Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 7, 2013.


A starving female artist decides to take her career into her own hands and becomes the leading MAN in a major TV network’s hit show!

We are raising funds to film 7 Becoming Ricardo episodes.  The scripts are written, the actors are cast, the crew is ready to roll - now all we need is the funds to get this project off the ground and onto your computer screens!  Below is more about the show, the cast, and the vision of Becoming Ricardo!

Money is always a challenge when creating quality work.  So we're turning to you, our contributors, for help.  We have written 8 episodes and  we have the talented cast and dedicated crew - now we just need the money.  All contributions will go directly into the project budget, which will pay for salary for the cast and crew, pre- and post-production expenses, catering, wardrobes, set design and rentals.  As a contributor, we promise that you will see your money WELL SPENT on a quality COMEDY project.  Our aim is to get MORE LATINOS ON TV AND FILM doing quality work and better yet - quality comedy!  Help us make history - give us your monetary support!  We promise that you will NOT BE SORRY!


Becoming Ricardo is a slap-stick comedy about a down-and-out actress, Jesenia Cruz (JESENIA The Comedian), who in a desperate attempt to get her career moving faster, she decides to audition for a lead role, in a major network TV show as a MALE character she’s played many times before – Ricardo Montalban. With the help of her makeup artist cousin, Sonia Cruz (Sofia Rodriguez), Jesenia, lands the lead role in “CRIME, LAW AND JUSTICE” and quickly finds herself struggling to maintain a double-life! What she thought would be easy, turns her life up-side-down, as Ricardo Montalban’s career sky-rockets into stardom, and Jesenia remains a struggling actress. Somehow Ricardo has all that Jesenia wants, and Jesenia finds herself resenting the person that she’s created. How will Jesenia cope with her double life? What kinds of situations will she end up in living as a man? With her medaling mother Lydia (Lisa Velez-Mello), her crazy ex-boyfriend Josè, her new boyfriend Steven (Joel Perez), her partner-in-crime cousin Sonia and her female co-star, Vivian Vox (Giordona Aviv), who has fallen head over heels for Ricardo – Jesenia has more on her plate than she can imagine! Will someone discover her secret?


BECOMING RICARDO was created, developed and written by comedienne Jesenia. The idea for the series is loosely based on Jesenia’s life and experiences while playing one of her most popular online and stage characters, “Ricardo Montalban”. Along with her co-writer, Jenni Ruiza, and her newly appointed director, Tony Clomax, Jesenia is dedicated to revive the slap-stick comedy era that brought us Tootsie, I Love Lucy, Laurel and Hardy and The Honeymooners. With its unforgettable physical comedy and awkward moments, BECOMING RICARDO is sure to please audiences of all ethnicities and backgrounds.


JESENIA The Comedian is a Puerto Rican actress/writer/producer/director. She is a theater & film actress and has performed in both comedic and dramatic roles. Jesenia is also a stand-up comedian and has been the Head Writer, Producer, Performer and Creative Director for two sketch and improv comedy shows: AY QUE FUNNY and LOCO MOTIVES. One of Jesenia’s career goals is to become the FIRST Latina cast member/writer on Saturday Night Live! Her comedic inspirations are: Chris Farley, Freddie Prinze, Jackie Gleason, John Belushi, George Lopez, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Lorne Michaels, Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. Jesenia has trained at The Second City Training Center in Chicago, the Manhattan Comedy School, Black NEXXUS and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. 

LISA VELEZ-MELLO (aka: Lisa Lisa) is a Puerto Rican “Queen of Freestyle” icon with distinct vocals and a large influence on the music and world communities. Historically acknowledged as the originator of the Latin Hip Hop/Freestyle genre, Lisa Lisa gave rise to powerhouse divas such as, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Selena, and Jennifer Lopez. During the course of her career, Lisa has also been featured in many television shows, starring for two years on the Nickelodeon network’s “Taina” and has appearing in numerous Broadway and Off Broadway shows. Still making records and performing today, Lisa Lisa’s genuine persona exudes through her music, embracing the fans into a care-free environment. It is no wonder Lisa Lisa has and will continue to reign as the Queen of Latin Hip-Hop. 

SOFIA RODRIGUEZ is a Dominican actress. She studied Dramatic Arts at Talent Unlimited. She’s worked with the non-profit Epic Theater Center. She practices her craft through film and stage. Works include African Booty Scratcher (which can be seen on HBO), Secret Life of Jolie and Anna in the Tropics. She is also a recipient of a writing scholarship from the American Theatre Wing, for her short play, “His name is my name too”. Sofia has also completed a 3-year run of performances in the off-Broadway hit “Platanos and Collard Greens”. 

