Before becoming an award-winning writer, director, producer, and storyteller, Evette Vargas was just another girl finding her place in the world. Born in the Boogie-down Bronx, she would later move to New Jersey at seven years old. Her family settled into the heart of a white suburban neighborhood. There she struggled to find comfort in her Latina heritage. Evette wanted to fit in with her friends who were predominantly white and at some point wanted to change her name to Jenny. However, she was never white enough for her white friends. Eventually, Evette lost her hood accent and found it difficult to be around other Latinos.
As she struggled with her identity, Evette Vargas found refuge in art. Her hobbies of drawing, painting, writing, and dancing once again became an outlet that lit her up and helped her find her voice. Evette was finally able to stand out. Her creativity expanded, and she would gravitate towards the urban scene with graffiti and deejaying. It was no different at home as she and her family allowed imagination to rule, and stories were loudly shared at the dinner table.
After high school, the highly-gifted Evette would delve into graphic & fashion design and spend a semester abroad in Paris, where she started a long-distance relationship with a French pastry chef. She would later work for Calvin Klein and Donna Karen as a fashion designer, but she yearned for her greatest passion — storytelling. Fortunately, Evette found herself attending NYU Tisch on a scholarship. There she was able to utilize her talents to their full extent, directing music videos, commercials and working as an advertising art director. Evette’s senior thesis film won the best of NYU, generating a lot of buzz and bringing her to Los Angeles.
Finally earning the opportunity to live out her dream, Evette Vargas utilized her skills to secure work in several major studios’ digital departments. A few years later, she would create a digital production company with her husband. Business was going well as many major names became their clients. The work allowed Evette to be creative, but she could not find the time to write her own stories. Yearning to share her stories once more, Evette went into grad school and earned an MFA from UCLA in Screenwriting and Television Show-running.
In 2019, Evette Vargas started mentoring five diverse screenwriters who dreamt of breaking into television. She organized a writer’s room setting where they broke a season arc of the Killing Eve series, wrote an episode of the arc, and concluded with a table read. While the breakthrough was something she already expected, the actors’ reaction during the table read was nothing short of positive as they shared their thoughts about the writers’ unique point-of-views. The writers and actors praised and encouraged Evette’s mentoring format, and she was excited about the prospect of making it come true, but at the time, her schedule left little room for her to invest in the project. Even when she had set up a series at MGM, Evette received support for the experience she gave the writers and actors. As an inclusion activist, she wanted to break down the barriers for underrepresented storytellers at all levels, creating The Writers Room 5050.
Since creating her foundation, storytellers of different backgrounds were able to thrive in the writer’s room. Evette Vargas hopes that she will finally take her stories to the next level by showrunning her ideas and directing episodic television.
Learn more about Evette Vargas and The Writers Room 5050 Foundation by visiting their website. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.