December 12, 2023
Prolific actor Danny Trejo visited Compton High School to speak to Ms. Toni Wilson’s Chicano Studies class this week. A selection of her students participated in a panel discussion with Trejo where he talked about growing up, his past drug use, jail time, his redemption, and how he become a successful actor and businessman.
“Everything good that’s happened to me is a direct result of doing something good for someone else,” he repeated several times during the discussion, explaining how he’s ultimately succeeded in life.
The discussion took place in the school’s auditorium with several classes and about 120 students watching.
After giving the students an abbreviated life story, he took questions from the panel and talked about numerous topics, such as what keeps him going: “What keeps me motivated is helping people,” he said.
Trejo has starred in dozens of films including Desperado, Heat, the From Dusk Till Dawn series, Con Air, Once Upon A Time in Mexico, the Spy Kids movies, Machete, Machete Kills, the Bad Ass trilogy, Dead Again in Tombstone, Death Race 2, Muppets Most Wanted, Grand Daddy Day Care, and many more. He said his favorite role was in Heat with Robert De Niro.
Trejo was asked if it’s hard being an actor? “It’s like anything else,” he replied. “You’ve got to work. You’ve got to remember the lines and don’t bump into furniture. Acting is making people think you’re not acting.”
The purpose of his visit was to let students know that no matter where they come from, they, too, can succeed in life. After speaking to the Compton High School class, he stayed and signed autographs and took selfies with all the students.
Trejo said talking to students and fans is something he enjoys doing: “I do it all the time,” he explained. “It’s something that is absolutely necessary. I wish more people involved in my industry would do it. This is me. This visit made my week. This is the food for my soul.”