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261 | The Story of the Amazing Selene Luna!

September 21, 2022

261 | The Story of the Amazing Selene Luna!
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Selene Luna is a Mexican-American actress, comedian, burlesque performer, and model known for her roles on comedian Margaret Cho's reality TV series The Cho Show and in such films as My Bloody Valentine 3D.

Selene Luna, the voice of Tía Rosita in Disney-Pixar's Academy Award & Golden Globe Awards' Winner COCO.

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Unknown Speaker  0:00  
The following presentation is brought to you by camedia dot Pro, please visit camedia dot Pro for more information. Now stay right where you are as we present.

Unknown Speaker  0:14  
Welcome to positive talk radio evolving ideas, one conversation at a time, great cast dynamic stories and interviews plus new thoughts on a wide range of topics and concepts. I hope that you'll hang with me Kevin MacDonald, my friends. And of course, you as together we work to understand why we are all here and what we can do to make our world a better place for all of us to be happy. Be kind and live in peace together. Yep, it's positive talk radio.

Unknown Speaker  0:50  
And welcome everybody to a Wednesday additional positive talk radio. I am so glad you're here. And I want you to while you're in your cars, your if you're not driving, I want you to call your friends and tell them to listen to this program right here on K K NW. However 50 AM. Eric, welcome. How are you, sir? Hey, good afternoon. I'm doing well. And I just wanted to say before we get started a belated Happy birthday to you because your birthday was over the weekend. It was my birthday is 911. So you know there's there's always something going on on 911 these days. Yeah. So celebrating it maybe after 911 Seems like a good idea.

Unknown Speaker  1:33  
So but I hope you had a good one regardless. Yeah, it did. It was it was it was awesome. And I had some great stuff. And one of my one of my close friends who does some really unique stuff. She has a birthday present bought me because I like historical things. She bought me six months of historical documents that are going to be sent to me once a month for every month for the next six months. And there'll be really unique and interesting things from the history of the United States. And Holly Berry who's with us today. She's the one who did that. And she does such unique things that is so awesome. Happy birthday again, Kevin, I can't wait to get your first letter I want I want you to like tell me who it is if it's like some old president or some famous figure and like you can even share it with the team if you want. Check the back to see if there's a treasure map.

Unknown Speaker  2:28  
Very, very good. Very good. And we are

Unknown Speaker  2:32  
today we've got a great show for you. And I hope that you'll stay with us the entire time. We have a we have a famous person in the building. And it's really, really cool she is and she is an actress. She is a stand up comic. Even my son who is a stand up comic aficionado, loves and loves good stand up comedy and Margaret Cho, who is somebody that you've worked with quite a little bit. You've opened for her on a bunch of different tours. You're an award winning actress and you're on deck FX, Maya and MC and the voice of Tia Rosita, in Disney Pixar Academy Award winning. You've done some really great things. And you're here today to talk to us about a bunch of stuff her name and I'm gonna try it again and see if it I can actually get this. So Nene. Luna is with us. So close. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  3:30  
Hi, Kevin. And Hi, Tina. Thank you so much for having me. And thank you for the lovely intro and Happy belated birthday. Well, thank you by the way, how badly did I screw up your first not at all? You said it beautifully. Most people butcher my name and you could thank my parents for that. But and also Kevin, did you know my birthday is on Monday. We're both Virgos. Oh, very nice. Congratulations. It's a nice time of year to have a birthday. It is it is. And you're here. Well, Holly, first of all, I know you have done quite a little bit of research on on the subject matter today. So I'm going to ask you to say why Luna is by Miss Lulu is here. Because she is representing The past. Denise does projects so close.

Unknown Speaker  4:24  
Yeah, the passion Easter's project. She's one of the people involved in that and once the date for that live online event coming. The we've got the power of fashionistas Summit. It's a virtual summit that focuses around women and women's equalities and issues that impact women. And that will be September 21 through the 23rd and tickets are now available for our virtual presentation at the passion Easter's

Unknown Speaker  5:00  
On. And it's a three day virtual event focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in the issues important to women and non and gender non conforming non binary people. And you've talked a great deal about in there too. And we've had

Unknown Speaker  5:19  
we've had the the.

Unknown Speaker  5:22  
Nancy, thank you very much. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. I, I prepare endlessly for the shows, I just want you to know, and we've had them on the show. And this time, we're talking about disabilities. And we're talking about women of color, and, and non binary people and stuff and trying to make it a better place for all of us to understand each other and to live life a little bit better you would that be a good representation? Absolutely. And that really touches on why I'm passionate about working with Amy and Nancy Harrington, who are the founders of the Passion Easter's project and hosting the power of fashionistas summit. The reason is, is that it's Oh, for those of you who are not familiar with me, I am. I am a Mexican immigrant I was raised in I was raised in Los Angeles, but I was born in Mexico, and I do have the immigrant experience. But I'm also a little person, a woman with a disability. And it's been my experience that historically, the feminist movement does not address issues of women of color, much less women with disabilities. And the passion is this project actually is one of the very few platforms that addresses this and addresses a cross sectional feminist movement. So I'm very passionate about that. As well, you should be because it's a it's a it's a big deal for a lot of folks and and Holly's done some research. He sat in with me when we we've talked to the Harringtons and, and stuff. And so Holly, you have a question for Miss Luna.

