Milo Jaime Alvares was born to Luca and Theresa Alvares on April 1, 1980, in Chicago, Illinois. The second of three children, Milo struggled with what most people would recognize as typical middle child syndrome: an inability to feel like he fit in with those around him, a desire to blend in rather than stand out, and general loner tendencies. At thirty-one, he has yet to shake some of these habits.
Milo led a childhood that was so typical of a Midwestern upbringing that it almost seemed abnormal. Little League, soccer practices, and hockey games consumed the Alvares children's young lives, as did birthday parties, piano lessons, and good grades, the last of which eventually helped Milo land a spot in the Brown University's incoming freshman class of 1998. By his senior year of high school, Milo was tired of living in his brothers' shadows. The other Alvares children were popular and likable, whereas Milo left Hyde Park Academy High School with only a handful of friends - but he was okay with that. He was eager to get out of Chicago and ready to see what the rest of the world had to offer him. He packed up his belongings, holding tightly to his camera and a handful of Moleskine notebooks, and took off for Philadelphia.
Getting out of Chicago and away from his family seemed to be all that it needed for Milo to break out of his shell. While he still only had a few friends to talk about when he came home for winter break after his first semester of college, his parents were almost astounded at what a few months away from home had done to their son. He was more talkative than usual (which they would admit wasn't really saying much), didn't seem to mind holding conversations with people, and he actually seemed engaged and interested in what he was doing at school. By the end of his sophomore year, he found himself firmly planted in the English department's Journalism and Print Culture program. Unable to decide between an English major and his love of film, he ended up picking up a second major in Cinema Studies.
During his junior year at Penn, Milo reluctantly enrolled in a course about 20th Century American Social Movements in an attempt to fill up an empty spot in his schedule. He took on the responsibility of researching the evolution of Students for a Democratic Society and The Weather Underground. Holed up in Van Pelt one night, he came across his parents' names in an article about the Weather Underground Organization. The article didn't provide any details, but one week and several phone calls later, the secret was out: Luca and Theresa Alvares were former Weathermen, though their involvement in the organization ended in 1973, just a few short years before the birth of their oldest child. The too-normal upbringing in Hyde Park, Chicago, suddenly seemed to make sense: make your kids' childhoods seem as normal as possible to protect them from your own semi-dangerous past. This discovery led to a rift between Milo and his parents, and he tried his best to shut them out of his life. It wasn't that he disagreed with their politics by any means; he just didn't see why they had kept their past a secret for so long. Nonetheless, by the time commencement rolled around, they were back on speaking terms in time to see him and the rest of his classmates walk.
Milo stayed in Philadelphia after graduating in 2002. He had friends there, a professional network he had yet to really take advantage of, odd jobs lined up post-graduation; leaving the city didn't really seem like an option. He spent the next few years working at different posts around the city, slaving away behind a desk during the day and spent his evenings working on various freelance gigs. Milo managed to put in three more years in Philly before he packed up and moved to New York, where he earned bylines at Time Out New York, New York Magazine, and several other publications. After a year in New York, he packed up for Oakland, California, for two years to write for various publications including The San Francisco Chronicle.
Milo returned to Philadelphia in late 2009, exhausted from having overworked himself and emotionally drained from a particularly bad break-up. He was able to pick up various freelance writing and research jobs to keep himself going, but the lack of full-time jobs available, he decided to seize the opportunity to focus on filmmaking. Film had taken a backseat to his journalism career for the past several years, but upon an old professor's recommendation, he managed to weasel his way into Philadelphia Film Society, a community film arts organization. He started out as a workshop instructor, but thanks to some organizational lapses, it wasn't long before he found himself in charge of programming for the organization.
His decision to leave PFS wasn't an easy one, as Milo felt that he had finally found a comfortable niche at the organization. He wasn't working four jobs to get by, for once, and he felt like he was actually contributing to his community. Somehow, though, it wasn't enough to just teach film anymore. He soon found himself reworking his reel and cranking out resumes and cover letters again, and in December 2010, he was offered a job with the Philadelphia Inquirer as a multimedia producer. Three years in and his restlessness began to settle in. After another job search and series of interviews, he threw in the towel, took a gamble, and started a production studio with Lu, called Sock Puppet Studios.
The work not unlike what he was doing at previous jobs, but the stakes were higher and he was able to take ownership and pride in the work that they produced through the studio. He had finally found his niche, and along with it, the strange feeling that this was something he was destined to do all along. It suddenly felt too familiar, a little too comfortable, just enough to jar his reality and jolt some long-suppressed memories of being a certain orange Muppet named Scooter. His place in the world suddenly made a little more sense, but not at all, all at the same time, but he takes it one day at a time.