Celebrity Sightings

While living in New York, I had the opportunity to be part of a few Hollywood film productions.

Movies included:
    The Yards - Director James Gray
                      Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron and James Caan
                      I played a pedestrian on the street.

   The Siege - Director Edward Zwick
                   Starring: Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Bruce Willis and Tony Shalhoub
                    I played a muslim captured in Randalss Island.
                    I got to work with a couple of friends Maurico Zapata, Harry Soto and Joey Colon.

   Cradle Will Rock - Director Tim Robbins
                    Starring:  Hank Azaria, Ruben Blades, Joan and John Cusack, Cary Elwes, Philip Baker Hall,
                                   Cherry Jones, Angus Macfayden, Bill Murray, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon,
                                   Jamey Sheridan, John Turturro and Emily Watson
                     I was dressed in a suit marching down Madison Ave to the theatre.  
                     I got to work with a couple of friends Maurico Zapata, Rebecca Cortes and Harold.

   Summer of Sam - Director Spike Lee
                    Starring:  John Lequizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino and Jennifer Esposito
                     I played a disco goer in a disco club scene.

I also had my share of meeting a few Hollywood celebrities while working downtown in Manhattan:

    Brad Pitt - "
A Devils Own".  He was walking to the set dressed in black with an umbrella and an entourage 
                    of body guards.  I was able to say hi and get an autograph.  All he did was smile a lot.

   Harrison Ford - "A Devils Own".  He was on the set drinking either coffee or water and was dressed down 
                    wearing a t-shirt and jeans and a blue cap.

   Ruben Blades - "A Devils Own".  I got to talk to him and about his music.  Very nice to talk to and he kept 
                   making little jokes.  He was surrounded by friends and family.  I was able to get an autograph.

   Andy Garcia - "Night Falls On Manhattan".  I was waiting on the corner with a PA while Andy Garcia was
                  filming a scene.  I stood for about an half hour waiting for an autograph while my co-workers watch 
                  outside the window on the third floor.  Two things went through my mind, I hope I get to meet 
                  Andy and I hope I don't get introuble from my job.  After Andy shot the scene, he came over, 
                  asked my name and asked me if I wanted to eat lunch with the cast.  I was in shock, first of all for 
                  meeting Andy Garcia, but I said no because I didn't want to lose my job.  You can either call it 
                  being responsible or stupid for not taking this opportunity to continue my dreams as a performer.

   Keanu Reeves - "The Devils Advocate".  This was interesting.  Keanu Reeves was filming on Lafayette 
                 Street.  The scene before jumping in to the train with Al Pacino.  I asked him for his autograph and
                 he said, "Not right now".  I asked him again and he said in a little firm voice, "Not Right Now".  Talk 
                 about persistent, I asked Keanu again for his autograph and he yelled, "NOT RIGHT NOW!"..."I 
                 just wanted an autograph, sorry".  Then he collects himself and say's, "Not right now, I'm busy 
                 with my lines".

   Al Pacino - "The Devils Advocate".  He stepped out of a limo and yelled "HI!" to everyone on our building.   
                He was on set on with Keanu for the walk on Lafayette before entering the subway.

   Alec Baldwin - I don't remember what he was doing, but he was sitting on one of those director chairs.

   Miley Cyrus - We were one of the lucky ones who were able to purchase tickets for the Hannah Montana 
                 Concert.  They had a raffle outside the Sprint Center for prizes and we won meet and greet 
                 passes.  Our girls loved it.

   High School Musical - We got to meet Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu when our youngest
                daughter won tickets with meet and greet passes.

   Ashley Tisdale - We got to meet Ashley Tisdale in the Independence Mall thru the local radio station Mix93.3.

