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é | Kiki Melendez


é: What was it like to be a part of AMC’s Independent Program?

Kiki: The AMC Independent Program is truly an amazing program. They treated me with so much respect; they nurtured my movie, worked on strategies to make it a success, and gave me a lot of encouragement. I remain forever grateful to them as the movie has opened so many doors for me, and has helped me as an actor, producer, director and writer as well as a Distributor! Very few women in Entertainment get this opportunity and this program gave it to me!

é: How did you feel starring in “Journey of a Female Comic”?

Kiki: IT was truly a dream come true, to be able to do MY STORY, MY WAY, I really didn’t see myself as the star, but more like the creator of my own destiny. Trying to make my mark, to keep my mother’s memory alive, and to prove anyone with a dream and hard work ethics could do it!

I really wanted to inspire others, and I am so proud and grateful that the movie did just that! Many people told me it changed their lives, and that is what I really set out to do… We need more hope in this world, and it was my little way of giving hope to so many talented people who are lost or have given up! Our children need to see someone that they identify with, and they need to feel it can be done, and they need to understand that it is not easy, and that there is so much work behind it…

é: Was there a moment you couldn’t believe it was happening?

Kiki: The day AMC told me I had been approved for limited release in all major markets!

é: The film focuses a lot on your upbringing – can you give us some more insight into growing up with two different cultures influencing you? Do you ever feel like the two sides fight each other, or did everything blend together for you?

Kiki: It was a blend for me. I am a people lover, I lived in so many different cultures and I feel that made me stronger as a human being. First, I was born in a developing country, the neighbors all loved me, cause I was the kid that belonged to the neighborhood…everyone knew I was being raised by my auntie and grandma, so they all kind of felt they had to love me…plus I was a cute and loving kid! LOL. Then I came to Washington Heights right before it went from Jewish to Dominican… We lived next to a synagogue!!! Then we moved to North Miami Beach, where it was mostly Jewish, and I learned from that culture to reach for the best. Next, I lived in upper Manhattan, where people like the Kennedy kids were my neighbors, then I came to LA to learn about the Mexican Community… to me we are all the same, we are all people, that love to be loved… So as long as I am a good person I attract good people!!! I am proud of my culture but also feel proud to be an AMERICAN.

é: Who have been your greatest influences?

Kiki: I have always admired people that make a difference peacefully. I admire people that do things beyond themselves, those who remember the struggle and help others. And I admire people with compassion for others and especially for kids…

é: What’s next for you in 2014?

Kiki: I have a show coming out on Spanish TV that will be in the tradition of SNL, MAD TV, and IN Living Color! A showcase for Latino TALENT In AMERICA…

I am in development for a GENERAL MARKET SHOW that is a GAME CHANGER type show… and I am in talks for a National Radio show… I am also working on two feature film projects and working on raising funds to make some more movies!

é: What advice do you have to young American Latinos, especially the young women, who want to break into comedy?

Kiki: Tell YOUR STORY, everyone has one, make it happen for yourself, do not think that others are going to put their time into making your career. We live in a world where no one has time for themselves, let alone for YOU, so if you want something

DO IT YOURSELF… Put your work out there; showcase your work!

é: Ready, set, go! Tell us about your favorite comedy bit of all time.

Kiki: I have too many, but one that sticks out for me is the time that Hot Tamales Live was touring in Texas. There were, like, 8 of us, and it was one of the funniest moments of my life, off STAGE, we laughed more than ever!! We all asked, “Why aren’t we taping this??”

é: Lastly, do you have any messages for your fans?

Kiki: I love YOU; I really mean it.

It is your encouragement that keeps me going; it is your love that doesn’t allow me to give up – you are all counting on me, and I feel it, so I got to keep going against all odds.

By Caitlin Smith

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