Dear Hollywood, I Write!
Before I dove full time into writing I was bit by the acting bug.
My last role was in college (2016) where I played Professor Henry Higgins in the play Pygmalion. I graduated that same year from college and decided to attend auditions after auditions and never once got a call back until the Winter of 2016. It was for a webseries about a Gay young man trying to make it as a fashion designer in NYC.
The script got me because I saw myself in the character and luckily the casting agent saw me in that character as well. I was excited to finally have an opportunity to play a character like myself-minus the fashion sense- but half way through filming the pilot, things happened that I didn't agree with.
The writer/creator decided to nix a Trans actress because he found out she was Trans through her social media platform. I didn't see how that was appropriate considering her character was Trans!
I brought this up to him and he told me "You're just the face of this project. I'm the God, so bow down and speak only when I say 'Action'."--- I really wish I was making this up because I couldn't believe any person would be that vile and disgusting.
So in that moment I decided to do what was best for myself, my sanity and my well being, I politely quit and never looked back.
(P.S that webseries was axed after a few of the crew quit too.)
I went home that night feeling proud that I stood up to a bigot but I would be lying if I said I didn't feel depressed about the fact I was soooo close in doing what I love but it was snatched right out of my grip!
I went to another audition a few months later for an LGBTQ NYC Play Festival, there were 10 showcases and each play had to be 10 minutes. I went to the audition to find various actors who looked more like they belonged on Instagram. They were attractive, masculine and Caucasian.
I didn't get nervous about that aspect because being a Gay Latino, I enjoy breaking barriers and standing out from the rest.
After signing in, I had to fill out a form where I wrote my name, my age and answered four questions that asked "Would you be able to perform naked?", I kid you not! That question was written four times using different wordings.
I don't have an "Instagram Perfect Body", I'm a bit stocky and proud of it.
I figured why not?
Well fast forward to a few minutes later, I'm in the audition room with the writer of the play. He's an older man that wasn't too excited to see me. The bright, warm smile he gave to the attractive actor before me, disappeared upon me entering the room as if my presence drained his positive vibes.
I did my monologue and it was to no avail. He didn't care about it as he kept on texting the entire time. I figured maybe he was multi tasking but even when I finished performing the monologue, I had to wait a few seconds before he turned to me and said, "Thanks for coming in."
I realized that he didn't collect my head shot and resume and he told me, "No need. I'm looking for men who can bring a spark of sex appeal to the play and frankly, you don't have anything that remotely holds my interest."
Now, acting isn't an easy industry to be a part of. Rejection is 95% of the business and I always believe things happen for a reason. But I made a promise to myself when I wanted to become an actor and that promise was, "No matter what happens, no matter who says no, you never doubt yourself."
I went home that night hating who I was.
Hating the way I looked.
Hating the way my voice sounded less masculine than guys my age.
I couldn't believe that voice lived in me and when I heard those venomous words, I knew I had to leave the industry and never look back...so I did.
Now fast forward to mid 2017, I came up with a webseries idea that would blow the original one I was set to star in, away.
I titled it Samus' World and the premise is:
After a date goes awry, openly Gay Entertainment Writer, Samus Ortiz pitches an idea for his own Dating column geared towards Gay men. Arguing that not all Gay men want hookups and many want to date and find love, he decides the better way to represent this would be for him to go on first dates with men he meets online and write about them. He is given a trial run of five weeks by his boss who is reluctant about the entire idea. While each date gets more awkward than the next, on the fifth and final week of his trial run, something happens to Samus that could change or end his life!
Samus' World is written like a screen play with six episodes containing a major cliffhanger that will entertain readers from beginning to end. It also sheds light on everyday issues Gay men face like: Masculinity VS Femininity, Self esteem issues, body issues, monogamy, HIV and trying to find love.
I wrote two seasons of this show and I'm currently plotting season 3...to a show...that has never been filmed...or cast...I don't know if that's me dreaming or me being crazy.
Either way, you can read the Pilot here!
I wrote another Pilot of a show titled Toxicity...I didn't do much with it but I have the pilot.
The premise is:
Four friends: an Actor, a Fashion Designer, an Advice Columnist and a Publicist live on the fourth floor of the same Urban apartment building; located in New York City. Each of them are going through personal issues dealing with a failed marriage, being laid off and being blackmailed. But no matter what the issue is, they always unite to hang out, de-stress and/or dance the night away.
But when a murder takes place, their friendships are tested in ways no one thought possible.
You can read that here!
I guess it's better to end this, with a quote by Toni Morrison which says, "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
Fingers crossed that someone sees this and we can start collaborating in 2019.
Goddess please make that come true!