Master of Ceremony:
Director of Diversity Showcase – CBS
Comedian, Speaker, Screenwriter, Actor, Director, Author, Rick Najera is a comedian and nationally acclaimed speaker, award-winning screenwriter-performer-director and author with credits in film, television, theatre, Broadway and new media. Rick Najera is a key influencer with an expansive portfolio of talent.
Currently he is a writer and guest star on hulu’s Emmy-nominated original series, East Los High and also directs the CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase (in his 11th consecutive year.) Najera recently filmed a television pilot, Color Correct News addressing current news and issues. Najera also developed and hosts the Latino Thought Makers Series (in its third season) for Oxnard College Performing Arts Center, interviewing top industry leaders and community heroes in the industry such as Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales and dozens more.
Najera, a thought maker himself, is a national speaker addressing topics through comedy such as diversity, entertainment, media, politics and more and has spoken at the most prestigious corporations, universities and organizations in America including Google, Harvard, Stanford, The World Bank, CNN, Al Jazeera, CBS, UCLA, NAHREP among others. He also is was also just signed by Latino Rebels, an influential news site and digital network, to develop and create original programming including a new web comedy sketch series.
Rick Najera currently directs for CBS and has directed the CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase for the last 11 consecutive years. Najera directs and oversees the show in its entirety, from mentoring the actors, teaching writing and stage performance and presents the most important showcase of talent in the industry. Under his tutelage, more than 65 actors from the showcase have been cast as series regulars or leads in popular television shows including Saturday Night Live (SNL) and The Daily Show and hundreds have gone on to successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Najera’s fourth book, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood, has garnered national attention and critical acclaim. In his memoir, Najera explores what it means to be Latino within the ever-changing backdrop of life as a Hollywood creative and offers an insider’s view through an ironic yet comedic lens, from in front of the camera to behind. Almost White was awarded Most Inspirational Non-Fiction Book.
A screenwriter by trade, Najera co-wrote the feature film Nothing Like the Holidays starring Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, John Leguizamo and Luis Guzman, which won him a prestigious ALMA Award. His writing/acting credits also include the nationally acclaimed stage play, Latinologues™ on Broadway, and was one of only three Latinos to ever write and star in their own play on Broadway.
He has also written for groundbreaking television comedies such as MAD TV and In Living Color, and currently the Emmy-nominated show on Hulu, East Los High.
Najera has been nominated for two WGA awards for Best Writing for a Comedy/Variety Television Series for his writing on Fox’s MAD TV.
For more information on Rick Najera, visit www.ricknajera.com.