Thursday, July 18

UCLA grad Marco Sanchez delves below surface in “seaQuest DSV”

UCLA grad Marco Sanchez delves below surface in "seaQuest

Sanchez begins second season on TV program with new goals

By Rodney Tanaka

Marco Sanchez wants to discover himself.

He wants to explore the motivations and desires that fuel his

To follow his progress, tune in to "seaQuest DSV," the
futuristic underwater NBC series now in its second season. Sanchez,
a recent UCLA alumnus, plays sensor chief Miguel Ortiz on the show.
In the opening season, Sanchez followed orders and kept the ship
from crashing. This season he hopes to move beyond the surface of
his character and examine the nuances of his character.

"The great thing about being on a series is you continually
learn about a character," Sanchez says. "With each episode you have
something new to explore. I hope to learn about what he cares
about, what he likes and doesn’t like, everything about him that
makes him interesting."

Sanchez harbors high expectations for "seaQuest DSV." "(Last
year) the show wanted to accomplish many things, but it struggled
to find its voice," says Sanchez. "This season it will be a lot
more exciting and very entertaining without losing its moving

With such a bright future looming, Sanchez’s past must have
helped nurture his talent. He performed in his first play in the
eighth grade, and from there his acting projects and educational
endeavors continued to grow. He attended UCLA for four years and
graduated in 1992. "I have a lot of good memories of UCLA," Sanchez
says, "especially of the people that I met."

Sanchez continues to work with fellow UCLA students in the
Buffalo Nights Theatre Company. The company, composed entirely of
students from the UCLA theater department, completed their second
season of shows. It emerged out of a need for Sanchez and other
students to create their own opportunities.

"(The current) theater department at UCLA is better than the one
I went through. It was general education, like an English major,"
Sanchez says. "It seemed like they could care less whether anyone
got work."

Yet Sanchez rose above any setbacks and found work in theater
and television. His first job took him to "Knot’s Landing" as a
mischievous high school student. Other projects included "In the
Heat of the Night" and "Gunsmoke: The Long Ride."

Sanchez is cognizant that his exposure as an actor may make him
a role model to other Cuban Americans. He hopes that the writing in
Hollywood explores all aspects of his community, rather than just
the negative ones. "Hollywood is just beginning to understand that
the Hispanic community is multi-faceted," Sanchez says, alluding to
the dearth of positive roles for minorities.

Yet the actor does not dismiss the idea of playing a
less-than-wholesome character in the future, as long as the
character does not fall into ethnic stereotypes. "One-dimensional
bad guy roles are uninteresting and insulting to me," Sanchez says.
"I appreciate that Miguel Ortiz doesn’t have a cheesy accent.

Perhaps the future holds dangerous and violent characters for
Sanchez to portray. For now, he is content to explore his character
on "seaQuest" for as long as the ship explores the oceans.

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