Michael Diaz, a Dominican actor, producer and entertainer, is steadily making a name for himself and Washington Heights in the media world.
Less than three weeks ago, Diaz released “Pan con Queso,” a wildly popular viral comedic remix of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black & Yellow.” The video, which boasts over 200,000 YouTube views, has garnered much attention for its funny Latino spin (highlighting the Dominican dietary staple of bread and cheese) and its production quality.
Even though “Pan con Queso” may be his most popular and recent endeavor, Diaz has been creating projects since 2007 with Heights Entertainment. Diaz started Heights Entertainment because he was unhappy with the roles offered to him and felt like he could do more with his talents. Through the company, Diaz has worked on webisodes, short films, feature-length productions and even local commercials.
“I could run for mayor in the Bronx,” jokes Diaz in regard to the local popularity of his role as “Fernando the Party Planner” in a series of wacky cable commercials for North End Wine & Liquors. Diaz’s friendly and jovial yet professional demeanor makes him a definite presence in the community. Even as the AmNews sat and spoke with him at a coffee shop, a couple of people on separate occasions stopped to greet him and ask about his projects.
Diaz has also been working to connect artists and entertainers around Washington Heights.
“I like to bring people together,” explained Diaz. “Everyone needs to help each other out.”
Diaz has been setting up brunches, Latin jazz nights and other networking events where he invites local graphic designers, musicians, filmmakers and artists from around Washington Heights. An estimated 70 creative minds came together last month for his monthly networking event.
“I want people to see that they have resources up here. You don’t have to go downtown if you want to accomplish something creative,” Diaz assured. “I want people to see that there’s a movement up here.”
While Diaz considers himself a comedian, he insists that his company is working on more serious, mature films as well. You can follow Diaz’s projects at www.heightsentertainment.com.