Best Monologue Nominees
Adrian and Ivan Brizuela
Adrian and Ivan are both classically trained actors who received their BFA in acting from The California Institute of the Arts. Adrian has worked on projects such as the original play “Los Angeles Founding Families” where he acted alongside Roger Guenveur Smith and has been featured in nationwide commercials. Ivan, his younger brother, recently finished his four years at CalArts, where he played roles ranging from experimental theatre to Shakespeare. Aside from acting, both brothers are recording artists and are involved with music production with the family company Brizz Productions. Each Brother individually releases music under “Adrian Brizz” and “Lord Zuela”, and recently they have both collaborated on their newest record named “All Night Long” available on all streaming platforms. During the quarantine the brothers have joined forces to write a TV show series based on their unique Latino first gen upbringing. The Brizz Bros are dedicated to their craft, and hope to foster more representation for the Latinx community in Hollywood!
Bernadette is a graduate of the Fox Writers Intensive and a longtime ghostwriter for a lot of directors and producers. When not writing, you’ll find her at the helm of The Cortez Brothers, Inc., an international production company specialized in finding and developing directors (and stories) all over the globe. She has a weakness for Chicano literature, Cuban coffee and dark comedy, in no particular ord—NOT TRUE, SHE LOVES COFFEE THE MOST.
Anyone who was raised by immigrant parents knows, being the first generation born in America is a lot of pressure. Now throw in dysfunctionality, a smart mouthed kid, and a Mexican mother from Juarez, you have the recipe for Bryan’s comedy. While he was very young his parents divorced, in these hard times he found solace with his *nanny (reruns of Seinfeld). Bryan learned that comedy and jokes made the hardships in life easier to cope with at a much earlier age than most. So as soon as he finished school, he packed up his things and moved to New York City to follow his dream of becoming a comedian and TV writer. Bryan was recently featured on Laff Tracks on TruTV and is a Finalist for the 2020 Kenan Thompson Ultimate Comedy Experience. When he is not throwing his laptop out the window writing his latest project, he can be seen around New York City performing nightly at various clubs and venues turning childhood trauma into adult laughter.
Christopher is an Actor, Writer, and Recording Artist (musically known as Vice Romero) originally from Orlando, FL, currently based out of Queens, NY. He studied Creative Writing & Media Communication Studies at The Florida State University. He is actively pursuing a career in acting while also writing new pilots, screenplays, poetry, stand-up, and raps. He focuses on intimate, character driven stories centered around identity, love, upbringings, and the middle-class.
Denisse was born in the border town of El Paso, Texas, although was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley, she tried working in tech for several years but was greatly unfulfilled. She has since been pursuing her passion for healing through movement and creative expression working in mental health and in education. At the heart of her endeavors is the power is storytelling. As a child, she was always one to keep her mother busy, taking everything from dance, voice, to music lessons. Never willing to settle on just one. She most recently worked in early childhood education and holds a graduate degree in Counseling Psychology.
Desiree is an interdisciplinary LatinX artist and researcher. Having grown up in two vibrant LatinX and BIPOC communities in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, they strive to address contemporary issues and perspectives of these communities in their work, specifically regarding immigration, intersectional identities, and women’s issues. They are currently pursuing their bachelors degree in Bioengineering at University of California Riverside.
Enrique is a Puerto Rico born and raised actor and writer who has been living in Los Angeles for the past ten years. He is a UCB alum and he most recently starred as Evan on season 6 of Amazon’s hit series Bosch. He also appears in the award-winning indie films ‘Anchor and Hope’ and ‘Tu Me Manques’. On stage, Enrique has performed on shows such as ‘In The Heights’ (Sonny); ‘Chicago’ (Billy Flynn), ‘The Shadow of Zapata’ (Otilio Montaño); ‘Working’ (Mike Dillard, Conrad); ‘Frida Kahlo and the Tree of Hope’ (Hector, Rodrigo); among others. He recently wrote two pilots: a half-hour dark sci-fi comedy called ‘Kill Your Selves’ and a half-hour LGBT-centric hospital dramedy called ‘Trauma Queens’. He currently lives with his husband Axel Shalson and their two children (i.e. dogs), Emma Empanada and Bad Boy Billy.
