This past February I spent a little over two weeks in the most wonderful city in the world, Rio de Janeiro. People often ask me if I miss Brazil and if ever think of going back. The answer is primarily, no. I miss it but not to the point of waiting to make a life for myself there again. With the exception of this place. How could I not? The short two-year period when I harbored a home in Rio were long enough to make me fall in love for life. Over and over again.
One of the infinite reasons why I love this place so much is the local’s dedication to living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and their tireless passion for the place they inhabit. My days would start bright and early with a 7AM work out at the beach, surrounded by the most beautiful landscape you will ever see. There were countless options for healthy, fresh food restaurants to enjoy and even get delivered at your door.
For the past 29 years, Chicago has hosted an amazing assortment of Latin American made films at the CLFF. This year shall be no different with the addition of a new segmentsponsored by the Academy of Motion Pictures which is getting me ultra-excited. Whenever I get a chance to see foreign movies on the big screen ( especially if they are from my homeland) I make sure not to miss it.
I couldn’t wait to take Elliott to see Central Station, starring the legendary Fernanda Montenegro, but due to a conflict in schedule neither of us will be able to make it. It’s all good though because there’s still a number of exceptionally good stories to be seen, like Past Minutes, product of labor of my good friend and talented producer Luana Lobo with Maria Farinha Filmes. Above, a selection of the films I have my eyes on. Granted, just like me, most of them are Brazilian.
A little over a year ago, I was getting ready to do my first set of professional headshots. For those of you who aren’t quite familiar, headshots are standardized professionally taken photos that every actor uses when auditioning or being submitted for a job so casting directors know exactly what the actor being considered looks like.
This time the process was a lot more involved, starting with a new haircut, ( just a little layering ) careful wardrobe selection along with appropriate hair and makeup and a playlist filled with 90’s jams to put me right in mood.
For the last two months, I have been traveling around Brazil. Belo Horizonte, Ipatinga, Curitiba, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the of places I visited within that time. It was long enough to rest some, work some, and live some.
There’s something about removing myself from my normal environment for a long period of time and I inevitably begin to re-evaluate things. I use this natural process to make necessary adjustments in both my work and personal life and it’s always worked out well for me.
We headed to the south of Brazil a few days after arriving. Curitiba is famous for its botanical garden ( above ) and lower temperatures compared to the rest of the country. Still nice though, because it´s Brazil. We took the opportunity to visit my Dad and my sister, Elliott and I went out on a city tour to explore.
It was the perfect opportunity to sit at an outdoor bar by the lake and sip on some ice-cold draft. Brazilians don´t mess around with their ( ops, our ) beer. It´s always as cold as it can get and I love it.
Last time you heard from me back in 2013 I was about to get on a plane to Brazil. Now it’s 2014 ( Happy New Year ). I’ve been here for a few weeks now, enjoying family, friends and beautiful landscapes. In these photos you see one of the many small waterfalls that surrounds the region of my hometown, Ipatinga. Even though we didn’t get in the water that day ( the current was a bit too strong ) it was very re-energizing to be around a large moving body of water like that on a super hot last day of the year.
So many times growing up I’d go on school field trips, play in the water, have a picnic on the rocks and never quite realized how lucky I was to be so close to this much nature. I guess that’s what time is for. To look back and know the best things in life are simple and free.
Elliott and I are going to Brazil. Tomorrow ! Our flight is just a few hours away. Reason why I should be snoozing right now instead of up on the internet but the excitement over going away for almost two months traveling around the country to see family and friends is too grand. As much as I love the snow, we are so ready for change of scenery and hot climates ( it’s summer down south you guys ! ) It’ll be the perfect way to ring in the new year.
As usual, access to the internet will be limited while I’m there. Which is kind of nice ( if it doesn’t drive me crazy ) to experience life without being plugged-in 24/7. I’ve packed a ton of books for the plane and of course, lots of sunscreen in my suitcase. Happy New Year e até logo.