Raised in the South of France, trained in Mexico City, Paris, and New York, Sarah is a trained TV, film, and theater actress having studied at the Cours Florent in Paris, Centro de Educación Artística in Mexico City, and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, before appearing in French feature films La Guerre des Miss, and the Televisa Mexico series Un Refugio para el Amor, Ni Contigo, Ni Sin Ti, and La Fuerza del Destino.
Alongside her acting career and star status in Mexico, Sarah is also an award-winning forensic architect after studying for architecture and humanitarian design, completing studies at Parsons in New York, and the Architectural Association and Central St Martins in London, graduating with honors and winning the Design for Peace award in 2018. Before her career as an actress, Sarah was a top-ranked ITF and WTA professional tennis player.
It’s a joy to interview Sarah on the blog.
Describe a typical day for you?
There is no typical day in the life of Sarah Barlondo! Due to the nature of my job, no one day is like the other… I don’t have a specific routine but if I’m home, the first thing I do is to say ‘hi’ and cuddle my baby ferrets (I have 2), tidy up then I catch up on my emails and texts which usually takes me an hour or so… Between family and work, and because I lived in Mexico and am used to working all over, I usually catch up with people in different countries and time zones, on a daily basis.
Castings are always last minute and take priority but if I’m in town and not on set, I like to kick box, train in the gym or take a dance class. I’m usually running around from one audition to another or taking time to prepare for the next one. I do like to spend quiet time at home whenever possible to catch up with my family and I love watching movies whilst tucking into a homemade dinner with a face mask on! When I’m not filming, I also run a talent agency, White Flamingo, @whiteflamingoagency) so take regular business meetings for that plus there’s a lot of admin involved with it too.
What do you feel are your greatest achievements?
I think having been able to make important decisions such as moving from one country to another when I was young feels like an achievement. I grew up in the South of France but at the age of 10, I knew clearly that I wanted to be a professional tennis player and travelled all over the world for tournaments on the ITF tour and then the WTA tour.
Then, when I was 16, I moved to Mexico to work in television before travelling to the U.S. and London. I didn’t realise it at the time because I was young, and driven by adrenaline and ambition but moving around can be tough. Discovering new cultures and languages so young has changed my outlook on life for the better though, and I couldn’t be more grateful for those experiences.
Another achievement I’m proud of is the fact I’ve been able to return to the acting world after a 5 year break recently where I studied architecture. I’m glad I discovered another discipline and broadened my perspective on life and work but I’m equally excited to see that there are still opportunities for me in the entertainment industry. It was important for me to secure a degree and achieve a greater sense of peace of mind and control over my work life with my architecture.
What’s in your handbag/satchel?
If I’m out and about running around for auditions or on set, I always have my phone, phone charger and cables, keys, lip gloss, lip balm, ID, sunglasses and my mobile wifi hotspot by Rentnconnect (if I’m not in London). If I’m running around for castings, I always have an extra change of clothes and water (an extra white shirt, translucent powder, and maybe a pair of heels).
I try to keep it minimal since I travel a lot. Technology has helped me stay connected with my loved ones and gives me peace of mind that I’m always reachable without relying on finding a wifi hotspot in the city. Especially when I’m in Mexico. That way my family knows what I’m up to and I can find an Uber easily.
What are your ambitions in life?
I hope that I get to do what I love for many more years to come all while building a balanced personal life. I would like to enjoy more opportunities working in cinema and I would love to land a part on a streaming platform such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Mexico has a lot of amazing projects I’m proud to see touch a global audience but being French, one of my dreams is to be considered for French projects, something that is yet to happen. Ideally, I would like to keep the connection I have built over the years between France, English speaking projects and Mexico.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
I have learned that life doesn’t always happen as planned so I try to keep moving forward while learning every day and doing my best. I used to have a specific timeline with life and work goals and would get quite impatient or frustrated if things didn’t happen the way I planned but I feel ‘richer’ in a way, after learning from the many obstacles my work-life has thrown at me.
I started my professional career as a tennis player and thought that was going to be my life, playing until I was 30, retiring, having a family and then doing something else but life didn’t happen that way, life rarely follows a plan. I’ve discovered a new discipline with acting and a career I’m in love with and that fulfils me every day so things do work out, just not always how you’d expect them to.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Although I have stopped giving myself a timeline and deadlines now, I would say that I see myself still acting, maybe directing and producing, with a family: a husband and a couple of kids hopefully. That is a lot to achieve in 5 years!
What advice would you give a budding actress?
Only you can achieve your dreams. Don’t take anything or anyone for granted and learn from the people around you. Remember that not everything works out first time round, you often need to experience failure before you reach your goals. Diversifying interests and investments personally helped me feel more secure. Being self-made and self-employed gives me stability.
Finally, happiness is…peace of mind, family and food.
Read more Wonderful Women interviews.