Three years ago, I was attempting to rent an apartment. One of the last steps was for the landlord to conduct a background check on me and my wife. He called me shortly after he completed the background check, telling me that he was, unfortunately, unable to rent us the apartment. He didn’t feel comfortable renting the apartment to someone who had been accused of domestic violence.

This was news to both of us.

It turns out that there is another person named Omar Lopez who has my exact birthday and lives in New Mexico. He was accused of domestic violence a few years prior.

In an effort to save money, the landlord used a background check service that only uses people’s names and birthday’s, not their social security numbers.

Despite ensuring the landlord that I had never been to New Mexico, much less have been accused of a crime there, he refused to rent us the apartment.

That episode made me very curious to learn about other people with my name. Reading about them fascinated me, as it was an exercise in exploring parallel universes. What if instead of an education-focused millennial living in New York City I went into music, photography, or crime?

Here are profiles of eight people who share my name:

  1. Omar Lopez, the ViolinistOmar Lopez, more widely recognized as “the guy with the red violin”, is a true entertainer. Raised in Austin, Texas, the classically-trained violinist culls his style from jazz, rock, pop, R&B, and even Latin and Middle Eastern musical influences.
  2. Omar Lopez, the ProfessorAdjunct Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at St. John’s University. Areas of specialization include technology in education and digital photography.
  3. Omar Lopez, the Photographer. Omar Lopez Photography Studios is an outstanding studio specializing in rendering exceptional services by providing top notch photography and cinematography for both local and international event coverage.
  4. Omar Lopez, the Baseball Team ManagerHouston Astros Class A Advanced Lancaster manager Omar Lopez has been named the Manager of the Year in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) for the 2014-15 season. The 38-year-old Lopez, who was the youngest manager in the LVBP this season, led the Caribes de Anzoategui to a league-best 39-24 regular season record in what was his first year as the club’s manager.
  5. Omar Lopez, who died from police taseringOmar Lopez, 24, was supposed to have spent the previous night with his best friend and to have returned home that morning. When he failed to show, a worried Cruz called the friend’s house, but he, too, said Lopez had never appeared.

     

    Cruz left for work with a sense of mounting dread. And when the homicide detectives called that afternoon, “I thought the worst,” she said.

     

    Detectives soon confirmed her fears. Lopez had died that morning, shortly after getting Tasered during a struggle with a SEPTA police officer at the Market-Frankford El’s Huntingdon station.

  6. Omar Lopez, the celebrity yoga instructor. Omar Lopez combines yoga, dance and martial arts to soulful sounds and ancestral rhythms to provide a unique platform of movement meditation.Omar is formerly a feature choreographer and dancer for several multi platinum selling entertainment icons such as Janet Jackson, Madonna, Mary J Blige, P. Diddy Ricky Martin, Pink and Usher …just to name a few.
  7. Omar Lopez, the lawyer. Based in Short Hills, NJ, Lopez practices in employment and labor, workers compensation, and wrongful termination.
  8. Omar Lopez, the singer/actor/voice/audition coachOmar is currently back on Broadway in the hit new musical On Your Feet: The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan.

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