When I was in high school I wanted to work in advertising. "What is it about advertising that you like?," my dad asked trying to test if I was being serious about this choice. "I love the whole process of seeing an idea turning from an abstract thought into something real," I replied. I was then put to the test through internships in a couple of ad agencies. Even though I did not get to participate in the process, I liked what I saw.
Boston, MA. 1997
I was 18 years old, living in Boston, and studying advertising at Emerson College. One day, I was walking home from class when I noticed something strange. At the beginning of Newbury St., I saw a woman in a fur coat and a pillbox hat linked by the arm with a man wearing a suit and a fedora.
As I took a turn around the corner, it was as if I had step into the 1950s. Newbury Street was now a busy two way street filled with antique cars riding in an endless loop, and pedestrians in full period costumes. A huge crane lifted up a camera from the other side of the street, and followed a man carrying a suitcase.
Till this day, I don't know what movie they were filming even though I stood there for about 2 hours, just watching. There was something about this situation that reminded me of the process my high school self pictured. Two days later, I had chosen film as my minor.
Caracas, Venezuela. 5 years later
By the time I finished my undergrad studies, film was no longer a minor, it was my major. During my senior year at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, I took an internship at a post-production company called Animateam. This was an opportunity to learn and play with software like After Effects and Photoshop. 3D animation was rather new at the time, but Animateam was already doing CGIs, and getting awards for it!
Changing the World with Music, one Kid at a Time
After graduation, I freelanced with a production company called Artevision. We produced a series of educational videos for the internationally known program nicknamed El sistema (The System). This program consists of placing musical instruments in the hands of disadvantaged kids and teaching them how to play them. Thanks to this experience, I saw an example of how the arts can make a major difference in people's lives.
Madrid, Spain. 2003
I was in Madrid, looking into some film programs to continue my training, when my dear friend and mentor from college, Carlos Luis Rodríguez called me from L.A. Carlos (a talented and accomplished D.P.) was about to graduate from a one year immersion program at the L.A. Film School. “Cristy, come to L.A.! I think this is what you’ve been looking for,” he insisted.
Los Angeles, California. 2004
In February of 2004 I moved to L.A. I was finally part of the process and loving every aspect of it. I got my hands in every project I could. During pre-production, I worked in the art department and, once we started shooting, I assisted the camera department. I wanted to try it all, and could not stay still.
During this time, I directed my first two projects: “The Open Window” and “The Big Hit.” Based on a short story by Saki, “The Open Window” was the first thing I ever directed in my life. “The Big Hit” was a script I had been working on since before L.A., and it became my thesis project. None of these productions would have happened had it not been for the help and support of my incredibly talented friends and classmates.
What now
After film school I worked in the art department of an independent production called “Distortion.” But given my status in the country, that was all I could do before I would run out of time. 
Things back home were taking a turn for the worse, politically and socially, and my family had relocated to Worcester, MA. So I moved with them to the East Coast and began to work as a Spanish editor with my dad. I won't lie. The next years were a struggle, I was out of the process.
In 2012, I found myself volunteering at the Boston International Film Festival. A year later I stepped back on set as an assistant director in an independent film in Boston. In a way, it felt like I had come full circle since that time in Newbury St. Both the festival and the film were a learning opportunity, as it has been my time as a Spanish and ELA editor.
My legal status might have changed, but my love for filmmaking remains the same. I am aware that I'm merely one of thousands in a sea of hopefuls, but even if I wanted to, I simply cannot give it up. I guess that is the nature of passion. I take every opportunity I get as a chance to mature and be part of “the process.” It still fascinates me to see an idea consolidating into a tangible thing. 
As cliché as it sounds, what makes this so hard is also what makes it so rewarding. THAT, I believe, is a realistic hope I can look forward to for now. I am ready for the next opportunity.
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