Monday, March 31, 2014

Banner Ads Now Available on HOLA Website

Wanna promote your upcoming stage production? Your upcoming film screening? Your upcoming special event?

HOLA members often get publicity in our Members in Performance page, but what if you could promote on our main homepage, or in our directory (The HOLA Pages), where more people can see your ad?

What if you had a project with no HOLA members that you wanted to promote?

What if you wanted to promote something that wasn’t a show (like your production company itself or a new website)?

Now you can do so by BUYING A BANNER AD on the HOLA website.

Banner ads come in half-page and full-page sizes and can be on the HOLA website for one week, two weeks, three weeks or a whole month. HOLA can also link your ad to a particular website at no additional cost.

Prices on the banner ads are affordable. Also, not-for-profit organizations receive a 10% discount on ad prices.

The HOLA website receives thousands of visits each month. The HOLA website is viewed by many professionals in the industry and is a unique way of reaching the Latino/Hispanic and mainstream audiences, which make buying a banner ad a smart investment for you.

Wanna buy a banner ad? Call (212) 253-1015 or (888) 624-HOLA or e-mail us for prices and ad dimensions.

HOLA Regional Membership Available For Those Outside New York Metropolitan Area

If you are an actor who lives in an area of the U.S. outside of the New York metropolitan area, New Jersey or Connecticut (HOLA's programming and administrative headquarters region), HOLA is proud to announce its Regional Membership level - for only $65 (versus a $125 regular NYC region membership price) for one full year!

As an 
HOLA Regional Member, you'll be entitled to the following member benefits:

• Your headshot, resume, reel and voiceover demo*  showcased on the 
HOLA Pages, the internet's only concentrated source of Latino acting talent. The directory is a trusted resource for casting directors, producers and talent agents receiving, on average, over 5,000 visits per month. (* There is an additional charge 
of $15 for adding your voiceover demo.)

• Your performances listed and promoted via 
HOLA's website and social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) that reaches thousands of people in the entertainment industry.

• Casting notices that will alert you to employment opportunities tailored to the Latino actor.

• Advocacy to combat stereotypes of the Latino/Hispanic community in media and entertainment as well as the opportunity to join in solidarity with the Latino/Hispanic acting community.

Application for regional memberships accepted by telephone order only. Call 
HOLA toll free at (888) 524-HOLA or (888) 524-4652. (VISA, MasterCard and American Express accepted.) Please submit your headshot (in .jpg format) and resume in a Word 
document or in Portable Data Format (.doc or .docx; or .pdf) via e-mail to HOLA.

Why Join HOLA? Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About HOLA


Frequently Asked Questions

Is HOLA an agency or management company?
No. While we work similarly to an agency or an artist management company, we do a lot more. In essence, HOLA is a membership organization, a not-for-profit arts service and advocacy organization that offers jobs and casting opportunities, workshops and seminars and special events to its membership.

Does one have to audition for HOLA?
No. HOLA is a membership organization. Just pay the annual membership and you become an HOLA member.

I am a new actor. Does HOLA apply to me? (Or conversely, I have a fair amount of experience. How does HOLA apply to me?)
HOLA members range from the beginner to the established and everywhere in between. HOLA will apply to you at every stage of your career.

Do I have to speak Spanish (or Portuguese) to be an HOLA member?
No. HOLA members speak English only, Spanish only, or both languages fluently. Our Brazilian members speak Portuguese as well as English. There is no requirement for any member to speak Spanish (or Portuguese) to be an HOLA member.

What kind of casting notices do you receive?
HOLA receives all kinds of casting notices— from union and nonunion, through the disciplines of film, television, theater and voiceover. The majority of our notices are distributed to our membership. There are some instances, whether because of short notice or because of the search for something very specific, that HOLA makes referrals to certain talent.

I have signed representation. Would that be in conflict with HOLA?
No. In fact, we would put your signed representative’s name and number on your online profile. It would be another way to promote yourself without conflict.

If I book a job through HOLA, do I owe you a commission?
No. We are not an agency or artist management company. You are under no obligation to give us a commission. (But if you want to show your appreciation with a donation, we’ll be forced to take it, I suppose.)

