Artist today, future leader tomorrow?

It's no secret that the performing arts help with physical and spoken expression. But what about leadership skills? Can the arts help us in our professional life? In this article we introduce you to three Peruvian actors who are successful leaders. 

1. Salvador del Solar

Salvador del Solar is a Peruvian lawyer and actor. He studied law at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, where he graduated as a lawyer in 1994. Subsequently, he completed a Master's degree in International Relations at the Maxwell School of International Relations at Syracuse University in New York, United States. At the same school, he also attended a program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution (Peru 21, 2019). He was a visiting fellow at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University for the 2018-2019 academic period. He has also participated in politics, serving as Minister of Culture during 2016-2017 and as President of the Council of Ministers in 2019. As Minister of Culture, he promoted the ministerial initiative for the new Film Law, which sought to increase subsidies to Peruvian cinematographic works, even up to 30% of the project's investment.

In parallel to his career as a lawyer and politician, Del Solar has been a successful actor. He studied acting in Alberto Ísola's workshop, later starting a career in theater, which has included plays such as Presas de Salón, Ojos Bonitos, Cuadros Feos, Hamlet, El Gran Teatro del Mundo and El Rey LearHe has also participated in numerous soap operas such as Malicia (1996), Escándalo (1997) and Apocalipsis (1998) by Iguana Producciones, under the production of Luis Llosa. Among his best known performances, he played 'Pantaleón Pantoja' in the film Pantaleón y las visitadoras by Francisco Lombardi and based on the book by Mario Vargas Llosa. In 2014, Del Solar debuted as a film director with the movie Magallanes. 

2. Wendy Ramos

Wendy Ramos studied Communication Sciences at the University of Lima and was one of the founders of the theater company 'Patacláun', a comedy show on Peruvian television in the late 90s (BBVA Aprendemos Juntos, 2021). In 2001, she created the 'Bolaroja Foundation', an educational and social transformation project through clowning. With it, he launched the hospital clown project 'Doctores Bolaroja', which visited sick patients in the hope of cheering them up and entertaining them. As a result of her social work, the Ministry of Health appointed her health promoter, ambassador for the fight against tuberculosis and ambassador of the 'Peru Brand' in 2011. Ramos is an actress, screenwriter, lecturer and author of the book inspired by her blog, 'Diary of a Stray Cow'. In 2018 she was part of the cast of the film Padre no hay más que uno by Spanish director Santiago Segura— and in 2020 of its sequel, Padre no hay más que uno 2Recently, she was part of BBVA's 'Aprendemos Juntos' project, where she has given talks about how she has followed her dreams and the role of “clowning” —a form of theater in which one makes fun of themself— in her life. Wendy states that clowning has allowed her to get to know herself: clowning is recognizing yourself, seeing what you like and don't like. It is to allow yourself to do the things you like and take the risks to make changes (BBVA Aprendemos Juntos, 2021).

3. Rómulo Assereto

Like Salvador del Solar, Rómulo Assereto also studied Law. He has worked with renowned filmmakers and theater directors such as Francisco Lombardi, Juan Carlos Fisher and Roberto Ángeles. Rómulo tells how his two worlds combined when he worked on the program Desconozco Legalmente (in English, Lawfully Unknown): "Studying law helped me to ask useful questions to each of the specialists. Acting served me to face hosting a TV show: I had to create a character acting as a host." (University of Lima, 2012).

Spotlight Peru teaches today's youth 21st century skills through the performing arts, training future leaders. In our musical theater workshops in Lima, our young students take agency within their own education, in a safe environment where they can receive help and make mistakes. Kara Seigal, Spotlight's director, states, "We give our students the tools to empower themselves."