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Atlas Talent represents Pilar Uribe

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Pa' atras? Ni pa' tomar impulso

Walking The Line

I remember when the writer’s strike started back in May. I had gone to swim in Burbank. Afterwards, I was heading towards the 101, when I saw the giant water tower in the distance. I got as close as I could to the studio and that’s when I saw all these people walking around with signs. I honked my horn as I passed in solidarity.

Actor friends of mine invited me to walk the picket line with them but I was scared. My whole life has been about change but I still get queasy when faced with something new. What if it was violent? What if I got into trouble somehow? Well, we were already in trouble. When it was imminent that the actors would strike, I decided I was ready. But then life events got in the way: removal of an 11 millimeter kidney stone that took me out for ten days, and then a back injury which left me limping for two weeks.

I still get queasy when faced with something new...

Latine Day

Last Friday, I got over myself and went to the water tower. After a half hour of roaming, I finally found a spot to park and made my way to Riverside Boulevard, walking alongside another striker along the way. I registered at a table but they had run out of tee shirts and signs by 10 o'clock. It was Latine Day and there were many with signs that said “En Huelga.’ I was jealous I wasn’t holding anything. At least I had my Colombian bag draped across my shoulder. I saw some fun Latinas in a group and tried to step in line with them but they looked at me 'como una cucaracha' so I turned around and went back across the street to the main picket line. Probably better anyway; they were screaming so loudly, I would've eventually gone deaf.

There were all kinds on the line: grownups, children, dogs, people in wheelchairs, two blind men with their walking sticks. There was one woman hunched over, wearing a brightly flowered shirt, slowly walking the loop. She had to be at least 80 years old. My eyes stung. People were chanting and singing and they kept jumping up so the cameras would catch the signs over the wall. We smiled at each other. At one crosswalk the guard made us dance when the light was red. There were so many cleverly written signs, I took pictures of a few. Such joy and positivity in the face of something so serious: an entire industry crippled because studios are refusing to pay a fair wage for what is written and performed. And so many others are affected: gaffers, key grips, hair and makeup, sound, wardrobe, production design, cinematographers, PAs, the list is endless. I had arrived late but I was in the right place.

At noon, the guards shepherding us along the sidewalks called out that it was over for the day. On the other side was a long line for free tacos. I got one last pic with a young writer named Ahuatl whose sign I loved. As we chatted, he told me he had written a few short films while graduating with an MFA from AFI Conservatory.

Porque el mundo es un pañuelo (it's a small world), Ahuatl knew Ariel Mahler, the director I’d worked with on their AFI visual essay a few months earlier. We said goodbye, promising to stay in touch via Instagram. People were still laughing and catching up as I made my way back to the car.

I’ll be walking the picket line again. Pa'lante, porque pa’ atras, ni pa' tomar impulso---there's no going back.

To see the AFI Cinematography Visual Essays, click below. They're fascinating. Mine is called 'Son, Can't You See I'm Burning?'

Pilar Uribe
Pilar Uribe is an actor and voice talent, known for Yo soy Betty, la fea (1999), Wonderguy (1993) and Second Extinction (2020). Catch Pilar in video games, feature films, and tv shows + follow on Instagram and YouTube for more...


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