Behind The Mic: The Dreamer, The Messenger, The Antonio Marquez

Antonio Marquez overcame adversity to be a voice for the unheard and dreams of connecting the four corners of the earth to tell their stories.

Born in Guanajuato, Mexico Antonio Marquez and his family immigrated to San Diego in search of a better life when he was the age of 7. He did not discover that he was undocumented until he reached the age of 15, at the beginning of the college application experience. Marquez said, “It felt like a nightmare, you know. It’s real.” That would not be the first time his citizenship status would be a roadblock in his path. 

The Senior Journalism and Media Studies major, now age 33, has had one hell of a journey to get to SDSU.

He initially graduated from San Diego City College in 2008; he also interned at Univision during that final school year. With an Associate’s Degree in Communications and a foot in the door of the media industry, Antonio saw a bright future ahead of him. Suddenly, his undocumented status once again was blocking his path to success. “Once I did my internship at Univision and my last year of community college, they offered me a job,” and then reality struck, “They couldn’t help me and they let me go.” Not being a legal citizen, and this occurring years prior to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Univision was unable to give him the job he had worked so hard for. 

Leaving the news station, he began working at McDonald’s to support himself and his family. After a few weeks on the job, he broke down while cleaning the restroom one night. It was rock bottom and the first time he had truly felt all the overwhelming feelings that had yet to confront. Speaking with his mother on the issue, he decided to make the most of what he had. He began to excel at his job and soon moved up the ranks to a Management position. Part of this was due to his ability to speak both English and Spanish, an industry advantage in Southern California. This showed him how much he brought to the table; how he can tell stories to and for everyone that needs their voice amplified. 

Aiming to start a new life, Marquez packed up with his partner and moved to Yakima, Washington. From working in the field to working in the fields, Marquez picked produce in his new hometown. One day of work the woman next to him passed out while they were working the refrigerator. Shocked, and empathizing with her, he would be even more surprised to see that she was replaced less than 30 minutes later. Marquez quickly realized this was not the life for him, so he made a connection to volunteer for the local radio station. 

Radio KDNA in Yakima was the first opportunity for Marquez to participate in the radio industry since he had only done video broadcast journalism. A largely Spanish-speaking population fills the town and with many being large families with low-income, Marquez earned a segment speaking on entertainment and films to watch for these families. Promoting what was new on RedBox, he would connect with listeners by giving them a place to escape for a moment and point them in the right direction for some more entertainment.

The radio station put him on the public scene, but the local newspaper El Sol de Yakima got him in front of the people.

In his position as a reporter for the paper, he covered the stories of undocumented immigrants and their journey to Yakima as well as many of the small businesses they had started. Unable to accept compensation from the people who the stories were about, they brought him into their homes to thank him off the clock the old fashion way, with some food and company.

In 2012 life in Yakima was going well, but there was a new revelation regarding his citizenship, DACA had been announced. Upon the announcement, his mother called him and offered him something he could not refuse, a second chance. She told him to focus on school and do everything he can to get into SDSU. He moved back and started attending his alma mater San Diego City College in 2013. His school would be covered by the Board of Governor’s waiver, but he wanted some extra income. Finding a new job at a Hillcrest club named Numbers, Marquez started to fall in love with the radio. The music he listened to on the job showed him the form of expression music can be.

His first application to SDSU was denied after the comeback, but he persisted. He received an acceptance letter on his second attempt, but the cake he bought to celebrate would soon go to waste. Having received a C- in a certain JMS course, he would not be accepted this year other. While at City College, Marquez ran Cross Country. He and his coach shared a connection and he did everything he could to help him get into SDSU. This connection would be just what he needed to get that acceptance letter. The third try would be the final try. He was finally accepted into SDSU for the Fall 2018 semester and only after earning four Associate Degrees. He would bring to campus his degrees in Communications, Journalism, Behavioral Sciences, and lastly Chicano Studies. 

Marquez participated in the transfer bridge program put on by the Educational Opportunity Program here at State. However, it was not until the first day of class where he truly felt like he was a student here. Since his arrival, he has been involved, to say the least. He is a writer for the Mundo Azteca, the Spanish portion of The Daily Aztec; a DJ and radio host for his show Dreamer Hour on KCR College Radio; a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ); and a member of Associated Students. Involvement has brought many opportunities for his second wind of college.

Marquez first joined KCR and what caught his eye was the wide diversity within the organization.

“Just walking in the room and seeing everybody. We’re all so different,” said Marquez. On his show, Dreamer Hour, he interviews people, including a heart to heart conversation with his mother, and expresses himself through music. It’s called that because of, “Sometimes you wake up and you had a really weird dream. You try to remember throughout the day,” he goes on, “It feels like some distant memory. I want my show to be like that. To leave an impact on you, but not worry about the songs that played. All that matters is that you were there in the moment. Within Mundo Azteca, he has built a journalism career reporting on undocumented students and issues. This has spilled over into his NAHJ membership where he was able to attend the Excellence in Journalism Conference in September in San Antonio, Texas. 

