Nov. 17--Jackie Marie Magdeleno, of Harlingen, has always had big dreams of one day working in the mass media.
After completing grade school, the 22-year-old went to college and obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Communication, through which she was able to meet various professors who helped her find local opportunities.
Magdeleno first got her foot in the door by working as an assistant crew member in the wardrobe department for a Hollywood film company that came to the Rio Grande Valley to shoot a movie.
The production starred Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall and Magdeleno was able to breathe in the environment of a "real movie set" every day.
After filming had completed, crew members went back to their hometowns from all over the country. Magdeleno, however, made it a point to keep in contact with the co-workers she had met.
One year later, a second film production came to the Rio Grande Valley. This time starring actor Rico Rodriguez from the hit show "Modern Family."
Through previous contacts, Magdeleno was once again able to squeeze her way onto the crew list. However, now she was assisting in the Art Department as a property manager.
The young TV star's father, Roy Rodriguez, had noticed her running around the set every day, hard at work. He asked her how she liked the experience and about her plans for working in the industry. Magdeleno shared her dreams, those of which greatly extended the parameters of Harlingen.
A few months after filming had ended in the Valley, Magdeleno visited her new friends in California. There, Rodriguez offered her an opportunity to work with him and attend acting school.
Magdeleno has saved money by working a part-time job at a local bank and plans to move to the Golden State within the next few years.
For now, she occupies her time working with locals who share her same dreams on independent film projects. Magdeleno also practices her editing skills with professional video software and submits work to big city motion picture festivals in hopes of being noticed.
The aspiring director states, "I've overcome too much to stop now."
With family by her side, a humble heart and strong determination to follow her dreams, Magdeleno believes she will one day be successful in making a name for herself in the entertainment industry.
Magdeleno recalls a promise between her and God when she says, "I've always told myself that if I ever make it big, I won't forget the people who helped me get there, who believed in me when I was nothing."
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