Unknown Speaker  7:12  

Unknown Speaker  7:14  
the so yeah, she emailed earlier and she wanted to talk about Halloween drugs, drugs. How do you even say that now I can't. I just want to I wanted to plug a couple of things that I'm doing. I mean, I'm deaf. I'm here to speak about the power of the fashionistas Summit, which is September 21, through the 23rd. But I did a send the last minute message to Holly, because today we launched the PR campaign for something really fun that I'm doing. I'm part of Hulu's Hulu's Halloween drag extravaganza which premieres October 1 on Hulu. And it's just a really fun project that I got to do. It is a Hulu special. It's like an old school TV special with its two drag host and a troupe of drag queens and kings. We take over the stage and we perform original musical numbers, sketch comedy and more to celebrate the Halloween season and it's really fun. It looks like it'll stream starting on October 1, the cover poster for it is just awesome. Are Now how are you in it? Or how are you? I'm part of, well, it's an ensemble cast. And so together we do musical numbers and we dance and we sing and we have sketch comedy and so on peppered throughout the the TV special and it's a really, really fun, and it's awesome. Yeah, I was just excited to promote this because my regular gig these days is Mayans MC, which is an FX a crime drama and that also streamed on Hulu. And that's a very dark series and so I was excited to share that Amana Light series Amana white TV special that's really family friendly. And it's a lot of fun. I can't I asked ask you because there are so many people that we talk to you that would like to be an actor. What's it what's it like to be an actually working actor in Hollywood?

Unknown Speaker  9:25  
That's a great question. It's actually shocking. It's shocking to be a working actor in Hollywood.

Unknown Speaker  9:32  
For me, in particular, it's you know, everyone has their own path. But it's been quite a lifelong struggle. You know, again, I am a little person and so through most of my career, most of my life.

Unknown Speaker  9:50  
Very rarely have I ever come across any opportunities that any casting or role opportunities for a little person

Unknown Speaker  10:00  
That's an actual human being. You know, historically, parts for little people are limited to fantastical creatures. We're always in costumes, you're always like a monster, you're just never a human being. And one of the reasons I pursued showbiz is that I wanted to show a human side to somebody like me. But up until very recently, I mean, really, up until like, the last couple of years, there have not been opportunities for somebody like me. And so my particular experience is unique. And, but with, but Hollywood discriminates against everybody. I mean, it's a struggle for everybody, you know, whether you're some perfectly gorgeous person, sometimes you're too beautiful. You know, it's, it's a struggle for everybody. So it comes down to really being committed, disciplined, and tenacious. And without those qualities, this may not be the business for you. And also, I always tell young actors, don't throw in the towel, the minute you throw in the towel, you have diminished any possibility of a career. So you have to really want it and be really committed. And how does it work for you to do stand up to because that the stand up is a unique art all unto itself? Yeah, absolutely. Stand up is definitely unique. But I found it very liberating. Because with stand up, nobody cares what you look like, as long as you can make them laugh. And, frankly, anybody could do stand up, you know, you can go to open mic, in any town anywhere. You know, that's, that's the one thing that I really love about standup, it's an equalizer. It's, it's, as long as you're willing to go up on stage, somebody will give you stage time. Anyone can do it. But it takes you know, for some people, it takes many years to craft and develop, you know, a solid set.

Unknown Speaker  12:09  
Yeah, took me like a decade, and I'm still struggling in it. You know, it's not easy. I think I prefer dramatic acting. So I think it's easier for me, well, you know, when somebody's on stage, and they are a stand up, and they do incredible work, the perception that we have is that they made it up on the spot. And it just happens to be really, really funny. But you as a stand up artist, you work tirelessly coming up with new material, and to make it all work and to and to make it make it happen. Is that kind of how it works for you. Because I know, your set is taking you a long time to put together. Yeah, absolutely. And you make a very insightful point. I mean, if a comic makes it look like, you know, they're just working the room off the cuff, and they do it successfully. That means they have worked so hard for so many years. And you know, it could take years to craft, a brilliant five minute, you know, moment. And, you know, but But like everything else is an exception to the rule. Some people I've seen some people who are just genuinely talented, and they can really just work right off the cuff. But I think your average person needs to work it out tirelessly to appear that they have not worked it out. What inspired you to branch out into that as well as already having like, been acting and into activism and dancing and adding that into the mix as well? Well, the truth is, many years ago, I got great advice from a friend that was a director at the time he was working for Disney. And he told me, You got to always have seven balls in the air because six are going to drop, oh my god. And it's the truth in this business. You got to do everything and you know, so I've always

