Kat Lazo carved her own path to become a new creator and producer for MiTú, a digital platform aimed at Latino audiences, that wouldn’t have been possible without the internet. As a young student with dreams of becoming an actress, she attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She studied advertising and marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and even worked a brief stint in casting for TV shows and movies.
Influenced by the challenges and stereotypes young Latina women face today, Lazo started her own YouTube channel, TheeKatsMeoww, in 2012. She produces “bold, fearless, unapologetic content” to communicate and share with other members of her Latina community. “I wanted to impact the industry when it comes to women of color, so I turned to the most accessible platform that I could. I made the content that I wanted to make and the content I thought my community needed,” she said.
When it came to producing her videos, she had no formal training. She learned everything she needed to know from videos and online tutorials. “I didn’t go to film school. It’s all been because of the internet. YouTube was my film school.”
Discovered through her YouTube channel, MiTú recruited Lazo as its first video producer on the East Coast. Lazo produces original videos – from pre-production (casting and writing scripts) to production (hiring a crew or filming it herself) to post-production (editing).
As an online video producer, Lazo is aware of the role copyright laws play in the works she creates. She has not been targeted by DMCA takedown notices — and that is for a reason. Lazo takes deliberate steps when producing videos to avoid potential issues. For instance, she uses music produced by her friends in her videos so she doesn’t have to worry about mistakenly violating any laws and the costly penalties that can come with it.
Lazo acknowledges that the typical mentality is to work towards a steady, 9-to-5 job and was never encouraged to think of a career in the arts. But the internet has enabled her to pursue her creative talents and to make a living. “If it wasn’t for the internet, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I wouldn’t have known these skills that I would have had,” she said.