MARIO CORRY is an Italian American Actor, Director, Singer, Producer and Founder CEO of M.A.C. Films with credits such as Manipulation a short film written by C.C. Corry and Mario Corry, directed by Mario Corry M.A.C. Films. Bologna and Lettuce Sandwich written and directed by Mario Corry, part of a 5 part feature film "Lost and Found" directed by Mario Corry in production. Taming The Bull an Off Broadway play written by C.C.Corry, directed by Rob Anderson produced by Mario Corry, Something Like Penguins an Off Broadway play Produced and Directed by Mario Corry, written by Levi Wilson, nominated for Best Director and winner of Best Play Strawberry One Act Festival summer 2010, Director for Off Broadway Prodution "In Love Again" written by Joe Lizardi, The Montana Meth Project with acclaimed Director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan). 

JOEL PEREZ is a Puerto Rican Actor/Singer . He was cast as the lead in the Broadway Tour show of “In the Heights”. He’s an Improv Performer, having studied at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Joel has also studied his art abroad – taking him to the notable “British American Drama Academy” in London and he also has a BA in Dramatic Arts from Tufts University. 

GIORDONA AVIV is a Model/Actress from Podgorica, Montenegro. She is a SUPER MODEL in her country and very respected in that field. She came to the United States to broaden her career and implement more acting. Since coming the U.S., she has been cast in several independent features and has appeared on Comedy Central, TruTV and the Biography Channel. 

SEAN MORALES is a Chilean/American actor from Brooklyn, NY. He started his career by auditioning and working in Independent films. At an early age Sean had an interest in theater and sports but chose to stick with sports alone. It wasn't until later in life where he decided get back to what he enjoyed most, acting. And in 2009 he auditioned and landed a role in Code Name: Operation Black Thunder where he won "The Accolade" for best supporting actor(2010). He can also be seen in guest spots on “One Life to Live” and “As the World Turns”. 

MICHAEL SIMMONS is a Puerto Rican Actor/Stunt Man/Martial Artist. He made his acting and stunt choreographing debut with the famous Latin group Aventura in their hot summer video called, “El Malo”. Michael is a graduate of Baruch in Business and trained in Acting for Film and Camera techniques, he has also appeared in independent short films such as “Salvation Road” and “Love, Sex, and Kung Fu” and has become STUNT CERTIFIED under Michael Depasquale Jr. and the Organization. Michael Simmons is the owner of, and works with helping children and adults and is an avid community figure.


TONY CLOMAX - Director

CHARLES GATES - Director of Photography

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I would say the biggest challenge would be to effectively promote the show. Marketing a show like this takes time and purpose. We are constantly looking to promote it through film festivals, screenings, etc...


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    Get a GRANDE Thank You from the one and only - Ricardo Montalban with an autographed headshot from him to you!

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    You'll get a special thanks in the credits in episode 2.

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    You'll get special thanks in episode 2 and an autographed poster by the series leads.

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    You'll get an autographed poster by the series leads and be a featured extra in episode 2 and your name listed in the credits. You'll also get 2 tickets to the special screening of episode 2 and/or a copy of episode 2 on DVD autographed by the series leads. Amazeballs!

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    You'll have a walk on roll in episode 3 with featured lines, your name listed in the credits and a catered lunch on set with the cast. You'll also get 2 tickets to the special screening of episode 3 and/or a copy of episode 3 on DVD autographed by the series leads. Super Cool!

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    You'll be listed as contributing producer on episode 3, and 4 tickets to the special screening of episode 3 and/or 2 copies of episode 3 on DVD autographed by the series leads. You'll also get treated to a dinner at Sofrito restaurant in NYC with Jesenia Bailey and your choice of one of the series leads (based on availability). So Awesome!

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    You get VIP treatment at the wrap party with the Becoming Ricardo Cast. You'll be listed as contributing producer on episode 2 and 3. Receive 4 tickets to the episode 2 and 3 screening and/or a copy of episode 2 and 3 on DVD - autographed by the series leads. You'll also get treated to a dinner at Sofrito restaurant in NYC with Jesenia Bailey and your choice of one of the series leads (based on availability). You'll get an autographed poster signed by the series leads and get a featured part in episode 2 and 3 with lines. Now that's pretty freggin SWEET!

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