I am in the process of getting my citizenship. Could I still join HOLA?
Yes. As long as you can legally work in the U.S., you can join HOLA.

Does HOLA have a social media presence?
Yes. We are on FacebookTwitter and have our own channel on YouTube. In addition, we are on Wikipedia and have our own blog, titled El Blog de HOLA.

What if I am not an actor but I like what you do?
You could support HOLA by becoming a Friend of HOLA and donating to the organization. If you are a producer or director, a Friend of HOLA donation allow us to promote your productions!

All About Becoming an HOLA Member or a Friend of HOLA

Wanna be an HOLA member? Wanna know more about HOLA first?

 is a not-for-profit arts service and advocacy organization founded in 1975.

HOLA members get their headshots and resumes on our web directory. In addition, HOLA receives casting notices from various sources that we pass on to our members (or in specific cases, help refer actors to the casting director).

HOLA offers low-cost workshops and seminars, professional counseling, special events and networking activities. We also produce the HOLA Awards which honor outstanding achievement by Latinos in entertainment.

HOLA has a Facebook page and a Twitter page in addition to this blog (imaginatively titled El Blog De HOLA). Whenever a member is doing a project, we can promote via e-mails we send out, through our Members in Performance page on the website or in El Blog on our HOLA Member Bochinche column (only good bochinche, never bad bochinche). It functions as another outlet to promote your work. HOLA is also on YouTube and on Wikipedia.

What if you are not an actor? You can support HOLA by being a Friend of HOLA. For more information, click here.

To become an HOLA member online (New York metropolitan area), fill out the member application form here.

To become an HOLA member (and you don't live within the NYC metropolitan area), call (212) 253-1015 or (888) 624-HOLA and inquire about our Regional Membership.

To become a Friend of HOLA, click here.

If you have any more questions, check out our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page by clicking here.

We like to think of HOLA as "la comunidad del actor latino." We would love for you to be part of that community. 

Become an 
HOLA member.
Become a Friend of HOLA.

Ya es la hora.
Now is the time.

HOLA Member Bochinche

Bochinche refers to “gossip”. In this sense, we use it to mention HOLA members or Friends of HOLA who are getting acting, performance or similarly artistic gigs and/or recognition in the media. The names of HOLA members and Friends of HOLA are listed below in boldface. To see what other HOLA members are doing currently, click here.

Rafael Bello, shown at right, won two New York Emmys (out of three nominations) in the categories of Entertainment: Program Feature/Segment for "Pa' la calle con Rafa", and as part of a team for Best Evening Newscast Under 35 Minutes, for his reporting of the preparation of Superstorm Sandy (all for Telemundo's New York metropolitan area affiliate WNJU). The local Emmy Awards are presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).

Caridad de la Luz (also known by her nom de poésie et de musique La Bruja) will be one of the featured performers in the Bronx WriterCorps showcase, to be presented by the Bronx Writers Center at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, located in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx). For more information, click here or here.

Elaine Del Valle will be represented as actor and writer-filmmaker in the Hispanicize 2014 Film Festival, scheduled to take place in April in Miami, Florida. Screening at the festival will be her webseries "Reasons Y I'm Single" (which she produces, writes, directs, edits and in which she stars) and the short film Stereotypically Me (written and directed by Linda Nieves Powell), which stars Andrea Navedo, Liza Colón-Zayas and Del Valle. Other filmmakers whose work will be screened there include Adel L. Morales, Diego Luna, Henry Barrial, Jesse García, Richard Montoya, Nicole Gómez-Fisher, among others. For more information, click here.

Mike Smith Rivera will be acting in Eddie Antar's The Navigator. Directed by Leslie Kincaid Burby, the Drama Desk Award-nominated production also stars Kelly Anne Burns, Joseph Franchini and Heidi Scheller will tour, playing in June at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in Hollywood, California. For more information, either click here or click on the video below.

Navigator promo "Garage" from Mike Smith Rivera on Vimeo.

If you are an HOLA member or a Friend of HOLA and want to submit a bochinche item, send us an e-mail. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, why not join? If you live outside the New York metropolitan area and want to be an HOLA member, you can find out more information on how to do so, by clicking here. If you are not a Friend of HOLA, why not become one?

