Latinx women Showrunner Gloria Calderon-Kellett is a first generation American, daughter of immigrant parents who came to the US in 1962 from Cuba. She is the Executive Producer, writer and co-showrunner of One Day At A Time previously on Netflix and now on CBS.
As an actress she would only get roles to play a gang member’s girlfriend or sister, that’s where she got the inspiration to become a writer. Calderon embraces the lack of Latinx stories in the industry as a challenge, so she taught herself how to write for TV in order to get the presence she wanted.
In “One Day At A Time” she tells the story of a Latinx family, who are hard working immigrants. The show also brings representation to the LGBTQ+ community. She thinks the secret of success of the show is that it is not only inclusive in front of the camera but behind the room has different culture crew like Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Rican, Argentinian, young and old.
Calderon has worked with NALIP in workshops where she has talked to creators about the need of having Latinx content in the industry, to watch the shows and write powerful and amazing scripts that can take the lead.
Gloria thinks organizations like NALIP show people that they are here to help them, to offer an opportunity as a platform to learn and grow. She thinks that “we are inclusion” means making sure that what you have in front of the camera is the same that’s behind because that’s what makes stories accurate and real. From inclusive rooms offering interesting conversations is where you get great stories.
Calderon feels the future of Latino in features and media is positive because the industry has been one way for a while. Although there is a lot of work to do, people are starving for representation, if we want a more inclusive and warm world, there should be more and many stories that show how diverse our culture is.
“If I hired you for my staff you need to write one script weekly, so you need to work hard, read, and write until your eyes and hands are bleeding because that is what it takes” explains Calderon. She thinks that we should take advantage of having Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO and all these networks to watch all the shows and movies and get the knowledge we need.
She thinks NALIP empowers people by reminding them that they can when people are saying they can’t. “If you have a great script and you’re part of an organization like NALIP you will make it because you’re surrounding yourself with people that are smart and know what they are doing and that’s the path to success”. Calderon most important advice to creators is to believe and to work hard because it takes time but it happens.
In regards to the 20th anniversary of NALIP she thinks it’s incredible to see the people of this organization working together and say: “we wanna help, we wanna guide the future of this voices, we want to celebrate stories, we want to tell these young kids that the future can be different.” She thinks this is what makes the change that is happening. “I want NALIP to continue educating, to continue growing because it's working. I celebrate it because it’s working, we are able to create young storytellers that have the confidence and learning the importance of education and the ability to grow so we can tell more stories”.