Unknown Speaker  14:08  
involved myself in every aspect of entertainment, you know, acting, stand up dancing, have done broadcasting, writing, you kind of improv, you just do everything you can. And everything you do does lead to success in one particular thing, because everything helps to develop you as a performer, as a writer, as an actor. And ultimately, I have found at least for myself, and people that I know personally, who have their own level of success is that ultimately you are 100% responsible for your career. You know, I think a lot of young

Unknown Speaker  14:52  
young actors who are pursuing the business are under the illusion that you just sit back and wait for your agent to make the phone ring

Unknown Speaker  15:00  
And that's not going to happen. You got to be fully responsible for your creativity. And also you got to exercise the muscle just like a pro athlete does. You know pro athletes are out, working out in training four hours a day, whether or not they have a game. And you got to do the same thing as a performing artist. Yeah, I'm trying to get Khalid to do stand up. What do you think, Holly?

Unknown Speaker  15:26  
Oh, I'll dance my little like, dance with my fingers.

Unknown Speaker  15:31  
I think you should try it. You'd be you'd be amazed at how liberating it is. And even if you bomb, there was nothing wrong with bombing. I mean, I actually not that I looked forward to bombing. But anytime I bombed, I always took it at the lesson. It always helped me better may next set that will that mean bombing life? Yeah, bombing is a gift. Yeah, it's, I would love to hear your message to younger people directly about that and getting over seeing failure as like the end all be all versus a lesson that you can use and work from? Sure. Well, that's a great point. I because that's something I feel very strongly about. Not at the beginning, I wasn't excited about failure early in my career. But today at the seasoned age that I am, and having seen and done, you know, as much as what I've attempted in the business, I do know that failure is actually a gift it you have no way of learning, no way of getting further in your career without some very, very difficult fails falling on your face. You know, it feels horrific when it's happening. It feels like public humiliation. But if that if you don't go, if you don't have those experiences, how are you going to grow? How are you going to improve. And, for example, if you want to try stand up comedy, something that most comics do is you go up on stage and you record your set, bring your phone on stage and record the set. And if you absolutely bomb, you'll know what you need to cut out and never do it again. And that helps you grow. And so failure is a bad word. But it's really a gift to an artist. It only helps you edit out the garbage who needs that. And then you just continue to improve what you're doing. For all of our listeners out there, there's two phrases that I only learned in the last few years when I did go through moments of failure and it hit emotionally hard like that, number one was the term fail upward. And number two is the term fail faster. And I think that if if you remember kind of those two terms, sometimes that might bring around that concept as well, because it can be completely new. Some people were raised by perfectionist, some people naturally are perfectionist. And a lot of times that's some of the hardest mental framework to work past to be able to improve and grow without that emotional heavyweight. I think those are great points. And I love those terms that love failing faster. I think that should be the goal, actually, you know, for a young artist, and artists of any age really.

Unknown Speaker  18:27  
You know, us actually speaking of age, I want to also say something that was very illuminating to me is that, you know, my successes didn't come until much later in my career. I mean, I've been at it for at least 20 years. And it's now just happening for me. You know, and or at least that's how it feels. I know it's all relative, but also don't buy the lie about age, you know,

Unknown Speaker  18:58  
there's such a ageist association with Hollywood, don't buy it, it doesn't age doesn't matter. You know, again, it's about not throwing in the towel, because then you won't see your future success come to life. And I there are many, many, many artists and actors that I know personally, who are now finally on hit TV shows and they're older than me, and they've been at it longer than I have. So Hollywood really needs to cast people of all ages. So the age of ageism thing is really just, it's a lie. It doesn't matter. Your age doesn't matter. But failing fast, I think is great. Anytime I bombed on stage. I couldn't wait to redeem myself at the next show. It's actually an inspiration. So you know, see it as like, Oh, okay. All right. I'll get you next time. And then you work harder and then the next time you kill it up

Unknown Speaker  20:00  

Unknown Speaker  20:02  
Well, you know if and if you're a producer out there, I got two things. Number one, if you're a producer out there, and you're looking for somebody who looks like Wilford Brimley, I'm your guy.

Unknown Speaker  20:14  
Love it, love it. And the the other point I wanted to make is that I was in sales, management and management for a long time. And one of the things that I found extraordinarily useful is improvisational theater. And I wanted to get your take on that. Because I think that every kid should go and take some improvisational theater because it gives them confidence they can think on their feet. They do a lot of at least that's my opinion, what would your opinion be? The problem is, I know you've done it, and you're very good at it. What is your opinion of improvisational theater? Well, I share your opinion, I definitely think it's a great benefit to anybody of any age, especially children. And also people who work in the private sector. I know I hear a lot of people who have current corporate jobs, and they need to speak at an event or a workshop. And they're really choked up and nervous. They would benefit as well from a improv classes. The thing what would then I learned from improv is to not be afraid, is to just let go and be and have fun falling on your face. Not physically, but you know, and just let go just be a clown. Who cares? There's nothing serious. We're creating art, we're goofing around and making each other laugh. There's no, there shouldn't be anything precious about it. You know, and that also goes back to stand up is like if you bomb so what? We're not curing cancer, we're trying to make people laugh. And so as the performer, you should be having fun too.

