Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sandra Duque, CEO & President of La Negrita Productions, LLC

We are at the top of the hour and problems are still disguised as opportunities in work clothes.

I recently had an opportunity to meet a very ambitious and compassionate entrepreneur named Sandra Duque. Since we met a few weeks back, I recently had an opportunity to see her in action. Sandra was "grace under fire" at a recent event where she and her team were filming a presentation in a very fast paced environment. Despite many challenges she had to overcome, Sandra still focuses her energy on helping and educating other people to overcome their challenges.

Thank you Sandra for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us today in the studio.

What is the name of your company and what products or services does it provide?
La Negrita Productions, LLC offers information and educational material to the Spanish speaking minority. Through the use of its production facilities it creates commercials, films, television programs, and documentaries to enrich and better educate Spanish speaking immigrants. Its main focus is communities without a voice, specially women and immigrants who do not speak English.

It aims to collaborate with large organizations such as the government, health care providers and anyone who can benefit from enriching and improving the standard of living for this rapid growing community. La Negrita Productions, LLC aspires to create integration between the Spanish speaking minority and mainstream.

La Negrita Productions, LLC believes that by incorporating knowledge, education and an understanding between the two worlds, English and Spanish, barriers will be broken. If you want to find out more about La Negrita Productions please visit http://www.lanegritaproductions.com/ or contact me at lanegritaproductions@yahoo.com

What role do you play in your organization?
I am the Chief Executive Officer and President. It is a startup company which means I wear all of the hats. I am presently working on several peaces which I've written. The first is a short entitle "Shattered Dream". Its message is: support the AgJob and Dream Act bills and help stop violence and exploitation against immigrant laborers. The second is entitled "Americanized Latino". It's an episodic made for television. It is a show about the history of Latinos in the United States. Both are meant to educate Latino immigrants and mainstream. In the future I hope to be able to produce other writers work.

As a successful person, how did you get started?
I founded my company in 2002 as a means to produce an umbrella for my passion. ‘Dear Abigail’ a 16 minute satire, marked the debut for La Negrita Productions, LLC. It paints a farcical picture of what a sexually driven strict Catholic Latina woman would become if she had to sacrifice her sexuality to pursue her fame and stay true to her faith. I Soon realized that I had much more to say about my own experiences as a migrant from Colombia and as a Latina woman growing up in the United States.

How did you learn what it takes to succeed?
There is this song by Eminem that I love "Lose Yourself". Two lines from it have stuck with me when ever I think of throwing in the towel. The first being "I've been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage" and "success is my only mothafucking option, failures not". My art has always been a do or die situation, it's like deciding to become a nun. You don't think you have the calling, you know. I would have to say I'm always learning and I don't think I ever will stop. Life always finds ways of teaching me a new lesson :)

What personal/family activities do you enjoy?
I love spending time with family and friends. They are invaluable. My childhood wasn't a positive experience. For a very long time I resented my mother for the decision she made when I was a little girl. I now realize the sacrifice she made and I love her for it. I try and always set time aside for people I love. Regarding my personal life, my work is my life, it's my passion. I can't imagine being anything else but what I am, a story teller.

What experiences in your life have helped you expand who you are as a person?
Growing up I had a lot of rage inside. I was angry at the world, God and life, because I had such a terrible childhood and because we were so poor. College and for the most part my early 20's was a time of self-destruction. Then I found acting. Acting, saved my life. It introduced me to understanding people and who they are. I've had to learn to forgive the people who hurt me in the past but most importantly to forgive myself and the abuse I gave my body. I love who I am today and what I want to do. I love my family and friends. I'm grateful for having them in my life. I'm grateful for my drive and ability to stick to my guns and follow this passion no matter how broke I am.

What are your concerns about the world today?
I’m very sad about the whole situation. I'm sad that there is such a thing as war, destruction, abuse, neglect, racism, starvation, homelessness, abandonment, lack of respect. My biggest concerns are the children who sometimes have to experience and be witness to all these things. I think for the most part it's us. We do it to ourselves because we are ignorant, egotistical and self centered. I say "we" because I know I fall under that category too.

If you had all the time and all the money you needed, what types of things would you do? Consider money as no object.
The money is out there and I give myself the time. I like limitations and not having things at my disposal because it makes me think. Barriers are gifts for those of us who want to break them. Money is never yours to have. I've had $1,000 dollars in my hand and then I have to pay rent and it's gone. Money, it's not yours to have, it is an ends to a means. Time will always keep going, it doesn't stop for you or me. Live today this moment, that's what is important.

Are there any tips or advice you would like to offer people?
Don't accept others insecurities and limitations. There will always be someone who will tell you "no, it's not possible" Look for the people who will say "Yes, it's possible" when you find them make them your friends for life. I always think of these types of people as my belts of armor, my infantry. Remember to give to these people as much, if not more than what they are able to offer you.

Are people more interesting than product stories?
Yes! I love people. I love their habits, struggles, little ticks. I have to say sometimes they drive me mad with frustration and then I remember it’s an experience. Life is an experience. I love to hear success stories, specially ones with a lot of tragedy and drama. I guess it's the story teller inside of me.

What are your goals and aspirations for the future?
I want to fund and produce "Shattered Dream". I want to take it to all the Spanish speaking neighborhoods in the United States and shake congress with it. I want to see "Americanized Latino" on English and Spanish television. I want Latinos to realize that their history doesn't start or stop in the United States. I want my company to grow, have a home and support itself. I want to have the ability to help other people succeed and tell their stories.

What obstacles do you have to overcome to achieve your goals?
The biggest obstacle is my mind. Once I conquer that I know the skies the limit.

Which people have been role models to you?
Women, my mother specially. After the death of my father, when I was about four years old, my mother was faced with extreme poverty and starvation. She had to make the heart wrenching decision to separate from her two daughters and immigrate to the United States. I can't imagine how hard that must have been for her.

What are your favorite books, computer programs, or forms of entertainment?
I love books that heal and educate the mind, spirit and body. Currently I'm reading two books "Healing the Shame That Binds You" by John Bradshaw and "El Monje Que Vendio Su Ferrari" by Robin S. Sharma. I also love movies and theater. If you want to get me away from my desk just say "hey, I have tickets, do you want to check out?"

What is it that you are most passionate about or gives you the greatest enjoyment in life?
I am most passionate about healing myself and growing as a human being and spirit. I believe I was born into this world to grow and experience living and that's exactly what I'm doing.

If you want to find out more about La Negrita Productions pleas visit
www.lanegritaproductions.com or contact me at lanegritaproductions@yahoo.com


Kim said...

It's amazing what mothers have to do and you are right I even can't imagine what your mother could of felt like having to leave her daughters behind. One I have learn that are past doesn't define us, if we grow and take the best parts and forgive the rest we become a much greater person for it. You can't change your past only learn from it and Sandra is one amazing young lady. I really truly enjoyed her interview.Sandra is so right, the hardest thing to overcome and work on is what your mind is doing or saying. Reading all good uplifting books and having a wonderful family around. I can't wait to see her company grow to become whatever her dreams are for it.Go For It Sandra you got what it takes for success!

Anonymous said...

I met Sandy when we were in 2nd grade when she first came to this country. She is a wonderful person and always has been. I never knew she had so much rage in her heart in her younger years. Nor did I realize how much her mother went through. She has a great mother and sister. I always envied her family and had no idea how much they all suffered, they never showed any signs of anger or complaining. I am so proud of Sandy and I know she will achieve anything she sets out to do. I cannot wait to watch her company grow and for her message to spread to all people.