That cute little kid to the left is me, Daniel John Martinez Jr. At that age, I was a dreamer. I put on little performances for my friends and family while standing on my "stage" (the front porch), and I always played the lead. Growing up, I was always interested in telling stories. This became the foundation of me wanting to pursue Acting.
I didn't know it was something I actually wanted to pursue until high school when I was cast in my first play. I went on to earn a BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice from the University of San Francisco. After graduating from USF, I began working at a full-time career in acting. I noticed that HBO was in town to begin filming the first season of "Looking". This helped inspire me to get involved with TV/Film.
As I auditioned, I noticed a problem. I was only able to audition for stereotypes. As a Mexican American man, the majority of roles I was considered for were "drug dealers", "immigrants", or "criminals". I saw the same stereotypes in the roles available for gay men. I did not want to wait around and wait for the industry to change past these stereotypes. So I took matters into my own hands.
I applied and was accepted to Loyola Marymount University's MFA program in Writing & Producing for Television. There, I was able to learn how to write the stories I wanted to write, create the characters that look and feel like me, and how to pitch these shows to networks and executives.
At LMU, the pilots I wrote gave me the opportunity to be represented at United Talent Agency and attend several general and staffing meetings.
I'm currently writing my own independent stage, film, and podcast projects. I'm also working as a Screenwriting/Acting/Directing Instructor. In my writing and in my teaching I work to tell stories that represent the characters I never saw on screen as a kid in the hopes that future generations can be inspired to be their most authentic selves. My goal is to change to landscape of Hollywood so that all TV/Film is as diverse as the world we live in. Can't be too hard to do, right?