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.
It’s Christmas eve and I’ve been so blessed with family and friends to surround myself with. This year should be extra especial, as I get to have the perfect little Christmas with my US family and later head to Brazil to ring in the new year with my Brazilian family. But what truly made this holiday extra special was a little challenge I’ve decided to participate in this year. I was invited to do an act of kindness.
Elliott and I brainstormed together and came up with an idea to help that would be within our means and at the same time could make a real difference in someone’s life, even if just for a day. I feel a little embarrassed for taking so long to come to the conclusion that such a small gesture could transform my perspective in life as a whole. But I’m glad I eventually got here. It’s so important to sometimes stop what keeps us so busy in everyday life to look around. You’ll find that you’re not alone in any struggle. But you’ll also find that it’s within your power to change your point of view while helping others. That’s what happened to me. Happy Holidays, everyone.