Stories are the threads that weave the fabric of our identities, embracing our cultural roots, shaping our resilience, and illuminating the transformative power within us all.

Rudy Valdez, a two-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, shares his remarkable journey, triumphing over adversities such as homelessness while underlining the underlying value of embracing one’s cultural heritage and identity. His success isn’t just about luck or money: it’s about love, passion, and a strong cultural background.

The conversation is a goldmine of insights into how personal stories and cultural background shape the way we tell stories. Valdez spills the beans on how facing challenges is often a key ingredient in making meaningful art.
There’s a call to action here: empower new filmmakers and make sure that underrepresented voices are heard loud and clear in the world of storytelling.

Tune in, feel inspired, and let’s take steps together to champion diverse storytelling. Your action today could pave the way for a more inclusive and empathetic tomorrow. Let’s make it happen! 

💥 Appreciate all the wonderful things around us: people of color can just be great without an asterisk. 02:22
👦🏽 Wrestling on the beach: jujitsu, storytelling, and childhood memories. 07:52
⚡ Lessons from his brother: high school struggles and one special improvisation in drama class. 09:55
🎭 Drama class as refuge place from the rough life: finding support from his family. 19:43
🚌 Writing 5–7 stories a day: creating his own game to writing stories. 24:39
🥥 ‘Coconut’ comedy show: a breakthrough in performing, teaching, and writing comedy. 28:56
🎥 A family issue that alters Rudy’s life: the moment he becomes a filmmaker. 31:29
🌞 Who cares?: sharing stories to evoke empathy, and Sundance Audience Award. 36:30
🎬 Learning from sets: Rudy’s formula for filming. 38:49
⚖️ Documentary The Sentence: taking risks, failing, and learning from it. 41:53
🥊 Documentary by Sylvester Stallone: Hollywood to produce crime movies. 44:06
🤩 Deciding not to limit himself to criminal justice films: Rudy created 17 documentaries. 45:55
😇 Sharing experiences: letting others learn from personal stories. 51:55
💎 Rudy’s RONderings: Believe in yourself, your voice matters, and push for positive change. 54:19
🎦 Carlos Santana movie and Disney projects: pushing everyone up the hill is crucial. 56:06

Connecting with Rudy:
Rapatalo Group:
Leverage Publishing:
Connect with Ron:

What is Ronderings?

In season one of Ronderings, Ron talks to his guests about their superpowers, including career advice, diversity, mindset, wellness, and leadership. Ron grew up in New York City, and has been coaching and leading executive searches for the last five years, taking what he has learned from 15 years in corporate, higher education, government, and non-profit contexts. He and his wife are obsessed with reality television, and Ron also moonlights as a men's personal stylist and group fitness instructor. Ron says, "I believe in the power of intuition and deepening one’s self-awareness and impact on others. I believe in the power of connection and transparency. I believe that we must dismantle systems of oppression and racism to recover our fullest humanity. Most of all, I believe our power to change the world starts from changing ourselves first."