By Nayeli Pelayo
If you would have asked Jerry Ascencio two years ago if he could see himself as an actor, the broker/owner of San Fernando Realty would have probably chuckled and said no. As a multimillion-dollar business owner who manages about 60 employees, and a key leader for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), being an actor for live theater would have seemed farfetched and outside of his wheelhouse. That remained true until the day Gary Acosta, NAHREP co-founder and CEO, approached him about an idea he had to create a live theatrical presentation about Latinos achieving the American Dream, and the barriers they face along the way. Gary was familiar with Jerry’s personal story, and believed there was no better way to illustrate the idea than to write about Jerry’s tenacious journey from humble immigrant to millionaire real estate entrepreneur in the land of opportunity.
The script was laboriously written, edited, edited some more, and then re-written to create what is now “53 Million & One,” titled as such to reflect the 53 million Latinos in the U.S. at that time. “53 Million & One” is a one-man show following the Latino format of Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” and Mike Tyson’s “Undisputed Truth.” Jerry took on yet another endeavor and is now the actor for the play where he charismatically narrates his own story, assumes different personas of people who’ve touched his life, and displays his chops as a Mariachi guitarist to guide audiences through a powerful Latino-American story.
At its initial performance at NAHREP’s 2014 National Convention & Latin Music Festival, the play was enormously successful. Drawing hundreds to the show, it received strong reviews, and requests for encore performances. Viewing it as an opportunity to bridge barriers and celebrate cultural differences, Century 21 became a title sponsor, which propelled the show to go on a national 25-city tour. “53 Million & One” has been making stops across the U.S. for the past year, highlighting the common challenges, experiences and aspirations that bind the millions of Latinos who call America home. By popular demand, the show will continue to tour into 2016 in full force to reach cities in California, New York, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Utah and Nevada.
Catch the performance that audiences are calling inspirational, entertaining and enlightening as part of the 2015 Nuevo Latino Tour. Learn more and buy tickets at
For information and pricing on corporate booking, contact Rose Reyes at 858-622-9046, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nayeli Pelayo is the Communications and PR director for NAHREP.
For more information, visit www.nahrep.org.