Most people simply know him as that skinny kid with the shoulder-length hair who plays a food junky role in the Cox Gigablast commercial. That’s not the case in Hollywood circles, where young Cuban-American actor Bailey Estevan is considered to be a rising star. Why? Because he’s multi-talented, mature for his age and naturally brilliant in front of the camera and behind it.
To be sure, there are many sides to the Bailey Estevan mystique. He’s a bit of a charmer, escorting attractive ladies like “Days Of Our Lives” Emmy nominee Camila Banus, a close family friend, down the red carpet. He’s frequently performed on the set with budding actress Kayla Christine Arellano, who calls Bailey her “little brother” and “an amazing actor.” And not surprisingly, Bailey’s 14 year old birthday bash at El Floridita Restaurant on Vine Street was a gala affair attended by many of Tinseltown’s Hispanic elite.
Bailey Estevan is a young man who is friendly, engaging, confident and somewhat modest, although definitely comfortable in his own skin. As for his popularity with the opposite sex, it’s all good and appreciated. But when asked if he had a steady relationship, the question was shrugged off with disinterest.
“I don’t have time for that right now,” he answered. “I have to stay focused.”
A versatile actor since the age of seven, Bailey started out doing public service commercials for “Got Milk” and the Foster Care program, the latter which included an impressive voice-over combined with scenes on the beach. That led to a pair of musical films. ” Licenciado Cantinas” was nominated for a Latin Grammy, and “Breathturn,” a Hammock creation, was also a hit and can currently be viewed on YouTube. The short video is mesmerizing with a glimpse of a young boy in his own world, coming to the aid of a bird with a broken wing.
It was about the same time that Bailey nailed his first big break as Young Emilio in Kenneth Castillo’s highly acclaimed movie, “Counterpunch.” Based on a true life story, the action drama can seen on Netflix and for free on www.safecrackerpictures.com. More recently, Estevan did commercials for Best Buy and Cox, along with gigs in high drama films like “After School” and “Where Birds Don’t Fly.” He was also involved in a spoof skit on “Star Wars : The Force Awakens” and just a few weeks ago, finished shooting “The Prodigal Son” with Ronnie Alvarez.
While acting is still part of the immediate future, Bailey has become intrigued in all aspects of the production process, with increased proficiency in photography. As an inspired writer, he hammers out a daily blog while listening to “electronic” music, and has even dabbled in mock screenplays inspired by a favorite T.V. show, “House of Cards.” Now in ninth grade, Bailey commutes a distant round trip from his home to a performing arts school in the valley. His family also owns a home in Miami. The schedule at times can be grueling, which is why a bit of free time becomes almost sacred.
For relaxation, Bailey enjoys playing golf so he can be outdoors and “close to nature.” That said, his competitive side stands out when he occasionally gets involved in parkour, a sport that combines gymnastics and running, sometimes in an obstacle course-type setting. Lot’s of creativity enters into the picture with jumps and tumbles plus overall speed.
“One of my friends got me into parkour and it’s really interesting,” he reveals. “I consider myself an above average runner, and I like how all the twists and turns exercise the body.”
It’s probably true that a lot of Bailey’s determination and discipline can be attributed to his dad, Mario Garcia, a former L.A.P.D. officer who keeps his son grounded while being fair and supportive. Garcia operates a unique business called Cop Shop L.A., and rents police cars, authentic uniforms and even seasoned cop actors, all ready to roll on any T.V. or movie production set. He also restores vintage cars, mostly Chevys, that would rival even the best rides that cruise down Whittier Boulevard. So it shouldn’t be a shocker that Bailey is already planning that magic cumpleaños when he can officially get behind the wheel, perhaps in a freshly painted Impala.
“Why should girls have all the fun with their Quinceañeras?” he laughs. “I’ll wait another year for my sweet 16, and I’m sure it will involve driving.”
Such reasoning would seem to portray Bailey as a pretty normal teenager, and that’s close to the truth. He loves playing video games, especially those with plenty of weaponry. Usually sporting a backwards ball cap and head phones, he can be prone to slip into chill mode, falling deep into thought. And of course, there’s the occasional four-letter expletive to punctuate a conversation. No, Bailey is not perfect, nor spoiled by success. Fluent in Spanish, he knows who he is and proud to be a Latino.
“I’m third generation Cuban and second generation Salvadorian,” says Bailey, revealing his mom’s side of the family tree. “Some day I’d like to go to El Salvador and shoot a movie there, maybe when I’m 25.”
Indeed, after seven years under his belt as a child actor, Bailey has expanded his interests within the industry. Shooting a film, writing and even directing are within reach. He’s even altered his signature hair style to something still on the long side, but more mainstream. Basically, it’s time to reflect on some new personal goals and get down to business.
“Ideally, I’d like to keep acting for a while, and use that money to help finance my own films,” he states with conviction. “The process of getting an idea and writing a storyline, editing it, and knowing you’ve made something is a great feeling. As an actor you do that with your character, and as a writer you do that with your script.”
To know Bailey, though, is to understand that he’s true to his Cuban roots and looks forward to visiting the island soon with his family and his grandfather, also a former police officer.
“I know a lot of Cubans here don’t like the idea of Obama making friends with a dictatorship, and I understand that,” reasons Bailey. “But you can’t deny the fact that the new policies will be a safer way for people to visit their families.”
This is Bailey Estevan, live and unplugged. He’s smart, articulate, with lofty goals and not afraid to tackle them. That’s what makes him the perfect role model for Latino youth, both here and abroad.