Guest Blog/Bloguero Invitado: Una respuesta de la afirmación que el teatro latino en NY necesita un rescate

[Hubo un artículo escrito por Ruth Hernández de EFE en que un promotor de Miami, Florida, Manuel Mendoza, está a punto de presentar una presentación teatral en Nueva York. El Sr. Mendoza creó una polémica cuando sugirió que su oferta, que se llamó audazmente "La conquista", afirmó que "Esperamos que así como ha pasado en Miami, que se pueda gestar un movimiento latino mucho más importante del que ya existía, de que se pueda hacer un trabajo colectivo, que se abra un camino para que pueda abrir más teatro. En Nueva York, así como en el resto del país, hay millones de latinos." Para leer el artículo original, haz clic aquí.

Abajo se puede leer una respuesta del artículo escrita por el periodista, crítico e historiador de teatro latino neoyorquino 
Manolo García Oliva.]

por Manolo García Oliva 

La noticia no las proporcionó la agencia noticiosa española EFE, en la sección de espectáculos de El Diario La Prensa [en Nueva York] y con la firma de la corresponsal en nuestra ciudad de la periodísta Ruth E. Hernández Beltrán, bajo el título de "AL RESCATE DEL TEATRO EN ESPAÑOL DE NUEVA YORK".

Y nosotros nos preguntamos: ¿Al rescate de qué y quiénes?

Graciela Más y Magaly Alabau en
La estrella y la monja.
Dentro de esa nota tan injuriosa, desconcertante y con falta de documentación histórica, el promotor venezolano afincado en Miami, Manuel Mendoza, se plantea el compromiso de crear una audiencia fija y abundante, semejante a las que llenan los teatros de La Gran Vía Blanca, con figuras establecidas de la pantalla chica y que aparecen en novelas o programas de entretenimiento.

El éxito obtenido por el señor Mendoza en el año 2011 con 11 representaciones de la obra Los monólogos de la vagina, podríamos decir que fue relativo, en parte se debió por la novedad del elenco y lo duro que resultó el texto.

Isabel Segovia e Ilka Tanya
en Electra Garrigó.
Seguro que crea mucho regodeo y curiosidad el ver decir abcenidades a “primeras damas” de la tele, cómo lo hicieron Charytín Goyco, María Conchita Alonso, Roselyn Sánchez, Celinés Toribio, Adamari López o Alba Roversi. Va mucho más allá el hacer una comedia desfachatada, que plantarle cara a un clásico, una pieza de contenido social, o simplemente una obra que toque los problemas que nos aquejan en la época en que vivimos.

Señor Mendoza, los que mamamos el movimiento teatral hispano de Nueva York desde el año 1965– actores, actrices, escritores, directores, productores, técnicos, periodistas– no necesitamos de ningún “rescate”, las audiencias “fijas” nos las hemos creado, con mucha tenacidad, sudor y esfuerzo para que ahora decidan “rescatarnos via Miami”.

Virginia Arrea y Andrés Nóbregas
La dama de las camelias.
Para hacerle un poco de historia, señor Manuel Mendoza, sobre el teatro hispano en nuestra urbe, le diriamos que este dió sus inicios en la temporada de 1921-22 con la Compañía de Teatro Español y donde era figura relevante la destacada actriz española Marita Reid, desde aquel entonces ha llovido mucho y no fue hasta 1965 que un grupo de actores, directores y personas de teatro, formamos A.D.A. (Agrupación de Actores), convertida posteriormente en A.D.A.L. y finalmente en INTAR, para divulgar el teatro en nuestro idioma.

