To be so blessed with an endorsement from Alina Segura-Bustamante is a high honor for Gy Mirano. Francisco Rivela was a LION in our SAG community, for HOLA members, and for the entire Screen Actors Guild membership. I know Gy will make Alina proud, and I know Francisco will be watching over her.
-- Paul Christie, former 2nd National V.P. and New York President.
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
When I decided to run in this year's SAG New York election, a very special person was in my thoughts: my dear friend and colleague Francisco Rivela. His memory gives me the strength and inspiration to get through the most difficult moments. It was his desire I run, and I'm finally here. Francisco’s wish is reality, and I'm glad to finally fullfil it. I'm running in his name, to carry the torch of his legacy.
Today I'm deeply touched to say I have the great honor to be endorsed by Alina Segura-Bustamante, Francisco's extraordinary wife. Alina, the love of his life and his biggest supporter, walked with him on the difficult path of being a responsible union leader, committed and passionate about his work.
Francisco was masterful in his craft as stage actor and voice-over artist. Audiences will never forget the magic he created when he stepped on stage or behind the microphone. The impact of his legacy is felt and lived everyday by actors everywhere.
Without Francisco we would not have a Spanish Language Organizing Department, or Spanish Language Media Task Force. It all started here in New York 10 years ago in his living room – a small start with huge potential, in that way great things are often created. He called his friends and tempted other actors by wooing us to a meeting to discuss community affairs over tapas and Spanish wine. That was Francisco: "Let's get their attention, here I am, this is what we need to get done." Francisco de armas tomar. Francisco always took charge.
I met some of my OSU colleagues and friends back then, in the days of the strike: Paul Christie, Cynthia Vance, Paul Reggio and Sue-Anne Morrow. It was Francisco who took me to my first SAG rally and first picket line, and taught me the value of our union. He led by example: knowledge, passion, honesty, hard work, he was never afraid to take a stand. This is Francisco's legacy and gift to me, these precious friends and colleagues who supported him and cared for him deeply. Alina knows that, and we embrace her as our sister.
We all have each other now. Cynthia's words reflect what I feel: "I miss him often, the velvet throated, brilliant and charming man. Beloved..." Beloved and sorely missed by many.
It is an honor to still walk this path with the friends of our community, these exceptional union leaders who embraced Francisco, and all he stood for. The story repeats itself. I'm lucky to have their support, and with Alina’s generous endorsement, I will carry Francisco Rivela’s message on.
Together we raise a goblet of fine Spanish wine and say with pride : Here is to you Francisco!! You live in our hearts forever.