Aug 28

GJ Spotlight: Little Shining Star

She’s on her way to the top – and there’s absolutely nothing that will stop this next star! We had the pleasure of meeting Maria a couple of months ago when she auditioned for a client spot, and we still can’t get enough of her bubbly personality and spark for life.

At just seven years old, she shines both on and off camera. When Maria visited Hollywood with her family a couple of years back, she was curious about the stars on the Walk of Fame and made it a goal to someday have a star of her own. Now, Maria and her family live in Southern California and she has had the opportunity to audition all over Tinseltown – proving that she, with the help of her parents, is pushing to achieve her dreams of becoming an actress (along with being on American Ninja Warrior and hosting her own cooking show!).

However, it hasn’t always been easy for the future starlet. Maria was diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis at the age of three, which led to a year and a half of chemotherapy treatments. During this time, she had the opportunity to have her wish granted by Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants the most heartfelt wishes of children ages two-and-one-half to 18 with life-threatening medical conditions. She and her family traveled to Hawaii in 2012 to enjoy a stay at Disney’s Aulani resort, where she learned to play the ukulele and dance the hula. Maria is now in remission and, despite suffering from a debilitating muscular disease, she has thrived physically. Her parents couldn’t be more proud to see her push herself and continually develop her muscle strength.

The Gunn | Jerkens team is proud of her too. We were fortunate enough to work with her on a fun project filmed at RiverPark for elacora. Even though it was her first time on set in front of a camera, she definitely didn’t show it. Her favorite part of the shoot? Making pancakes and getting to throw flour in her “pretend dad’s” face! And she wasn’t the least bit nervous for the shoot because, according to Maria, she’s not even shy! We look forward to seeing how this young star continues to shine. Thanks, Maria!

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