Xavi is talent through a kaleidoscope—actor, writer, poet, spoken word artist, dancer, graphic designer, producer, director, historian, and educator. A proud Angelino, born, raised, and staged east of the LA River, in the historic neighborhood of Boyle Heights. Xavi is testimony to the positive power that the word and stage can unearth in youth who have been pushed out from schools, into gangs, inside jails and out to tell his story under the spot light and beyond its boundaries.
Xavi’s first theatrical debut on stage was only two months after his birth. He played “Baby Jesus” in a comedic production of “El Nacimiento” co-starring with his father Xavier Moreno as Jose at the famed El Million Dollar stage in Downtown, Los Angeles. This first performance in the nude of Jesus Christ would become the foundation for the courageous artistic path that Xavi would continue to walk on through the vibrant streets of his Los Angeles hometown.
From the front porch of his home Xavi grew up admiring the Hollywood sign in the distance. His urge to perform was supported by his parents who were family entertainers, the center of attention, and class clowns. Xavi grew up observing his father’s improvised performances at home and was encouraged to perform after Thanksgiving dinners and family gatherings. He explored the mixed rich cultura of his Mexican immigrant family, Chicanidad, and upbringing in the U.S. in his impersonations of Cantinflas and Chaplin; dancing to the tunes of Luis Miguel and Michael Jackson. When his parents were out working, Xavi continued his performance studies with some of his favorite babysitters: El Chavo del Ocho, El Chapulin Colorado, La India Maria, Rosa Salvaje, Carusel de Ninos, Sesame Street, and Reading Rainbow. When he shut the T.V off Xavi would take his turn to shine in his living room and in front of his closet mirrors.
If Xavi wasn’t inside studying TV personalities, he was outside absorbing the characters and stories of his neighborhood. The stories he experienced in his streets motivate him to write and portray them on stage, to commit them to spoken word…
“You may know my neighborhood from films or the 10 o’clock news or you come here for our food, you stereotype me and my neighborhood based on that, but those are just the stories that get out, that get told. I want to tell the world the reality of my streets, of my city and culture, on stage and on film with my own language, with my Los Angeles lingo so that those that watched me grow up, those that told my parents to “speak English only” can get a taste of the real Los Angeles.” (from an interview thesmilingspiderblog.com)
Xavi’s upbringing in Boyle Heights is greatly influential in every bit of his artistry as a writer, actor, as a human being. The vibrant colors, people, and culture of this special neighborhood in Los Angeles are the source of inspiration for his artistic work. Amongst the vibrant colors, Xavi grew up hearing and witnessing gun-shots, sirens, helicopter propellers, screams, cries, and deaths. Losing one of his best friends to gang-violence impacted and transformed his life in a major way. After the death of his loved friend, at nineteen years young, Xavi came across a treasure in Boyle Heights, a small community theater named CASA 0101. That summer of 2003, Xavi joined their ten-week creative writing and theater summer workshop for youth. At the end of the course the youth produced a show entitled Voces Voices, portraying their own life stories. The outcome was so life changing for him and all the youth who participated that they decided to start their own theater company titled Teatro East of the River (TEOTR) and continue writing and producing stories that represented their lives, their families, and communities to impact social change. Xavi would later claim that theater saved his life and dedicates every show to the friends he lost to gang violence.
After co-founding TEOTR, Xavi’s career on stage picked up rapidly. Taking everything he had learned from his parents, his streets, his drama teacher at Roosevelt High School, and even his first poetry instructor in elementary (Ms. Rose), Xavi went on to act in a variety of shows with multiple theater companies in Los Angeles including Ensemble Studio Theater LA, Cornerstone Theater, Moveable Piece, Frida Kahlo Theater, tounge in chic*ana, Company of Angels, Independent Shakespeare Company, Watts Village Theater Company, Casa 0101 Theater. Among his greatest performances include the lead role in the Los Angeles premiere of Ricardo Bracho’s SISSY in 2007. His portrayal of The Chorus & Eric in Cornerstone Theater’s FOR ALL TIME…; in 2010 his incredible portrayal of Judas in the annual production of FRIDA, a move that would open his career to Spanish speaking audiences and influence his spanish creative writing for the work that would follow with Ford and in 2011 his role's as Simple in the The Merry Wives of Windsor and Moth in Loves Labours Lost for the historic, audience record-breaking 2011 Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival with the Independent Shakespeare Company.
In 2006 Xavi co-founded Los Poets del Norte an essential spoken word duo born out of the seabed of rebellion of Boyle Heights - rhythmically vocalizing the untold urban corridos for the understanding of the Xican@ reality.
Grounded in his roots and community, Xavi teaches spoken word, theater, and creative writing through TEOTR, Los Poets del Norte, the Unusual Suspects Theater Company, and Company of Angels to youth in his community and the greater LA. He is passionate about working with inner city youth who like himself fell hostage to the juvenile system, education system, and are finding a means to express themselves and survive through the arts.
Beyond the stage Xavi is a distinguished graphic designer and runs his own graphic design company 34° 118°. He build his marketing talent at a young age beginning with his first job making piñatas at 11 years old, to helping run their family owned juice bar at age 13, selling popcorn, and designing t-shirts for one of the largest T-Shirt manufactures in the world. Today he is responsible for Company of Angels’ innovative marketing rooting from his decade long freelance creative consultation. Consistently pushing for innovation, Xavi has the ability to see beyond the expected or average solution to capture your attention . A sampling of Xavi’s consulting and freelance clients include: American Apparel, Stussy, Urban Outfitters, Ford & Dr. Pepper. Currently Xavi is the Latino spokesperson for the new 2011 Ford Fiesta, Ready Pa tu Mundo campaign. Xavi has quickly become an asset to the Ford Fiesta campaign, writing and performing the commercials for TV, radio, and internet www.readypatumundo.com/xavi
Xavi es una flor chillante that rose through cracked concrete into the spot light. This self-proclaimed Fresh Prince de Boyle Heights continues to be an inspiration to his community and youth at large.
Name: Xavi Moreno
Lives in: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Actor, Playwright, Producer, Voice Artist and Other