We had the good fortune of connecting with Charles Mesa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charles, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
Whether we like it or not, our surroundings have a huge impact on who we are. I’ve been impacted greatly by the city of Los Angeles, even with time spent in rural Canada (my mother’s birthplace), I interacted with the outside world as someone from the City of Stars. Some people might expect that I’m not equipped for the more hands-on or grittier parts of life.
When I tell people I’m from here, most imagine LA as being a city of glitz and glam, but when I close my eyes and visualize my home town, I see the image of my father. A child of 6 who grew up in a 2-bedroom house in the San Fernando Valley. His father died of leukemia when he was a teen and from then on, he was the man of the house. His aunt Sally made him a deal: work as hard as you can, help take care of your family, and I will get you a camera. With hard work, dedication and a bit of luck, my father got a job on a TV pilot as a set photographer. A dream that wasn’t even in his mind had came to fruition, why? Some would say it’s hard work, some would say it’s dumb luck. It’s a little of both, but more importantly, it’s the fact that he couldn’t help but be anything else.
So when I think about Los Angeles, I do not see glitz, glamour, and success. I see the boy that walks the streets of K-Town at night, headphones in, with nothing but an unstoppable will and a need to tell stories, not a want, not a dream, but a need. That’s a hell of a city if it can instill those qualities in a person. The wonderful thing about Los Angeles, is no matter how big you get, you will always be a small fish. This isn’t a pond we’re swimming in, it’s an ocean. Only those that can keep their ego in check and keep swimming can make it from one end to the other, and rarely unscathed. That’s a beautiful challenge. That’s a life worth living, and I’m up for it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I know what I’ve wanted to do from the moment I spun my first lie. The way the words were twisted from mundane truth into a strange new reality made me feel powerful, in control of my destiny. Life could be anything, infinite possibilities, and I aimed to explore it’s depths. First, it started with drawing characters and writing, but eventually that wasn’t enough. I wanted to show people, so I started acting. There was a joy there, but no fulfillment. I was selfish in my endeavor and I wanted to tell my own stories.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I could only take my best friend to one place in Los Angeles, it would The Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd. There is no place in the world where you are going to get a line-up of comedians that talented, for that price. You’d be crazy not to visit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Over the course of my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by both moral and talented people. My mom and dad we’re my mentors by example. I am thankful that I am their child and got to see and learn from both their successes and mistakes. My brother, who was forced into the role of being the man of the house when he was young and taught me the power of responsibility and ownership. James Hong and Xavier Warrick who have been with me from the very beginning and who’ve taught me that working together, failing, helping each other up and trying again, will always be more fulfilling than being lonely at the top. Alexa Nunez–before her, I had a dream telling stories, now, I have a need. She is my unwavering support system, my only constant in a world of ebbs and flows. I would not be where I am or the man that I am today without her. Lastly, Alvaro J Barragan (Cinematographer), Faviola Rivas (Producer/AD), and Jordan Mantor (Wiz-Kid Extraordinaire) are all members of this coven and deserve all of the praise that comes their way. Together, we are unstoppable.