Smithsonian Folklife Festival Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Stories of the American Experience

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival will host a series of programs exploring American identity and creativity. “Circus Arts” will take visitors behind the scenes to explore the cultural and artistic expressions of the ever-evolving circus, and “On the Move” will examine migration and cultural identity from an intergenerational perspective.

Read full press release HERE.

I am honored to be apart of the On the Move advisory council, which is compiled of people from local migrant, immigrant, and diasporic communities who will participate in conversations on the intersections of migration, youth, and culture. See the full committee members listed below.

  • Quique Avilés, artistic director, Paso Nuevo Youth Program, GALA Hispanic Theatre
  • Christylez Bacon, multi-instrumentalist, artist; producer, Washington Sound Museum
  • Carline Brice, president, HavServ
  • Camila Bryce-LaPorte, Mustard Seed Ministry
  • Lubna Ejaz, vice chair, board of trustees, Muslim Community Center
  • Julia García, executive council, Comité Pro-Bolivia
  • Kumera Genet, musician; Líderes program manager, National Council of La Raza
  • Ted Gong, director, 1882 Project/Foundation
  • Theo Gonzalves, associate professor, American Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Perla M. Guerrero, assistant professor, American Studies and US Latina/o Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Noelle Terefe Haile, talent manager, Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc.; research and evaluation specialist, Center for Education Equity
  • Lilia Knight, Panamanian community organizer
  • Hollis Flash Lashley, Trinidadian-Tobagan musician, artist, educator
  • John Leguizamo, actor, producer, writer
  • Ed Liebow, executive director, American Anthropological Association
  • Suzanne Matthews, president, Caribbean-American Intercultural Organization
  • Phyllis May-Machunda, professor, American Multicultural Studies, Minnesota State University
  • Rebecca Medrano, director, Gala Hispanic Theatre
  • Natalie Michel, youth coordinator, HavServ
  • Michael Morris, student; youth advisor
  • Brenda V. Pérez Amador, board member, Many Languages, One Voice
  • Mark Puryear, curator, ethnomusicologist, musician
  • Usman Sarwar, president, board of directors, Muslim Community Center
  • Joseph Sciorra, director, Academic and Cultural Programs, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College
  • Andy Shallal, artist; founder, Busboys and Poets
  • Alissa Stern, founding director, BASAbali; On the Move curatorial advisor
  • Sebi Medina Tayac, filmmaker; organizer, Rising Hearts & People's Climate Movement
  • Doreen Thompson, president, National Caribbean-American Food and Foodways Alliance
  • Amelia Tseng, scholar-in-residence, School of Education, American University
  • Leslie Walker, project manager, Public Education Initiatives, American Anthropological Association

LIC Reading Series: John Leguizamo, Mira Jacob, Tracy O'Neill

On Tuesday, March 8th, LIC Reading Series is proud to present John Leguizamo, Mira Jacob, and Tracy O'Neill. This is an off-site event, located in the carriage house of the LIC Bar, 45-58 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11101

Due to limited seating, we invite you to guarantee your spot at the reading by pre-purchasing one or more of the author's books (1 book = 1 seat).  A book purchased for guaranteed entry to this event will be available for pick up at LIC Bar on March 8th, starting at 7pm. 

Please select the Store Pickup option at check out and write "LIC Reading Series" in the Comments section of your order.  Plan to arrive at LIC Bar by 7:30pm to pick up your book & your wristband. After 7:45pm, we'll move to any waitlist. 

Books not picked up at the event will be available for pick up at Astoria Bookshop starting March 9th, 2016. If you are unable to attend but would like a signed copy, please indicate that in the comments field and we will be happy to oblige.

John Leguizamo brings his graphic-novel Ghetto Klown to Miami Book Fair

The Working Poet Radio Show: Bringing Books to Life 

Saturday, November 21 @ 5:30 pm - FREE

(Corner of NE 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue)

The Working Poet Radio Show (WPRS) is a podcast and interview series dedicated to the working lives of creative people. Inspired by late-night talk shows, Joseph Lapin — journalist, author and host of WPRS — explores the poetry that powers the creative impulse. Join Lapin and his guests: comics author Derf Backderf, Abrams ComicArts editorial director Charles Kochman, and actor/author John Leguizamo. With live music from DJ Lolo.

American Lives: Two Memoirs

Sunday, November 22 @ 6:30 pm - FREE - (ticket required)

Sponsored by República.

