Carlos Aguilar – Philosopher in production
“She put a positive spin on the notion of entitlement, to say, hey no, we’re entitled to the best education that the district could provide. We’re entitled to be treated with respect by the teachers.”
“I’ve built a relationship with my audience, with my community through communicating through that bag of coffee.”
- Carlos is from an unincorporated area of the SGV.
- Carlos is very proud of his and his family’s connections to Bassett
- Carlos was well educated
- Carlos worked very hard to make his connections in writing and producing tv.
- Carlos also has a passion for coffee that he found later in life.
Scott and Russell bring an esteemed writer who has great pride for the SGV. Carlos Aguilar joins the podcast on episode 65.
Carlos is a good friend of Alberto. They have a mutual admission for each other stemming from the fact they have a similar background but love the SGV and are both creatives.
Where does your story start?
Carlos is a San Gabriel Valley native. He is from a smaller unincorporated section of the valley, Bassett.
He, like his parents, went to Bassett high school. His nieces and nephews have all gone to Bassett. His grandmother served on the school board for Bassett. When Carlos was in grad school, he used to even substitute teach at Bassett. Carlos and his family have a strong connection to the area.
What does unincorporated mean?
The best explanation for unincorporated is that if you call the police, the sheriffs are coming.
Meaning it’s just not established as a city.
It’s small enough that it hasn’t been made its own city, but it’s still part of the county.
Where does the San Gabriel Valley stop and start for you?
Carloses’ view of the SGV has expanded over the years. He’s more aware of the culture that surrounds the valley. It’s unique and specific to the San Gabriel Valley.
He really includes everything, even close to the San Gabriel Valley.
What shaped you today?
Carlos says his grandmother is one of the reasons he is so confident and well-thought-out. She was one of the first leaders of Latinos origin in the area. Her guidance put a positive spin on the notion of entitlement that he and his people were entitled to proper education and rights.
Seeing his grandmother gave him the confidence to challenge norms and have her almost as a shield.
Carlos was in a program at a high school called the upper bound program. A program where colleges in the area take high schoolers from the SGV the chance to go to a school for part of the summer and see what college was like.
Carlos partly attributes this to why he was able to go to college after he graduated high school.
Carlos went to college in Boston for a year, then came back to school on the west coast then he got to teach in the upper bound program. He then got his master’s in philosophy.
Carlos was always an artist, a wordsmith, so to speak. He was a rapper and a writer. He got his job writing and producing for television.
What did you write and produce?
He wrote for Telemundo and did a lot of work for them.
He then moved on to produce reality and documentaries. He also produced the Emmies.
Carlos got into a project about theology. He worked on this project and stayed on for more years. If he hadn’t had an education in the seminary, this might not have landed for Carlos.
Carlos takes away meaning from his religious studies. His beliefs are that there is something, a reason for the world.
Carlos, what did you bring?
Carlos brought a piece of art for one of his first documentaries. It was this fantastic thing that he cherished. He was scared that it might be his only chance at tv, but he kept working at finding that tv job.
The price of the art is from a show that he pitched. It’s a reminder that you have to work for what you have.
Do you feel like you still need to fight as your grandmother did?
Time has progressed, but Carlos does have to keep fighting. It’s gotten easier and less where he had to keep his mask up.
Carlos had a conversation over coffee when he was 40. His friend came by his office one day, and he found that meeting people that are into this craft coffee, he likes a lot of the people around it as well.
He started his own coffee brand because of a passion for the product. Carlos thought he could convince people to spend a little more on an amazing product, one that he cared for.
From another San Gabriel native, these are the places you should see if you visit.
1 The San Gabriel Mountains.
2 Harvey Mudd College.
3 The Claremont Village.
Carlos Aguilar is from La Puente, CA, and is a multimedia producer, writer, and content strategist with over 20 years of experience creating content for broadcast and digital audiences.
He wrote, directed, and produced a series of documentaries on American Idol, NASCAR, The WWE, and Oprah Winfrey. He served as Sr. Story Producer on Bristol Palin’s Lifetime reality series and produced for the Daytime Emmys.
Carlos has led the development and launch of celebrity and brand-based content platforms, including Mariah Carey, Magic Johnson, Honda, Becky G, and Steve Harvey. Additionally, he’s developed content and strategy for Honda, California State Lottery, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, and AT&T, to name a few.
His writing on music, religion, education, and youth culture has appeared in Christianity Today, Sojourners, Prism, Flama, and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. As a hip-hop artist known as Bookworm Brown, he’s performed across the US, Mexico, Guatemala, China, and Japan.
As publisher of the leading Latino fatherhood blog, BigBrownDad.com, Carlos speaks and writes about the humor and wisdom found in the challenges of modern-day parenting.
Carlos recently started Mestizo, a specialty coffee brand that infuses comedy and hip-hop into its product offerings.