THE CAST


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GERARDO VELASQUEZ is a young actor born and raised in Houston. He studied at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, California. He got his start by stage managing several shows in Houston early on, such as The Whale with Horse Head Theatre company which went on to win the Houston Press award for Best New Play and Hune Company's Living Room Series which then eventually led to him finding himself at the cusp of the opening of Rec Room, where he played in their inaugural show, Dead Rockstar Sing-A-Long Club which won much acclaim from Houstonia Magazine, Houston Press and Art + Culture Magazine. He also performed in Rec Room's My So Called Mondays show, every Monday for six months. Gerardo also likes dogs and if you show him a picture of your dog, he will say thank you.

What struck me upon reading Rich Kids for the first time was how uncanny the parallels between Matt’s life and my own were. I grew up in Houston in a low income household, so does Matt in the film. I had a turbulent relationship with my father (who worked in construction), so does Matt in the film (who’s father works in construction). I even rode my bike around to escape my home life, as Matt does for much of the film. It gave me a sense of empathy for a character unlike any I’ve ever felt. I didn’t really feel like I was acting because I felt like I was playing myself.
— Gerardo Velasquez (MATÍAS)

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MICHELLE MAGALLON is a dedicated actress from Houston with a background in musical theatre, technical work; lighting design.  She is currently a student at the University of Houston with a major in Media Production.  Rich Kids is her first film, and first feature film.

When I first read this script, I couldn’t believe how different it was, and how much this film is needed in an industry still struggling with diversity. The script really hit close to home, and I hope so many others will feel the importance of this film as all of us involved have.
— Michelle Magallon (VANESSA)

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Hailing from NYC, JUSTIN RODRIGUEZ, this half Puerto Rican/ half Cuban actor is determined to break into the tv/film industry. An actor with great range, Rodriguez is proud to be portraying Steve as his first lead role in an independent feature film. With past acting credits such as HBO "Girls", and Screen Gems "Can't Take it Back", Justin is determined to breakout in the industry as a strong Latino lead, who is more than just a stereotype. 


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ULYSSES MONTOYA is an actor born and raised in Houston Texas. He was an NCAA Division 1 Cross Country and Track Athlete at Houston Baptist University. It was here that he discovered acting as a way to challenge himself in a new way nearing the end of his collegiate running eligibility. After dedicating much time and effort towards a new found passion Ulysses landed featured roles in El Rey Networks From Dusk Til Dawn The series and ABC's American Crime. These small featured roles helped continue to develop him as an actor and has now gone on to land Co-Star roles in shows including USA networks Queen of the South and AMC's The Son.

My experience working on Rich Kids was an amazing learning opportunity! I was able to relate to my character Carlos as someone that may have ended up being me in real life had it not been for sports when I was younger. This was also my first time being able to fully develop a character from the ground up and bring myself and my personal experiences into his personality.
— Ulysses Montoya (CARLOS)

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ALESSANDRA MANON is a Mexican actor based in LA but that will forever call Texas home. She grew up in a creative home, which drove her to find her own voice and expression through performing. A dance and theater background provided an training ground in which she could explore storytelling through different mediums. Her previous credits include USA's  "Queen of the South", CBS's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", and a list of indie shorts and features. Alessandra is can be found rock climbing in and around LA, on set somewhere, or in an old theater writing. 


  
 

NAOMË ANTOINETTE was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She is the youngest of three children from two Haitian parents. At a very young age she learned ballet from her mother and developed a deep appreciation for dance which fueled her many passions and charted her on a path to explore the world of arts. Growing up with her aspiring film director brother allowed her to develop an affinity for cinema. She now resides in New York City where she continues to purse acting along with her studies. 

I stayed awake until four in the morning to finish the script. I couldn’t stop thinking about the story and imagining the lives of these kids beyond the pages. They were tangible, broken, sometimes kind, and sometimes cruel. They had to learn to live in the system that trapped them, the unprivileged and disadvantaged circumstance that they all dreamed of escaping. My character, Isabel, was written like any other girl. She has dreams for a better life, for freedom. She has insecurities and fears but learns to let go of those, block out the dark and violent circumstances that surround her, and tune in to herself. Because of that she’s able to choose the right path and in the end, she finds the freedom she initially dreamed of. This makes me think of the present, political state of this country and how we must continue to fight so that no child, no minority, no voice gets drowned in what is supposed to be a land of opportunity and dreams.
— Naomë Antoinette (ISABEL)

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BRITTANY SANDOVAL found a love for acting at the tender age of 7 years old. When she immigrated from San Andres, Colombia to her adopted hometown of Houston, Texas. She began by taking acting classes and performing in her Middle School theater productions. Classically trained she continued her love of performing all through High School and by becoming a triple threat as she took dance and voice lessons. As well as participating in her schools competitive all girls treble choir. She appeared in several performances such “Beauty and the Beast”, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, and some improve shows that display both her skill set and her willingness to push herself out her comfort zone. After graduation from Hightower High School in 2012, she continued her training by taking course work with International Performing Arts Academy as well as OneFace International where she expanded her training to on screen work. Shortly after her training she put her new-found passion for the big screen into working on web series such as "The Sideline" and "3rd Coast Communications", also appearing in short films like "The Hour At Hand." Always making sure to never forget about her first love. the stage. Brittany continues to act in local theater productions such as they "They Want to Hear Hattie Sing."

Her passion for performing stoked her fire for storytelling. Brittany Is currently continuing her education as she attends the University of Houston where she majors in English. She continues to hone her craft both in front and behind the camera. Her hope is to be able to tell powerful stories that offer diverse narratives.

Being a part of an all Latino cast felt empowering. Especially in the fact that we are all so different. The cast as collective is an eloquent representation of Latin America’s rich history that offers textured, beautiful and diverse people whose cultural background span the global from Spain to Africa.
— Brittany Sandoval (TINA)