Actor and Filmmaker
I was born in Mira Flores, Peru. I came to the US when I was three and lived in Chicago, Illinois. After a couple of years, my mother decided that the winters were too harsh and that we should all live in California, the land of sunshine and movie stars. So when I was five we packed up and moved to Hollywood, California. I remember living across the street from Paramount Pictures and thinking to myself, “One day I will be on the other side of that wall”.
I went to high school in Fullerton, California and took up tennis. I was obsessed and a couple of years later I received a tennis scholarship to attend Cypress College where I majored in music. After college, I played on the pro circuit for a couple of years, but after a knee injury, I was recruited to teach tennis at Van Der Meer’s Tennis University in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. After a few years of training and working with world class players, I ended up teaching tennis in Connecticut and got my first acting job there.
I spent the next year working and studying in New York. I have had two great acting teachers in my life, David Lampson from The Actor’s Studio and the late great George Shdanoff who worked with some of my heroes like Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and Yul Bryner. I came back to Hollywood where I owed my own martial arts studio and taught Tae Kwon Do and Hap Ki Do for about ten years. I landed a recurring role on a sitcom and have been working (knock on wood) ever since. Since then I have also worked in Mexico, Spain and the UK.
When I was around ten years old, my parents would drop me off at a local movie house on the weekends where they played double features. They would leave me there for hours while they went shopping and I would get to watch the movies two or three times. That is where I got my love for movies.
Even at that age I would listen to the music or watch how a particular scene was shot or edited. It was an escape for me. During a hiatus on a sitcom I was working on, I decided to take some film classes at UCLA. I studied directing, screenwriting and producing. I even taught myself editing. After completing my classes, I realised that knowing the full process of filmmaking,
I became a better actor and something stirred inside me that wanted to tell stories more completely. I began writing on my down time from acting and realised that I had finished a few feature length screenplays as well as short film scripts.
I directed and produced my first short film in 2000 with two colleagues that to this day are still working with me and have made a feature film, a television pilot, music videos and workout videos.
All this came to a turning point in my burgeoning film career when, together with my original fellow filmmakers, I became a co-founder of 52 Films/52 Weeks: A Year of Filmmaking. Together the three of us wrote, directed, produced, edited and shot a film a week for the entire year of 2011. It was an amazing experience and now I can truly call myself a filmmaker.