This article was written by La Gringa Novelera, follow her on social media @GringaNovelera
A little more than two years ago, I began learning Spanish from telenovelas on Telemundo because as I’d run through the gazillion cable channels looking for something good to watch on television, nothing looked better to me than what was happening in the “Ultimos Capitulos” of “Corazon Valiente!”
And when I learned that my own relatives who had come to the USA from Italy had learned English from “All My Children,” and that “La Patrona” was going to be starting right after New Year’s, learning Spanish while watching a telenovela seemed the perfect antidote to the harsh Chicago January I was about to endure.
And so it began!
I fell in love with everything about telenovelas: the glamour, the intrigue, the slapping, the kidnapping, the fact that no one ever has a conversation at a normal pitch, the Asylum for the Criminally Insane, the audacity, Christian Bach’s bejeweled bras, the sheer level of craziness: I fell in love with all of it!!
Since “LaPatrona,” I have followed every telenovela on Telemundo, and I am the network’s biggest fan! By day, I am a trial lawyer in Chicago, but by night, I am LaGringa Novelera, learning Spanish from telenovelas and writing daily about what’s happening on these shows! It is ALWAYS something fantastic, believe me!
Learning Spanish from telenovelas has changed my life in every way you can imagine, and since I began this fantastic adventure, I have written a TV pilot inspired by my experience that A REAL TELEVISION PRODUCER seems to like very much! I am almost finished with my book about what it is like to learn Spanish from telenovelas that a REAL TELENOVELA WRITER has encouraged me to write! Between Facebook and Twitter I have over 3,000 Followers!
Somehow I have not been fired from my job!! All of this and more has been such a tremendous surprise! But if you would have told me when I started My Novela Life that I would be invited by Telemundo to attend the Premiere of their newest telenovela “Bajo el Mismo Cielo” (“Under the Same Sky”) and get to interview the cast on the Red Carpet, I would have laughed in your face and maybe even slapped you novela-style, telling you that life is not a telenovela!
But guess what?!
Sometimes life is EXACTLY like a telenovela, especially when you are learning Spanish from the telenovelas on Telemundo!
The Holy Land of Telenovelas!
It was a dream come true in every way you can imagine!
Before I tell you about the event, let me tell you a little bit about the series itself! “Bajo el Mismo Cielo” is the story of Carlos Martinez, a family man who crosses into California from Mexico illegally, to give his family opportunities he dreams of for them.
When the series opens, his poor wife is dead, his oldest son has fallen in with a gang and is currently in prison, and Carlos is working hard as a landscaper and to keep his younger son, who is an American citizen, away from the lure of gangs and the street life.
Carlos has built a life in East L.A., but because his immigration status is unsettled, we see the fragility of Carlos’ life:
We will see that even the most minimal contact with the police (even as a crime victim), with “La Migra,” with anyone in authority, can destroy his life here. Carlos can lose everything because of his immigration status.
“Bajo el Mismo Cielo” makes the point that there are millions of people like Carlos Martinez living in the USA. They are the engines that drive our economy yet they are all too often invisible. This story should put these valuable immigrants in the spotlight, and could not be more relevant right now.
BEMC is a thought-provoking novela, but it is still a NOVELA, Gracias a Dios, so we will also have lots of Novela Hijinx, great-looking people, and of course The Love That Can Never Be Until The Final Episode!
The Novela stars Gabriel Porras, perfectly cast as “Carlos”, Erika de la Rosa as “Felicia,” Carlos’ girlfriend who has a big secret, starting with her desire to kick his son “Luis” out of the house, and Maria Elisa Camargo as “Adela,” the beautiful girl who steals Carlos’ truck and then steals his heart.
This series includes many other great stars, like Juan Pablo Llano, last seen in “Duenos del Paraiso,” and Rosalinda Rodriguez, star of so many novelas including “La Casa de al Lado,”and “Dama y Obrero!” Luis Ernesto Franco and Alejandro Speitzer play Carlos’ two sons in the Novela, which also includes an additional Cast of Thousands.
I was lucky to meet all of the stars on the Red Carpet and interview them!! All of the cast members were so gracious, and a lot of fun to talk to, especially many of the supporting players. This is a very young and energetic group of actors and I was privileged to talk with many of them!
Kevin Aponte plays “Nick Hernandez”, a high-school friend of Carlos’ son Luis. Nick takes school seriously and becomes a DREAMer. The very charming Kevin told me that his character also tries to keep Luis on track, like an angel in his shoulder.
I will never forget Kevin EVER because during our Red Carpet interview in the hot Miami sun, my face was melting.
Kevin very kindly and privately removed an eyelash that had dropped (or dripped) onto my cheekbone. I LOVE KEVIN APONTE.
Luis will need all of Kevin’s help too, because on his other shoulder is his devilish girlfriend “LaSharon,” who is played by the adorable Alma Itzel, who told me that we will love LaSharon in spite of her extremely poor judgement and some very bad decisions! Alma has found LaSharon’s soul, and her love of the character will win us over to LaSharon’s side!
I had a blast with the lovely Ahrid Hannaley, who plays “Isabel Garrido,” a resident of Sonora, Mexico who thinks her dreams have come true when she meets a musician in the show who tours frequently between Mexico and the USA. Ahrid told me we will love her character, even if she makes a few major mistakes. Ahrid gets right to Isabel’s heart, and reveals her heart to us, and of course it is made of gold!
I will never forget how Juan Pablo Llano gave me one of his signature moves from “Duenos del Paraiso,” and how Erika de la Rosa and I laughed together about her “World’s Worst Prosecutor” in “El Señor de los Cielos 2!”
Gabriel Porras hugged me!! Maria Elisa Camargo and I compared notes on David Chocarro!! (My “notes” were of course based on watching the two of them in “En Otra Piel”) And so much more happened! Everything you can imagine and more!!
It was the Night of my Life!! I had my own spot on The Red Carpet!! My own spot!!
Thank you Telemundo!!
Thank you Fabiola Malka and Doral Magazine!