Fierce

POV: You’re a Latina Working in Media at Your First International Work Trip

I remember watching a movie as a kid where the protagonist (a white woman) worked in PR and traveled between LA and New York for work and thinking, “that must be the most glamorous job I’ve ever heard of.”

As an immigrant brown girl, I had no idea what the professional workforce in America was like, let alone the breadth of roles that one could aspire to. All I knew were the “safe” career paths like doctors and lawyers. 

Fast forward 20 years, I’m working in media for my dream company — mitú, a place where I can combine my cultura and my love for entertainment and occasionally, get to travel across the globe for really, really cool opportunities.

For example, last week I was sent to London for the world premiere of “Avatar: The Way of Water” and I feel like it may have changed the trajectory of my life.

The first Avatar film came out when I was 17 years old and I vividly remember being captivated by the graphics. There was nothing else like it at the time, and I was convinced that Pandora was real and that we had just been transported to another planet. Fast forward again and 13 years later we’re back in Pandora. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed it. All I knew was that it felt like I never left.

Being able to have been a part of the World Premiere of “Avatar: The Way of Water” was life changing. I, along with other press outlets, were taken to a private screening of the film the day before we were scheduled to interview the cast and crew of the film. I enjoyed the film so much that by the end of it I was asking my peers if it really had been over three hours long as it did not feel like it at all.

The day after watching the film, we were scheduled to interview the very people who helped bring the film to life. Director James Cameron, Producer Jon Landau, Zoe Saldaña, Sam Worthington, Kate Winslet, and Sigourney Weaver were among the most well known. To say that I was nervous is an understatement. While I had done one junket style interview in the past, I had never had the full rotation experience where I would get access to every single person for a few minutes. In order to prepare myself for this task, I had to do some research on each individual person and tailor some of my questions to them.

I think this is my favorite part of these opportunities — getting to know details about the people I’m interviewing and then chatting with them about it later. Sometimes you find out some fascinating things (like when I learned Mabel Cadena learned English and Maya simultaneously after getting cast in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and getting to combine my world with theirs is such a unique experience. Given that we were the only Latino outlet invited to the junket, I knew that it was going to be extra special.

Two days after the press junket, we were on the red (or in this case, blue) carpet for the world premiere in Leicester Square, right in the heart of central London.

We got to speak to some of the cast again and shared their excitement for the premiere of the film. After the screening of the film, we made our way to the Natural History Museum for the after party (yes, there are parties after events like these!). There was even a photo op where guests could take pictures of themselves “in Pandora.”

Overall, I’ve never experienced anything like this trip before. Younger Jess was onto something when she realized that she wanted to do something in PR or media and entertainment because now that I’m here, I realize that I have never been more sure about anything else. None of this would have been possible without Disney inviting us to join them for such a special opportunity, the support of my team and every single person who helped me along the way. 

James Cameron has done it again with “Avatar: The Way of Water,” and this time the film series has become a bridge between my childhood and my future. 

“Avatar: The Way of Water” premieres today, December 16, so get your tickets and make sure you watch it in 3D!

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