Regardless of what part of the world you come from, you own something that you may not even realized you had. What is it? Land? Money? Oil? None of the above.
You are the proud owner of a unique and unfiltered FEELING.
Call it Hialeah, Montreal, Budapest, Cairo, whatever! Our interpretation of what "home" may be is a very personal and one of a kind idea that surfaces when emotional triggers, of even the vaguest similarities to sweet memories, are pulled.
I spent nearly a month in Thailand a few years ago. I can tell you all about the beautiful temples, landscapes and spicy food. What I can't tell you however, is what a Thai abuela says to her nieto when she's pissed. I can't tell you what un desayuno looks like on a Sunday morning, or if Sunday mornings are special at all. I can't tell you how it feels to celebrate a major holiday or have a random conversation with a stranger on the street. I don't own anything in Thailand except incredible pictures and brief exciting moments in time.
I do, however, own a piece of Hialeah.
Let me be clear. When I say that I own a piece of "Hialeah," I don't literally mean HIALEAH. I'm talking about the ownership of a FEELING that only belongs to Cubans. The idea of naming our show after a city that has a corky reputation in Miami, was meant to encapsulate the indescribable FEELING of what it's like being a Cuban American using one badass word created by Native Americans that translates to "Pretty Prairie." The word's uniqueness is matched only by its history and rich culture, and when mentioned amongst Cubans our ears shoot up like a pack of dogs hearing a dog whistle. We just get it. We know what it is, and what it means.
Do I, along with Cubans from Florida, laugh when I hear the word "Hialeah"? Sure, but not because it's a joke. I laugh because it fills me with joy. I can be anywhere in the world and if I hear the "H-word" murmured in a whisper, BAM! That's it, the trigger is pulled. My heart skips a beat and for a split second in time I can smell the air, taste the food and hear the sounds from home. It's kind of like when Morpheus plugs Neo into The Matrix for the first time, minus the green portal made of computer code.
I can hear the shuffle of my abuelo's chancleta shaving the cold dated tile as he returns to ask me, once again, if my tostada has enough butter on it. It's just a FEELING.
Now that you've seen our 1st season hopefully you understand why the essence of our show is not about staging slapstick occurrences in a city known for them, but instead to try and describe a very special FEELING that cannot be described, but only experienced.
Of course there are other cities in South Florida that have just as strong of a Cuban presence, but not many would argue that H-Town has a special sauce that puts it in its own category, and we plan to include more of those homages in coming seasons.
While piecing these 6 episodes together from all angles (writing, directing and editing), I tried to include subtle and consistent details that would help the audience relate to this feeling in the most authentic ways possible.
POR EJEMPLO (EXAMPLES):
The chilling music from the "Afilador truck" (a mobile knife sharpening vendor) approaching the neighborhood, the high-pitched dogs barking in the distance, or hint of wind-chimes in Mari's backyard, the paper plates and plastic cups at the nice dinner table, abuelo listening to the ball game on a static-y radio, the Sacred Heart of Jesus picture that stares at you wherever you stand, the use of words like "tareco" or "chichón, Raúl wearing socks with sandals, etc etc etc.
So you see, it's more than just a city...
And I believe it's why we have found an audience with this show, because you don't have to be from Hialeah to understand what it means. If you come from a Cuban family you as well own that indescribable FEELING. Our mission with this show is not only to pull the emotional triggers that will bring you joy, but to also make this feeling somewhat tangible to the Kay Greenberg's of the world so that we may share our love, passion and culture with those who desire to understand it as well.