This conference was only a month after the El Paso Walmart shooting; he was shocked to find out that there was undercover security disguised in the crowd. It truly made him feel that, as an undocumented Latinx community member, “I feel like I have a target on my back.” This subtle sense of fear persists through many within this community, hence why Marquez finds his role to be so important. He is able to tell the stories of the unheard, translating to both Spanish and English to reach an ever wider audience. The Dreamer Hour is part of his therapy to both get away and confront said issues. He plays his favorite 80s songs and anything else that makes him feel good. 

“I still don’t know where I’m gonna end up, but I know I wanna be somewhere in the media,” said Marquez. He sees himself as a messenger. In ancient Mexican culture, a hummingbird symbolizes a messenger between the gods and the people. Antonio Marquez’s wings are fluttering and they will not stop until he has connected the world.

Written by: Alexis Camel
Photos by: Alexis Camel

Behind The Mic: HogPod: The Show About Nothing

In a world where everything is at our fingertips, sometimes nothing is all you need. HogPod: The Show About Nothing is here to give you everything that you need

HogPod is hosted by freshmen Kameron Grant and Samantha Blanchard along with sophomore Connor Trees. Connor is the eldest, but the Television, Film and New Media Major shares an equally youthful exuberance with the rest of the group. The free-flowing, sometimes awkward, always enthusiastic hosts of the show have made improvements in every episode to date, but what is HogPod really about? 

Now, what does a radio show and podcast that is about nothing encompass?

Well, radio shows usually play music and speak on specific topics. You will be sure to hear some music on this program, but the hosts do not really know what music is just yet. Want to know for yourself? Check them out on Fridays at 4 pm and you can hear them shouting at each other, “I still don’t know what music is!”.

You don’t have to know much about something to enjoy it. They are learning as they go. Learning what music is, and also what their show is all about. The show’s name states it is about nothing, however, it is everything you need to enjoy yourself. 

In a time where our President is acting like a child in the public eye, it’s fun to take our mind off of things. HogPod is the perfect show for you to wind down your long work week with, and start the weekend off on a high note. 

Surely, a group of people this funny and witty would have a good story for how their show came to fruition. The funny thing is, that none of this was planned.

Each semester KCR hosts a new member meeting to allow students to join the station. These three met at said meeting, feeling a connection over their choice to join KCR’s video department. Confirmed as part of the video team, a veteran member asked Kameron if they were interested in having a radio show. Kameron hesitated at first, but upon realizing that there would be no harm, he decided to ask Connor and Samantha if they could do one together. 

The three Aztecs who were still basically strangers began the start of HogPod. Their first episode was their first real opportunity to sit down, learn each other’s names, and talk with each other void of distractions. Connor jokingly said, “During the first show I was just sitting there waiting for one of them to say the other person’s name for a bit.” It all worked out well for them though. Kameron said, “It was a cool experiment to stick these three people in a room, and you know it worked.” After a few rookie mistakes, things have become gradually easier for the group, allowing them to play less music and speak on more topics.

The team is more than the sum of its parts, yet these parts come together perfectly.

Samantha began her journalism career early when she had her own Instagram page where she took portraits and interviewed people before moving to SDSU. Kameron has a fascination with Edgar Wright films and hopes to achieve similar success. Swiss Army Man featuring Daniel Radcliffe encompasses the cinematic vision that Connor has. Connor and Kameron have both done their fair share of Youtube videos, and the three are all working together to create more quality content on-air and on camera. This show has only just begun, but the future is looking bright for these three. 

So, what do they talk about on the show about nothing? For starters, with Kameron and Connor both majoring in Television, Film and New Media, the three discuss cinema in various ways. Whether it be your favorite animated movie you forgot about, Over The Hedge, or Samantha confusing Jamie Foxx’s character from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with George Lopez’s character from Shark Boy and Lava Girl, you’ll be sure to get a laugh out of the conversation. 

Joker just released in theaters and Connor was lucky enough to see it prior to their fourth episode on October 4th. Choosing to avoid spoilers but still keep the topic of conversation, the HogPod team created Guacin Phoenix, the critically acclaimed actor that is your favorite dips for your chips. Not getting exactly how they got there? Well, you need to check out their next show to see if he comes back into the conversation. 

Samantha is majoring in Journalism and Media Studies, and though the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been one of the number one news topics over the last decade, she is not a fan. Stating her disdain for the man who plays Spider-Man. “I don’t like Tom Holland he looks funny.” Kameron and Connor were so dumbfounded by her lack of MCU knowledge that they decided to explain all of the movies using none of the names of the actual superheroes. They certainly were not able to get all the way through the timeline, but it was something to hear them try.

They also have a reoccurring, invisible guest named Daniel. You can’t see him, nor can you hear him. He’s been very shy so far, but there is hope he’ll speak up one of these days. 