Unknown Speaker  21:53  
Oh, absolutely. And sometimes, it just kind of works out that way. It's a different crowd. It's a different audience than you might be used to, or, or they may be have had maybe a little bit too much to drink or, you know, it would be interesting because it's it, it's affects you in a myriad of ways when and but if you can't get better unless you fail, right? Yep, absolutely. And I think that goes for everything in life. I'm living proof of that, right?

Unknown Speaker  22:24  

Unknown Speaker  22:27  
While this is not your first time being a host, so this ain't my first time at the rodeo kids.

Unknown Speaker  22:39  
By the way, we're we're talking with some Hollywood.

Unknown Speaker  22:46  
Luna and and we haven't talked much about it yet. But we're going to talk about the word project as it Holly, the passion Easter's project, I am just so thrilled that you're here, because one of the issues that we want to talk about is the disparity of disabled people as to what they get paid, how they are treated, in the in our society. And it's not a pretty picture, is it? No, it's an ugly picture. I am speaking from firsthand experience as a woman with a disability. I mean, you know,

Unknown Speaker  23:29  
it's overwhelming to begin with the injustices. But

Unknown Speaker  23:35  
you know, and it's one of the reasons why I became an advocate. And I just want to be clear with your Linux listeners, I'm not an advocate, because I like the title. And, you know, when I've got nothing better to do it being an advocate basically means if I don't kick and scream, if I don't sound the alarm, people are going to walk all over me. And so I'm just in a position because I work in the public, I have a platform to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, which was like me when I was a kid, you know, I, I didn't get education, equality. You know, I grew up in a very loving home. But you know, struggling working class immigrant home, but I didn't get the same education that my siblings got in the public school district, for example, simply because I was disabled. Most teachers treated me like,

Unknown Speaker  24:37  
I like I had a sub intelligent. For example, my parents had to fight the school system when I was in grade school, for them to allow me to be integrated into the non special ed classes just like the regular classes. And there was an I didn't have any type of intellect

Unknown Speaker  25:00  
Chill deficiency, I was just physically different. And that was not acceptable to the school district. So my poor immigrant parents, you know, busting their butts working, you know, multiple jobs, my dad going to night school still had to take time out of his insane workday just to come and convince the school to let me sit in the regular classes. I actually tested with a very high IQ, that didn't matter to them. Oh, yeah. And, you know, and but, you know, so eventually they did, you know, they did actually allow me to integrate, but then all the teachers ignore me, you know, they, the teachers treated me like I physically was not in the room, you know, so I still didn't really get an education. I was just sitting there, staring at the wall being ignored. And when I actually had all the answers, when, you know, the teacher would ask, but through the years, it was systemically ingrained in my brain, that I was not equal to the other students. So I gave up really, I did poorly in school, because I just thought, Well, I'm not supposed to get what they get. And so I'm supposed to just sit here and like a dunce and do nothing. So and it was really discouraging. And so I didn't have the opportunity to develop my critical thinking. And an example, I remember this vividly in 10th grade, I was in my 10th grade English class. And the teacher pulled me aside and said, You don't need to learn about literature. So you're just going to sit next to me, and basically just sit here while I teach. I didn't have to do any of the classwork because she said I wasn't going to use it. Because I, because of what I look like, you know, and gee.

Unknown Speaker  27:00  
That's the generation I grew up in, you know, and 11th grade, that's when you're, you know, average high school student goes to the, you go to your guidance counselor to start creating a plan for college and your next steps after high school. I went to my guidance counselor, and he said, Oh, you know, college isn't for people like you. So you don't need to we don't need to discuss anything.

Unknown Speaker  27:26  
Talking with Cardone, he actually said that, yeah, I will never forget it don't. Those were his words. And this was the LA school district.

Unknown Speaker  27:37  
So you know, things are changing now. But, um, but we're still a pretty invisible population. I mean, when you think about this woke culture, and on social media, you see, you know, people screaming for social justice and social justice, memes, equality for, you know, everybody, you know, women, people of color trans youth, you'd never see them include children with disabilities, you never see them include in their means disability. And it's ironic, because disability is the most cross sectional

Unknown Speaker  28:12  
group that exists. You know, people with disabilities are progressive, they're conservatives, they come in every color of every background. And eventually, 80% of the population becomes disabled at one point in your lives.

