A new chapter in HOLA

Welcome and thank you for visiting our new HOLA webpage!

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Malcolm March and as of November 2019 I succeeded Manny Alfaro as the new Executive Director of the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors.

I will not usually be a writer in this section since I still don’t feel I have mastered my English writing (Most of the times in Facebook or Instagram I write at the moment, click the post button and then watch my bad grammar in action) but yet I wanted to take a moment to reach out to you… you who are taking time to read what has HOLA been doing all these years since 1975.

Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) is a nonprofit membership organization created in 1975 by a group of young actors who were concerned about the lack of representation of Latin performers in the entertainment industry while the ones who got into projects were mostly cast as stereotypical taboo of maids, drug dealers, etc. One of the big conversations they had back then with casting agents was that they had a tough time in finding that talent for their projects, so after that conversation, the founders created the HOLA Pages, a yearly book that HOLA printed for agencies where they had the Headshots and details of all HOLA members for them to select.

HOLA became an agent for Latin performers that didn’t ask for commissions, as a normal agent/manager would do, the only thing that was needed was to pay a yearly membership. That’s how in these 45 years we had members from the East Coast to the West Coast, generating a wonderful network for our performers.

Another service that HOLA provides since it’s creation is workshops dedicated to the development of the artist: Voice over workshops, on-camera workshops, monologues, accent work, among others as well as panel nights where casting agents could give feedback to our members.

In the early 2000s, different websites started to update their online tools for performers that made job opportunities more accessible that ended up in the platforms that we see today, making our printed method outdated.

By then, the HOLA Awards were created. A special gala event that celebrates the achievements of our performers and media journalists in the entertainment industry. Past winners include Rita Moreno, Lin Manuel Miranda, Nilo Cruz, Tony Plana, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Antonio Banderas, Benicio del Toro, Thalía, Ruben Blades, Luis Salgado, Olga Merendiz, Bobby Cannavale, Robin De Jesús, Manuel Moran, Dascha Polanco, Danny Rivera, David Zayas, Danny Burstein, Nadine Velazquez among many others.

That brings me to our new chapter…

Back in August, I had my first meeting at HOLA to talk about the current situation of HOLA and just by reading and understanding its history and mission, a group of young professionals decided to get together and create a strategic plan to open the spectrum of the organization to many other professionals in the medium that also would benefit of jobs opportunities and education.

There are two different reports that I will share in this post, one is the Ethnic Representation on NYC Stages by Asian American Performers Action Coalition. (Click here to read the report) and the Hollywood Diversity Report by UCLA (Click here to read the report). In these reports, we can appreciate how in the past years, in Hollywood, there has been an uphill representation for minorities but on the creative side, 1 of 10 writers are people from different minorities, women are less represented in leadership positions. This created a huge opportunity for us as we are heading into our new chapter.

What if we expand our advocacy for performers AND producers, directors, technical theatre to build bridges and create stories that talk about our essence as Hispanic/Latinos?

Our goal for this chapter is to commit to advocating for diversity in the entertainment industry, the education of emerging and established artists and generating a community of professionals that can support each other in our path as artists.

That’s why we created this website.
To make sure that there’s a place for you to get the resources that you need to keep developing yourself and support other people in our community. Who knows, maybe just one conversation can open another door for somebody else!

Let’s generate a culture of resources, community, leadership and celebration of our stories and our culture!

Whomever you are… welcome!

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