I was born Manuel Antonio Vallarino Pousa on March 16, 1995 in Miami, FL, USA. I came out of the womb with my mother’s umbilical cord wrapped around my neck, so I was born blue (my favorite color!), due to hypoxia. Not a great start. Though I like to think that my life since then has been an upward slope.
When I was a few months old, I got a job selling insurance in Panama City, Republic of Panama, so I packed my toy suitcase, put on a little suit, and boarded a plane. I left a note in my mom’s Miami home explaining why I had to leave. Thankfully, she decided to move with me and keep me alive.
For the next 19 years, I lived in Panama, which I’m grateful for. I certainly experienced things that no one should have to experience (many people do); fortunately, I also grew up mostly surrounded by an extensive, loving family and hilarious, good friends.
During those 19 years of my life, I didn’t really know who I was or what I valued. I was often doing a poor impression of who I thought I had to be. So, when I moved back to the US for college, by myself, it was like being born again, except not blue.
After my second birth in the US, I slowly came to realize who I was and what I valued. I began to do the work necessary to become my best self, and I’m happy to report that, though challenging at times, it’s been and continues to be worth it.
It was also after my second birth that I realized how much and how deeply I love the arts. All the arts. I’ve come to believe that the arts change us for the better, showcase the best humanity has to offer, give meaning to a world that needs it, and more. This is why my purpose is to enrich someone else’s inner Life by contributing to the Creative Industries, where Commerce and Creativity intersect. My work and this website are extensions of this purpose.
The Commerce part of my purpose comes from my having worked in my Galician grandfather’s small business in Panama, my having studied Accounting in college and earned a Master of Entertainment Industry Management in graduate school, and my learning that the arts, which often suffer unjustly due to commercial considerations, can also be funded, aided, and elevated through noble business.
That’s it! I’m necessarily leaving out a lot about myself, so if you have a question or want to collaborate, meet, talk, connect, or something of the like, feel free to contact me.
Oh, and here’s a photo of me so you know I’m a human:
And here’s a slightly more recent photo of me: