61: Ernesto Moncada

Categories: Creatives 2012

When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives

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Ernesto Moncada
Ernesto Moncada wears a (very large) number of hats.

He was born in Mexico City and has been living and working and living in downtown Phoenix since 2001. He's the published author of "Cayendo" (a novel, 1999), "Siete Pares de Ojos" (short stories, 2000) and "Posias Malias" (poetry, 2011); a spoken word poet and cartoonist; an actor (as seen in the New Carpa productions The Eagle & the Serpent and American Pastorela) and a stand-up comedian.

Moncada hosts (either by himself or as "Ernasty") the variety show "Firestage" (now at Aside of Heart), the talk show "Grand Ave Live!" (at the Trunk Space) and other events like burlesque reviews and open mics. He's a funding member, playwright, and director of the experimental theatre company Arcana Collective (as seen in the 4th Annual Phoenix Fringe Festival with "Panic Opera Sacraments" and the monthly Space 55 show "Arcana Cabaret"), and member of the improvisational theatre troupes The Empty Frames Experiment (with The Torch Theatre alumni) and Los Subtítulos (as seen in the 10th and 11th Phoenix Improv Festivals).

And when he has a spare moment (or two), he is a student adviser for an online graphic design college.

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courtesy of Ernesto Moncada
Arcana Collective
I came to Phoenix . . . in late 2000, with a working visa and a job as a magazine editor for TVyMás, an all-Spanish entertainment weekly, after visiting the city for shopping and rock concerts many times before, like a typical Mexican living in Sonora usually does. The publishing office was in the heart of downtown Phoenix and I moved next door to it, setting my entire Arizona existence to the only place in the Valley that resembles Mexico City in more than a couple of ways.

I make art because . . . I grew up in an artistic environment, with parents that were both the only artists in their respective families (my father a writer, my mother a painter). I grew up with art-making as an almost instinctual reaction to the experience of living and learning, whether that was enjoyable or upsetting. Being alive and imaginative has always seemed like enough reason to sit down and write or draw, or to get up in front of people and tell a dirty joke or the biggest lie you can think of. Also, and I say this as a naturally shy asthmatic geek, entertaining those around does wonders for your social life. Producing art is the best way to connect with the world around you.

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courtesy of Ernesto Moncada
Los Subtitulos
I'm most productive when . . . I'm the busiest. Maybe I'm guilty of that Mexican cliche about procrastinating until the last minute, you might blame it on my graphic design background, but I definitely work better and faster with specific deadlines than with open-ended projects. And because I work two jobs, one full and one part time, I've trained myself to feel inspired anytime and anywhere I might have time to develop an idea. This way, a long train commute, waiting for an appointment or being stranded somewhere become priceless chances to learn some lines, to edit a script or to sketch a scene or wardrobe possibilities. I do like the fact that there is no room for boredom in my schedule.



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