Actress and choreographer Rosie Perez's memoir Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata, My Crazy Mother Still Came Out Smiling with Great Hair! recounts her rise to success from the streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in a Catholic children’s home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s. In his hilarious and touching graphic memoir, Ghetto KlownColombian–American actor, producer, comedian, playwright and screenwriter John Leguizamo  depicts his early years in blue-collar Queens, his salvation through acting and writing, working with stars such as Al Pacino and Patrick Swayze and directors such as Baz Luhrmann and Brian De Palma, his offstage life in love and marriage, and his journey of moving beyond Self-doubt–and beyond the doubters–to claim some happiness.

Visit for full details and for a complete listing of events.

John Leguizamo in Conversation

John Leguizamo in Conversation will be presented Nov. 13 at 8 PM in the Kaufmann Concert Hall. The award-winning comedic actor will discuss "his early years in blue-collar Queens, his offstage life in love and marriage, his salvation through acting and writing and his colorful career trajectory." Leguizamo is also the author of a new graphic novel, "Ghetto Klown," an adaptation of his Broadway play and HBO special.



Underdogs and American Ultra -- Two Upcoming Film Premieres

Hey John Leguizamo fans!! John has two film premiering this coming August 2015! Make sure you check 'em out!!

Underdogs: The story of a reluctant hero whose town is threatened when his long-time rival returns home to avenge an old grudge. When the players from his foosball table are magically brought to life, he recruits them to help him enter into the biggest underdog match ever, save the town and win back the love of his life.  In theaters August 14, 2015

American Ultra is an upcoming action comedy film directy by Nima Nourizadeh and written by Max LandisThe films stars Jesse EisenbergKristen StewartConnie BrittonTopher GraceJohn LeguizamoMonique GandertonBill PullmanWalton Goggins. In theaters August 21, 2015



Tribeca Film Festival Announces 2015 Competition Slate

Gordon Cox Legit Editor @GCoxVariety

The Tribeca Film Festival has announced half of its 2015 slate of 97 feature films, setting a lineup that includes the world premiere of features including James Franco starrer “The Adderall Diaries,” Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson drama “Meadowland,” Richard Gere topliner “Franny” and “In My Father’s House,” a documentary about Che “Rhymefest” Smith, who recently won an Oscar for co-writing the song “Glory” from “Selma.”

Meadowland,” the directorial debut of DP Reed Moran (“Frozen River,” “The Skeleton Twins”), follows an unraveling relationship with a cast that includes Wilde, Wilson, John Leguizamo, Elisabeth Moss and Giovanni Ribisi and Merritt Wever. Andrew Renzi’s “Franny” stars Gere as an eccentric who gloms on to the daughter (Dakota Fanning) of a deceased friend and her new husband (Theo James).

Read full article here





John Leguizamo Hosts AARP The Magazine Annual Movies for Grownups Gala -- February 2nd

           Top honors go to Julianne Moore as “Best Actress” for her heartbreaking portrayal of a woman’s battle with early onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, and to Steve Carell as “Best Actor” for his chilling depiction as wannabe wrestling coach John E. du Pont in Foxcatcher. Rene Russo snags “Best Supporting Actress”for her comeback role in Nightcrawler; and J.K. Simmons earns the title of “Best Supporting Actor” for his menacing veracity in Whiplash. Additionally, Kevin Costner will also be presented with the esteemedMovies for Grownups® Career Achievement Award. This year’s award recipients will be celebrated at AARP’s Annual Movies for Grownups Gala, to be held in Los Angeles on February 2nd and hosted by comedian and actor John Leguizamo.

       “The films represented on this year’s list are a reflection of Hollywood’s increased focus on creating compelling storylines that directly appeal to the 50+ audience,” said Bob Love, Editor-in-Chief of AARP The Magazine. “We’re thrilled to see the continued growth in the number of large, studio-driven films that focus on this important demographic and are extremely excited to recognize this year’s best writers, directors, and actors over 50 for their inspirational and exceptional work at our annual awards gala.”