Fila superior (de izq. a der.): Ninfa
, Sra. de García, Ángela Mahnken,
Martha Velasco
 y Raúl García.
Sentados (de izq. a der.):
Jean-Paul Delgado
Manolo García Oliva
, Julio Lucía,
Alfonso Manosalvas

Oscar García
y Max Ferrá.
Todo fue el inicio de lo que hoy tenemos, de lo que hoy disfrutamos y aquel 21 de abril de 1965, ocupa un lugar de privilegio en nuestra memoria, cuando A.D.A. estrenó La soprano calva, anti-pieza de Eugène Ionesco y el monólogo Las manos de Euridice de Pedro Block, en J.W.J. Community Center del 120 Este de la calle 110 y donde un elenco formado por Martha Velasco, Julio Lucía, Alfonso Manosalvas, Angela Mahnken, Ninfa Alonso, Jean-Paul Delgado y Cecilio Noble– con la dirección de Oscar García y la asistencia de este cronista– hicieron el deleite de la audiencia que colmaba el teatro de dicho centro comunitario.

Miriam Cruz, Silvia Brito,
Jean-Paul Delgado
y Raúl Dávila
¿Quién le teme a Virginia Woolf?
Cómo consecuencia de A.D.A., en el que también eran puntales indispensables Max Ferrá. Elsa Ortiz y Frank Robles, fue la consecuencia del surgimiento del teatro Greenwich Mews (hoy Repertorio Español), Erick Santamaría Drama Studio, Teatro del Sur, Teatro de Orilla, Caras Nuevas, Duo Teatro, Repertorio VII, Nuestro Teatro, I.A.T.I., Dumé Spanish Theatre (hoy Thalía Spanish Theatre), Centro Cultural Cubano,  Roberto Maurano School of Drama, Teatro Rodante Puertorriqueño y otros grupos, cuyos nombres escapan a nuestra memoria.

También en aquel entonces surgen organizaciones que dan su apoyo a este movimento tan importante, cómo la Asociación de Cronistas de Espectáculos (A.C.E.), fundada en 1967 y la Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA, originalmente H.O.L.A.), en 1975, creadas cómo puntal de apoyo a este movimiento cultural tan importante y donde también más adelante surgieron el Teatro Pregones, Ollantay, T.E.B.A., Teatro Círculo, Teatro SEA, LATEA, E3Outlaws, FénixUSANY Inc., Tocando Puertas, entre otros.

Señor Mendoza, no se haga bolas, necesitamos su presencia pero no su rescate, eso déjelo para los bomberos o la policía.

Referente a lo que dice usted: “No estamos ávidos de fama ni que nos vamos a hacer millonarios”, pues yo le contesto: “Los actores componentes de nuestro núcleo teatral, si quisieran tener fama y convertirse en millonarios, por que se han roto y curtido bastante  el cuero desde tiempos inmemoriables”.

Manolo García Oliva es periodista, crítico, historiador de teatro latino neoyorquino, miembro y Presidente Emérito de la Asociación de Cronistas de Espectáculos de Nueva York (ACE) y actual Presidente de la Junta Directiva de la Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA).

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Tío Louie Interview: Urban Latino Comedians in Webseries

HOLA is proud to present the Tío Louie Interview, where filmmaker and bon vivant Louis Perego Moreno (also known as Tío Louie) interviews actors and multimedia-makers in the business.

In this edition, Tío Louie speaks to actor-comedians Michael Díaz (also known as Juan Bago), Jaime Fernández, Anthony Palmini (from the webseries "Studio Heads", the Room 28 sketch comedy troupe); and Jesenia and Jenni Ruiza (also known as The Comedy Girls, creators of the webseries "Becoming Ricardo" and the viral video sensation "Latino Stereotypes for Dummies [#StillNoLatinas]").

Michael Díaz (Juan Bago)

     What is the relationship with 
Remezcla? I’ve had a good relationship with them for the last three years. If I had some parody videos, they would post it on their website. My first collaborative effort with 
them was a 10-minute video of me playing handball with Lin-Manuel Miranda.

     Why urban flavor to your stories? I don’t know if it’s about an urban flavor. It’s about us. It’s about Washington Heights. Our intentions were to create something about urban flavor. Who we are as Latinos and it’s set in Washington Heights.

