Cast & Crew

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Nathalie Autumn Bennett
Toypurina
Nathalie Autumn Bennett is an Oakland native and UCLA graduate who also studied film at USC. 

Ms. Bennett has performed in three one-woman stageplays: Yesterday Came Too Soon – The Dorothy Dandridge Story, A Shadow in the Clouds – The Bessie Coleman Story, and Tituba, which toured in Berkeley, San Diego, The Virgin Islands, and is expected to tour in NYC in 2015.  Other notable stage roles include leads in A Raisin in the Sun, The Piano Lesson, The Girls of Summer, and Steal Away.  She has trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and with coaches in Los Angeles.  Nathalie has also worked in feature films, short films,voiceover, and commercials.  Coming up next for Nathalie is the role of Anna in Dear Anna, Dear Peter, which will be performed in the Virgin Islands in Spring of 2015.  More information about Nathalie can be found at www.nathalieautumnbennett.com.

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Daniel Camacho
Spotted Badger
Daniel Camacho graduated from CSU Long Beach with a degree in Film and Theatre, and has since worked on plays ranging from Shakespeare to Charles Mee. 

A recent graduate of the Steppenwolf Classes West Summer Intensive, he has trained in Viewpoints by Alexandra Billings and Kim Rubenstein, and was fortunate to be taught by Jeff Perry and Eric Hunicutt.  He has also worked with the Michael Chekhov technique as taught by Hugh O’Gorman.  In addition, he has studied with the renowned SITI Company.  Credits include Spring Awakening, Of Mice and Men, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dog Sees God. He enjoys a good ukulele or guitar jam session, nature adventuring, and rock concerts.  Absolutely blessed to be a part of this project!

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Tim Halpin
Chief Bear Heart
Tim "ThunderHorse" Halpin, a Native Californian, has experienced the San Gabriel and many other California Missions along El Camino Real throughout his life; his young daughter has experienced them all. It is with honor he plays a Tongva and Chief Bear Heart in this story for TOYPURINA.

Tim is also honored to join the San Gabriel ensemble of professional stage actors. Previously Tim has appeared on-stage with actors Hal Linden and Allan Miller in Neal Simon’s THE SUNSHINE BOYS; with Charlie Robinson, Nadage August, Ernest Hardin Jr. and Dig Wayne in Eugene O’Neil’s DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS; The world premiere stage play version of THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE and most recently the stage play version of THE BAD SEED playing Leroy. Tim currently trains with Lifetime member status at the prestigious Actors Studio in NYC and LA presided by Ellyn Burstyn, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel and Directors Martin Landau and Mark Rydell.  Tim is a graduate of San Jose State University and has achieved 34 years government service with stints as a forest firefighter, soldier in the US Army, as an Officer, a detective and a Police Sergeant, and served overseas working with the US Army as a UN/US State Dept. International Police Monitor in war-torn former Yugoslavia. This performance is dedicated to another great chief, friend and mentor Chief Joseph McNamara SJPD R.I.P.

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Sergio Macián
Manuel Montero
Born and raised in Córdoba, (Spain). He grew up in a family of musicians, with over 25 different instruments of all four groups, (Brass, Percussion, Strings, Woodwinds) some of them a hundred years old.

His grandfather was and orchestra conductor, with over a hundred master pieces that are still performed by bands and orchestras. He used to join his father and the band at the bullfighting arenas. Soon his passion for music and art started at the age of 11, in the form of flamenco and classical guitar, and high school plays. He continued his formation at the age of 16, in local music schools in Alcora (Castellón de la Plana) where his family was originally from. Many bands, shows and tours after he moved to Los Angeles (California) in his 20’s. Here he played all the mayor clubs over at Sunset Strip Blvd, and continued his theater formation in two schools simultaneously. Those are: Christian’s Rodrigo Studio (Theater focused on Improvisation, vocal technique, scene study) and Ruskin School of Acting (Meisner Technique).

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Gerardo Moctezuma
Corporal Jose Pico
Gerardo Moctezuma is from East Los Angeles and currently resides in the South L.A. area. He is currently attending Mt. San Antonio College furthering his education in Aviation Science.

He hopes to be the testament that Science and Art can exist in harmony. He found love for theater in the Performing Arts Department of Pasadena City College. While in attendance there, he performed for various theater productions including an adapted version of The Great Gatsby, and the English comedy, Family Circles. He has since moved onto the screen making various appearances in student films and one independent film. This is Gerardo’s first, official theater appearance outside of college and he is humbled and honored to be part of Toypurina. He would like to thank his family, all in attendance and every individual that has made this production possible.

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Eliezer Ortiz
Father Sanchez
Eliezer Ortiz just finished a successful running of A Prayer For The Infidel at The Elephant Stages in Los Angeles.

Theater credits include; Deborah Warner’s The Angel Project (Lincoln Center, NY), TheGas Heart,ActWithout Words II (Geffen Playhouse), The Mission Play (San Gabriel Mission Playhouse), Luisa Fernanda (Million Dollar Theater), Life Is A Dream, Cecilia Valdes, Cumbia De Mi Corazon (Carmen Zapata Theater BFA), The Air Over Omaha, The Will of the World’s Way, (dub)zeck, Smutopia(Highways Performance Space), Annie Okay (Hammer Museum), Pleasant Ave (Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, NY), Tell Me A Story Papi (RepertorioEspañol, NY) plus forty acting stage credits. He has appeared in over eighty films like Annie & The Gypsy alongside Cybill Shepherd and Starlet with Dree Hemingway. His TV works include; Cursed, 1000 Ways to Die, Vindicated, Call 911 and Next Stop for Charlie, etc. He holds a BA in Theater from the University of Puerto Rico and an MFA in Acting from UCLA where he trained with Sir Anthony Hopkins, Henry Goodman, Mel Shapiro, Gil Gates, Gordon Hunt and Ellen Geer. He also trained with the Moscow Art Theater School (MXAT) at Harvard University and British American Drama Academy (BADA) at Oxford University, UK.