The 14th Annual Movies for Grownups® Award winners are:

  • Career Achievement: Kevin Costner
  • Best Picture: The Theory of Everything
  • Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
  • Best Actor: Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
  • Best Supporting Actress: Rene Russo, Nightcrawler
  • Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
  • Best Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • Best Screenwriter: Nick Hornby and Cheryl Strayed, Wild
  • Best Grownup Love Story: Love is Strange
  • Best Comedy: Chef
  • Best Documentary: Keep on Keepin’ On
  • Breakthrough Achievement: Israel Horovitz, Director, My Old Lady
  • Best Intergenerational Film: St. Vincent
  • Best Buddy Picture: Land Ho!
  • Best Time Capsule: Big Eyes
  • Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up: The Lego Movie
  • Best Foreign Film: Diplomacy

The awards gala will raise funds for the AARP Foundation, AARP’s affiliated charity, which works in communities across the nation to help struggling older adults  meet their basic need for nutritious food, safe and affordable housing, adequate income and much-needed personal connections. With support from Chase Credit Card Services, this year’s Gala will also support the Foundation’s work to end older adult hunger. 

For more information about AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards, go online to and The entire list of award winners will also be featured in the February/March issue of AARP The Magazine, available in homes February 1st.


CHANGING THE GAME: How John Leguizamo Continues to Take Risks and Reinvent Himself

"Changing the Game" a series featuring prominent Latino changemakers and their stories of success, innovation, and vision.

John Leguizamo says he is "not comfortable being comfortable."

When the multifaceted Latino star takes the stage, many people think of him as a self-deprecating, unrestrained, bilingual and brutally honest comedic rebel who has mastered the art of the one-man show. In the process, however, he has diversified his own art and has shattered stereotypes in the process. In the end, he has essentially created his own genre and carved his own niche.

"I definitely try to create my own path and I have always taken huge risks and I think that's the difference," Leguizamo told Latin Post in an exclusive interview. "I am not afraid of taking risks. I really enjoy them and I think it's really paid off in my life." 

Read the full article here

John Leguizamo Lands Lead In CBS Comedy Pilot ‘Taxi-22'

The Huffington Post  |  By Carolina Moreno

John Leguizamo has been cast as the lead in “Taxi-22,” a TV project actor James Gandolfini had been developing for over three years before his death in 2013.

Deadline first reported the casting news on Wednesday, adding that Gandolfini’s “passion project” had been looking for a lead actor for over a year.

Two weeks before ‘The Sopranos” star’s death in June 2013, CBS signed on to produce the comedy. The "Taxi-22" pilot will be an adaptation of the French-Canadian series created by Patrick Huard, who also starred in the show as the opinionated Montreal taxi driver.

Read the full article here


Expected guests include: Tim Daly (Emmy-Nominated Actor, “Madam Secretary,” “The Sopranos”), David Arquette (Actor, Scream, Never Been Kissed), John Leguizamo (Chef, Moulin Rouge!), R.J. Mitte (Actor, “Breaking Bad”),  Randall Emmett (Producer, Lone Survivor, End of Watch), and others.

On Saturday January 24th, Hollywood’s elite and the teachers who made a difference in their lives at this intimate luncheon on Saturday afternoon, January 24, 2015 during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. 

About the Teachers Making a Difference Luncheon:  The Teachers Making a Difference Luncheon, established in 2008, pays homage to the unsung heroes of education who make a lasting impression on generations of students.  Every year, The Creative Coalition reunites notable actors with the teacher who made a powerful impact on their lives. This event has a reputation for being the most meaningful event at the Sundance Film Festival, often bringing the audience to tears during this reunion program. Past participants include actors Adrian Grenier, Alan Alda, Alfre Woodard, Steve Buscemi, Tim Daly, Jeremy Piven, Dana Delany, Joe Pantoliano, Nick Cannon, Wilmer Valderrama, Rob Morrow, Evan Handler, and Richard Kind, among others.


John Leguizamo discusses developing "Latin History for Dummies" in comedy clubs rather than theaters

By Craig D. Lindsey

Surprisingly, the comedy club is a new environment for John Leguizamo. He used to test his material at performing-arts spaces before presenting it on a Broadway or Off-Broadway stage, but now, he is workshopping his latest one-man show, "Latin History for Dummies," in comedy clubs across the country. The monthslong process brings him to Goodnights in Raleigh on Jan. 15.

"I never really did the comedy circuit," says Leguizamo, on the phone from Manhattan (or "Manny Hatty," as he's been known to call it). "But I thought that this show would be so cool in a comedy club, and I've been having a blast."

Read the full article here


Sexaholix ... A Love Story & Freak NOW available on SoundCloud

You can now listen to Sexaholix ... A Love Story and Freak on Soundcloud.

