Student Spotlight: Senior Ana Restrepo


A scene from the short film Fresas Salvajes.

Valentina Garces Botero, Discoverer Staff Writer

Imagine not being able to sleep in your home or even respond to your actual name for 24 hours straight. This was just part of what Ana Mercedes Restrepo had to endure after completing her first short film, ‘Fresas Salvajes.’

For Ana, enrolling in acting classes at  ’24 hours,’ consisted of selecting a random character and pursuing that character for 24 hours straight. Exercises at this club included getting robbed, kidnapped, and having physical fights, which were the things that challenged her but got her the best actor award.

Restrepo started her process in 2017. She is a singer, actor, guitarist, and drum player. Balancing her life has been a big challenge due to her long schedule of 8-10 hours of practice after school. Keeping a balance between her daily factors such as exercise, friends, school, family and her artistic life has made it impossible for her to have a healthy sleep schedule. After searching for solutions, she was able to obtain authorization from the school to do homework during P.E and art class. This helped her reduce her after-school working hours.

“Keeping up with homework, new things learned in a day, studio, free time, and continuing to be active in the gym is a complicated balance,” Restrepo said. 

Ana’s passion started in 7th grade when her Spanish teacher Marta Vargas created a play that she decided to participate in; without knowing that she would find out one of the biggest passions in her life.

“I volunteered and never thought anything about it, because I’ve always liked to do little theater things, singing, and art, but I never saw it as something I could pursue in my life. I always thought I was going to be a lawyer or a businesswoman, and now I can’t imagine myself in an office,” Restrepo said. 

She auditioned in Medellin for an independent cinematographic short in 2019. After surprising the judges with her spontaneous act she got the main character paper.  The pandemic was a challenging factor that delayed the production of the short film. Despite the pandemic, she won the best actress award in 3 festivals, and international releases, and got invitations for new short films. 

“At the beginning, I was going to be an extra, but when I passed the first trial of the casting they called me and told me that they wanted me to audition for the main role. I did it and I got it.” Restrepo said. 

Her singing career started after her acting and happened when a friend introduced her to the music industry after taking her to the studio to record her first song called ‘ESTELAR’. 

“If I look back to the first time I released a song I feel really nostalgic. Today, I feel that I have been in the process of writing many new songs and my style is now very different,” Restrepo said.

Her grandmother’s surname name, “Vieira,” inspired Restrepo’s creative alias. She has vivid memories of how she taught her how to play the guitar, keyboard notes, and sing. She recalls how her last words were ‘you are going to become an artist.’ 

“Nowadays I think of the time I had with my grandmother and I know she would be very proud of me, where I got, and it is all thanks to her motivation and inspiration,” Restrepo said.

Military training came to her recently when her uncle offered her to participate in a dinner party rewarding their service. As a “Thank You” gift, they gave Restrepo a chance to train for some days with them. As a result, she came to the realization that life is not as simple as it first appears. She had to wake up at three in the morning, go to bed at twelve, and perform exercises that demanded a lot.

“My uncle took me to see the military 2 weeks ago because we wanted to give them a gift and give them a dinner party. They invited us to go and see the battalion in Bombolla, and it was very life-changing,” Restrepo said.

Restrepo decided to complete the military training required as a Colombian citizen. As a result, she was able to learn and combine her experiences with the career she wanted to pursue. She works on all of her artistic endeavors while pursuing her dream of being a military journalist.

“It was nothing like how you think the military is, and I think a lot of people should be educated on how people actually are. Thanks to this, I had the opportunity to get on a train for one day,” Restrepo said.

Restrepo learned the importance of discipline, motivation, and hard work; she noticed that everything needed to execute in her personal life had to be done in its full disposition.

“I was there 2 days ago, and I had the opportunity to talk to some passionate soldiers. I learned a lot about discipline, hard work, and motivation to accomplish your goals,” Restrepo said.

“Everything takes time in the industry, especially if you want to do things correctly and with people that actually want to help you with your vision of what you want to achieve and not just for money,” Restrepo said.