The Latino experience in the U.S. is filled with stories of hope, inspiration and pride. This Hispanic Heritage Month, we are celebrating by highlighting New Yorkers who are shattering preconceived notions that exist about aging and embody AARP’s #DisruptAging message by proving that there’s no slowing them down!
Today we hear from Louis Perego-Moreno (aka Tio Louie) (age 60), the Founder & Executive Producer of Prime Latino Media, an East Coast network of independent Latino multimedia-makers, actors and musicians in bilingual Latino and mainstream media, digital and entertainment. He hosts a monthly networking gathering in which over 150 narrative & documentary filmmakers, programmers, casting agents, TV & digital media producers, actors and journalist/authors have been interviewed. For over 20 years he has served on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Latino Arts & Culture at Rutgers University and has been an invited speaker at 100 colleges and universities addressing Latino and LGBT student groups.
1.) How are you “owning” or embracing your age at this stage in your life?
I have always embraced my age since as far back as 18. I knew clearly then, at the pinnacle of my youth, that at 40 I was not going to look 18 and I embraced aging fully. So at 18, I focused on 40. When I was 40 I focused on being 50. So when I arrived at each chapter, I felt good and satisfied on how I felt and looked – by taking care of myself from the inside and out throughout my youth and life —and where I was in my career and its impact on my livelihood in being financially independent irrespective of being with or without a partner. Now as I am at the door of my third act, as Jane Fonda has coined 60+, I have some more work to do in the next year, but I’m feeling good about where I am and going as I then focus on the next milestone of 70.
2.) What challenges do you face, either personally or professionally, as you’ve gotten older?
Professionally, I don’t feel that I am facing challenges nor do I fear ageism. I believe that at this stage in life, I am not reinventing myself, rather repackaging based on my skill-set that I have developed and mastered over a lifetime. However, there are physical drawbacks as the laws of physics ensue. After a lifetime of sleep apnea that results in a lack of oxygen to the blood and brain, what I was able to navigate with this condition at 20 is much more taxing now on my brain that is not as malleable as it was 30 years earlier, thus adversely impacting my short-term memory. Having undergone surgery for this condition a year ago with unsuccessful results and realizing that this condition as I age puts me at greater risk for cardiovascular issues and strokes, I am more vigilant in stemming the rising tide of a condition that was moderate to severe and have gotten it down to a mild level.
3.) How has your approach to your life and/or career changed over the years?
I have always been a goal-oriented person. At 12 I filled out an application to skip 8th grade and to attend a Prep school on scholarship. In Senior year in H.S. when I realized that I had not performed so well in my high school career, I turned the tables completely around in Senior year and received a full scholarship to college enabling me to leave the nest and explore greater opportunities to further my life goals. To that effect, I know I will work in my profession clearly through 75 and will work volunteering, mentoring young people and aspiring multimedia-makers until the day I die. I have always worked at what I have loved and I plan on being financially independent to volunteer at what I care the most.
4.) What do you value most about aging?
I love the experience and knowledge that I have earned that has given me right to carry the gauntlet that is dubbed wisdom. I have spent a lifetime shaping my career, bettering my work skills, been considerate of others’ humanity and of how to lead a fulfilling life in being of service to others. I’ve earned stripes that are inextricably linked to aging and thus a benefit to a physicality that some fear, but I embrace.
5.) What are some things you still want to accomplish as you look towards the future?
For most of my life I have been a storyteller – an international journalist, foreign photo agent, documentary filmmaker and multimedia specialist. I have gotten awards in my life. My immediate goal is to write a book that I have been developing for 20 years on my mother – my biggest role model and inspiration in so many realms in life – and converting it into a movie. And my ultimate goal is to get an Academy Award for this or some project for which I will be an Executive Producer.
6.) How has New York living played a part in keeping you active and involved in your community?
I don’t have a license and I don’t drive. So, I walk tons. I walk up and down this city – and have done so my entire life, Walking 20-30 blocks is my mainstay and I don’t think twice about it. I am not intimidated by stairs and will often take them. I bike daily from point A to point B in conducting my errands and burn calories galore and stay fit. I have an AppleWatch application that measures how much I burn and walk. I walk an average of 35 miles per week and I am proud of that weekly feat. I thrive in urban settings and this feeds my body, fitness and soul. I am also most known for the last 25 years for throwing dinner parties of healthy and home-cooked meals from scratch and entertaining an average of ten guests comprised of friends and people from the industry. I have been living in the West Village for the past 14 years and I obtained this apartment by placing an ad in Craigslist with a banner headline of: SEEKING APARTMENT FOR SIT-DOWN DINNER FOR TEN. A Norwegian wanting to sub-lease his apartment got me loud and clear and the rest was history.
Wednesday, Dec 19, 2018 at 8:30am
Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 8:30am
Jewish Community Center
Staten Island, NY
Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 at 8:30am
Samuel Field Mha
Little Neck, NY
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