EPS: What’s your name and where are you from?
KL: Karina Luna. Born and raised in Los Angeles.
EPS: How do you feel about LA?
KL: I love my city! It's a beautiful diverse melting pot filled with eclectic cultures and its people! There's no where else I'd want to live.
EPS: For those who don’t know, tell us what you do, and about Cholos Try the hilarious show you co-host.
KL: Cholos Try is a funny "reality" type series that follows us as we explore different cultures and try new experiences. We portray the cholo lifestyle while living through these events. Although I was born in East LA and have family that live that life, I personally am far removed from the streets. Almost all the cast has a similar journey now, wanting to spread a positive impact while representing the culture and doing what we love...entertaining.
EPS: What is your art?
KL: Hmmm, what IS my "art"??? *sigh* 5 years ago, I would have simply answered - "acting." Now, I just say - "entertainment" is my art. I know, complicated answer. Let me expound. (<-- big word, you impressed? lol) As an artist, one is constantly seeking to connect and relate. Thanks to technology and social media, times are changing so rapidly, (perhaps too quickly but that's a different conversation for a different time) therefore, the ability to connect is challenged and one is motivated to evolve to stay "relevant." Additionally, "entertainment" is now being shared through several new platforms hence the YouTube "stars" and "insta-celebrities." The upside? More opportunities to share your craft and create. The downside? An over-saturation of mediocre content and the rise of a narcissistic generation; again, a different conversation for a different time.
Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to experience and explore several aspects of my talents. I have sang, I have danced on tour, I have acted (film and theater) and, as of recently, have ventured into standup comedy. I just enjoy CONNECTING and ENTERTAINING. Period. I am now focused on writing and CREATING thought provoking content that will entertain AND positively impact this generation.
EPS: how did you get into doing it?
KL: Being a first generation child in an American school system had its challenges. As a Mexican-American, I had a hard time identifying with "my tribe." I never seemed to fully connect or completely relate with my peers. I was teased a lot for being "round, brown and furry." I laugh about it now, but back then it was devastating. I wasn't American "enough" to be "American" or Mexican enough to be "Mexican." As an innocent child it's hard to really comprehend where that level of hate and racism is rooted.
When I found theater through my drama class I fell in love! I felt like I found "home." I was able to be anyone and be accepted as such because I was playing a character. If I played the 89 year old grandmother, my peers saw an 89 year old grandmother and accepted me in the role because they had to see me as that character in order to follow the journey of the play. I found so much power in that! I found myself in "being" someone else.
EPS: What are you most proud of?
KL: I am grateful people have embraced "us." Honestly, it is so touching to have youth, adults even older people showing us love and really supporting the positivity. "Cholos," or the culture, is not a negative thing. Unlike how Hollywood has painted it as all gang members, all thugs. No, not all. We are a people just trying to "make it" like anyone else. We laugh, we cry, we love our family...just like you. We just happen to embrace tattoos and lowriders. We just happen to have pride and respect a movement and culture that needed to in place in order for us to survive in (early on) in America. There's so much history that it represents.
EPS: What or who inspires you?
KL: Honestly, my parents. They really are the "American dream." Both came to the US when they were young with little to no family here. No language, no real "support system." They both worked their @$$ off. Mom used to work on a "roach coach," now referred to "food truck" before they were cool, you know? Dad was a janitor at a Chevron, then self taught himself mechanics and eventually opened his own shop. I've seen them take us from a studio apartment into a home that we rented in La Puente. My parents came here, worked hard, became citizens and built business in order to offer us more than they could have possibly had in Mexico. I really feel grateful and blessed for their sacrifices.
EPS: Where can people find your work or get in touch?
KL: The easiest please for people to find me is on IG at @KarinaGotJokes.
... and check out Cholos Try: http://www.watchable.com/shows/13283-cholos-try