Rick Najera is an award-winning screenwriter, actor, director, producer, sketch comedian, author, playwright, coach and national speaker with an expansive portfolio of credits in all forms of entertainment. He has received numerous industry awards for his work.
From starring in films with Sidney Poitier, George Clooney and most recently Mario Lopez, to writing sketch comedy for Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx, Najera is best known for starring on Broadway in his award-winning, self-penned stageplay, Latinologues, directed by comedy legend Cheech Marin. Najera is only one of three Latinos to ever write and star in their own play on Broadway.
As a screenwriter, Najera has written dozens of scripts for TV, film and the stage, starting out in the industry as a staff writer on the groundbreaking urban comedy series, In Living Color, for which he wrote more than 30 episodes. Najera went on to write for Townsend TV (10 episodes), MAD TV (47 episodes), East Los High – a Hulu original (21 episodes) and more. He penned the feature film Nothing Like the Holidays starring Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, John Leguizamo and Luis Guzman, which won him an ALMA Award. Najera learned from great writers like Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino and Scorsese to “write what you know’ and has been a pioneer in Hollywood telling his American experience, from a Latino perspective.
Najera started out as a theatrical stage performer reciting the epic lines of Shakespeare in numerous plays, and went on to star and guest star more than 100 episodes of TV and film and will star alongside Mario Lopez in Lifetime’s new holiday movie, Feliz NaviDAD.
Najera is a national speaker and coach (Google, The World Bank, CNN, Harvard, UCLA, more) addressing themes such as diversity, entertainment, motivation, Hispanic market, politics and comedy. He is the host of Latino Thought Makers, an unscripted interview series highlighting prominent Hispanic personalities through organic conversations with Najera’s network of industry friends and community leaders such as Edward James Olmos, Danny Trejo, Dolores Huerta, Cheech Marin and dozens others. Najera is also the host of his new podcast, Najera in America, a comedic look at the news and interviews with change makers, produced by reVolver Podcasts and Cohesive Entertainment Group now available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, iHeart, Spotify.
Najera is an award-winning author of four books: Latins Anonymous, Pain of the Macho, Latinologues on Broadway and and Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood. He is currently writing his fifth book, The Seven Laws to Mastering Writing and Speaking with Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, brother of renowned spiritual guru and author, Deepak Chopra.
Najera has been nominated for numerous industry awards including two WGA awards for Best Writing for a Comedy/Variety Television Series on MADTV.