How Are You Getting By These Days?

Asking friends what inspires them to keep going when the going gets rough is inspiring

By Lisa Zion, Contributing Writer
Published on LatinoLA: August 15, 2009

How Are You Getting By These Days?

Times are tough right now and I was wondering how others are getting along these days. For actors and other creative folk, finding employment is especially stressful.

I thought I'd check in with some friends to see how they are. You probably know some of my friends. I thought I knew them pretty well, and their answers do reveal things I didn't know, either!

I decided to ask them all the same questions:

Q: What is your nationality?

Gustavo Arellano (Columnist, Author) - Nerd
Monica Palacios (Comedian) - Mexican, Chicana
Adam Joseph Ferry (Recent college Grad, BA in Theatre Arts, Cal State Fullerton) - Half Filipino and half Swedish
Antoinette Abbamonte-Plantinga (Actress with a disability: Deaf) - Italian
Joseph Griffo (Actor, Jack in the Box commercials) - Italian
Diana Alvarez (Actress) - Mexicana
Andy Arias (Actor with a disability: mobility impaired) - Mexican/American
Sylvette Ortiz (Actress) - Puerto Rican
Derek Villanueva (Actor) - American
Lisa Zion (Actor/Writer) - Mexican American

Q: What are your long-term career goals?

Gustavo Arellano - To write what I want to
Monica Palacios - Write and direct films
Adam Joseph Ferry - Open my own production company that specializes in theatre, film and music
Antoinette Abbamonte-Plantinga - Accomplishment of a big role in a feature film
Joseph Griffo - Produce my movies. I have three of them
Diana Alvarez - To become a legend in Film/Theater
Andy Arias - Acquire enough funds to be able to pick my projects and travel around the world helping children with terminal illness
Sylvette Ortiz - To be able to support myself and my family comfortably doing what I love, acting
Derek Villanueva - To complete my degree in Theater Arts
Lisa Zion - To have my own TV show like Ellen Degeneres

Q: What are your short-term career goals?

Gustavo Arellano - To write what I want to
Monica Palacios - Pay the rent and continue to write and perform
Adam Joseph Ferry - Earning my grad degree and being able to teach
Antoinette Abbamonte-Plantinga - Networking and learning new things everyday
Joseph Griffo - Get my life in order
Diana Alvarez - To get cast in important independent projects
Andy Arias - To be a regular on a drama or doing mainstream films. I want to break down stereotypes and make people think of the world around them.
Sylvette Ortiz - To book some more jobs especially those that pay more than background work
Derek Villanueva - Other little projects that require more time
Lisa Zion - To continue to improve the perception of what Latinas can do and to work with the Latina movers and shakers like Bel Hernandez Castillo

Q: What is stopping you from achieving your goals?

Gustavo Arellano - Nada
Monica Palacios - Money
Adam Joseph Ferry - The current economy. I must find a job that not only supports me but also my parents and sister.
Antoinette Abbamonte-Plantinga - Nothing is stopping me
Joseph Griffo - Money
Diana Alvarez - Financial stability
Andy Arias - Lack of visibility and opportunity
Sylvette Ortiz - Nothing. I've chosen an unpredictable career and the journey to success is different for everyone.
Derek Villanueva - Other little projects that require more time
Lisa Zion - Nothing will stop me

Q: The person I most admire is _____ because __________________

Gustavo Arellano - The person I most admire is my parents because they've done better than 75 percent of most Americans.

Monica Palacios - The person I most admire is my mother because she is a strong 87 year old Mexican woman who has always provided for her family. She was a great role model and continues to be someone I look up to and respect.

Adam Joseph Ferry - The person I most admire is Charlie Chaplin because he faced a lot of adversity in his early career and made a lot of statements with his films.

Antoinette Abbamonte-Plantinga - The person I admire most is my mother. She was deaf, too. She always told me not to close my door to the outside world because you need to show the world who you are.

Joseph Griffo - The person I admire most is President Obama. He tells it like it is and when he makes a mistake he takes the fall for it. He takes the fall even when it is not his fault.

Diana Alvarez - The person I most admire is Paulo Coelho because he was bold enough to follow his heart and taught me that nothing else matters.

Andy Arias - The person I most admire is Anne Frank because she kept her soul and love and humanity in spite of brutal conditions.

Sylvette Ortiz - The persons I most admire would be my family because they worked their way up to help support their parents. They sent two kids to very good private colleges. My parents and my sister have that work hard and never give up attitude that I strive to embody.

Derek Villanueva - The person I most admire is Jon Stewart because he is a quick-witted comedian. He is raising the bar for real Journalism.

Lisa Zion - The person I most admire would be my mother. She has always tried to lead by example by being a strong woman. She tries to find the good in everyone and hates chisme.

About Lisa Zion, Contributing Writer:
Lisa Zion is an Actor/Writer
Author's website

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