Unknown Speaker  28:30  
That's me. Yeah. Yeah, eventually it happens. So it just makes no sense. Now, what Kevin was initially talking about, as far as,

Unknown Speaker  28:41  
you know, low wages, here's something that your average person is not even aware of, because the work culture doesn't even know about it. But there is a section, which are the federal act that allows it's basically it's called Section 14 C. And it's where employers can apply for Section 14 C certification of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. That grants employers the ability to pay people with disabilities less than federal minimum wage, and that is legal. This was a program established by the Roosevelt administration, and is still legal. So one of the largest culprits in this country is goodwill. Goodwill, pays some of its disabled workers as low as 22 cents an hour. And that is perfectly legal. These are the people who are doing inventory who are hanging the clothes, who are doing all the heavy lifting, and it's cheap, exploited labor. And this is how I'm sorry, I'm on a tangent.

Unknown Speaker  29:51  
And this is how society systematically

Unknown Speaker  29:55  
keeps people with disabilities in poverty.

Unknown Speaker  30:00  
Has it forced systemic poverty? Yeah, with the actual laws if you go to, related to that I just searched for Section 14 C, and they actually call it special minimum wages. So it's it's like from just reading the paragraph, I wouldn't even know unless you know, someone like you educated me on it. So that's really, really enlightening. It's horrifying. It's horrifying. And, you know, I just asked that people, please demand that Congress phase out this loophole, it's absolute exploitation. Could you imagine that if it were legal to, by the way, this is called sub minimum wage, you can just Google sub minimum wage, a bunch of articles will pop up. Now just imagine if it was okay. To, you know, just, I just like, what if it was okay to pay women? 22 cents an hour? I mean, I know as it is, women get paid less than men. But could you imagine if it was 22 cents an hour? The feminists would be all over it? How come no one's speaking up for? How come? Where's the feminist outcry? For women with disabilities getting paid 22 cents an hour? The passion uses project Deco.

Unknown Speaker  31:18  
Perfect to call back.

Unknown Speaker  31:20  
Again, oh, yeah, the passion is does And that is actually an amazing group and resource of these types of voices. And the thing I love about it the most is that when we interviewed me and Nancy, one of their big things was like, we're just providing the space in the stage, you know, we're providing that area, we're not talking for people, we're having people that actually live this experience coming from those places in life, do the speaking. So yeah, that that is exciting that there are starting to be, you know, in the power of the internet ways for people to actually connect and educate and tap in. For any of our listeners out there. Do you have favorite websites or places where they could like, keep keep updated? Kind of get some of the news on these types of issues? Yes, I mean, there are a lot of resources. But um, but, you know, I, there are several things that I'm very passionate about.

Unknown Speaker  32:30  
And you can go to, well, maybe the best source for links that I'm associated with, is through my Instagram, my Instagram is Solenn, it s e l e n, e underscore, Luna l una. And at the top of my bio, you'll see a link that will take you to various things that I'm involved with. But I, you know, I feel strongly about education for

Unknown Speaker  33:00  
basically children with disabilities, because we do not get an equal education still, to this day. I'm involved. I'm heavily involved with Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living, which is an organization in Southern California that

Unknown Speaker  33:18  
helps children with disabilities transition into higher learning with a strong focus on STEM, and science and engineering and through them. With my involvement with that organization. I've been able to go to DC and speak face to face with legislators on on these rights and funding that we need to keep these programs running. And I'm also very passionate about the website I'd like to turn people on to it's called

Unknown Speaker  33:53  
Disability Day of Mourning, this this, this Disability Day of Mourning, you can go Google it, and it'll take you to the wink. It's a website, which actually memorializes

Unknown Speaker  34:07  
it's actually really dark and horrific, but people need to know about it.

Unknown Speaker  34:15  
Sorry, there is a huge number of people with disabilities that are murdered by their caregivers. And this is not reported because historically journalist favor the side of the murderer, because they feel bad that they have to take care of this person with disabilities. So you don't hear about it. And it's an astronomical number of really children who are murdered by their caregivers. And and they don't get prosecuted because the court system is sympathetic to the caregiver versus giving voice to the victim.

Unknown Speaker  34:54  
I am so glad that you are you are out there but I gotta ask you it's it's

Unknown Speaker  35:00  
gotta be a little uncomfortable to be a out there in the way that you are what's motivating you? Why? And I know that you want to help people and you want to bring these things to life?

