In my most recent post, I wrote about the risk of revealing things about myself in my work. This post is along the same lines. I'm a Cuban man, but I've always been reluctant to have Latino characters in my scripts (especially male characters). Why? Since my work is aimed at an American audience, it's partly been a practical thing. But there's been something else at work. For reasons I don't quite understand, I've always been afraid that people would think I'm writing about myself. Or worse, that I'm writing about the way I'd like people to see me. Obviously, I have issues, but that's for another post.
I recently started working on a script that's aimed at a female audience. Because I know that it's a common fantasy (especially for American women), I decided to have a Latino man as my protagonist's love interest. I was reluctant to do this at first, for the reasons mentioned above. But after some hesitation, I went full out, making the character the guy I'd like to be in about 10 years (when I'm his age). Not only was this a good thing to do as a writer, but it seemed to help me be a little more comfortable with who I am. I'm a Latino man, and some women like this about me. Why not own it, right?
Now, for the weird part. While working on this script, called "Never Too Late," I found myself in a situation eerily similar to the character in my script. With little effort on my part, I was suddenly the love interest of a woman who's a whole lot like my protagonist (though different in many ways, too!). Was this simply a coincidence? Just life imitating art? Or did I make this happen by writing this character and embracing this aspect of myself? I honestly don't know, but I like it.