Gibran Adrian Leon
Gibran was born and raised in Northern California, predominately in the cities of Oakland and San Leandro and studied Political Science at SFSU, which led to his current occupation as a Paralegal for a mid-size law firm.
His mother named him after the poet/philosopher Gibran Khalil Gibran, which naturally sparked his interest in poetry and literature. As the son of two Mexican immigrants, he was very fortunate to be raised in a Spanish speaking household through his adolescence. Growing up Latino in California afforded him the opportunity to be a part of the unique, and colorful culture that has such a vast storytelling history. The Latino experience in this country is where he has drawn most of his inspiration, and motivation from.
Despite his focus in legal studies, he has considered himself an avid writer and storyteller in his regard, but through no formal capacity. Initially, he never truly considered himself a creative in any sense of the word. However, he was consistently pushed to stories tell by his peers. Those that know him best would describe him as overly imaginative, to the point of fantastical.
Never one to shy away from an unpopular opinion; he enjoys healthy discussions regarding race, religion, class, political ideology, and sports. Whenever given the opportunity, he loves to express himself through writing. During his time at San Francisco State, he was heavily involved in student organizations that encouraged self and community empowerment through education.
J. Anthony Roman
Anthony is very much the product of the city and time he grew up in. Born In Puerto Rico and brought to New York City when he was months old, he is the son of a Vietnam vet with a drug problem, an eventual AIDS diagnosis, and who became a high school drop out. Anthony’s mom worked as a maintenance worker in Manhattan, while he became a latch key kid, and would find an escape in theater. By high school, Anthony was working and enrolled in youth theater companies, where he honed his ability to write. He cut class often to go to auditions, using his own written monologues as audition material. After high school, Anthony skipped college and started his own theater company. Anthony would leave acting behind and focus solely on writing. As a playwright, three of his full-lengths were produced, as well as most of his short plays. To provide for himself, Anthony worked as everything from a counter-terrorism supply salesman to a weed delivery person. In 2016 he was accepted into Tisch’s School of the arts (Film and TV Program), and graduated with honors with a degree in writing and directing in 2019. Anthony currently works as a location scout in New York City as he pursues a career as a writer and director for film and television. His first film, Scarfaced, played in the 2019 HBO NYC Latino film festival, BLVD 4, Latinx21 2019 Film Fest, the 2019 CineShorts Fest (Semi-Finalist), and others!
Nichole is a 2nd generation Mexican American and a Los Angeles native. She earned a BA in Cinema and Television Arts for Screenwriting at CSUN. She currently lives in LA where she works in commercial production and is writing a feature. Luna aims to write progressive roles for women of color that go beyond the stereotypes Hollywood has confined them to.
Roslin is an LA-based filmmaker, writer, and actor from Iowa. Previously, she worked as a correspondent in the United States Senate, and utilizes her understanding to bridge the gap between policy and human experience through storytelling. She believes storytelling is the most powerful tool to spread truth and empathy. In this spirit, she co-wrote and starred in a theatrical piece about women in the stripping industry, “The Sacred Obscene”, which premiered in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Recently, she was a lead in the all-Native cast of “But That’s Not Love”, which addressed the systemic problem of missing and murdered Indigenous women on U.S. reservations. Currently, she is producing and directing a documentary about the sacred plant medicines of Peru titled, “Medicina”. She holds an MFA in Acting from East 15 Acting School, London. Gracias, Nosotros, for holding space for my “ethnically ambiguous” Latinx experience!
Chicano y chulo. Born & raised on the central coast of California, in the farm working community of Watsonville. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from San Jose State University, where he trained as a classical actor. His work within the department included six MainStage shows where he was able to explore characters such as Henry Reyna (Zoot Suit), Tom Joad (The Grapes of Wrath), Heck Tate (To Kill a Mockingbird), and Banquo (Macbeth). His time at SJSU also earned him honors within the department including the “Teatro Award” for contributions towards diverse theatre.
