Warning: I am dramatic
…And I used that to my advantage.
I won’t lie that a big chunk of that comes from my childhood in Chicago. Retelling what I’ve shared with Thrive Global, I got into drugs at a very young age. That was my answer to the inappropriate things that happened to me, my turbulent home life, and staple of my rebellious teenage years.
Then, I tried out for a college play at age 19. I never thought I would get the role, but I did. Until then, I never thought I was good at anything – but the crew behind this play took a chance and believed in me.
That set me on my path towards acting. All my life, I was told “You’re so dramatic,” so my resolve was, “Let’s try to make a living out of this being dramatic.”
After that, I moved to the City. And to LA. I still tried to hold my life together by getting a bunch of day jobs – cashier, pumping gas, washing cars – while trying to book acting gigs and navigating (still) crappy relationships.
Then, miraculously I got a gig that moved me to Los Angeles and my career officially started. Soon to follow was my first starring role in a major motion picture. I got to play Audrey Griswald in ‘Vegas Vacation’ with Chevy Chase. Woohoo!
I was lucky enough to keep working in the business with various bigger roles and some roles not so big; but I learned from it all. Some highlights were three years on the first all-Latin cast in a dramatic series called Resurrection Blvd., followed by many other series including the critically acclaimed ‘24’ where I got to stretch my acting chops by learning some Arabic for the role.
And finally, and probably why you’re here…Riverdale. That was a skyrocket!
So, I wanted to use that success to bring goodness to the world.
Since 2012, I was privy to the horrors of human trafficking. The more I educated myself, the more horrified I was. I didn’t understand why this wasn’t a bigger deal to everyone on the planet. I didn’t understand why there weren’t protests in the streets and people demanding an end to this. That’s when I founded Slavery Free World.
And…I also had opportunities to go undercover – to play a more important role. I remember doing that in California, where a professional makeup artist helped me become another person to entrap child predators in action. It was horrific, to hear how they really think, and rewarding to bring justice in person. One mission at a time.
Right now, I can say that I’ve come full circle. I have a non-profit that I’m passionate about. I have a beautiful daughter. I’ve sort of used the lessons I’ve learned to hopefully make a difference in the world and help others who didn’t have any answers in their life like I did years ago.
Am I still dramatic? Definitely, but for the right reasons.