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Are You of the Brownsville Breed?



Elaine Del Valle on Stage at 59E59 Theaters, NYC

THE BROWNSVILLE BREED was created by ME–Elaine Del Valle…Writer and Performer of the multiple award winning autobiographical solo play,BROWNSVILLE BRED.

In connecting with audiences through my life story I have found that everyone and everything is connected! No one gets anywhere alone.

This week…The Life and Times of this Little Known Actress Crawling her way to the Middle…brought me to

Elaine Del Valle HOLA Awardee on the Red Carpet

Writers: R.L. Stine and Elaine Del Valle…Thas’ right I said it!

In these WOW moments, I ask myself “How in the world did a poor Puerto Rican girl from Brownsville Brooklyn New York get here?”

My story began in 1971. I was a coal miner’s daughter… Really…Okay–a coal shovelers daughter…My dad used to shovel coal into the furnace of Public School 125 in Brownsville Brooklyn New York.

He was only 19 when I was born, and for as long as I could remember he was my hero…a Rumba Man…He loved and practiced the arts of music and baseball…all the while earning an income as a public school Janitor…in Brownsville Brooklyn–where any job that is steady and especially “City” was (and likely still would be) considered a coup–My dad was THE MAN.

My Mom met my Dad when she was 20…Already a single mother of three.  Not educated but with an angelic face and a methodical core…Basically a cross between Oprah and Charo with a Rosie Perez vocal quality.

When I was 11 my dad was revealed to be a functioning heroine addict…Thas’ right…I said it!

It was saying it– that changed my life…

In my play, I reveal tons of STUFF like that…that has audience members feeling like they have known me for their entire lives and moreover like I am their best friend…having done them a service by showing them my SHAMES…and freeing them of their own.

It wasn’t my intention to write shames…for me they were merely milestones…the turning points of my life.

I have had women of 60 years and older conveying to me afterward, “That happened to me, but I never told a sole.”…Funny how they shared it with me so openly afterward…and I just have to believe that it lifted the burden that had been carried for so long.

Kids writing me letters to let me know that they are “Cutters”, or “poor” and “felt helpless” or “hopeless” before and others that were moved to action…one even inspired to start her own business.

And so those people, although we would never have thought we had anything in common…are something I call of  THE BROWNSVILLE BREED.

And that is what this Blog is about! My responsibility to represent those who have not been heard.

Last night at the NALIP Panel…Based on the fact that I have a popular film winning lots of festivals (ELLIOT LOVES), one of the questions I was asked is what type of acting do I prefer “Celluloid on film or Theatre on Stage?”

My answer: Anything that pays! but really NO… The truth is I had to think about it. There is nothing like watching a film in a theatre and hearing the movie-goers respond to a character you brought to life (especially a well written fresh Latina role) …for me that is all about great writing…Playing Titi Carmen in that film was like remembering my favorite Aunts, basking in the aroma ofArroz con pollo in their kitchens and all the things they did to not just earn my respect, but gave ME self respect.

But who are we kidding, a solo show, based on my life, on the stage, for 90 minutes, where your constant collaborators are an entire audience…WOW…I can’t even say it without chills.  The theatre audience is not just my scene partner but they are also my illustrators and co-writers…Using their laughter to add the “pauses” and imaginations to build the picture that I am speaking…The individual interpretation changes the meaning and you can’t help but feel that intense energy emanating from the shadows in the depths of their solitude in a concentrated, dark and packed theatre…They are alone in their thoughts but as close to another being as possible…I am then painted with more colors than one person alone can ever imagine!

For those of you who don’t see theatre I encourage you to open your hearts and minds and especially introduce that of young people to this great art form.

If I had it my way…I would be a household name JUST SO I can draw new people to the theater… to witness the story of BROWNSVILLE BRED…It’s not about me…Okay it is!…but really it’s about people with no time to waste on destructive patterns.  It’s a safe haven where you are okay to “find yourself and lose yourself” all at once.

I look forward to your joining me as someone of THE BROWNSVILLE BREED! Juntos Podemos!

In as much as I could write all day…I am off to a new adventure–An audition as an actress…when likely I will ironically get the call on the talent that has been selected for the McDonald’s commercial I was casting yesterday–As a Casting Director I understand that there is immense success in just getting invited to attend these coveted auditions, and as an actress I know how good it will feel when I get to give the news “You are BOOKED!”

Good Luck to us! and may we enjoy every victory…ours and that of others!



About Elaine Del Valle

WGA-East/SAG-AFTRA/AEA/DG/NYWIFT, HOLA/AWNY Writer, Performer, Producer

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