Freak opened on Broadway on February 12, 1998 and originally aired on HBO on October 10, 1998. This is his autobiographical story, about his life growing up, and his journey to try to be accepted by his father. We see this story through a bizarre myriad of characters and situations, which include the eccentric Uncle Sandy, the Fat Boy Called Bitch (John's little brother, Poochie), his mom, his evil grandmothers, and Lee Strasberg, not to mention a brief appearance by Cantinflas as God.

Listen to Freak on SoundCloud NOW

Sexaholix ... A Love Story opened on Broadway on November 4, 2001 and originally aired on HBO on April 13, 2002. Sexaholix ... A Love Story is an affectionate tale of the comic's path to maturation and the women who helped get him there. Leguizamo digs into his past love life to mine a rich vein of material. Nothing is held back in this hilarious comedy.

Listen to Sexaholix ... A Love Story on SoundCloud NOW

Sundance Film Festival announces 2015 Line-up

Feature premieres include Experimenter (Director and screenwriter: Michael Almereyda) --Based on the true story of social psychologist Stanley Milgram, who in 1961 conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans’ willingness to obey authority by using electric shock. We follow Milgram from meeting his wife through his controversial experiments that sparked public outcry. Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, Kellan Lutz, Taryn Manning, John Leguizamo.

Read more

John Leguizamo Helps Promote the Importance of Reading, Writing & the Creative Arts with a Donation to The Boys & Girls Clubs of New York City


{New York City, NY Dec 9, 2014} – Emmy Award winner, John Leguizamo, is giving back to the community with a donation of 300 copies his autobiography and stage works to The Boys & Girls Clubs in New York City.

Growing up in Jackson Heights, John Leguizamo knows the importance of creativity, finding your own voice and mentors. He appreciates the work that The Boys & Girls Clubs of America do for the city of New York and wanted to help where he could. With these book donations, Mr. Leguizamo hopes kid’s can relate to his story and hopes they will be able to find their own creative voice and creative outlet.

“I wanna show kids, that I came from where they came from and everything was against me and it was because of mentors and because I was able to somehow find the dream somehow and believe long enough to put me in a place where somebody could help me. I couldn’t have done it by myself. You need somebody to come in and tell you your worth something. I that’s what I want to give…” - John Leguizamo

“Oh WOW, that’s great! Our kids know him from his movies, but this will be great for them to read his story, to know where he came from and to relate to his struggles. Thank you, John Leguizamo!” - Ashanti (Harlem)

“Amazing & just in time for the holidays!! The kid’s will love them!” – Gina (Bronx)

Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends: My Life - Come along on a wild journey with John Leguizamo, from his childhood in Queens to his current home at the top of the Hollywood pyramid. Leguizamo shares the stories behind his many roles—what inspired them and what transpired as he created them—while dishing on his personal relationships with his family, friends, and celebrity colleagues. Here is both an intimate self-portrait and a unique behind-the-scenes look at the magic and chaos of stardom, a keenly intelligent and insanely funny book that celebrates a remarkably talented artist's greatest achievement: growing up Latino in America and succeeding on his own terms.

The Works of John Leguizamo: Freak, Spic-o-rama, Mambo Mouth, and Sexaholix - Mambo Mouth (1991) Leguizamo's portrayal of seven different Latino characters earned him both Obie and Outer Critics Circle awards. His follow up, Spic–O–Rama (1993) four time Cable Ace Award winner; including Writing of an Entertainment Special; Drama Desk Award. Freak (1998) Leguizamo's Broadway debut; nominated for two Tony Awards and Emmy winner. Sexaholix: A Love Story (2001) based on the sold–out national tour of John Leguizamo Live! winner of NAMIC Vision Award and was nominated for an Emmy, Outer Critics Circle Award as well as a Tony Award.

Both books can be purchased here,

For questions or more information please contact Ariadne (Ari) Pineda


EXCLUSIVE: Leguizamo talks 'Fugly!,' Pablo Escobar project & 'Latin History for Dummies'

John Leguizamo returns to theaters with Fugly!, a love story told the only way he knows how—with emotion, grit, and humor. Here, the Colombian American comic genius talks about Fugly!, his current one-man show, Latin History for Dummies and his imperfect perfect Afro from back in the day.

Fugly premieres in Miami this Friday, Nov. 28 at AMC Sunset Place and is currently available on VOD on these platforms: iTunes, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, Dish, Vubiquity, iN Demand and Vimeo on Demand.