It's Friday. I don't want to worry everyone but there's a storm watch in LA and everyone is freaking out. I grew up in south Texas where we had hurricane season. Growing up with hurricanes, you learned not to be scared of them. I'm not saying they can't be frightening. I mean, we've all seen the damage they can create along the way but if you grow up with hurricanes, they just become part of your everyday life. I mention hurricane season because everyone in LA is freaking out about the rain today like we're expecting a level 5 hurricane.
Since we're on the verge of getting hit by "Rainaggedon 2014," I've locked myself in my apartment today. It's been a crazy week over here at Casa Alonzo. I started working on my pilot this week. It still hasn't hit me that I'm working on a pilot named after me; what a crazy thing.
I found out the good news about my pilot the same day I found out my grandmother passed away. To say it was a bittersweet day is an understatement. I flew to Dallas for my grandmother's service. She lived to be 95. When I got to the service, I went to see her and it took me back to being a kid. She lived in Mexico and we would go visit her every Monday because that was my mother's day off from work.
I spoke to my aunt that I hadn't seen in years. She was crying. Of course she was, she had just lost her mother. I had been in that same spot eleven years earlier. I knew exactly what she was feeling. She started telling me in between tears that she always felt bad about how much pain and suffering my grandmother had in her life. Hearing her talk about my grandmother was like hearing her talk about my mother. Similar experiences, similar sacrifices, similar pain.
It blows my mind when people say that life is to be enjoyed. My family has never had the luxury to really enjoy life, we're too busy just trying to get by, which I think is the story of a lot of families. My sister and I were talking this past weekend, imagining what it's like to go on a vacation. Like a real vacation where you go and have fun. The closest we get to vacations is going to visit family in south Texas and Mexico. My family works hard and yet it feels like our life is spent playing catch-up from when we were younger and a lot more poor.
I mention this because everything that is happening right now with my pilot...I feel like I'm living the journey that began generations ago, unknowingly by women like my grandmother and my mother. Each of them having to raise their families on their own, sometimes sacrificing their own happiness in order to make sure that their kids were taken care of. Each generation wanting a little bit more for their kids than what they had.
Yesterday was the first casting session for my pilot and it couldn't have gone better. Everyone we saw was great, we laughed at everyone and clapped when they were done. Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a happier group of producers at an audition.
When I started out chasing this dream, I never thought that any of this would happen. I am so appreciative and so grateful to have this opportunity. And I know I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for people like my grandmother and mother, two women that fought so hard so that they're kids would have a fighting chance at life.
And that's what I want my show to be about. I want to tell the story of a girl that has a dream and will stop at nothing to get it and tell the story of a Latino family that has a shot at being happy.
I want to create characters that actors can be proud of portraying. This show isn't about me. It's about every character in this story.
Yesterday, an actress came in to read for my mother. As she was leaving, she said, "You're doing it. Finally breaking down those walls...so beautiful." Hearing THAT was the best part of my day.
I don't know what will happen with this pilot but just the fact that it's part of my life's journey is enough. I just hope my grandmother and mother know that they accomplished what they set out to do with their life: make sure that their kids have a fighting chance.
From El Zancarron, San Luis Potosi, to Reynosa, Tamaulipas to San Juan, Tx to Los Angeles, CA native,