The Jam Chicago - Interview with actor Danny De La Paz and Producer Ernesto Quintero
Setting: The Action takes place in East Los Angeles, past and present.
Back-Story: After the funeral of one of their closest friends, four Chicanos, all ex-brown berets, gather in a garage hoping to salvage whatever remains of the bond that existed between them nearly twenty-five years ago. Willie is a die hard Chicano who owns a welding shop and in whose garage the story unfolds, Louie the popular math teacher, Jojo the struggling writer and Rudeboy the burned out Vietnam veteran, take an emotional roller coaster ride purging themselves of past transgressions and feelings long held deep within. Coming to terms with the past, present, the personal and the political the four men courageously confront their demons in an intimate, vulnerable and profound way.
The Story: “Trust, Loyalty, Friendship, Fidelity.” These are the words Willie reminds his friends in his garage, was the code they once lived by. They stood by each other no matter what.
The words resound and take the four middle-aged men back and forth between the turbulent 1960’s and early ‘70’s to Willie’s garage in the present, where they come to mourn the recent death of their fifth counterpart, Frankie.
As the Chicano Movement unfolded it reached out and enveloped thousands of young people in its maelstrom. The five young men bound by camaraderie join the Brown Berets. A community activist group trying to steer the Chicano youth in a positive direction, the Berets are targeted by law enforcement as a subversive threat to the establishment.
While pursuing their benevolent actions they are forced to defend themselves against law enforcement retribution. This pull of energy prevents the young men from dealing with personal issues that develop between them, which conveniently get pushed aside. Something to be dealt with later.
Twenty-five years later, Frankie has died. Succumbed to the trauma of his life. The four survivors now mourn his loss in what can be best described as a shrine to the Chicano Movement. Willie’s garage has multitudes of paraphernalia relating to the movement hanging from every space in the room.
Through dialogue and flashbacks the four men describe what happened to them since they had seen each other twenty-five years earlier. As well as sharing their experiences the men reveal feelings about one another which years of accumulated mileage now allows for them to be expressed freely, openly and honestly.
Alfredo Ramos started his career in the industry when he was chosen as a Fellowship Writer for Walt Disney Studios’ prestigious screenwriting program.
Alfredo when on to write his award winning play, The Last Angry Brown Hat. From 1996 to 1999 this Latino themed play went on a national 60-city tour and had the honor to perform at the Smithsonian Institute of America History.
As a writer & director his credits include: Suckers, Road Dogz, Food Stamps, Kill Kapone, Something about You and Women Need Love.
Recently, he produced and directed Tomorrow We Laugh, an Independent film feature, starring Danny De La Paz. (American Me)