Unknown Speaker  35:12  
And is that really your motive? Is that is that kind of your motivation is to help people and to help us understand because you're right, there was a, when I was a bus driver years ago, when there was a, a build a placement that that featured, or that hire disabled people, and people in wheelchairs and people that were and, and they came to work every day. They worked hard. They showed up on time they left on time, and and I can't believe that people are being taken advantage of in that way, to that extent. And some of these companies actually get a tax break for hiring disabled people, don't they? Yeah, they do. And the irony is that studies have shown that people with disabilities statistically make better employees than non disabled people who show up, yeah, we actually show up because we're not in a position to take a job for granted. And also, we're a better investment when it comes to your workers comp, because people with disabilities file far few far, far fewer workers comp cases, because we're extra careful at work, because we're used to having to take care of our bodies a little more intently than non disabled people. So there are fewer workplace accidents with disabled employees. I got a you touched me when you were talking about when you're in 10th and 11th grade, shoot me. So I want to go back to that just a little bit. And I'd say did you think that when you were in 10th or 11th grade, and you're dealing with the things that you were dealing with the you would

Unknown Speaker  36:57  
be on the TV, and you'd be a stand up comic, and you get to meet people like Maxine Waters and and Chuck Schumer and, and people in Washington, DC, DC, and and I have a real voice? Did you think that was possible back then? And if you didn't? How did it happen?

Unknown Speaker  37:17  
Well, I, you know, I always believed that somehow, inside of me, and but I, I'm shocked that it actually happened.

Unknown Speaker  37:28  
You know, when I just to backtrack a little when I was age five, I have a vivid memory being a little kid, you know, around age five, I think that's about the age where you start becoming self aware. And, and I remember that time in my life, when I really realized that I was different from everybody around me. And I was starting to pick up on being treated differently. I mean, there is no other little person in my family. And back in the day, there was nobody remotely like me anywhere at school or in my social circle or family. So I really felt alone. It was a very lonely experience. Even though I was loved at home, there was nobody I could relate to. And also and I grew up in a time where being disabled was shameful, you know, you were traditionally hidden. And so what I'm getting at, at age five, I grew up in LA, very close to Hollywood. So that was always kind of on my radar that world. And I always thought and I thought at that age, you know, when I grew up, I'm going to I'm going to be in showbiz. Because that would be my opportunity to make people see me on my terms. So I always had that fire inside of me to do showbiz, because I just thought, that's how I'm going to reach the masses. And

Unknown Speaker  38:58  
you know, and since I didn't think education, I was told education, not by my parents, but by the system, that education a higher education was not an option. So I was thinking Hollywood, I never thought I could be a doctor, I could be a lawyer, I could be a politician. Those things were never an option for me. So that's why I gravitated towards entertainment. Because it was also really an escapist thing for me, you know, watching TV being a latchkey kid, and so, but the fact that it became a reality is shocking to me. I never in my life thought

Unknown Speaker  39:36  
somebody like me would have a serious acting role on a major crime show, you know, like a little person who just happens to be

Unknown Speaker  39:47  
you know, running the cartel you know, and not in a mask or a costume and just the human being with doing some drama.

Unknown Speaker  39:57  
I'm gonna have to watch that show. What's What's the character

Unknown Speaker  40:00  
You play on it. I play solid dad. And that role was specifically created for me.

Unknown Speaker  40:07  

Unknown Speaker  40:09  
it that's a whole nother story but which I'm so honored, I just can't believe it's really the show co creator and showrunner Elgin James. He's an incredible person. He's definitely has

Unknown Speaker  40:25  
he, he feels very strongly about social justice. And so it was really important for him to create a part for somebody like me. And that's kind of how it happened. And so I got lucky. So you're a bit of a grounded, while not a bit of you are groundbreaker in a lot of different ways. It's like, it's like, Nicole,

Unknown Speaker  40:47  
I forget her last name. And from Star Trek, the first time there was an interracial kiss on on TV. And so you are now you've transcended those roles that traditionally go to people go to you, and to to now doing what you're doing, which is, which is just awesome. I think I think it's great, Holly, thank you. Yeah, it looks with the activism part of it, I love to know what some of the skills are, that you think are needed for that kind of work in our world today.

Unknown Speaker  41:20  
Some of the skills needed in activism are really a true deep rooted passion for social justice, and social justice for everybody across the board. Even if you're just fighting for one specific cause, your heart has to really be in it for everybody. And the whole thing will be quality that blows my mind. And I can't seem to understand this, you know, everyone, those out there on the frontlines, which, I mean, I owe them a debt of gratitude. But those on the frontline, you know, hone in on one specific thing. And I know, it's because there's so much to fight for, but shouldn't we just be fighting for equality for everybody? And maybe that's idealistic and a little simplistic. But again, that takes me back to like, why did why is the why is one of the feminist movements, platforms, pay equality for women, but they don't talk about pay equality for black women, you know, black women get paid less than white women, white women are only fighting about getting equal pay to men, why aren't they fighting for equal pay for all women? We need to be a cross sectional society. And I think you have to really understand that to be an advocate, you have to fight for everybody, not just the one cause that personally impacts you.

Unknown Speaker  42:53  
I couldn't agree more. And in fact, you know, I may be what did you call it idealistic, and in simplistic. I raised my hand to that, because apparently, I am idealistic. And it's simplistic because I believe that we're all wanting should all be treated equal, I think women have got a tremendous contribution to make, I am really not happy that

Unknown Speaker  43:16  
there are people in our society that are forgotten.

