Perth Amboy made me, New York raised me, Washington Heights saved me and now the Bronx loves me. I am of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, and very proud of it coño! I am made up of many different creative elements therefore I do not care for labels but, since most people feel better compartmentalizing, we can say I am a Playwright, Poet, Performance Artist turned Documentary filmmaker.
At age 14, I began performing with a hip hop/salsa dance troupe and by the time I was 18 had participated in numerous semi–professional dance performances and competitions including Amateur Night at the famous Apollo Theater. Not to mention I was a highly sought after choreographer from the age of 15 – 18 for tons of local sweet 16’s (a big deal for a boy with a dream at that time, and something I do ‘til this day.. choreography that is).
After moving to New York City in 2005, with no formal training in anything related to theater, I began acting and writing for an OFF-OFF-OFF Broadway urban sketch comedy troupe. We were like "In Living Color" and I was like JLO; or so I thought. During my stint with the group, I grew a tremendous amount both personally and creatively. From my acting technique, to my play-writing skills, to developing my “style” of comedy, I just flourished.
In 2007, I ventured off on my own to write, produce and direct my first play called ‘FRiENDAMiGO’ about a group of gay friends from Washington Heights. I took what I knew about being gay and Dominican and created a larger-than-life-laugh-out-loud comedy experience for my audience. However, after a few shows in 2008, I stopped doing anything related to theater because I wanted to focus on becoming a better person (THANK YOU OPRAH).
In 2013 I returned to theater by bringing ‘FRiENDAMiGO’ back, bigger and better. It was the BEST. MOVE. EVER.. because since then I’ve worked non-stop on my other theater pieces including: DRUNK ON LOVE: A One-Man Variety Show, POETR+OMEDY: A One-Man Dramedy and The Cruising Monologues, a play about cruising for sex.
As of June 2015 I am working on my first documentary-short-film titled, “Team Salsa Nueva York” which follows me and three of my friends as we learn and rehearse a salsa routine for a one-time special performance in NYC. This film is a personal look inside the creative process and is a definite labor-of-love. My journey has led me to where I am today creatively therefore I will embrace my evolution and continue making magic – in whichever way it manifests at the time.
In the end, nothing I do creatively is ever about the money. Would I like to make a living doing what I love? Of course! Will I? Who knows, but I am going to continue doing ma’ thang in hopes that one day I will be blessed enough to turn my passion for it into some serious prosperity.
Sunday, September 6, 2015, The Wyndham New Yorker, New York City - The New York International Salsa Congress
Friday, September 18, 2015, Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance, Bronx, NY - The Premiere of my docu-short-film "Team Salsa Nueva York"
Wednesday, September 23, 2015, The Hightline Ballroom, New York Ciity - RAW Presents: BOLD
Friday, November 20, 2015, the Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance, Bronx, NY - BlakTino Performance Series Presents: The Cruising Monologues (ticket information to follow).
For previous performances see the projects tab above.
Check out my 2015 BRIO AWARD for Spoken Word.