   Tim Robbins - "Cradle Will Rock".  A very mellow guy.  I took the picture for my friend Harold and 
                 because he said that we shouldn't be doing this while they are working, all I got to do was say hi.  
                 There was one scene in the theatre when the cast got on stage after their singing scene and danced 
                 with celebration when two extras rushed to the stage and started dancing with the cast. 
                 I  remember Cary Elwes turns to him and he realizes that this kid shouldn't be here, so Cary just turns 
                 around and continues with his scene.  When Tim called cut, everyone stayed quite because we all 
                 knew what had just happened.  First of all, it is summer time, we have been on set for over 12
                 hours and it is almost midnight and a scene that should have been the final shot, had to be reshot, 
                 because of these two extras.  No one made a sound and everyone understood the frustration.  Tim
                 marched up to the stage and let this guy have it.  He told him, who did he think he was wasting 
                 everyone's time and money.  He told him to get out and don't ever come back to work.  This extra
                 grabbed his jacket and walked out with his head down and all you can hear is his footsteps while 
                 everyone turns their head to watch him leave.  After a moment of echoing footsteps, everyone 
                 screams and yells like if someone had just won the Super Bowl.  After that, Tim apologized to 
                 everyone for his outburst and everyone understood.  We did one last scene and it was a print.

   Hank Azaria - "Cradle Will Rock".  I was able to take a picture of Hank and me but my friend Harold, 
                 never came back to work to give me the picture.  Hank was really funny and was making different 
                 character voices before he realized he was there to work.

   Helen Hunt - "Cradle Will Rock".  I got to say hi while she was running down the street to meet Hank.

   Cary Elwes - "Cradle Will Rock".  I got to meet Cary and Angus Macfayden at the same time.  It was 
                 break time and they were both sitting on these steps in front of an apartment talking.  It felt weird 
                 because it was like everyone was just hanging out.  No attitudes just because they are celebrities.  
                 Very humble guys to talk to.

   Vanessa Redgrave - "Cradle Will Rock".  I got to say hi for a moment.  She was preparing for her seen in 
                the theatre.

   Matt Dillion - "Cradle Will Rock".  Matt was visiting the set and he was sitting on the stairs in the back of 
                the theatre talking with someone when I got a chance to say hi.

   Angus Macfadyen - "Cradle Will Rock".  I got to meet Angus and Cary Elwes at the same time.  It was 
                break time and they were both sitting on these steps in front of an apartment talking.  It felt weird 
                because it was like everyone was just hanging out.  No attitudes just because they are celebrities.  
                Very humble guys to talk to.

   Lee Arenberg - "Cradle Will Rock".  Lee made it fun on set.  There were a bunch of us outside the theatre 
                and he was making everyone laugh.  We were asking him about all the different roles he played and
                he was telling us the blooper moments, including his part in Sienfeld.  Very funny guy.

   Denzel Washington - "The Siege".  I got to meet Denzel on the set on Randall's Island.  I was playing a 
                muslim with my friends and we were celebrating our freedom and during our scene, Denzel and 
                Tony Shalhoub walk thru the crowd between me and my friends as the camera pulls away on a 
                crane.  We were excited because we were going to be seen on the screen.  Anyway, what did
                happen on set, there were these two girls who were misbehaving and when Denzel was shooting
                his seen, the girls must of grabbed him, I'm not quite sure, but after they called cut, hey pointed
                to the director and then to the two girls.  The girls were then kicked out of the movie and were
                sent home.  After that, everyone was serious on the set because no one wanted to be sent home.

Two classmates from High School made it to the silver screen.  Yancey Arias and Tara Crespo.  
   Tara was in a couple of movies which included "A Murder of Crows" and La Cucaracha".  I guess she 
         stopped making movies and became a mom.  
   Yancey continues on many projects as a performer and a Director and has also released a song "
True Love". 
Congratulations to you both for continued success.

My next two celebrities which are the most important ones in my life are my two daughters.  

Our oldest one Alyssa Cassandra who is 15 years old has performed in:

  • Kansas City Ballet in the "The Nutcracker"
  • Center Stage "Once In This Island"
  • Center Stage "Beauty and the Beast"
  • Center Stage "Peter Pan"
  • Independence "The King and I"
  • New Theatre "OKLAHOMA!"
Her current dream is to continue as a professional dancer.  Check out whats new with her.

Our youngest one
Alexiya Lourdes who is 11 years old has performed in:

Her current dream is to continue as a professional actor.  Check out whats new with her.

I can't forget my wife.  She is the one who holds this family together and is the backbone of our girls career.

I am also proud to be part of My Final Shot: A network where independent film makers and actors get the opportunity to showcase their craft and work with each other.