I grew up as the youngest of four, enveloped in the love of an altruistic, righteous mother and her ten siblings who used humor and Vicks Vapor Rub as cure-alls. Family get-togethers meant forming an assembly line to make Puerto Rican pasteles and laughing through tears at endless joke-filled recollections in competition for best childhood trauma.
We lived in Brownsville, Brooklyn--the murder capital of New York--a community more populated than 98.5% of the nation's neighborhoods.
I was a straight-A student who loved to draw, write poetry, and spit raps about finding positives in the deteriorating world around me.
Within our apartment walls, I was inspired by my dad's immense heart and passion for the arts. He was a talented street corner Salsa Musician/Singer by night and a humble, hardworking school janitor by day. Losing him when I was a teen developed my sense of urgency and appreciation for time as our most precious commodity.
My childhood taught me that broken hearts lead to great stories, time heals all wounds, focus on the positive, be resourceful, and appreciate what I have. Most of all, I learned that inspiration lives everywhere and in everyone--It's up to us to shine a light on it!
And for me, filmmaking is that light.