a career in acting and digital creation. I’m now 22 and I’m pretty proud of myself with what I’ve accomplished thus far. I've had lots of ups and down since moving to the city of angels, but it was by far the best decision I’ve made. These past few years I've learned that the one thing you need to keep going is a positive mindset. With positivity and appreciation, comes greater things and that, I believe, is a fact. I read this quote the other day that really stuck with me, “Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on hard days you know that there are better days coming.” I continue to dedicate my days to acting, staying healthy and fit, and keeping an open mind and heart to whatever may come my way. 

WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP IN MIAMI? WHAT KIND OF EFFECT DO YOU THINK THAT HAD ON YOU? 

Great follow up question to the above! Growing up in Miami was the absolute best. People have this strong view of Miami being such a party city, and although they’re not entirely wrong, there’s also a big sense of family and community there. I would say I’ve always been pretty mature for my age and I think a part of that stems from growing up in Miami. You’re exposed to a lot more there at an early age, and that could be good or bad, depending on who you are. I personally think Miami is an amazing city. Although there were a lot of tough times growing up with my parents divorce, I choose to remember the good times. I had the privilege of spending my days on the beach with friends and then walking home to spend time with family. Miami will always be home. Even if I choose to never move back, It’ll always hold a very special place in my heart, thanks to the friends that have become family and all of  the memories I've made.  

YOU HAVE OVER ONE MILLION FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM, DO YOU FEEL ANY PRESSURE OR OBLIGATION TO KEEP THEM ENGAGED? WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM LIKE? 

To be completely honest, I feel a huge pressure to keep my followers entertained and active. Some days, it stresses me out because I feel there’s so much going on in the world and it's extremely difficult to share my opinions and /or thoughts on a topic without offending or saying the wrong thing. Other days I’m extremely grateful to have a big presence on social media and be able to share my lifestyle with others.  Being in the public eye has its pros and cons. It's great because I’m able to reach this large audience and share something that could change people's perspectives and or bad habits. (Plastic use, climate change, etc.) I feel lucky that I have a good relationship with my followers. I try to reach out to them the best I can, whether that be by responding to comments or chatting through DM. I think it's such an honor to have younger girls especially  that look up to me, because I was there once. So if I could help just one girl get through a tough day, then I feel like I'm using my platform for the right reasons. 

IN LATE JANUARY YOU POSTED A VIDEO ABOUT YOUR 2020 RESOLUTIONS, HOW HAVE THOSE BEEN GOING? HAS YOUR MOTIVATION IN KEEPING THEM CHANGED? IF NOT, HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO STILL FEEL COMPELLED TO PRACTICE THEM?

I think 2020 has taken such a different path, that I would say my resolutions have unofficially changed a bit. A few of them I've accomplished and I’m proud of myself for that. One of the main ones I had was to prioritize making friendships out here in LA. I think I was always so focused on my career that it would pull me back from opening up to new people because I thought of it as a distraction, but with time I've come to realize that friendships are SO important for my mental health. Having girlfriends to chat with has completely changed the way I handle certain situations. So i'm proud of myself for making new friends and opening my heart up to new relationships. 

With that being said, there are a few others that I haven’t kept up with and i think that's okay. Every year we have a list of resolutions we want to accomplish but i don't think we should feel guilty if we don't. It's nice to have ideas written down, and with that you see where your year takes you and what makes most sense.

SPEED ROUND

BEST HABITS YOU’VE IMPLEMENTED FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Exercise has completely changed my mental health. Getting in a workout automatically changes my mood. I used to never workout and I think it really affected me, now it's a way for me to sweat out any toxic feelings and thoughts. 

IF YOU HAD A BILLBOARD THAT EVERYONE IN THE WORLD COULD READ, WHAT WOULD IT SAY?

“It's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice. Kindness is free”

FAVORITE RECENT BOOK OR PODCAST 

Just finished Mitch Albom's new book, ‘Finding Chika’. Highly recommended. 

WHO WOULD HEADLINE AT YOUR MUSIC FESTIVAL?

Vance Joy, Rufus Du Sol, Kygo

LAST MEAL YOU COOKED AT HOME

I made some cauliflower mashed potatoes with dino chicken nuggets haha. 

LAST THING YOU SAID YES TO

Going for a run when it usually isn't my favorite type of exercise. 

LAST THING YOU SAID NO TO

My parents asked me to fly home to Miami when the quarantine began and I kindly responded no. I feel like I should be here in LA during this time.