Bio Page

Little Juana in GuatemalaJuana has always loved center stage you can see from the picture on the right taken at a talent show some years after she arrived in L.A. from her native country of Guatemala. Even at this young age, a big smile would light up her face anytime a microphone was close at hand.

Growing up in the "Golden Age" of TV and Hollywood films, she often dreamt of being on both the big and small screen.

Her big treat as a little girl was to watch "Disneyland" on the brand new B&W TV her Mom had gotten with bonus money. This was a big deal back in 1952. Her family was the only one on the block with a TV

Then as a young girl, she would hurry home to make it in time to watch "The Mickey Mouse Club" and fantisize about being Annette Funicello. This gave way in high school to "American Bandstand" with Dick Clark and dreams of being on the show dancing to Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis with her dreamboat guy ..... the envy of millions of teenaged girls.

So, it was no surprise that in her mid-20's she made a vow .... that by age 30 she would have her own TV show ..... like Oprah. Everyone told her that was just a pipedream. She would have to start out in a smaller market, then work her way back to San Francisco ..... one of the top 5 markets in the country.

Juana with Vincent PriceShe kept her sites on her goal and just before her 29th birthday she was hired to produce and host "El Amanecer" for S.F.'s KBHK's Ch. 44, a weekly, half hour show aimed at the concerns of the Bay Area's Latino community. Within 2 months, KBHK hired her to also produce and host Ch. 44's daily, live news & interview show, "News Talk".

While at KBHK, she produced the bi-lingual Public Service Announcement, "Emergency", for which she won an Emmy. This PSA demonstrated to primarily Spanish-speaking Latinos how to get help in case of an emergency. She cast her 92 yr. old great-grandmother, Abuelita, in the spot who did an award winning job of feigning a heart attack.

For the next five years she hosted and produced both the weekly "El Amanecer" and the daily, live "News Talk" shows for KBHK reaching hundreds of thousands of people with her insightful interviews.

Her goal had been met.

Leftovers - starring Juana Samayoa Now Juana has another goal ..... to star in a major motion picture that enhances, illuminates and brings a fresh perspective to people's lives by the time she's 60 yrs. old .... and .... continue to do so till she's an old lady. She won't turn down a Tarantino film.

To this end, she's been honing her acting, improv and singing skills with teachers like Sue Walden, Jean Shelton, Anne Brebner, Nancy Berwid and acting/singing coach Shari Carlson. Currently she is working with Ivana Chubbuck in L.A.

In the past two years she has brought her improv, acting and singing skills to over 18 films and several musical showcases.

Her roles have ranged from playing twins in the short Strangers, to a nosey landlady in her newly completed feature Between Places.
The Waves - A Short Film by Yael Braha - A poetic social commentary told through the eyes of suspected voyeurs She has been fortunate to be involved in several award winning films. Notably, the short, The Waves, produced by SFSU student filmmaker, Yael Braha, won the Eastman Kodak Grand Prize and was screened at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

Thanks for all your love and support! Blessed by the financial genorosity of friends and family, she was able to travel to Cannes to see The Waves screen at La Palaise. It was an exciting time. Michael Moore's "9/11 Farenheit" won the Palm D'Or and "The Waves" won Grand Prize.

Mission Movie This success was followed by the numerous awards given her feature film,
Mission Movie.
In it she plays a restaurant owner in S.F.'s ethnically diverse Mission District.

Mission Movie's filmmaker, Lise Swenson, has been honored with two Best Feature awards at New York's Int'l Film Festival and SFSU's Women's Film Festival . The 2005 high profile, LA Femme Film Festival, gave it an Honorable Mention. As a result, it was picked up for distribution by Foundation Films Distribution.

Mission Movie cast
It has also won 3rd place at Boston's Film Festival and won Cinequest's 2005 Viewer's Choice Award. It will screen in the summer of 2005 at festivals in the UK and Dominican Republic.

So, 30 years after making that first vow, Juana is well on her way to making another pipedream a reality.
Oh baby, baby !

On a more personal note, Juana loves gardening, is an accomplished photographer having had several shows of her work, practices yoga & pilates regularly and especially loves being "Nana" to her two grandsons, 5 yr. old Diego Antonio Sanchez and 18mo. old Wyatt Durango Massey. Her two beautiful and talented daughters have brought her tremendous joy by having blessed her with these amazing children.

Marie Wyatt The oldest daughter, Marie Massey, mother of Wyatt, is a talented painter with her works hanging in numerous galleries throughout the South West. To see all of these beautys go to

This is a shot from Wyatt's first photo shoot. Another shot of him & his big blue eyes can be seen by going to the internet stock photo house of Click on CREATIVE then in the right hand box type Tanya Constantine.

Marie Wyatt Her youngest daughter, Sara Sanchez, mother of Diego, is a research scientist currently working on the hepatitis C virus. Her son, Diego, is already showing signs of being a multi-faceted and talented personality. At 4 yrs. old, he had his first art show of five drawings at a local cafe, has directed and acted in numerous home videos and just had his first photo shoot which resulted in his getting into the internet stock photo house of To see him in action painting in Juana's garden, click on CREATIVE then in the right hand box type in Tanya Constantine.

Diego's father is a very busy architect who just started his own architectural firm of , Norman Sanchez Architecture Inc. ,

Wyatt's father, Todd Massey, is a computer genius and Silicon Valley pioneer who has just started his third computer company, Privacy Networks.

All this makes for a very joyful, lively and blessed life.

Email Juana at

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