What or who has had the biggest influence on your career?
I was about 4 years old and volunteered to come up on stage at an amusement park as part of the audience participation. When I got on stage, I felt this amazing connection with the audience. I helped make a fun experience even more fun. I loved that feeling. Today, whether I am acting in a movie or show, conducting a podcast interview, or instructing a dance class, the fact that I can connect with the audience and help them escape into a whole new happy place has been the biggest influence and motivation on my career.
What interests you in a role, story or character?
The first thing that has to catch my attention is the overall message of the story. I am sure many actors do the same. It is so important that we can feel proud to be a part of the project. We almost always learn that the hard way. I can think back to a few projects from when I was starting that I can’t particularly say “Wow! What a profound message”, but they served as stepping stones to where I am now. When it comes to the role or character, I feel I am very attracted to play those that I can relate to and who also have layers. The type of characters that make you, as the viewer, think “I want to know more about that character”.
From your career so far, what role/project are you especially fond of and why?
This is a tough one. When it comes to projects, I am very proud of being a part of “Manhunt: Deadly Games”. This story is incredibly moving. Also, this project was filmed in Pittsburgh PA, where I started my film career. My specific scenes were shot at the same TV station that I produced my very first TV shows. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart. When it comes to roles, there are quite a few roles that I am especially fond of. I would say one of them is the role of Amanda on “Fuzzy on the Details” – she suffered from anxiety/depression and struggled with her relationship. Another one is the Therapist on “Living While Black” – she was the main confidant to the lead role who sometimes used her personal life events as a way to make her patient feel understood.
As audiences have shifted to streaming content, what opportunities does this bring to you as an artist?
Streaming content has certainly opened up the door to more job opportunities. It has given an opportunity for more diverse stories to be told on more than the usual platforms. By diverse I mean new storytellers (“create your own content”) and “not the usual” actors in roles that we have not seen them in before. Also, the fact that we can now stream shows/movies from different countries has increased the awareness /exposure we have to more cultures. This type of shift has allowed us to start breaking down the stereotypes we usually see portrayed on screen. Personally, as an Afro-Latina, this is huge! Many of the roles I was presented with were rarely written for someone like me. They usually needed adjustments to fit me, but thanks to the growing awareness provided by streaming, today things are changing.
Is there a genre that you haven’t worked in yet that you’d like to?
Yes! Superhero! I would absolutely love to play a superhero.
What are the strengths of Latin American film?
In my opinion, when you watch a Latin American film, you will see a more accurate representation of the community on which the story is based on. You will see a different character perspective, which is an eye opener when you get to compare it to how Latinx are portrayed on non-Latin American Films.
What do you have coming up next?
Given the nature of what our world is going through, there were some projects that were placed on hold. Hopefully those will pick up soon. In the meantime, I continue to host my podcast “Now That I Had My Coffee” and to bring an array of very relatable topics and experts. Also, when circumstances allow, I plan to start production of a short film I wrote a little while back.
Now That I Had My Coffee – podcast