Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Response to a Fellow Blogger / Una respuesta a otro "bloguero" (escritor de blog)

Recently, a fellow blogger contacted us regarding the HOLA Awards. The blogger requested the criteria for choosing the recipients of the HOLA Awards. This was around the time of the HOLApanels event at the New York International Latino Film Festival. We were very busy at the time, although we planned on responding.

The blogger then started e-mailing several people in the HOLA community, including several 2009 HOLA Award recipients, asking them for help in contacting us. We responded to the blogger (a gentleman we have never heard of before) and asked him to come to the HOLA office so that we could meet each other and he could all the questions he so desired.

Instead of replying to our response, he wrote a lengthy blog (which he termed "a thesis"), excoriating HOLA and the awards program. Below is our response. The response is in Spanish as the blogger writes in Spanish.

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Estimado Señor Bloguero,

En los correos electrónicos que nos hemos enviado con anterioridad, le expresé el deseo de todos aquí en HOLA de que visitara nuestras oficinas y así podernos conocer personalmente. No hay nada mejor que tratar los asuntos cara a cara, ya que nosotros no le conocemos y usted no nos conocer tampoco.

Tal parece que su respuesta es otro blog escrito para sus seguidores, desafortunadamente. Lo que pudo haber sido una oportunidad, como usted dijo, para ayudar a "mover el teatro latino un paso adelante," se convirtió en una oportunidad para lanzar agendas u objetivos personales.

Los Premios HOLA tienen criterios y regulaciones redactadas en inglés. A raíz de que el número de personas que trabaja en HOLA es pequeño y el número de actividades que hacemos por nuestra clase actoral es más bien grande, no hemos tenido el tiempo para traducirlos. Hasta ahora no estaba seguro que usted hablaba inglés. (Su blog está escrito completamente en español.)

Nosotros en HOLA no creemos en el dar premios a lo “mejor” en el teatro, porque esto es algo subjetivo; nosotros otorgamos premios por trabajo sobresaliente. Es por esto que cuando HOLA revivió su programa de premios en 1999 decidimos específicamente adoptar un modelo similar a los Premios Obies (premios presentados a obras de teatro de off-Broadway), donde hay varios ganadores.

Los Premios HOLA son una forma de honrar y celebrar a quienes se destacan en nuestra comunidad artística. ¿Son perfectos? No. ¿Existe algún premio que es perfecto? No. HOLA trata de mejorar cada año, pero también somos concientes que donde hay premios (cuando se le rinde honor a una persona y no a la otra), las quejas son inevitables.

Me hubiera gustado que usted nos hubiera contactado personalmente y así haberlo conocido un poco mejor. De las personas que conocemos, ninguna de ellas sabe quien es usted y la foto que utiliza en su blog no es una buena representación de su cara.

Usted dirigió palabras bastante fuertes hacia nosotros junto a una larga tesis que trata de lanzar sus propios objetivos. Aunque he gastado más tiempo en este tema de lo que normalmente acostumbro, me gustaría añadir que usted debería obtener toda la información antes de decidir reprobar una organización porque sea conveniente para usted y sus seguidores.


A.B. Lugo
Director Asociado
Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA)

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Frank Rodriguez said...

Comentario, Frank Rodriguez.

Queridos miembros de HOLA, quisiera publicar una carta que mandé a las oficinas de HOLA el 24 de Agosto, algunos dias antes de que se publicará la respuesta de HOLA al Blog de una persona anónima (o si no anónima, al menos desconocida). Mi intención era brindar a HOLA mi opinión como miembro de esta organización, con el interés de que se adoptara una postura constructiva y no confrontacional, algo que, nuevamente en mi opinión, no beneficiaría a HOLA, a sus miembros, y lo que es más importante, al teatro como arte en general. El que me conoce sabe bien que le escapo al protagonismo y que no tengo "agendas" escondidas. Tampoco me considero "seguidor" de nada ni nadie, simplemente tengo un compromiso con la seriedad teatral. De eso si he sido, soy y siempre seré, un fiel seguidor.

Tendré que publicar esta carta en otro (u otros) mensaje(s) a continuación, por la simple razón que el blog no acepta cartas tan extensas.

Frank Rodriguez said...