Since graduating, Sedrick has been a resident artist of El Teatro Campesino, founded by the legendary Chicano playwright Luis Valdez in San Juan Bautista. He’s been able to explore many iconic roles there, such as El Hermitaño & Satanas in the biannual winter classic of “La Pastorela”. His residency at ETC has also granted him the opportunity to give back to a community he loves and one that helped shape his voice as an artist.
Through his work, Sedrick hopes to bring light to Latinx struggles and help start a dialogue towards potential solutions. He is always striving to find the balance between his classical training and nuance-filled upbringing for the most authentic stories possible.
Best Monologue Performance Nominees
Hope for the Future
Angel Iréne Guadalupe
¡Hola mi gente! Angel is an an actor, writer, and student of the world. She is originally from Oakland, CA, but after living in LA for over 10 years, she feels like she can officially call this her home too. She moved across the state to study Film & TV Production at LMU with the goal of becoming a representative for the Latinx community by way of the Film/TV & Literary industries. Her continued intention as a Creative is to be a part of stories that uplift and amplify voices, particularly from women of color, that have largely gone unheard—to be a part of stories that highlight the nuances in our various experiences in this country and beyond.
Evelyn Torres at ICU
Brittany Benjamin has been performing on stage and screen as far back as Mrs. Schaefer’s first grade play. She has been a professional actor and singer for many years. Her most recent work includes acting in and directing her own short films, as well as many independent film and television projects, modeling, and voice over world wide. As of late she has been writing screenplays and she is currently working on a feature film script. She resides in the midwest with her lovely husband and four kids. She is biased but believes they are incredible people and she is wildly lucky to have them in her life. Brittany has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and has been a student of many great teachers over the years, but she credits much of her noble strive for authenticity in acting performance to the school of life. You can view a nauseating number of photos of her, and links to more work at her website www.brittanybenjamin.com
Cindy De La Cruz
Afro- Dominicana, Bronx Bred. Recent credits include: Off Broadway: The Siblings Play ( Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); The Niceties (Geva Theatre); DreamHou$e (ArsNova); Storm Still (Sheen Center); Our Town (Olney Theater Center); Hop ThA A (Drama League/ Asolo Repertory Theatre);Stupid Fucking Bird (Arden Theater & Urbanite Theatre); Joe Turners Come and Gone (American Stage); Dearly Departed (WestCoast Black Theatre Troupe); Dividing the Estate (Florida Repertory ) TV: The Village (NBC); Blue Bloods (CBS). Film: Kilroy Was Here (Dir. Kevin Smith); What Doesn’t Float ( Dir. Luca Balser) Www. Cindy-DeLaCruz.com
The Practicality of Oneness
Dolores Avery is a proud Afro Latinx Actress based in New York. She got her BFA in Acting from Syracuse University and has also completed 2 years at Maggie Flanigan Studio this past July, where she studied Meisner Acting Technique. She was just seen in a virtual play at Philadelphia Theater Company called The Days of Re-Creation. NYC Theater credits include In The Same Space (Dixon Place), Good Friday (The Flea), Orphans and Outsiders (John Cullum Theatre), Ms Estrada (Q Brothers). BLM! (She/Her)
Not All Tamales Look The Same
Jacqueline is a Matamoros, Mexico native and a New York City based actor. She spent her childhood commuting back and forth from border towns Matamoros and Brownsville, Texas, where she eventually moved with her mom and siblings. Growing up as a dual citizen in border towns, she always felt like she was living a double life – like a superhero, her powers: to be fully bilingual & bicultural. Upon moving to the Rio Grande Valley, Jacqui was able to delve into more artistic endeavors, allowing her to eventually discover her love for Theater. She received her BFA in Acting from Texas State University and studied with The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon, UK, before relocating to Brooklyn, where she currently resides with her fiancé and puppy child Ramona. She has been in numerous commercials, radio spots, theatrical productions, and TV shows such as Orange is the New Black, Blue Bloods, Bull, and most recently, Search Party. Jacqui was last seen at The Roundabout in NYC for the world premiere of Hilary Bettis’, “72 Miles to Go…” directed by Jo Bonney. She is currently working on the self-produced sketch comedy show, heCHas en Mexico, with fellow Mexicanas Georgina Escobar and Valeria Avina. She is a classically trained flautist, though no longer holds Lizzo status skills, a clown, a ukulele enthusiast, and a craftswoman, currently working on getting her jewelry business up and running…not really, but she is now a proud owner of a lot of clay earrings.
