When Evette Vargas ventured into the entertainment business, she was met with the challenge of realizing her dream as a Latinx storyteller. It is common knowledge that BIPOC, LGBTQAI+, and women in the entertainment business often struggle as an opportunity comes in scarcely if it comes at all. Evette Vargas has spent years building her career and mentoring the underrepresented storytellers as she pushed for inclusion and equity.
Born in the Boogie-down Bronx, Evette and her brothers would move to a suburb in New Jersey when she was around seven years old. Because of her environment, the young Evette wanted to change her name to Jenny as a group of white friends chiefly surrounded her. It became a struggle for her to find her place as she lost her hood accent, displacing her from the Latinos. To escape from her problems, Evette delved into the arts. There she discovered her creative gifts, providing her with a voice and helping her stand out.
After high school, Evette Vargas would continue to delve into her creativity, studying graphic and fashion design. Although she worked as a fashion designer for two major brands, Evette longed to express herself through stories and grew a fascination with film. Fortunately, she had a scholarship that allowed her to attend NYU Tisch, where she utilized her creativity, directing music videos and commercials before working as an advertising art director.
Evette earned the opportunity to work in Hollywood when her senior thesis film won in NYU. Choosing not to waste her chance, she exercised her art skills to secure work in the digital departments at major studios. Following her rise in the entertainment business, Evette and her husband founded a digital production company, attracting big names in the music industry. The company allowed her to exercise her creativity continually, but she barely had time to write her own stories.
Even then, Evette had been paying attention to Hollywood’s inclusion, whether it was on the big screen or behind the scenes. She realized how difficult it would be to truly break out, but the creative wanted to prove to the world just how capable BIPOC women were. She enrolled in grad school, taking Screenwriting and Television Showrunning.
During her time at UCLA, Evette Vargas wrote, directed, and produced a digital series that featured Henry Rollins. It became a contention for two Emmys in the interactive category. She would follow it up with several other projects, and in 2019, Evette accidentally started The Writers Room 5050 Foundation. Initially, the foundation was a setting that allowed writers to showcase their talent. With actors present during the table read, they (along with the writers) praised the exercise and encouraged Evette to utilize her format. While the prospect certainly was tempting, she did not have the time then.
Evette was able to set up a series at MGM, and the growing awareness of the barriers for underrepresented storytellers eventually led to the birth of The Writers Room 5050. With the foundation, Evette created three labs which became the cornerstone of the brand. Since starting The Writers Room, eight writers have found opportunities, with ten of the foundation’s projects pitched to the development executives. Evette Vargas hopes that the events’ continued trajectory would lead to her finally fulfilling her goal of writing and directing her own television series.
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