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Tanya Saracho Talks About Her Latest Project For STARZ, VIDA

VIDA Premiere's On STARZ Sunday, May 6 at 8:30ET/PT

Tanya Saracho, show runner for STARZ newest show, VIDA, recently talked to MUSE about her latest show that will premiere this Sunday.

“Vida” is a half-hour series focusing on two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighborhood, where they are confronted by the past and surprising truth about their mother’s identity.

The show is inspired by a short story, “Pour Vida” by East Los Angeles author Richard Villegas Jr.

Where does all of this energy come from? Saracho said, “This energy from coffee. The energy for vida? Stars is the one who induced this nition to me. They were like do you know what a chipster is and I was like yeah ofcourse its a chicano hipster haha we were going to have a conversation about a show to do and they were like have you heard of gentefication. And that’s where I was stunt, i mean i put it together but i hadn’t heard of that. Is that a thing? Yes, you should read this LA times article about gentefication. And i was like ok.”

She added, “And they asked me do you want to write a pilot about it. I could write a pilot about it, i write plays about everything. Well not everything, not astrophysics. Later on when i was hired they gave me alot like a short story . one thing i took from it was two sisters. So i was like if i just hold on to the sisters, the characters, the family and the fact that they lost their mother, the world will fill up around it.”

Please tell us more about the pilot and how did you develop the show? Saracho said, “I was very conscious about these women. The pilot is basically the story about Emma, Lynn, Eddie, Mary, very small story in the pilot. 2 girls, Their mother dies and they come home.”

Saracho added, “And then they find out a surprising secret. Because in half an hour you don’t have a lot of time to explore character and do a lot of plot. And i don’t know how to do a lot of plot so i was like let’s explore character.”

How were you able to hit so many key points and bring what is going on in not only Los Angeles but other cities in this country?

Saracho said, “I don’t think i threw enough. cause it’s only half an hour, i want to get everything in there, I  want to get everything in there. It’s sort of like you got this glass and you put in on top of a community and you capture whatever happens that day for half and hour.

She added, “There were things I wanted to get in like the notion of pocho, those little things are a little bit radical, we haven’t heard them on tv but also just them living. I don’t think I put in enough.”

This music is fits the show that brings you into the scene that gives it heart? Saracho said, “I have germaine franco, the only latina in the academy of composers. She did coco. We did this, you didn’t hear the song because you don’t have the finish cut of 106 “la limpia” that limpia when you watch it, whenever it comes out, it’s going to be in nahuatl. Its this beautiful thing we collaborated in and that wouldn’t have been able to happen with another composer that wasn’t a mestiza.

She added, “So i was like i want it to be like this or like that and she was like ok. She did a first try and it was an electric guitar and i was like it doesn’t feel like that’s an electric guitar, it feels like more indigenous, ‘oh I play this “I don’t know what you call them” but caterpillars shells with seeds, and I play this and that and i play the flute and like all these nahuatl instruments and I was like ok. My dear friend can translate your chant into nahuatl. And it’s this beautiful thing.”

“The fact that we had to say the word tonattil in cable tv, that’s amazing to me. But that happens when we get to collaborate. When we get to handle our own stories.”

We asked her about VIDA showing characters being second generation Latin Americans and how that experience that has not been seen much before on television.?

Saracho said, “They’re second generation but their grandchildren of immigrants so its an american story, yes, but it’s steeped in an immigrant culture.

“So yes we’re going to get it but hopefully other immigrants. The way you see master of none, or the way you see other shows that have that immigrant narrative. Hopefully it’ll reach.”

VIDA once again premiere’s on STARZ this Sunday, May 6 at 8:30ET/PT. You can listen to the audio of the full interview below:

*Transcribed by Abbey Fernandez/MUSE

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Michael Sandoval

Michael created MUSE/MUSE TV after a career in professional sports and journalism. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Don Bosco Technical Institute in which he studied Electronics and Computer Science and California State University, Fullerton in which he graduated with a degree from the College of Communication in Journalism. He is a big Foo Fighters fan, loves Star Wars and loves photography.

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