Delilah Cotto is not a typical Latina. It might’ve started that way, coming from Brooklyn, NY, dancing and doing high school plays, but this Latina has definitely taken it to another level and doesn’t forget where she came from.
SB: Tell us a little bit about who you are.
DC: I was born and raised in Brooklyn NY . . . mostly Borough Park, 1st generation Puerto Rican American. I Love New York City.
SB: Did you know you wanted to be a performer and actor already, growing up in Brooklyn?
DC: I was born in Coney Island raised in Borough Park . . . I thought you had to be born in a family of Actors in order to be one…but I always had a strong passion for reading aloud. My 5th grade Teacher Ms. Sezan entered me in a reading contest for the school and I won two years in a row for the school . . . I guess that’s where it all began . . . unbeknownst to me.
SB: The only Latino role models we had back in the day were like Rita Moreno and maybe Freddie Prinze. Lol. Who did you look up to growing up, as a role model?
DC: I Loved Rita Moreno’s Character in West Side Story . . . She was truly one of the only inspirations at that time!
SB: Your name is on a long list of celebrities that went to LaGuardia. How did it feel back then to go to the infamous Performing Arts High School like in the movie “Fame”?
DC: I am very proud of being part of such a great school. We need more of them!
SB: Since you started young, what was the performance that made you realize “yeah this is what I want to do with my life”?
DC: I realized it when I went to John Dewey H.S. for one year, freshman year. It was my first introduction to Acting. I took a monologue class and then I wrote and directed the freshman – sophomore year play “FREE TO BE” which actually won that year. I also choreographed the dance routines and when a one line actress dropped out, I took over her line! That was it! I loved the entire process of it all.
SB: You were in some of my favorite major films like Girl 6, Lean On Me, Empire and Illegal Tender. You have been seen on almost every channel working on some television shows such as Oz, Law & Order, CSI:Miami, Numb3rs, and many others.
You have also worked with some amazing actors, such as James Gandolfini, Rob Lowe, Benjamin Pratt, John Leguizamo, Rick Gonzalez; and not to mention a dozen theater performances. What do you accredit your longevity and success to?
DC: I still have much to do to get to where I really want to be. Perseverance keeps me on track . . . I am self-inspired and quite determined. I believe in living life to the fullest. Breathing and staying healthy is very important through it all so I meditate, do yoga, eat organic foods, take supplements, workout, and hike, read a lot and watch a lot of movies and documentaries.
SB: You have worked in every different aspect of media and entertainment, acting, producing, and promoting; you love poetry and writing, what about that path?
DC: I am writing my own one woman show and working on a screenplay as we speak.
SB: What words of advice do you have for someone out there that wants to follow in your footsteps into dancing, modeling, or acting?
DC: Easy, FOLLOW YOUR PASSION . . . I promise it will never steer you wrong. What’s great about youth, is its’ fearlessness. Knowledge is power, the more information you have, the more fearless you become; fear is our greatest enemy; never lose the fearlessness of youth.
SB: Where do you see Delilah Cotto in 5 years?
DC: Writing, producing in between shoots, and as a regular on an intense TV series for HBO.
SB: Tell us now about your charity, what it entails, and how can others get involved?
DC: The Inky Blue Sea Animal Rescue Project is a non-profit organization in greater New York and Puerto Rico, dedicated to ending the suffering of abused, abandoned and homeless cats and dogs. Countless animals fill shelters every year, while thousands of others wander our streets, exposed to poisonings, weather, disease, cars, torture, and neglect.
Working alongside other animal protection and rescue organizations in New York City and Puerto Rico, the goal is to foster responsible and humane behaviors toward companion animals through education, communication, and funding of rescue programs. You can go to www.InkyBlueSea.org for more information.