Doing these interviews has become an extraordinary experience for mespecially when I met someone like Chad Allen Ortiz ! I will admit that in this Instagram world I am one of millions who is visually stimulated by it BUT I am also one of the few who actually reads those pesky hashtags and whatever the subject has to say. Many preach soapbox wisdom, as I call it, since they are too young to preach sage wisdom but think in terms of second hand wisdom. How can they possibly know what awaits them with age. All in all, it’s always the luck of the draw with whom I hone in on; happily I seem to find a sampling of those who actually have more to say than just with their body.
Chad Allen Ortiz is sort of a jackpot for me since I only had an inkling of who he actually is and what exactly got him to this point in his life… oh and he is a “sharer” which certainly does help me and tell you why and what you need to know about him. I’m impressed and gratified that I sensed something more from his images and even more behind the words he espouses on his Instagram account. My subjects turn out to be multifaceted personalities who actually live “beyond the image” and have actual goals that supersede perfect abs and biceps… I won’t continue the list but you get the idea.
So here is Chad in his own words telling us all about his past, present and future since he falls under the heading of being a “creative.” Hopefully, this will not be the last you hear from this multitasking goal oriented young man….
Jeffrey Felner: Can you give us a sort of brief resume as to how you arrived at your present professional situation?
Chad Allen Ortiz: I began my training as a dancer in Temecula, California. My instructor, who happens to be my brother, and he connected me to my first modeling agency at age 16. I worked multiple shows and booked many commercial and print jobs. When I was 20, I moved to Los Angeles and began as an apprentice for Nickerson – Rossi Dance under the direction of Michael Nickerson-Rossi. I was promoted to company dancer, then principal dancer, then to Educational Director of both NRD and the Palm Springs Dance Festival. Today, I am the Executive Director of NRD and of the International Dance Festival in Palm Springs.
I have taught dance at high schools, universities, worked with dance organizations such as the Princeton Ballet, New York Live Arts, Los Angeles Dance Festival, and the Cape Cod Dance Festival. In the very near future I will be working with the Delaware Dance Education Organization, New York University, and Irvine Valley College assisting Michael Nickerson-Rossi. At present, I am in the process of developing the International Dance Festival, while also building numerous collaborations with magazines, blogs, and other marketing media.
YES!!! I still dance and continue to so on a national and international level.
Simultaneously with my dance career, I started to free-lance modeling in Los Angeles booking television commercials while working for startup fashion brands.
Lastly, I run my own creative branding and social marketing company known as Transparent Compositions; I am currently the Director of Development at the Institute of Dance Artistry. All these facets and aspects of my life support and fortify one another.
JF: Let’s speak of social media: do you believe that social media is an asset and why, do you think that social media has diluted the professional aspect of creatives and redefined celebrity? Explain
CAO: Yes… The issue in the past was visibility; the issue of the moment is saturation or sometimes over saturation. Social media is an asset, but not the ultimate solution. Personal connections are a must; you must be possess the skillset to back up how you present yourself especially within my professional sphere … a hot body isn’t enough!
Social media offers a multitude of possibilities as to how one is perceived …“reality TV” or “real life.” All the lies, all the jealousy, or the slander that one might endure is a price you pay for ubiquity It is our job as artists to understand what people are actually interested in, while staying true to ourselves. It’s all a choice… a very personal one that depends on your individual goal/s.
I had to Google the word “celebrity” …which is simply defined as fame or well- known. That is exactly what people on social media are doing. Many so called “stars” of social media are becoming recognizable figures through relatable, engaging, seductive, or shocking content but to what end?
JF: If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would they be and why?
CAO: Martha Graham – Founder of Modern Dance
Marlon Teixeria – Male Model
Steve Jobs – Apple founder
Benjamin Franklin – Founding Father
Oprah Winfrey – Media entrepreneur
To me, these people are larger than life. Whether in the field of dance, modeling, design, branding, or management… they all have found success in their lives and achieved multiple goals. I am inspired by their pioneering. I would appreciate their insight on how they approached life and business.
JF: Can you speak to what you do as an artist and what sets your work apart from so much of what we see on social media? Do you see a downside from “putting yourself out there” with regard to the preconceived notions that are drawn from what you present?
CAO: I am a jack of all trades and I use them to build onto one another. I model, dance, photograph, video, market, manage, direct, educate, choreograph, create, design, and so on and on. I enjoy mixing the skills creating beautiful works no matter the medium. I enjoy access to a vast assortment of creatives and search for the links between us, whether as creatives or as business colleagues. It all comes together at some point.
Downside to “putting yourself out there.” … I wouldn’t exactly say there’s a downside. What one needs to expect is that people are going to perceive you in their own personal way. You may have specific intent, but what really matters is what others get out of the experience. We are complicated creatures with different emotional responses to all situations. I suppose the “downside” would be that there are those who are vindictive, malicious players who want to tear you down. No one can control how they perceive you. All I can do is show my best self, all I can do is know who I am and what my goal is … and focus on that. Listen, apply, test, review and move on in that pattern to see what works and what doesn’t.
JF: Lastly, let’s speak of Chad Allen Ortiz 5 years from now; major projects or if you could choose anyone as a collaborator, who what would it be and why?
CAO: 5 years from now I will be have had more world traveling done professionally or leisurely. All I really want is to see the world. I have surrounded myself in career choices that will help make this possible. I see the International Dance Festival in Palm Springs as a vehicle towards that ultimate goal.
I have big visions and I am on the road to get there. It isn’t easy, but it will be rewarding.
Chad Allen Ortiz on Instagram – @chadallenortiz …. SPECIAL THANKS TO Frank Louis, Arhscana Images, Den Sweeney, Transparent Compositions, Andy Grant, Tommy Wu, Alex Budin Photography, Caff Photo, Brian Mengini, Naoyasu Mera Photography