'The Audition' getting buzz for portraying hardships faced by some Latino actors in the industry

PARK RIDGE, Ill (WLS) -- Actor Isaias Perez from the Rogers Park area debuted his first short film called "The Audition," which is getting praise for its portrayal of the adversities some Latino actors face with stereotyping in the entertainment industry.

"'The Audition' is about this Latino light-skinned actor who has an accent and has been struggling for years to get an opportunity in the industry. He's been rejected because of his accent and his physical appearance so he decides to do something about it," said Perez.

The 17-minute short film premiered last year and will be shown in over 15 film festivals in the U.S and Europe. It has already won two screenplay awards.

The film follows the main character Tony Mendes, played by Perez, through the audition process. In one scene, the character is asked to rehearse his lines "more authentically," or without his accent. That audition ends in rejection. Perez said he included real-life encounters he and other actors have gone through.

Perez said his own experience as a professional actor of five years pushed him to write a script of his struggles in the industry. He said he did it in hopes of raising awareness of the lack of diverse characters for minority actors.

Myrna Salazar, co-founder and executive director of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance- a non-profit that aims to showcase thought-provoking Latino playwrights, actors and directors- said writing stories for Latinos from a Latino's perspective is the first step. She said more minorities in positions of power in the entertainment industry is key.

"If we're not expressing the frustration over and over again so they could hear us. And not just sit there and invite us, but hear us, see us, and then move on and act on it. We don't need peace meals, we need action," said Salazar.

Perez said he hopes his film encourages minority actors to share their stories.
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