•     What was the best thing you learned from working on "Studio Heads" that surprised you that actually worked? We would plan it out – though sometimes not enough – but it was working with a DP [Director of Photography] who is not normally specializing in comedy. Their background was more into drama, thrillers or dramedies. So it gave our show a different look. It is something that Woody Allen adopted when after shooting in a particular style after his frist few movies he tapped into a different DP who brought a whole other perspective to the picture.
•     The $1 million question: what is the business model to a money-generating webseries when the word on the street is that there is usually no return on the dollar not to speak of to cover production & post-production? In order to monetize webseries you have to approach brands that believe in your work. You have to work with certain websites who have the budget to work on these productions. There are basically three options: 1) work for a brand, 2) a website that gives you the production money, 3) or have enough traffic and bandwidth going on your site with ads that you can make money with that. This is our passion project. So this is phase one for a brand or website to pay for it. It’s not monetizing now, but it will.
•    What’s next for "Studio Heads"? After having created a platform for "Studio Heads", we air aiming to have a budget in which to cover our productions and actually pay ourselves in creating a season 2. Or to get it into shape as a pilot for a series because we have six episodes locked in that are up and running-- not to speak of the ones that we shot that didn’t work out. And what we actually have is 45 minutes and that is worthy of a television series. This is the beauty of a web series, because once it has legs due to trial and error, you have something in shape that has been fleshed out towards a TV series.

Jaime Fernández

     What gave birth to "Studio Heads"? We were spending a lot of time in a music studio in an apartment building in Washington Heights. We were doing a lot of musical spoof comedy and thought it would be funny to 
do a studio like this and don’t know what we’re doing. It 
is sort of autobiographical, but in the show we are a 
couple of IQ’s lower and add a silly factor to it. It’s about 
a group of guys trying to make their mark in the industry.
•    Tell me about "Henry - A Web Series" and how that came about and what you’re doing in it? I met the creator of "Henry", Alain Alfaro and Juan Cáceres, the producer, recommended me. He told me the storyline and I said, "Let’s do it". We shot it quickly. We shot the first episode/pilot in a weekend. And it got into the NY Television Festival and the LA Web Fest. Alain gave me the creative freedom to improvise to find and develop the character. As a comedy guy, I like to improvise. "Henry" is a dramedy that have its serious moments and then would need its funny moments. There are about 6-8 episodes comprising season 1.

Anthony Palmini

     What were you first, actor or 
comedian? I was an actor first. Doing high school plays and then in college stand-up comedy.
     On the production side, this being a 
       low-budget work, what pitfalls would 
       you advise others not to take? We learned that you need to have outsiders looking in. Because we’re in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes, we’re wearing a lot of hats and we’re doing it all. It would have been great to have had a script supervisor. What appears to be good on paper, does not always fly as such. Sometimes we were left thinking, We should have taken an extra B-roll or an extra dialogue shot so that it would have worked better.

Jenni Ruiza

•     Why urban comedy? For me it speaks to
who I am. I am from the Bronx. When I grew up there wasn’t a lot of local talent to look up to. Comedy puts people ahead. It helps people when people are going through a tough time. We need homegrown talent. There aren’t a
lot of comedians from the Bronx. I wanted to make sure that when we use the Bronx as a backdrop that people are aware that we are very proud of where we come from and that it is a contributing factor to our success.
•     Are you an actor in "Becoming Ricardo"? I am in it. It’s my love project. My career goal is to be in front of the camera.
•    What do you behind-the-scenes for the webseries? I am co-producer, assistant director, co-writer and co-editor.

•    What gave birth to the "Becoming Ricardo" project? This was Jesenia’s brainchild and she came to me four years ago. It’s based on her life stemming from this that she had to go beyond the call of duty to get any role that did not reinforce the stereotype and that this was her opportunity to show herself as a woman and as a character.
 •   What gave birth to "Latino Stereotypes for Dummies (#StillNoLatinas)"? We both follow the show ["Saturday Night Live"] religiously and for years. And every time we see a Latina portrayed we don’t see an intelligent girl who knows her politics– we see this angry girl who’s absolutely upset about something and just wants to cut someone up. When we did our research, we learned that SNL has never in its 39-year history ever employed a Latina. The week before the sketch we saw Cecily Strong (an Italian-American) do her impression of a Latina. Seeing that infuriated the two of us. We did our research and incorporated the sketches that did employ the stereotypes of Latinos. Jesenia went home and wrote it and we knew that we had to get it out in a week while it was fresh– as well as develop a marketing plan. “Latino Stereotypes for Dummies” is the banner title, but it is interchangeable with "#SNL". This is beyond SNL, it was created for other networks who play us the same way to have their eyes opened.
•    How are your hits happening? We do self-promotion on lots of social media. We don’t have a publicity person. We’re doing it on a grassroots level. We’ve received about 5,000 hits on the pilot episode.
•    What’s next for you? I am focusing on my comedy range. I am doing standup. I am studying improvisation at The People’s Improv Theater (a.k.a. The P.I.T.). I will continue to write, co-produce and star in our Comedy Girls Productions.


