Kiki Melendez’s mother moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic so Kiki could have a better life and think big
Kiki Melendez’s The Journey of a Female Comic Makes It To The Big Screen
There is a part of me that is not surprised Kiki Melendez’s docu-comedy, The Journey of a Female Comic, made its way to AMC theaters in Los Angeles and New York City. There is another part of me that can’t believe it happened. The odds weren’t good, nearly impossible. After all, how many women have independent movies in theaters, and yet this weekend it opens at the AMC Empire 25 Theater in Times Square.
There’s something to be said for a visionary who has an idea and makes it happen. Kiki Melendez is an attestation to such a concept.
Kiki is the daughter of an immigrant. Her mother moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic so Kiki could have a better life and become what ever she put her mind to. The American dream wasn’t the only spark to this little movie that could. Kiki’s daughter, who was in first grade at the time, asked her Mommy, do you have to do something bad to be famous? Enter the catalyst that gives Kiki the green light. Kiki decided to show her daughters, that no, a person doesn’t have to do something “bad” or scandalous, to be famous and on top of that, we should not confuse fame with greatness. Hence, a docu-comedy was born.
Kiki has been in the entertainment industry for many years. She had her own TV show and radio show, among other ventures. As she evolved in Hollywood she also gave birth to the comedy show, The Hot Tamales Live! which ran on Showtime Networks. The Hot Tamales Live! was Kiki’s brainchild to unite the world through laughter by featuring female comics from all ethnic groups.
Kiki behind the scenes
Then, in 2011, she hosted a stand up show featuring Spanish comedians from all over the world. This time she is uniting the Latino world through laughter, one of the first for the comedy circuit. “Lettermen, Seinfeld, DeGeneres, and all the superstars today come from Stand Up Comedy, what platform do Latinos in America have? ” Kiki asks in the docu-comedy, explaining her motivation for producing the Spanish stand up comedy show.
These events and many others are depicted in Kiki’s movie both as a documentary and in scripted form. It’s an honest, in depth look at the life of an entertainer. The end result is a piece she can show her children, revealing that hard work and perseverance can take you places but are not necessarily a guarantee of success or financial windfall. Hard work and perseverance will bring you strength of character.
I have been a part of The Journey of a Female Comic since Kiki began her adventure. I’m proud to be a part of this project, happy to have worked with Kiki and appreciate the message she is bringing to the world. She laughs at herself and her career, she pays tribute to the mother that made all of this possible, and she also draws attention to the Latino community in Hollywood.
Yes, the stereotypes are pointed out and no one likes being a stereotype, however, The Journey of a Female Comic also shows that when you want something done you need to do it yourself. Leading by example, Kiki puts herself out there to show the world it can be done. You just need to find a way to make it happen.
Kiki’s mother wasn’t famous but she was a great woman. Her actions and strength of character bring us to this weekend. A message worthy of a first grader and the rest of our future leaders, some of whom will be famous.
Go see The Journey of a Female Comic. Support the nearly impossible, little movie that could, and did, make its way to the mass-market big screen. Find the meaning in the movie where it pertains to you. Then, even if you’re small business… think big! The American Dream is still alive.