I’ve known Daniel Monserat all my life. He is my cousin, but we have been brought up more like siblings, even though we were raised in different continents.
Daniel was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1983. His parents, both doctors come from different places. His dad is from Caracas and his mum is from Cuba. No stranger to being in an intercultural family it eventually led him to study Social Communication at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, specialising in audio-visual communication. His passion for film led him to this path. After working at an advertising agency and directing some commercials in Caracas, he decided to move to New York City in January 2008 to study at the New York Film Academy “I was always fascinated with NYC and it so happened I could study here what I wanted to study. So after I graduated, I landed my first job, and things fell into place for me to stay in the city.”
His first job landed him at the advertising agency, editing videos for the advertisements. “I always wanted to be involved in some way or another with audiovisuals. I might not be directing or producing, but I’m doing something creative such as editing and pitching ideas for our clients”. He has worked in ads for BMW, Harman, TE, American Express, Goldman Sachs, Tecate and Curel and many others since he started working with at KBS in New York.
New York, his work haven’t affected his personal life “Like in any other city, you will find good jobs and bad jobs, you just got to be smart enough to keep a good one if you find it and obtain that precious work/life balance everyone desires and needs. The city has a frenetic pace, for sure, but at the end of the day, living here is like living in any other big city of the world. You get used to it and you roll with whatever life brings.
“I’ve lived in NYC for 9 years. It’s the city where I made my first home along with my wife. We’re staying here for the foreseeable future, plan to have children and hopefully buy a home.”
His lifestyle in New York is completely different from his life in Caracas, (Caracas is now considered the most dangerous city in the world) “the main difference is security. Crime rates in Caracas are extremely high, anyone can easily become a victim and probably will be at some point of their lives. Despite of what movies and tv shows might make you think, NYC is a very safe city.”
Daniel and his wife, miss home very much, My wife and I have no family in NYC, so we support each other a lot. We’ve made many friends here, but you always feel like you belong where your family”. But Venezuela’s current political and social situation, lack of food and medicines is bringing unrest to everyone on the Venezuelan society, even the ones who emigrated “Venezuela’s democracy is fading by the second, with the government trying to stay in power by any means necessary, no matter the long term consequences for the country and its citizens. It affects me emotionally because most of my family is there, and I know of the struggle they go through every day.”
With President’s Trump open hatred to the Latino and Hispanic community in the States, the Muslim ban, he is concerned about the situation “I wouldn’t say I’m afraid, but obviously it does concern me that he might try to ban citizens from others country such as Venezuela, where I’m from. However, his claim to ban people is related to terrorism, not illegal immigration. His decisions are already impacting the country. If he broadens the ban, he will provoke more harm to people who come to this country legally and do honest work.”
Even though Donald Trump and Hugo Chavez represent very different ideologies Daniel can see some parallelisms between the two political figures “Even though they have opposite ideologies, Trump shares many similarities with Chavez. He has an autocratic way of ruling, where he tries to diminish anyone who opposes him by any means necessary. Narcissism is a quality they both possess. Trump is great in front a camera or microphone, just like Chavez, and knows how to reach his followers on an emotional level. Lastly, Trump’s speech is very populist, promising everyone the world when in reality he can’t deliver as much as he says he will. Maduro, on the other hand, is just a pathetic shadow of Chavez, but lacks his charm or intelligence.”