•    What advantage do you bring to the table over male comedians? Female comediennes bring the female perspective to the table. Being surrounded predominantly
by men in my family, that is where a lot of my influences come from. I love men and respect them. I find that my characters are relatable
to both men and women and on two different planes.
•     What advantage do you bring to the table over non-Latino comics? Being able to speak to my people is very important to me, but being a comedienne who can speak to others of all other nationalities is very important to me. If you only speak to one group, it boxes you in. It’s almost important to bring in my flavor without being limited to being called a Latina comic. I don’t want it to be an inside Latino joke. I want it to be relatable to all. I want the understanding that, “Yes, I am Latina but I am not limited to doing Latino comedy.”
•     Women in front of the camera are often relegated to being objectified. Let’s face it, you are not the most attractive woman on the planet as Ricardo on "Becoming Ricardo". Why are you doing this and how do you see this enhancing your career? Ricardo was a dare to myself personally. I was having a conversation with a booker who said that there was a Latina who plays a really good man. I looked up her video and she looked like a lesbian woman. I felt, she doesn’t look like a man at all. I felt, this is not the level that we should be executing. There must be a Latina out there who could do a better portrayal and then I realized, “Why not me?” I started off with a sketch comedy routine and I found that I totally immersed myself without shame or regret. I felt that I needed to do justice to men by properly portraying a man. When I dress up like a guy, men and women gravitate to me and they have both accepted me. Women flirt with me and men want to give me a high five. It’s very interesting. I feel that this has enhanced my career by doing this as a webseries/TV show. This was when people got to see my range. After releasing this webseries I have made people comfortable with the fact that a Latina can portray a man.
•    What is your role behind-the-scenes in the production of "Becoming Ricardo"? I conceptualized it– I wrote it. I developed the character Ricardo. I wrote  all the other episodes with Jenni Ruiza. The pilot episode was written solely by me. At the time, Jenni was not familiar with writing webseries/TV Shows. I brought in a consultant who has vast experience in that realm. We realized that my first stab at it was complete garbage. I also produce, co-write all the episodes, I act as assistant director, though they tell me not to. I also do wardrobe, catering, etc.
•    You call it a "webseries-slash-TV show"– what are your aspirations for this project? I would like to get it on TV. I find that webseries are 5-7 minutes long and our [webisode]s are longer because we’re trying to have decision-makers on the other side visualize it as something on TV. After all, if you miss a TV episode, don’t you watch it on the internet? So, I did not feel the pressure to keep the episodes short.
•     What is the most challenging part about balancing being both an actor and producing "Becoming Ricardo"? It’s so personal to me because I wear all these hats to not focus on everything else around me– irrespective of the role I am playing whether in front of the camera or not. Furthermore, most actors are not involved in the behind-the-scenes. It gives me another perspective in the roles others serve, whether it’s the other actors or anyone else on the production team. It enables me to appreciate the process as an actor and producer.

* * * * 

        Louis Perego Moreno (Tío Louie) is an interactive content producer and educator 
who for 32 years has owned Skyline Features, a bilingual multimedia and educational production company developing documentaries, television programming and advertising commercials featuring Latinos, blacks, women, urban youth and LGBT people. He has trained 1,500 Latino and 
African American youth over 10 years to produce 70 documentary shorts. For documentary features he was the producer and director of Latina Confessions (2010) and co-producer of American Dreams Deferred (2013) on PBS.