Unknown Speaker  43:21  
And, and are not being paid attention to. And I would love to hear more about some resources that we can, that we can tap into, that our listeners can go to, to really, this is, this is one of those things that needs to be that education needs to happen. Because people have a tendency to just,

Unknown Speaker  43:41  
it's it's not comfortable to talk about, we're paying a human being to go to work 22 cents an hour, that's not comfortable for some folks to talk about. But if you could give us some resources that our listeners can go to so that maybe they can initiate change themselves, because there are people that are going, that's not possible. I can't believe that that's actually happening in this country. Right. And it is shocking when you learn, you know, what's going on in our own backyards. And I mean, just right off the cuff. I know why you guys are in Washington, but I'm in California, and just what comes to mind is disability rights of California, which is, but I'm sure that could lead you to National Information. It's disability rights, see And so there is a lot there about self advocacy resources and how to get help and careers even if this line of work interests you. So I don't mean to just focus on California, but I apologize just right off the cuff. That's what comes to mind. But you know, you can

Unknown Speaker  44:49  
just, you know, just Google just Google what interest you what topic interests you Google it, but the most important thing you can do, anybody can do this

Unknown Speaker  45:00  
To vote, vote on the local level, get people in office locally, who represent social justice and things that you believe in.

Unknown Speaker  45:12  
I'm glad you brought that up, because this particular election, this mid year election is typically, and I think it's gonna change this year, but typically, it's a low turnout election because there's not a presidential cycle and, and stuff like that. But there's a lot of things going on right now that that need, we need your voice, everybody's voice. Everybody needs to avoid vhost boat, it's a crime. If I can speak I could vote, if it's a crime that 50% of the people, generally speaking, don't vote. And we need everybody's opinion so that we're not ruled by 50%. What, who, whatever your politics are.

Unknown Speaker  45:53  
Agreed, agreed. I think what I think this country is, has, perhaps politics, fatigue. And

Unknown Speaker  46:03  
it's a great, that's a great word.

Unknown Speaker  46:07  
I love that. I mean, I have advocacy fatigue, I just like, I don't understand how much what more I need to scream, what more can I say, just come on, get on board.

Unknown Speaker  46:18  
But ultimately, you know, even if it doesn't feel like an important election, even if you're exhausted, just do it, vote by mail, you don't have to leave your house, just just do it. Because in the end, it's gonna bite you in the butt.

Unknown Speaker  46:37  
And it does. And we've got a lot of issues in this country that we need to work to correct in the end. So please, well, like I said, just please vote. That's it. That's all we can. That's all we can ask for. So Holly, you look like your view, you've got something important to say, Oh, okay.

Unknown Speaker  46:55  
That's not a bad thing. I can always think of a question for you, Kevin. What would be the first?

Unknown Speaker  47:03  
What would be one of the things you wish you knew before you begin your work in activism?

Unknown Speaker  47:10  
Oh, something I wish I knew

Unknown Speaker  47:14  

Unknown Speaker  47:16  
I wished when I began, that I would have done a better job at compartmentalizing my anger.

Unknown Speaker  47:26  
And I this kind of goes back to Kevin's earlier question, which I don't think I clearly address where I think he asked me what motivates me to be an advocate. And it's really

Unknown Speaker  47:40  
just the thought of someone being mistreated, even, you know, just I think I have a lot of empathy for those who can't speak up for themselves and are being exploited. Because I come from an immigrant family. I mean, my parents dealt with a lot of racism against them when we were growing up. And for me, myself, personally, being being made to feel ashamed of who I was just because of what I look like. So it's very near and dear to me. So I'm pretty empathetic to people in that type of struggle. And I just have a personality that can't shut up. You know, I, if something rubs me the wrong way, I will kick and scream. So I have fire in my belly for justice. And that's what's motivate me, motivates me. And so what I wish I would have done sooner, is just to put my personal feelings, my personal anger aside, I think that would have allowed me to be more effective and more productive. And I also regret that with the anger behind my message, which I just personalized it so much, that I think I may have turned people off.

Unknown Speaker  49:02  
In my approach, when you know, you catch more, what is that you You catch more flies with honey? And I think I had a little too much vinegar in the beginning.

Unknown Speaker  49:14  
That's a great question, Holly. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker  49:17  
But you know, what's really cool is that times they be changing. And one of the things that's happening now is there's a group of people that have gotten together and they're putting on a seminar and it's coming up September 21, through the 23rd. And you can go to Holly they can go where

Unknown Speaker  49:38  
they can go to the passion Easter's and help us by supporting our event by purchasing tickets. We have an incredible lineup of speakers who are compelling and inspiring. And I have to say I feel a little personal plug here. I'm very excited that I got my sister

Unknown Speaker  50:00  
During my real life sister involved also so my sister will be speaking as well. She's going to be speaking on the environment, and how that impacts how that negatively impacts marginalized communities. My sister is a brilliant woman, her name is Dr. Gigi Moreno. And I'm very proud that she's involved with us this year.

