I was born in 1990 in the city of Miami, Florida after my parents escaped Cuba in the 60s. Operation Peter Pan. They split when I was four. Got a lot of ex-step siblings out of it, three of them named after different iterations of the word ‘Crystal’ – Cristal, Krystal, and Krystaal – heavy ‘A,’ like the name ‘Al.’ My dad wanted me to play trumpet and my ma wanted me to be a plastic surgeon and make a lot of babies. I wanted out. I wanted to go to New York. I wanted Broadway. And to win lottery tickets for Wicked.
I graduated NYU in 2013, with a piece of paper certifying my proficiency as a writer for television and theatre. I went to Iceland where I hiked across the country by myself and fell in and out of love with an island man who reminded me my home was in New York, with my three other roommates in a four bedroom flat where my room was a 7 by 11, fitted with a bed for eating and foldable chair for tying my shoes. So I returned. I was ready for the big leagues. My first gig was a runner at a bistro. My second as a contributing writer for Playgirl where I was asked to write articles about lube and zip ties. Worked at a juice shop in Chelsea where señoras would arrive at 5 in the morning to shuffle down to the basement, press fresh juice, and take orders from some dude with a wool poncho and fake glasses. I think his name was Baxter. I was a cater waiter for a while and a bartender, too. I once gave Mariah Carey flat champagne and Giuliani a warm Diet Coke at the opening of the One World Trade Center observatory. Something about the times made me think they had it coming. Had a stint with a guy who wanted me to co-write a book with him about the history of ketchup. I was young. Roofs became my favorite place to be. They’re where I learned to smoke. During that time, several plays of mine were produced in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. I was mentored by playwrights Eduardo Machado and Edward Albee. I got to workshop my writing further with the Public Theatre, LAB, Ensemble Studio Theatre, MTC, and the Drama League.
However, after the final months of living in New York City realizing my first off-broadway play would be taking shape while I was still hustling four different jobs at once, I sold my bike and packed my bag and moved to Los Angeles, cause that’s where dreams go to die or flash-fire back into a Phoenix existence for a buffalo nickel times plenty.
Had some complications on my end at the time of my arrival that made the 2-year buffer period of ‘learning to love the city’ expand into four, until finally smelling the taco street meat and loving bumper-to-bumper congestion when you’re but fifty feet from the beach. I got a dog now. And a balcony. It’s sort of like the roofs I used to know. I’ve worked for several television shows in a multitude of capacities, PA, WPA, SC, WA, SA, GFTO-A, the works, continually developing my television and feature scripts while I pump out new plays and most recently, poetry, because feels too can get you something, even if it’s the seven dollars you make out of selling chapbooks you self-published for ninety.
Most recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of The Beach Boys.
Hit me up, let’s talk about them.