October 7, 2013

REVIEW: ALMOST WHITE: FORCED CONFESSIONS OF A LATINO IN HOLLYWOOD by Rick Najera

 

Sometimes when you are the only Latino in the office, you start feeling like the “token Latino.”  At moments like those, you need to straighten your spine, take a deep breath, and show the powers-that-be what you are made of.   You don’t want them to see you as the Latino and be predisposed to dismissing your work as only satisfactory.  You put your best work forward and if you have to act “Almost White,” then that is what you do to get ahead.  Because you want that foot in the door, and once you are in, then you change the “system” from within.  That is pretty much what award-winning writer, actor, director, comedian, playwright, producer and author Rick Najera has done in Hollywood.  And, notice that these confessions were "forced" out of him.
 
In his new book, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood, Najera shines the spotlight on his life.  For over 20 years, he has written for some of the top sitcoms and has met and been mentored by some of the biggest stars around, including Whoopi Goldberg, Sidney Poitier, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, George Lopez, Jennifer Lopez, Cheech Marin, Edward James Olmos, Mario Lopez and many more.
 
Najera has been “Almost White”but he has never forgotten his Mexican-American roots.  He’s been recognized twice as “100 Most Influential Latinos in America” by Hispanic Business Magazine.  He was the creator, writer and performer of award-winning touring comedy show, Latinologues, which ran on Broadway in 2005.  He also wrote the feature film, Nothing Like the Holidays, which won him an ALMA Award.  Najera has also written for the wildly popular MADtv, for which he garnered two Writers Guild Award nominations; wrote for In Living Color and the Showtime special, ‘Diary of a Dad Man;’ plus, he was co-creator and director of the Annual CBS Sketch Comedy Showcase.
 
Almost White will make you laugh, cry, cringe and cheer as Najera describes his life behind and in front of the camera.   The book has also launched a Blog Talk Radio Show by the same name.  For more information about Najera, visit him at www.ricknajera.com.  You can friend him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AlmostWhite.