- Joined a gang in East Los Angeles at age 13.
- Spent 27 months in prison on an attempted murder charge; upon his release, he worked for Homeboy Industries, which gives ex-gang members jobs.
- Began acting when a casting director for CSI: Miami came to Homeboy Industries looking for extras.
- Studied at the Anthony Gilardi Acting Studio.
- Wrote and performed in a one-man show based on his life, titled Fighting Shadows, in 2013.