BIG NEWS BIG NEWS BIG NEWS!!!! HogPod is just getting started!

If you’re lucky enough to be tuned in for some Big News you’ll be happy you heard it here first. Each episode they let the listeners know of what big news is going on in the HogPod world, once even contemplating purchasing Kurt Cobain’s home. Unfortunately, it was out of their budget. 

Now with a quarter of a season under their belt, getting comfortable with their new school and show, this team is a family. They’re just like your favorite sitcom; you may not know what is going on all the time, but you know that you are going to enjoy whatever happens next. With the whole world in front of them, where to next? 

HogPod: The Show About Nothing
Photo by Alexis Camel
Written by: Alexis Camel
All photos, shot and edited by Alexis Camel.

A Review of Disney’s Cinderella (Yes, the 2015 One)

This week I was fortunate enough to score some tickets to an advanced screening of Disney’s newest live-action retelling of the classic, Cinderella. Though Cinderella is not my favorite OG Disney princess (shout out to Princess Jasmine), this rendition of the beloved film was spectacular. Cinderella is truly amazing: it’s family-friendly, features more details about the characters, and has a very handsome Prince (whoever casted him seriously deserves an award). My only criticism is that I wish they had incorporated some of the Grimm brothers’ version, Aschenputtel. In their action-packed version, the evil stepsisters chop off their toes and heels to fit the glass slipper, and have their eyes pecked out by doves at the end. Oh, the drama.

Now, for the review. *SPOILER ALERT*

Cinderella starts out with beautiful little Ella happily frolicking about in the countryside with her family, which is of course torn apart in the first fifteen minutes because her mom gets sick and dies. I don’t understand why Disney feels the need to have their protagonists either lose their parents or their only living relative; maybe they figure the orphan-ness makes you want to cry just enough to reel you in.

The storyline essentially parallels the original version. What you see in the 2015 version is more of Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizella being extra rude to Ella. It’s mildly uncomfortable to watch because Cate Blanchett’s laugh and demeanor is so evil, but at the same time, you can’t help but appreciate how striking and fierce she is. It’s ironic because you’d think her daughters would try to emulate that, but they’re pretty much the female equivalents to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Despite Ella’s efforts to live by her mother’s last words, “have courage and be kind,” she cracks and apparently copes with her feelings of despair by venturing to the woods on horseback. There, she meets the Prince, who is on a quest to hunt a majestic stag with his army of trusty knights. Right when we see his perfectly coiffed hair, we are also shown more of the Prince’s character. After all, he’s more than just a pretty face. Upon their accidental yet destined meeting, he introduces himself as a royal apprentice named “Kit,” in hopes that he’ll be able to interact with her as a normal guy. Their horses literally prance in a circle for about five minutes before she finally runs off, without even saying her name.

It’s love at first sight for both of those hopeless romantics. But there’s just one problem: the King will only let him marry an eligible Princess, meaning someone who can add treasure and land to the Kingdom. Oh yeah, and the King is also dying (what is with this movie and death?). Kit’s solution was to agree to this, but only if he’s allowed to open the traditionally elite ball to the public. His secret goal is to have his father meet the charming girl he met in the woods, which would force him to have a change of heart because she’s so great.

Word reaches Lady Tremaine, who of course forbids Ella from attending the ball. Ella is heartbroken because she has no interest in the Prince; she only wanted to see the apprentice from the woods again. Ella’s tears are the queue for her fairy godmother to show up for once, and she grants Ella’s wish to be able to go to the ball—but in style. Equipped with a special spell to protect her from being noticed by her jealous stepmother, Ella also gets a golden pumpkin carriage with mousy horses, lizardy henchman, and a goosey coachman. The dress was magnificent, and the effects made it feel like it was going to pop off the screen and whip you in the face with fairy dust, butterflies, and yards of tool.

She arrives fashionably late to the ball, and enchants the whole ballroom with her grace, beauty, and fabulous dress. She reunites with Kit, now revealed as the Prince, and has a jolly old time on a swing in his secret royal garden until the clock tragically strikes midnight. She dashes off, and he fails once again to get her name. Classic Kit.

A search for this mysterious beauty begins, but not before Lady Tremaine gets to the Grand Duke and blackmails him into only letting her daughters try on the glass slipper. He agrees because he’s a horrible person, and almost succeeds in hiding her from his team. Kit tagged along because he didn’t trust him (his instinct was right– the Duke was #fake), and he hears Ella upstairs despite Lady Tremaine’s attempts to disguise her angelic song. Ella tries on her own glass slipper which obviously fits her, and she and Kit live happily ever after while the Duke, Lady Tremaine, Drizella, and Anastasia are banned from the Kingdom.

I would give Cinderella five out of five stars. This movie was amazing. I don’t know how I was planning to wait to see it until the release date.

*Princely gasp*