Black and Proud with Big Dreams Ahead

Updated: Mar 9

by Anna Fofana

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Isaiah Martinez not only lives and breathes his art, but has pride in being a Black creator.

Martinez, a junior theatre and performance major and a playwriting minor, became interested in making art because he knew that nobody would make his career for him besides himself. As a Black queer artist, he realized that he had to make sure that he took the means to his career.

Martinez enjoys creating theatre-based art, which includes acting, singing, dancing and writing. What inspires him to continue making the art he makes is that he can’t imagine his life without it.

“My art is my lifeline and without art, it’s like there is no breath in my body,” Martinez says.

He realized that it was time for him to start writing roles based on his own personal characterization since he never saw himself in the art he consumed so he wanted to start making art for people just like him.

Martinez loves being a Black artist in America because he feels like we are in such an interesting time in American history.

“America is grappling with the nuances of race and its intersections with class, gender, and sexuality,” He said. “I think that this generation of writers is gonna go crazy.”

He feels like for Black artists, America is a great place to start and Black creatives are essential to creating art in America. However, they aren’t being treated as if they matter and their art isn’t being taken seriously. Martinez said that he wants to see more Black representation throughout the whole entertainment industry.

“I want more casting agents, talent agents, more of the folks that represent us all around the entertainment industry,” said Martinez. He also said that he wants to see more sci-fi/fantasy with black actors.

“Like, we can’t get some prophecy fantasy series about a group of Black kids getting powers,” Martinez said.

He hopes that in five years, he will be done with his masters and will have had a Broadway debut.

To any other Black people wanting to burst into the theater world, he says, “Work your butt off, nobody is going to hand you anything. Hand kindness with one another and if you genuinely love your art, fight for art as hard as you can.”

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