So from March to June of 2011, I helped a New York film producer, named Daniel Maldonado, on an up-coming feature film entitled H.O.M.E. The documentary film was based on a true story about a young adult with autism who ran away from home and lived in the New York City subway for 12 days because he desperately wanted to be independent.
The main character, named Danny in the film, was played by a famous Los Angeles actor named Jeremy Ray Valdez.
The filming occurred this past summer and took place mostly underground on the New York City subway. I got involved in this film when the director, Maldonado, learned that, just like the main character in the film, I am an 18-year-old with autism and I want to be independent. I started meeting the film producer in NYC in Manhattan and he got the chance to know me and what it was like to have autism. In order for him to learn more about what it is like living with autism, he and I emailed each other and talked to each other on the phone. We talked about my future and also a time when I tried to run away from my parents when I was a little boy.
I helped the director raise money to make the movie possible by writing and starring in an online commercial for his fundraising campaign on his website
In this commercial, I talked about my life with autism and about what I hope my future will be like. After that, I got the chance to meet Jeremy Valdez, the actor who portrays the main character. And I also got the opportunity to know him and how his entire life as a movie star started. I realized that Jeremy Ray Valdez originally used to be a guest-star on one of my favorite Nickelodeon TV shows Drake & Josh as one of the guitar players in Drake Parker’s band.
Anyway, Jeremy lives in Los Angeles, but traveled to New York to film the movie H.O.M.E. I spent the day with Valdez and Maldonado in Manhattan, to give them inspiration to best portray the character. During our day together, we rode the subways and we even went to the Coney Island Amusement Park.
I talked with them about what it felt like to ride the subways and what it felt like to have autism, so that way they could understand better what the character he was portraying was like. At the end of the day, Jeremy interviewed me for his V-log series.
Then a few days later, I got finally got the outstanding once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was then called to go back to New York City, and I got the chance to be in the film H.O.M.E. as an extra, playing the role of a lost tourist, along with my dad and brother. Then a year later, basically in the year 2012, I was invited to a party which was located at a club in NYC and it was hosted by the director Daniel Maldonado, and this party was also a sneak preview of what is most likely to happen in part 1 of the documentary film that was starring Jeremy Ray Valdez. So I went to the event and it was just me, my dad and sister that went to the party.
And now just recently, I have been invited to yet again of another event hosted by Daniel Maldonado and this time it is the real premiere of part 1 of HOME. The premiere of the documentary film is going to take place on February 28th, 2013. As I will be attending this event, I will finally see myself on the big screen in the documentary film.