Comentario, Frank Rodriguez (2 de 3)

Aquí la carta en cuestión (originalmente escrita en inglés):

Agosto 24, 2009

Dear A.B Lugo, Manny Alfaro, Manolo Garcia-Oliva, Francisco Rivela, Manuel Herrera,

It is with the best intention at heart that I write this e-mail. It is also with great hope that I try to start a discussion, or rather continue, the one that started with the blog of Marcos Bermudez concerning the HOLA Awards. After reading that intelligently written blog, I had a few days to think about what was presented there. I also had time to discuss the points included with different members of HOLA (including my wife, Wanda Arriaga), and I came to the conclusion that a well thought response from HOLA is urgently needed. HOLA cannot assume a defensive stand on this one. To do so will automatically raise more questions that it would answer and it would do nothing to appease the worries of its membership. At this point it is also totally irrelevant "who" wrote the blog in question. If Marcos Bermudez is not the person's real name is of no importance, or at the very least, it shouldn't be. This person started a valid discussion that I think HOLA and its members should continue at earnest. What was written was done with intelligence, respect and had a strong base. The person writing it not only pointed out certain deficiencies in transparency, but he also provided HOLA with a list of choices that the organization can pursue. All of them very valid.

I guess I can go into detail what my thoughts are about his/her blog, but this is not the time or place to write it. I strongly suggest that HOLA creates a page with the contents of Mr. Bermudez' blog, to let its membership write its opinion on it. I think it is important to take the temperature of our membership, and this is the perfect time. We cannot assume that just because HOLA is not getting tons of e-mails regarding this issue, it is of no importance. At leats in my case, I always think that my e-mail is not going to reach the right person. Maybe that's what happens with some of our other members, I don't really know. I can only assume.

I think we can all agree that changes are needed and also what's needed is a positive discussion of the issues, in this case, the criteria behind the HOLA Awards. As happy and thankful as I am personally to be receiving an Award, I can't help but wonder, 1st, did I deserve it? and 2nd, did some of the others deserve it too?. Now it is not the right time though, to be worrying about feelings and egos. To worry about those things is to deny the organization a chance to become what everyone, or at least whoever wants the best for our latino theatre, wants the organization to be. We all want to be part of something that's special and transparent. We all want to receive awards as long as they are deserved. What I'm sure the conscious actor doesn't want is to be bunched together with questionable works, that greatly diminishes the pleasure of receiving an Award. We all know that no process is perfect, but at least we can try to be as close as we can.

(continuá en el próximo "post)

Frank Rodriguez said...

Comentario, Frank Rodriguez. (3 de 3)

Again, my suggestion is to create a page discussing this blog and let its membership write its opinion on it. It cannot be done anonymously. Each member has to put his or her name on its posted comment. Each person needs to take a stand on the issue "con nombre y apellido". In other words: "Hablen ahora, o callen para siempre". After that HOLA will have a clear idea of what's going on on the collective mind of its membership.

Myself, I welcome something like this! It is an exciting thing to be happening to any organization. Trust me when I say this, HOLA is worth it. It is a great organization that has helped a lot of actors and it can continue to be doing so with its head held way up high. But it needs to take a stand and re-evaluate certain things that are being questioned here. HOLA should be welcoming this opportunity to be setting its record straight. I urge HOLA, its Board of Directors, and every person involved, to think of this as a golden opportunity to go to the next level, to become something that we all can-and this time around without any doubts-be extremely proud of. If HOLA doesn't seize this moment, it will be missing a truly amazing opportunity to do so. With this, I want to put myself at HOLA's service and anything that I can do to advance this discussion, will be done by me. This is not idle talk.

But I also want to state that my attendance and my wife's, to the HOLA Award Ceremony will depend greatly on how HOLA handles this. It is my right as a member to want what's best for an organization that represents me. It is the greatest form of democracy.

Sincerely yours

Frank Rodriguez (and Wanda Arriaga)

Frank Rodriguez said...

Comentario, Frank Rodriguez.

Para finalizar, quiero decir que siempre me he sentido sumamente orgulloso de pertenecer a una organización como HOLA. HOLA ha sabido abrirse camino a "puro pulso" por muchos años. El trabajo, muchas veces voluntario, de muchos de sus miembros ha sabido realzar el trabajo de nuestra comunidad latina. HOLA es una organización necesaria para todos y todos tenemos que poner nuestra voz para que se nos siga representando con dignidad y compromiso.

Quisiera, si se me permite, pedir que mientras sea posible, tratemos todos de mantener un tono conciliatorio y constuctivo en nuestras opiniones. Entiendo que a veces las emociones se cuelan por donde uno menos lo espera, pero en estos casos, es mejor ser hermético a eso. Siempre es mejor analizar bien y sacar lo positivo de algo, antes de lanzarse al vacío de la confrontación, del que la mayoría de las veces no se puede regresar.

Sólo un comentario.

Frank Rodriguez

HOLA - La Nueva Ola said...

What I meant by "seguidor" [follower] is literally the word Blogger uses to call a subscriber to a blog. The blogger in question used the same word ("seguidores") when addressing his audience. No offense was intended with regards to the use of that word.