What is Blended City?
Blended City is a production company that was founded by Nick Luis and Ashley Calderon. The core mission of Blended City is to explore the culture of diverse individuals in telling there stories; whether it be race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, social class, etc. As a production company we want to be as inclusive as possible meaning any story being told can be told by anyone. Additionally, we are a service company in which we provide services to any individual or group who needs help with their project at any stage of the process.
Ashley and Nick met five years ago in an acting class at the Barrow Group Theater Company and instantly connected. Throughout the years they gained experience in acting, writing, directing and even producing. In the Spring of 2017 the play Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alergia Hudes was brought to the stage at the Producers Club in NYC where Nick and Ashley were both main characters and Nick was the producer while Ashley was the assistant producer. The success of Water by the Spoonful exceeded everyone’s expectations. Afterwords Nick and Ashley decided that together they can make many more successes like Water by the Spoonful with other projects and so, Blended City was established on June 23rd, 2017.
Blended City was created for several reasons. One main reason was to give opportunities to Nick and Ashley in the industry, both of whom are Puerto Rican and raised in NYC; Ashley from the Bronx and Nick from Brooklyn. Living in poverty, growing up without a means to an end, watching everyone around not living to their full potential made way for Nick and Ashley to create Blended City, so they may have access to opportunities they didn’t have before. Also, to give opportunities to others that may not know they have while trying to pursue a career in this industry. Another reason Blended City was created was to give a platform to individuals who are different and unique; whether you are from India and want to bring forth a Bollywood themed play to the stage or from Brazil and want to film a documentary in the streets of Queens, we want to share these stories for the world to see. The industry sometimes doesn’t allow people who are different to shine and tell their stories, but at Blended City we encourage it and we want different stories to be told, heard and seen. Lastly, we want to be the production company that breaks barriers. Blended City is a company that makes films and plays which most production companies are either entirely film based or stage based. With Ashley and Nicks experiences they are pushing boundaries and exceeding the “norm”. Essentially, building a sense of community, safe space and a team is important during this journey and that’s what Blended City is all about.
Nick Luis is a native New Yorker; raised in Brooklyn. At an early age Nick knew he was different; his creative impulses drove him to wanting to act at the age of 18 and soon after went to the Barrow Group Theater Company & School where he eventually met his future partner and best friend Ashley Calderon. There he trained for two years in acting, film making, scene study, script analysis, and voice and movement. Additionally, he gained experience producing a student showcase he was participating in and from then on took it to the next level. Producing a full length play, Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alergia Hudes, in the Spring of 2017 gave him the inspiration soon after to open and manage Blended City with is best friend Ashley Calderon. Together, Nick and Ashley manage and produce film and theater projects that are relatable to any audience using diverse individuals as there core mission.
Ashley Calderon was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She started theatre in the 6th grade and from that moment on she walked down the artistic path. She went on going to Repertory Company High School for Theater Arts where she participated in many school productions. Soon after Ashley decided to try college, but knew right a way it was not feasible financially so she decided to work in several corporate jobs in Midtown Manhattan. However, she didn't stop pursuing her dream of being an artist while maintaining a corporate job to provide for herself and her family. Ashley took a few classes such as acting, filmmaking, and scene study at the Barrow Group Theater Company and School and there met her future business partner and best friend Nick Luis. In the Spring of 2017 Ashley took on the role of Yaz in the production of Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alergia Hudes and having a background on managerial experience she helped Nick bring the production to its success. That driving force inspired her to open Blended City where herself and Nick manage and produce film and theater projects.