El Centro Chicano hosts alumna Natalie Camunas

first_imgAlumna Natalie Camunas spoke on a range of topics from her USC experience to racial adversity she has experienced in the film industry Friday at noon in the El Centro Chicano Center in the Student Union.El Centro Chicano Director William Vela moderated the question and answer session which was hosted by El Centro Chicano and co-sponsored by the Latina/o Student Assembly, the LGBT Resource Center and the Center for Women & Men.Natalie Camunas, who holds a bachelor of arts in communication from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, spoke on the reasons she chose to attend USC and her experience as an undergraduate. Camunas said her mother is also an alumna, which initially discouraged her from applying. She considered New York University, but eventually decided to come to USC, where she lived on the Latino floor of her residence hall.“I didn’t know how valuable, how important that would be … it was like a nest you needed to be safe while you were discovering [USC],” she said.Camunas also spoke about her experiences transitioning into the USC social scene. Camunas’s mother warned her she might experience culture shock as a USC student.“I remember my mom had a talk with me … I remember her giving it to me straight: ‘You might be the only Latino in the classroom, you might have an experience where you don’t feel like you fit in,’” she said.Camunas interned with the Unusual Suspects Theater Company and had conservatory training in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles.“I don’t feel like I chose acting, I feel it chose me … I didn’t know storytelling could be your profession,” she said.She spoke about how her views on race and ethnicity influenced her acting career. She said that she would get into arguments during management meetings where she would refuse to play roles such as prostitutes and maids.“When that narrative keeps being retold by only women of color that’s what we’re projected out [as] into the world,” she said.Juan Jimenez, a second-year graduate student studying social work, responded to Camunas’s comments on the challenges and burdens felt in the film industry. Jimenez urged a peaceful approach to racial inequality in the industry and at large.“When you come back with kindness there is silence and cooperation,” Jimenez said. “If you put your foot down, and your foundation is strong enough, then you can do anything.”last_img

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