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Toni Tinkelman
Elk Woman
Toni hails from Salt Point, a suburb of Poughkeepsie, New York.

Her early theater work included high school and college productions, majoring in Theater Arts at SUNY at Albany. She also acted in a childrens theater company touring schools in upstate New York.  After a summer of repertory theater, she took a break from acting for many years. Now that Toni recently returned to acting, she has done a play, a TV show and two student films.

“As a kid I wanted to be a teacher, a fireman, an indian, a detective, a doctor, an explorer, and an astronaut. Then I realized I could be an actor and be them all!”  She is very grateful to her current acting teacher, Gary Imhoff, who has rekindled in her the thrill of creating a character from the raw material of her life.

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Jeremy Tristan
Listening Quail
Jeremy Tristan was born and raised in Northern California. He moved to Los Angeles late 2011. 

At the age of 16 he began taking acting lessons in Sacramento, Ca and by 18 he landed a leading role in the indie film American Grace. After graduating highschool, he attended Walla Walla University in Washington, studying Business Law and Psychology. In 2008, he began studying at The Howard Fine Acting Studio in Hollywood, and for the past 4 years has been training with Peter Frisch at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. Before acting, Jeremy became a Martial Artist at a young age, growing up taking Karate lessons and competing in tournaments year round, he earned his Black Belt at 16 and then went on to train in Tae Kwon Do, earning his second Black Belt 3 years later. In 2012 Jeremy started training in ballistic stunts and film fighting, mixing both his talents. Jeremy Tristan will also be starring in the play FOUR X, coming to Hollywood in early November.

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Randall Vasquez
Commander Hector Ramos
Randall was born in Borneo and raised in Appalachia while spending summers surfing in San Diego.

Los Angeles theatre: Rebecca’s Gamble at TheatreCraft Playhouse with the great Rick Walters; Not One More Foot Of Land at Secret Rose Theatre; Black Coffee at Theatre 40; BuonNatale at the NOHO Arts Center; Washington Square Moves at the Mojo Theatre Ensemble. Regional and Off-Broadway: Each Day Dies With Sleep at Berkeley Rep and Circle Rep. TV: Bosch, Gang Related, Chasing Life, Nip/Tuck, CSI:Miami. Series regular on JAG; First Monday; The Love Boat: The Next Wave. Film: VolandoBajo; Saving Private Perez; Beverly Hills Cop. Directing includes the documentaries, Testimony: The Maria Guardado Story in 2001 and The Thick Dark Fog in 2012 for PBS.

Jonathan Salisbury
Jonathan Salisbury
Director & Co-Writer
Jonathan hails from England where he lived until 2008. Performing from an early age, Jonathan gained his BA (Hons) degree in acting from Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama.

After many appearances on the London stage, he discovered directing. In London, he directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ben Jonson’s Volpone, as well as many modern productions and World Premiere’s both in the UK and Italy. Jonathan was Artistic Director of the first of Shoreditch and Hoxton Festival, of two different theaters in central London, and one in the commuter town of Tunbridge Wells. Since coming to Los Angeles, Jonathan has appeared in onstage as Claudius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as Dr. Robert Smith in the acclaimed British play Blue/Orange and most recently as Paul Deckhard in Games On A Bombed Out Beach by Shirl Hendryx,  as well as feature films, shorts, commercials and TV shows including a major recurring role in the PBS special Courage, New Hampshire. In 2011, he directed a short film entitled Intruder. He is currently developing his next film. Read more about Jonathan at www.jonathansalisbury.net.

Matthew Lovio
Matthew Lovio
Co-Writer
Matthew is a descendant of the Gabrieleno Tongva tribe. He's currently majoring in creative writing at Pasadena City College.

He has completed one novel and is in the process of writing a second book. Matthew is currently writing a screenplay based upon his first novel. His future goals are to continue to act, write, and to spread and teach the knowledge of his ancestors, the first indigenous people of Los Angeles.

Andrew Morales
Andrew Morales
Co-Writer
Andrew "Guiding Young Cloud" Morales is an active tribal member of the Gabrieleno Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians and is the son of "The Chief."

He is a shaman, youth leader, dance captain, and teaches the Tongva language for the tribe. He conducts many ceremonies, blessings, cultural presentations, and also composes tribal songs and dances. His goals are to write plays, produce and act in feature films.

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Jasmine Gillison
Assistant Producer
Jasmine is from London, England; she moved to Los Angeles in May.

Jasmine has been acting from a very young age, performing as Lady Macbeth in a school performance at the age of 10. She went on to study Drama in High School, starring in many school performances and attended two stage schools at weekends; Jasmine went on to study a National Diploma in Acting at Liverpool Community College, England, achieving a full Distinction. Before moving to Los Angeles she started studying costume design and dressmaking. Jasmine currently works at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse and assists in production of Toypurina by managing social media accounts and their Indiegogo campaign; she also assists the Producer in administration and marketing.