Los Tecolotes del Norte
Juan Paulo Munevar
Juan is a working Colombian-American actor, filmmaker, and multimedia designer originally from Miami, Florida where he studied Advertising with a Film Certificate at Florida International University.
He volunteers with the Nosotros creative team and aims to help the organization promote its vital mission to raise the LatinX voice in the entertainment industry.
As a DACA recipient, Juan is no stranger to adversity and hard work. He is a strong advocate for civil and immigrant rights and his experiences have inspired him to use his skills as an artist to bring about a better narrative of the LatinX community in the United States. He hopes to tell dignified stories and help give a voice to those who don’t have one.
In Your Hands
Lisa is an actor, dancer and fitness instructor. She is founder of Fly Girl, LLC- a dance fitness education program focused on street dance culture. She has traveled to over 45 countries and loves teaching kids. Lisa Marie also loves writing her own sketches and doing bad impersonations of famous female celebrities.
One Old Pissed Off Mexican
Michael has been acting ever since he was honorably discharged from his duty in the United States Coast Guard. He has been fortunate enough to be part of shows like Netflix’s “Hollywood” & Latino AT&T commercials. He is just getting started and ready for the challenges.
Nelinda grew up in the small beach town of Bradenton, Florida and moved to LA where she was accepted into the USC School of Cinematic Arts. A classically trained actress, Nelinda studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and even performed on Shakespeare’s Globe stage. She has trained at UCBLA and Nerdist School and has performed improv with her group CATBATH! at pretty much every venue this town has to offer. She spent several months writing for the CBS Diversity Showcase. And was one of the first participants in the Whohaha Creator’s Lab where she developed her podcast Historical Hookups.
Currently, you can see Nelinda on The Ruby stage with her sketch team The Burbs. Also watch her in the sci-fi series, Dark/Web, streaming now on Amazon. And hear her as as Alexandria “Red” Dutton in the mystery comedy podcast, Arden.
Yo Soy Awesome
Nerea was born in Mexico City and lived internationally at a young age. She is now based in Los Angeles. Known for playing strong-willed, coming-of-age women, her screen debut was in the independent film ‘Astraea’. Having attended an acting conservatory in New York City, she has since went on to perform immersive theatre in both NYC & LA.
Pierre Jean Gonzalez
Pierre is a New York-based actor, singer, and dancer hailing from the Bronx, NY. TV/FILM: “Gotham”, “NCIS: NOLA”, “Elementary”, “The Detour”, and soon to be “Barrio Boy”. BROADWAY NATIONAL TOUR: Alexander Hamilton; Hamilton. REGIONAL THEATER: Macedonio Guerra, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity; Usnavi, In The Heights; Cassio, Othello; Javier, House of Ramon Iglesias. LONDON THEATER: Oberon/Theseus, The Globe’s A Midsummer Nights Dream. Pierre received his BFA Acting Conservatory from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rugters University. Recently, Pierre launched his own production company called Dominican Productions and has already produced and directed several short films.
The Devil Wears Nada
Ryan is a Mexican-American actor & filmmaker. A native Angeleno, he was born in East L.A. but raised in Mexico City for the early part of his life. Being bilingual and growing up in both the U.S and Mexico, he learned about his Mexican culture from two different worlds. At a very young age his grandmother instilled in him the importance of walking in people’s shoes, and that to succeed in life you need “Ganas”. (The Desire)
The son to two former illegal immigrants he understood that in his life, adversity would always be overcome through hard work and a sharp mind. After being the first in his family to graduate from University with a Bachelors in Broadcast journalism from CSULA, he decided to pursue his childhood dream of acting and took any class he could sign up for. From improv, accent training to acting technique, you can always find him in a classroom.
His goal is to change the outdated image of Latin men in both the media and the world by showing the hidden side that men have to offer through his performances and projects. He hopes that his work can inspire both LatinX and non-LatinX film makers to walk in each other’s shoes and create a more unified story for the future.