Unknown Speaker  50:21  
That's sensational, that and more people and more people I think are going to get on the bandwagon. And so you can again, you can go on this is next week is a matter of fact, is the 21st to the 23rd. And you can go to Holly, the passion Easter's to

Unknown Speaker  50:43  
screw up your linguistics, as well and get tickets there, you can read all about it, you can probably find information for selling it there as well as on your Instagram. And with your birthday coming up this week, I would love you to list your Instagram again for our listeners, so they can wish you a happy birthday. Oh, thank you, I would love that, again, my Instagram, which is really the only social media where I'm really active. Instagram at solena s e l e n e underscore, Luna L U N A, I hope to see you on there.

Unknown Speaker  51:19  
And Miss Luna, we just have a few moments to talk. And before we have to wrap up the show. So I want us for us to set this ourselves aside. And I would like you to tell our audience anything that you would like them to know, those that are listening now or when we turn this into a podcast, which will be on positive talk In the next couple of days or so. So the floor is yours. Oh, well, thank you. You know, I would just like to leave everyone with this thought, you know, when it comes to disability rights. I know everyone I speak to is outraged by the injustice, but they don't know what to do. So I just want to encourage you to take action, even within your own local surroundings. For example, if you go to a boutique to buy a dress, and you notice that they don't have an ADA compliant ramp for let's say, a woman in a wheelchair wants to come in and get a dress, and she can't, or she can't open the door, go and talk to the manager, talk to the boutique shop owner and ask them why they're not accommodating customers with disabilities. You know, I do want to say that people take for granted that there are ad ADA laws in place. But they don't realize that they are not put into use just because there's a law on the books, it doesn't mean people are complying. And if you're not screaming and shouting about it, no one's going to do anything about it. They're not being implemented. So that would help us out a lot.

Unknown Speaker  52:55  
And you can visit my Oh, sorry, you can visit my website too. You can check out my website. So when it So then a And I correct me helped me here. Because, you know, the ADA, I was a bus driver for a while and and we they preached ADA to us all the time. But I was just thinking to myself, who is the enforcement agency that is supposed to enforce the regulations of the ADEA? They are Am I the ADA is am I

Unknown Speaker  53:29  
have to demand it even though it's on the books. It doesn't mean it's being used.

Unknown Speaker  53:35  
That's and that is that is so true. That is That is so true. It's it's such a pleasure to have you can you come back and talk to us again? Sure. I'd love to and thank you so much for having me. Have you enjoyed your time? Very much. This was fun. Well, good. We've enjoyed having you. And if they want to tune in to the the FX channel that you're on and what to what day in time, can they watch my in? Well, my answer is currently, season one through four is currently streaming on Hulu. And we just got renewed for season five. So that'll premiere on FX. Whenever we get it done. So bad. You can catch me on Hulu's Halloween drag extravaganza TV special October 1 on Hulu.

Unknown Speaker  54:23  
It's so nice to talk to you an actual person who's working in Hollywood and you're and you're, by the way, I cannot believe that to listen to you talk how intelligent you are that when you were a child they said that you're not going to make nothing to yourself. Well, those people should be sad and appel apologetic today. Well, thank you I feel sorry for their limitations. Well said well said Holly, before we go anything you'd like to add.

Unknown Speaker  54:50  
Just yeah, look, check out her and all the other fashionistas that we've been able to connect with on our website. It's positive talk and

Unknown Speaker  55:00  
We're happy to connect the listeners do these amazing, awesome people that are kind enough to come interview with us. So we look forward to doing even more and support the work, please. And I want to thank everybody for being here. We'll be here Friday at noon. I hope everybody has a great day and be kind to one another because each other is all we got. We'll see you Friday.

Selene LunaProfile Photo

Selene Luna


Selene Luna is Soledad on FX's Mayans M.C. and the voice of Tía Rosita in Disney-Pixar’s Academy Award & Golden Globe Awards' Winner COCO. Selene is an established presence in Hollywood with multiple roles in movies and TV shows such as Celebrity Wife Swap, Lionsgate’s My Bloody Valentine 3D, and Margaret Cho’s The Cho Show, and broke ground as a featured burlesque dancer in five national tours of the undisputed Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese. Luna’s most celebrated standup comedy credit has been opening for several of Margaret Cho’s national tours. Luna took to Washington, DC by meeting with legislators like, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, at the 2019 Conference on Independent Living to advocate for disability rights and spoke at a rally on Capitol Hill alongside U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer. This September Selene Luna will be speaking at the Power of Passionistas 2O22, a three-day virtual event focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in the issues important to women.

Kevin McDonaldProfile Photo

Kevin McDonald


Creator and Host of Positive Talk Radio and its Parent Company

Holly Berry

Creative Director

Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Management

Creative Director for