Alex's Rambling: The Birth and Evolution of 'Latinos In The Industry'

By Alex Mendoza

Mis estimados Compinches y Compinchas,

Pero ya hace tiempo that I don't  ramble. Mis disculpas but I have been very busy sudando la gota gorda on several events that AMARTE has been working on, including the coming just around the corner mas chin... event of the year, the NALIP Conference (le cae negra al que no vaya, you will be doomed if I don't see you there!).

Bueno, I'm just taking these few minutos to tell you a quick story. You may already know, pero como fourteen years ago, I was working on International Distribution for Morgan Creek, despues of having spent more than 20 añejos in that and other major independents. When I was out of there looking for my next chamba, I did what we all suppose to do in those cases, I asked for help from my cuates. One, my most appreciated and loved mentor since he was my teacher on film school, Frank Zuñiga, me dijo que ni madres he will be helping me to find another job with the gringos. 

After, despues de que se la mente, he explained that he had just had been in a meeting of most of the Latino producers and that he thought I should come in into the community to help it. Me: "Hay pinche Pancho, si el unico indigena que conozco, eres tu" ("Fraking Pancho, if the only indigenous I know, is you"). He: "That is no problem, I will introduce you with the Gran Cacas (Big Honchos)". Me: "And who is going to pay". He: "That is your pedo (problem)". Me: "But Pancho, I have no network, don't know quien es quien, how I can do it?" He: "Check your inbox, just sent you 150 e-mails of Latinos in the industry" Me: "Bueno, sere pentonto (a fool), but I like the idea, let's do it". He: "Let's, Ke-mo sah-bee?" 

Bueno, I wondered for quite some time how I could make good use of those 150 e-mails, with nada coming up. I started trying to find information about the who-is-who on Latinos in the industry having the hardest time because there was only LatinHeat then, nothing else, zipo, cero, ni manchas. So, de la nada, una idea pop-up, why I don't share with those 150 whatever I start finding. And so, it started, this Latinos in the Industry newsletter. Then it was just a mass mailing, that when I sent the first one with a news item about Jennifer Lopez landing some gig, I was expecting people to ask me to stop, but to my surprise, requests to be added to the list started coming one after the other. Two years later, when the list had reached just short of a thousand subscribers, NALIP approached me desiring to acquire the newsletter, as the organization communiqué and, tarugos, asked me to stay as its editor offering me a meager stipend. Hey, I was doing it gratis, why not then, for a propina. Que no? (Ironic Point; that meeting that Pancho attended and from where he provided me the first 150 e-mails? The first NALIP Conference in San Francisco!)

So NALIP took matters on hand and gave the newsletter a professional look and placed in the hands of their Webmaster the technical tasks off putting it together. All the webmasters at NALIP since then have had a good share of the work, even when not the credit, on informing all of us. Each one of them started taking also the responsibility of editing, collecting and publishing the postings coming into the newsletter. Little by little my work on putting it together started being less and less since they were doing so good of a job. All of them, since my dear friend Abel Salas as the first one that took it at heart on making the newsletter the best it could be, have done a great job on doing so. But... and here comes the BIG but... Since a few years ago there has been a Webmaster that has done an EXCEPTIONAL job on servicing all of us. He has taking a leadership role in selecting, editing, complementing, augmenting and overall, making our newsletter una chingo, a true beneficial and helpful tool for all of us. He was granted the title of Co-Editor some months ago, but that even has not been a true reflection of his contributions, to the newsletter and to all of us. 

So it is with great pleasure that, in full agreement with NALIP's Acting Executive Director, Beni Matías, we announce to all of you that, starting with THIS edition of the newsletter, Zach Evans will be credited with the full title of Editor of the Latinos in the Industry newsletter, title he has deserved for a long time. I will continue to be listed as editor too, but not be mistaken, the real work is, has been for a long while, and it will continue to be done, by Zach.  Please join me in congratulating him on this, long overdue, recognition of his contribution to the newsletter, our organization, community and all of us. And, if you will be so listo as to attend the conference (and remember, le cae negra al que no vaya), please stop him on the hallways to say MUCHAS GRACIAS, ZACHARIAS!