Our Story

Hello, my name is Camilla, and for the last five years I have been a TV and film writer and producer. I’ve written for shows on Disney Channel, Netflix, and Amazon/TruTV. Before that I was a teacher and a tutor, and before that, an actor. I have lived many lives.

If you had asked me a few months ago how I achieved a highly competitive series of jobs in Hollywood, I would have answered because of good work, hard work, tenacity, and probably told you some I Love Lucy-esque anecdote that implied how I can go to hilarious extremes to get a job done. This is all true. But I was missing one key answer, which feels icky to admit, and ranked as one of the most hated words of 2020, but it’s the undeniable truth: Privilege. A lot of where I am now is because of privilege.

I was born into privilege, I grew up with privilege, and I am surrounded by privilege. I was raised by my loving mom, my nanny (a second mom to me), and an entire village of family and Filipino doctors (my mom’s friends). I went to fancy schools, attended a fancy college, and never worried about where my next meal was coming from. I had numerous teachers and peers tell me they believed in me and that “I had so much potential.” If I didn’t know something or was intimidated by a new process, there were several people I could ask and plenty of resources available to me. I was also afforded the funds and opportunity to take a class. I always had someone who could proofread my work, as well as someone to call for career advice. I have never been homeless; in fact, I have been fortunate enough to always live in spaces that were rather conducive to the creative process. I’ve had moments where I struggled to make rent and had to call my mom with my tail between my legs, but that’s all it was — momentary shame. Did I mention I am fair-skinned and healthy? I’m not bragging. I’m saying that when God rolled the dice on my life, it was a good roll.

I make a meal out of my privilege because I am confronted with it. Every. Single. Day. During the pandemic, I started The Difference Legacy — a mentorship program for college-age kids who wanted to get into the entertainment industry. It was a nine-week program with classes and individual coaching. My plan was to give out one scholarship a session to someone in the foster system. This was supposed to be a for-profit business with scholarships, another source of income for me, and a small chance to make a difference. Hence, The Difference Legacy. But, like the events of 2020, things took a turn. I found myself building relationships with wonderful people from other nonprofits — Raise a Child, Extraordinary Families, and Arts for Healing and Justice. I found out there were former foster youth and formerly incarcerated youth who were really interested in the program and really needed a program like this. And I wanted to start a program like this. Something in me needed to make this happen.

Because the program is so intensive and I coach the mentees daily for several months, I only had the capacity to take on three young adults for our first session. The other applicants went on a waitlist for the next session.

My three current mentees are two former foster youth and one formerly incarcerated youth. They are actors and entertainers. They have gone through, and are still going through, unimaginably brutal and unfair experiences that no human should have to endure. Their lives are now harder because of the situation they were born into or the mistakes they made as a minor. They have exactly zero of the privileges I spoke of above, yet they continue to show up. They do the work (honestly, they do ten-times the work) because a lot of the skills that it takes to be in the entertainment business they were never taught, and the resources needed, they don’t have. But I guess that is why I am doing this program. I am finding them the resources and showing them the skills that it takes to be competitive in this cut-throat industry. I will introduce them to everyone I know and anyone in the business who wants to be involved. I’ve only been doing this for a little over a month, and I’ve had the privilege of seeing GREATNESS in each of these mentees. I’m seeing them see themselves differently, value themselves and their time more, and make steps toward the life they want. It is an honor watching this transformation. This is the work of my life.

I have a year to get these mentees in shape for Hollywood. We are hardcore training with acting coaches for three months – classes, coaching, and rehearsals every week. Our practical goal is to get their headshots taken and make a reel of some dynamite scenes they choose. We blast agents and managers with their reels, headshots, and stories to get the mentees out there. Then we go into six months of scene/audition work and networking. The mentees are introduced to a new industry professional every two weeks who they can build relationships with and can look at their work. This six-month period serves as an introduction to the industry. We wrap up with a guided and less intensive three months where I am lightly holding their hand as they start their journey. We can run mock interviews, practice the work, self-submit, and hopefully start auditioning with reps.

This is a purely practical mentorship, geared at getting these mentees INTO the business. Everything we do is with the purpose of getting our youth working. But it is so much bigger than that. If you sat in on our classes, you would see that. You could feel that. EVERYONE deserves a shot at making their dream a reality. That is what this program is.

We are tearing down the barriers to access. We are building dreams. We are inserting some very compelling voices into this industry. We are lifting each other up and reminding each other that anything is possible.

This is so much bigger than me and I need your help. The mentees need your help. Please head to our donation page if you would like to get involved with building these dreams. And if you would like to work with us, please contact us below.

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The Founder

Hi, I am Camilla. Here is some info about me and my career trajectory…