Following his graduation from UT in 2014, Raymond Arturo Perez moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of writing. After almost six years of hard work and dedication, Perez had a chance encounter at a networking event a year and a half ago which turned into an opportunity to write for “Selena: The Series”, Perez said.
“As a person of color, as a queer person, as someone who has no ties to this industry, I (have) got to make sure that my material is that much more prepared and ready to go than the next person,” Perez said about his start in the media industry. “I’m choosing an industry where I don’t just have to excel, but I have to excel with people I don’t know.”
As one of the writers for “Selena: The Series,” Perez fleshes out stories while keeping themes intertwined throughout the season. He also prepares lists of ideas to pitch — characters, story lines, arcs, episodes — based on emotion and writes assigned scenes and episodes, Perez said.
“I’m Mexican American,” he said. “I was raised in Texas. I have a big Mexican family and still to this day, I argue that Selena is, if not one of the greatest role models for the Latinx community, the greatest Latinx role model in our community because no one has really filled that space still.”
Wenhong Chen, journalism associate professor and Perez’s former professor, said she is proud of Perez’s achievement and his many years of hard work.
“Bilingual, bicultural and socially conscious, Raymond has much to contribute as staff writer for Netflix’s ‘Selena: The Series,’” Chen said via email.
Benjamin Lopez, Perez’s former supervisor and executive director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, said Perez is one of the hardest workers he has ever met.
“Having this experience under his belt, which is taking the iconic member of our community that has made such an impact, and for him not to be intimidated by it, but being able to thrive within that story and trying to create something that … everybody is going to tune in (to). … It fills me with pride,” Lopez said.
Perez said his mission is to broaden the film and television industries with stories of queer people, Latinx people and other underrepresented communities.
“For me, the power of moving images is to create and share empathy with others,” Perez said.