I was born in Miami, FL September 1984.
I remember much from my childhood: my father playing and singing Beatles tunes on his guitar, my mother tucking me into bed, getting ganged up on by my two sisters; and perhaps most traumatizing of all, being called a giant turkey by my Spanish speaking grandmother (the word in Spanish is "guanajote").
At age 8 I started playing air guitar on broom sticks, so my parents figured it would behoove me to own a real guitar. My mom handed down her own classical guitar (which I subsequently covered completely with stickers of punk and ska bands) and I began taking lessons. It snowballed from there.
My first public performance was at the fifth grade DARE graduation and talent show. I played "Hold My Hand" by Hootie and the Blowfish and the crowd went absolutely wild.
That event was free to attend. This was still long before I would have to worry about making rent and buying groceries.
Things have changed.
I have since graduated high school and university, served my country (as an AmeriCorps volunteer), and been on wild adventures all around the world and across the United States.
I've fed monkeys in Thailand, celebrated Bastille Day at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, spent $90 to clean my laundry in Tokyo, slept on the streets of Orlando, got struck by a motor vehicle while bicycling, road tripped from Orlando to Chicago (twice!), protested the School of the Americas at Ft Benning, walked over a frozen Lake Michigan, released an album of original solo music, planned a road tour through a dozen US cities, hiked the grand canyon, had a car stolen in Mexico, surfed on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and flipped phones in six countries and dozens of cities.
I now find myself in the midst of the greatest adventure and challenge of all: to "make it" as an artist in arguably the toughest city in the world. I'd sooner die of starvation than turn back. My eyes are set before me, on a road somewhat vague; long and winding; paved by yellow bricks. I'm not sure where I'm headed, but when I get there - when I get to the end - I'll know what to do.