CITY: Born and raised in Dallas/Irving; Currently in Los Angeles
ETHNICITY/RACE: "I am multiethnic - mixed with Spaniard, African-American, Caucasian (British/Irish) and Cherokee Indian."
EDUCATION: Southern Methodist University
FAVORITE IG ACCOUNT: "Also, the IG account that I mentioned changed their name literally the day after I sent my responses. Their new name is @BeautifulMixedKids"
FAVORITE QUOTE: “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” -Nora Roberts
"This quote rings so true for anyone pursuing their dreams. It reminds me that success isn’t just going to appear. It’s something you have to work for while being fearless and dedicated on your quest."
WHAT'S YOUR STORY?
"My mom enrolled me in my first acting class at Young Actors Studio in Las Colinas when I was around 7 years old. I learned scene study work, movement, on-camera work, audition technique - it really prepared me for my audition two years later for the children’s show Barney & Friends which was my first professional acting job. Since then I’ve done different projects ranging from regional commercials with Subway and TXU Energy to guest starring in TV shows like Chicago Med and, of course, starring in Hulu’s original series East Los High. Sometimes I get frustrated with how long it seems to take things to happen, but I can honestly say that I’m happy with where I am in my career and in my life. I’m an Emmy Nominated actress and the sky’s the limit."
WHAT'S YOUR PURPOSE?
"Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always said that I wanted to be an actress, singer and lawyer when I grew up. I’ve always loved to entertain. I love to affect people emotionally, whether through the arts or through my words alone. I’ve found that acting is my way to do all of those things, but I still have hopes of playing a lawyer and a singer in future projects. That would be fun."
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF EAST LOS HIGH?
"It’s so difficult to choose just one memory as my favorite from my time on East Los High. We filmed the first season in 2012 and it was released in 2013, so it has been a very long ride. I feel so lucky to have made lifelong friendships and will be forever grateful of my experience on the show. Favorite memories include playing around with little Julianna Gamiz (who plays my daughter Isela) while on set; clowning around with Gabriel Chavarria (who plays Jacob); and snapping with Prince Royce (who plays Vincent) between takes. I post videos every now and then on my Instagram page of myself and my castmates of fun behind the scenes footage while we were filming."
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN ACTING?
"If the worst anyone can say to you is no, then you should at least try - and you will definitely hear more ‘no’s’ than ‘yes’s’. Acting is about persistence, confidence and humility. An actor with those three qualities on top of being truly talented will eventually hear a yes, and that one yes will make the entire journey worth it."
"Bryan Cranston. He’s so versatile - from Breaking Bad to Malcolm In The Middle to Trumbo. He can literally do any genre of work and he’s so fun to watch. "
WHAT'S THE BIGGEST HARDSHIP THAT YOU'VE FACED SO FAR?
"The biggest hardship that any actor faces is rejection. We constantly have to motivate ourselves to stay on top of our craft, go out and put our personalities and talents on the line to hear no 90% of the time. It’s very difficult. You have to be very passionate about the career you’re pursuing and never allow yourself to lose faith in your abilities. Once you understand that there are so many other factors involved in ‘booking a job’, you realize what you are in charge of - that’s your preparation, your professionalism and your skills. Even now, I am taking a Meisner technique class because you should never stop learning."
WHAT'S YOUR CONSTANT MOTIVATION & WHERE DOES IT ROOT FROM?
"My mother and family are my constant motivation. My mother gave me every opportunity to be great - good education, extracurriculars, grounding. People often don’t take those of us who choose a career in the arts seriously because it’s such a difficult industry to break into and be successful in. But my mother has always believed in my choice and in me. We both stand by the same truths: 1. Always give yourself options - my education has allowed me to do that. 2. As long as you continue to see progress you are on the right track. She is always there with an uplifting scripture anytime I feel down during slow times, and is forever reminding me how talented I am. We all need that sometimes."
WHAT'S SOMETHING THAT SOMEONE WOULDN'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
"I love experimenting in the kitchen. Notice I call it ‘experimenting’ not ‘cooking’ - though all of my dishes turn out great (haha). My favorite dish so far has been a Juicy Lucy style meatloaf - meaning it’s meatloaf filled with cheese, so it just oozes once you cut into it. I’m most excited about making Paella next."
IF YOU COULD MEET ANYONE DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD IT BE?
"Janet Jackson! I’ve been a Huge Janet fan since I was a little girl and all my dreams will be fulfilled once I meet her. :)"