Can creativity really help us heal the pain and struggles we go through? Today's guest, Deborah Louise Ortiz would answer that question with a resounding "Yes!"
And not just one creative outlet, mind you. This multi-talented woman is a dancer, actor, writer, producer and director!
Raised in the Bronx, Deborah had her share of tough times, but found release through the arts. Starting with dance, she joined a dance company called New York Guys & Dolls in the 70's.
Then, she was drawn into the world of acting, joining the Latino theatre group, Vaso de Leche.
From that group, Deborah was inspired to try her hand at writing and penned her first play called "Dirty Laundry". Soon after, she wrote and starred in her one woman play, "Changing Violet".
She also started her own production company called Dangerous Curves Productions.
Deborah spent 10 years with the New York Dinner Theatre Company, performing all over the tri-state area.
Upon moving to Florida, she started up Standing Ovation Dinner Theatre (where I met her), producing shows like "The Godfather's Messhuggener Wedding", "Let's Kill The Boss", "Zeus' Big Surprise" and "Homecoming at Transylvania High".
The next part of Deborah's journey took an expected turn. And she became a documentary filmmaker. Her husband was a retired NY police officer suffering from PTSD. It was affecting their relationship and their family. So, what does Deborah do? She creates the award-winning documentary, Code 9 : Officer Needs Assistance. This labor of love not only helped her, her husband and family heal, but has become a movement and community for officers and first responders suffering from this mental injury.
Without skipping a beat, Deborah directed the short film, SIlver Alert.
And is now co-writing (with her son, Frank) a script called "The Ortiz Sisters" loosely based on her and her sisters.
I have known Deborah for 10 years now and she has become a mentor to me in my creative growth which I am so grateful for.
I am so excited for you to enjoy my conversation with Deborah Louise Ortiz.