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“It’s either I’m not Asian enough or I’m not White enough- what do I look like to you, a freaking alien or something? What do you want me to be?”

Mesti-So?! Is a quirky yet insightful short film directed by Ross Willett and written alongside Ron Nery Jr. The short was produced for the AT&T SHAPE Expo, where contestants can utilize the iconic Warner Bros. studio lots. The Embassy Courtyard / New York Park exterior sets make an appearance.

Ron, a working actor, narrates his acting struggles through a series of auditions. Specifically, as an ethnically-ambiguous actor, also known as the Mestizo. He goes from one audition to another, constantly told that he isn’t enough of a particular image. Even his friends assume that his unlucky auditions are excuses for not being good enough, to which he explains, “Because I’m a Mestizo.”

In Mesti-So?! the image standards of the entertainment industry deflect, rather than reflect the value of an actor’s image- which is why Ron suffers from either not being Asian or American enough for a role. Yet in Mesti-So?! Ron’s perspective credits his his worth as an actor in spite of all image standards: “Well no one said it was gonna be easy, it shows just how much you’re willing to lose- IF you lose.”

To tackle a controversial issue of typecasting in the film industry, specifically as an actor, isn’t a simple task. Yet Mesti-So?! Credits the potential of an actor in spite of all image standards. Furthermore, the short film unravels a quirky yet transparent tone that acknowledges both the labor and the fruits of an actor’s persistence. Especially, of an actor who doesn’t seem to fit one casting mold, but persists in spite of image standards.


She is a 1st time Grammy nominee by default.  He is a 2x EGOT winner.  He is a 7x Grammy nominated music producer.  And, she explodes out of nowhere and lands into our hearts.  Music will be in the air this Sunday, February 10 when the Grammy Awards are presented by the Recording Academy recognizing achievements in the music industry.  And, among the FilAm singers, songwriters and music producers, the nominees are...



LEA SALONGA

After years of performing live and doing cast recordings for stage and Broadway musicals as well as singing in duets and solo for films like Mulan, one would believe this year's Grammy nomination would not be Lea Salonga's first?  But, it is.

She was supposed to be a two-time Grammy nominee.  The Salonga-led Broadway revival cast album of Flower Drum Song with Jose Llana was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album in 2004.  However it was only in 2012 that the Recording Academy included principal vocalists in the list of individual nominees.



So, in 2019, she, Phillip Boykin, Merle Dandridge, Quentin Earl Darrington, Hailey Kilgore, Kenita R. Miller, Alex Newell, Isaac Powell, principal soloists; Lynn Ahrens, Hunter Arnold, Ken Davenport, Stephen Flaherty & Elliot Scheiner, producers (Stephen Flaherty, composer; Lynn Ahrens, lyricist) of the Broadway musical, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

This is Lea Salonga's first official Grammy nomination and if the album wins, it will be her first.


ROBERT LOPEZ

Songwriter Robert Lopez became the first person to become a “Double EGOT” with his Academy Awards' Oscar win for co-writing (along with his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez) the song “Remember Me” from Pixar’s animated film Coco in 2018.



He achieved EGOT status by winning every major show business award — the Emmy (television), the Grammy (music), the Oscar (film) and the Tony (stage), alphabetically since 2014.

In 2019, he and his wife is nominated again for "Remember Me" (Miguel Featuring Natalia Lafourcade) for Best Song Written For Visual Media.


!LLMIND

Seven-time Grammy nominated music producer Ramon Ibanga, Jr. better known as !llmind has three nominations this year.

For Album of the Year, he has two nominations with Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By (Various Artists) producing the song, "X" by Kendrick Lamrar, 2Chainz and Schoolboy Q.  Also, Scorpion by Drake producing the song, "Blue Tint" by Drake Future.

For Best Urban Contemporary Album, he is nominated with Everything Is Love by The Carters producing the song "Heard About Us" by Jay Z and Beyonce.




H.E.R.

Last, but not least, is the indie darling from the R&B universe, H.E.R.

Vallejo, California's own Gabriella Wilson better known by her stage name H.E.R. (acronym for Having Everything Revealed) has collected five Grammy nominations for the following categories.

Best New Artist - H.E.R

Album of the Year - H.E.R., H.E.R

Best R&B Album - H.E.R., H.E.R

Best R&B Performance - "Best Part [ft. Daniel Caesar]" by H.E.R



Best R&B Song - “Focus” by H.E.R



The Grammy Awards takes place this Sunday, February 10, 2019 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The broadcast will air live on U.S. television on CBS from 8:00pm - 11:30pm ET/PT.  Check your local listings and see if your favorites take home the Grammy!