Deborah Magdalena was born into a very talented musical family. As the sister of Latin Grammy winner Nestor Torres and grandniece of legendary Puerto Rican singer Ruth Fernandez, it was in her blood to entertain friends and family from an early age with her spontaneous comedic sketches and dance numbers.
In the early nineties Deborah enjoyed a three-year stint as a student and apprentice for renowned actor and mentor Michael Beckett,under Uta Hagan’s direction atHerbert Bergdorf Studios in New York City. Immediately after, she quickly accumulated TV and film credits, including Sesame Street (CTW), Apollo Comedy Hour (Tribune Entertainment), The Newz (Columbia-Tri-Star), Safe Harbor (Warner Brothers), Striptease (Castle Rock), Holyman (Caravan), and For Love or Country (HBO) Billboard Latino (Azteca America).
Hollywood was at her doorstep literally and figuratively on September 11, 2001, when a phone call from her best friend Tanya drastically changed the course of Deborah’s life. She felt like her spirit was about to jump out of her body when she learned that Tanya’s firefighter fiancé, Sergio Gabriel Villanueva, was down at the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
During the yearlong journey of yearning to heal while learning to accept her family’s loss, Deborah turned to writing poetry and launched a new career of performing her spoken word with vigor and pain at open mics across the country.
The process proved to be cathartic as she was reminded of how much she enjoyed the immediate audience response and impact, and subsequently, Deborah released her first chapbook, Heartbreak Haikuto rave reviews and three spoken word CDs- Spoken Soul: A Survival Kit of Poetry, Deborah Magdalena LIVE and FUNKdalena. Originally setting out to complete just an album, FUNKdalena organically evolved into a trilogy of works consisting of a short play “LOVE ADDICT”, one-act play “FUNKdalena – The Goddess of FUNK”, and “DIOSA” a musical.
Deborah’s short play “LOVE ADDICT”, FUNKdalena’s prequel, premiered to rave reviews during MICROTheater Miami Season 3 – fall 2012. Her one-act play FUNKdalena was awarded The Jenny Duany Light Bulb Fund Award from The Miami Light Project 2012. Nominated by the Poetry National Awards 2013 as best album of the year, FUNKdalena is not just a mix of poetry and FUNK music– FUNKdalena sets out to poetically inspire positive growth and change in the human soul, the stage, and dance floor.
In 2007, Deborah combined her bilingual hosting style with comedic and musical skills alongside DJ / Producer The Brass King, created a unique poetic cabaret show called The Alma Lounge which had a SOLD OUT six-month run at the notorious Miami Beach hotel, The Raleigh.
Demo Reels & Performances
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