Jose came to New York to sing and dance. His first play was Zoot Suit at the San Diego Repertory Theater. “I played a pachuco in the Downey Gang. That show changed my life. I was 19.” When he moved to NYC to work on Broadway, he found himself auditioning for the same parts: the gang member, drug dealer, or queeny best friend. While working at Sephora in SoHo, the director of Elite Model Management thought he was funny and offered him a job. “Got a survival job and the rest is history,” he says.
Age: 32. My birthday is Dia de los Innocentes.
Place of Birth: San Diego, CA, but grew up in Chula Vista!
Parents: My Apa is from Tonala, Jalisco. My Ama was born and raised in Oakland (first generation) so I feel like 1 1/2 generation.
Occupation/Aspiration: Modeling agent.
When did you move to NYC?
Summer of 2003 to be on Broadway which I accomplished, but it was Broadway between Prince and Spring in SoHo.
Where do you live?
Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I live with my best friend from back home. We moved from Manhattan because we wanted more for our money and fell in love with the gayborhood.
Name a New York moment:
Every time that I go underground to take the train. You enter from one location and exit in a whole different land surrounded by the tallest buildings in the world and it takes your breath away…. You realize that you live in NYC and you fall in love all over again.
How do you keep it Mex in the City?
By surrounding myself with other Mexi’s and Latinos who understand my culture, I have a lot of brown people in my group.
What's your drink of choice?
Agua de Jamaica, but I almost never turn down a beer.
Name three songs on your mind right now:
Sade: “Soldier of Love”, Florence and the Machine: “Dog Days are Over” and anything by Jeff Buckley.
Tell us your favorite Mexican expression:
Zassss! And Tan-Tan!
What Mexican do you most admire and why?
It would have to be my dad. Came over to the states from Jalisco when he was younger than me and worked every crappy job out there, he picked fruit, cooked, cleaned, landscaping all before he had his papers. He taught me how to work hard.
Describe a fun or interesting fact about you.
I was a professional dancer before I fell into fashion. Ten years ago, I was part of the musical about Selena. It was called “Selena Forever” even thought it only lasted for a while.