By Hipolito Munoz, Managing Editor/Publisher
Through his art Richard Cabral has reached a space in the world that he for sure never thought he could attain. His initiation in to the world was not the stuff made for success, yet here he is, a new voice for those he feels do not have a voice. Those that have had a rough start in life, but this is not what this conversation is about. There are plenty of articles and interviews that will tell you where he came from, we are more interested in where he is going and the exciting turn his life has taken. However, we do need to look at his past experiences to try and get an understanding of his present and glimpse of his future.
Richard has embraced his past in order to bring humanity to the stereotype of the Latino gang member and give him the authenticity that he feels the character Hollywood has vomited does not give him. Richard grew up in the world that most folks only understand through literature, through the painful recounting of those that have left the life or through the glamorized and inaccurate caricaticatures dramatized for monetization that movies portrayed. I think the point has been made that Richard is the real deal and he wants to make sure those folks that are represented are authentic and respected because he knows the pain, the struggle and the joy of the life he has led. He has become and advocate for those that are not only dismissed but also avoided and in some cases, despised.
In his one-man play, he is focused on making sure he continues to explore the authentic spirit of the characters he envisions, and he starts with himself. He guides us through an abbreviated tour of his tumultuous life as a gang member in a place that is meant to control and break young men like him.
His one man show, FIGHTING SHADOWS, will be presented from April 15 through May 8 at The Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts, 720 Kohler Street, Los Angeles, CA 9002 For tickets visit http://www.fightingshadowstheplay.com/tickets/
As described by the productions publicity, “FIGHTING SHADOWS is the true story of one man’s search for love in a world meant for breaking, not bending. A brutal, truthful account of Emmy-nominated actor Richard Cabral’s early life as a notorious gang member in East LA, Fighting Shadows follows his life-affirming transformation out of the shadows of gangs, prison, and violence, and into a new world of family, art, and love. Armed with only his own tremendous will and the good work of Homeboy Industries and Father Greg Boyle, Richard’s story illustrates the possibilities of marginalized lives to reclaim spirit through poetry, music, and raw storytelling.” Find out for yourself.