A summer afternoon in Wisconsin. Sweltering heat. The intoxicating fragrance of the neighbor's fresh cut lawn. As I assume the identities of my dolls, Yazmin; Jade. Sasha, Chloe, and Dana . I shift the sound and timbre of my voice, change the cadence of my speech, I didn't know then that I was developing characters and backstories, I ws just falling in love with acting.
Belonging to a large family of 10, I always had the urge to distinguish myself from my other siblings. People now describe me as eclectic, a balance of class and grace with spunk and quirk, Back then, I was simply different. You are always going against the grain! my father constantly reminded me.
It was no surprise to any of my sibs or my parents that I would be the first to leave home at 18, to flap my wings and live life my own way I went was into the Marine Corps. Not having been in the company of many examples of proud Black and Mexican women where I was from, I decided to be that woman others could look up. Ascending in the ranks, I was most thrilled to mentor Marines. When I became a martial arts instructor for the Corps, I found my passion, and what I had thought would be my path in life. But a serious ankle injury derailed that dream.
When one dream dies another comes to take its place. I stepped into a boutique clothing store and the owner asked if I would model clothing. That spark that I had lost after my injury suddenly ignited anew. I went from roundhouse kicks to heels ripping the runway.
Five years into ripping those runways, I had this “ah-HA” moment: I'm an actor, the only difference being those on the screen get to speak lines and I don't. I decided I needed to know what that would be like. I enrolled in acting workshops, and discovered my life experiences gave me a lot to play with; mucho material to bring different characters to life.
Forging this path by myself, experiencing the loneliness and doubt and rejection that comes with being an actor, I opened my own business, Protégée, geared towards giving models and actors a safe place to practice, rehearse, learn new skills, and build a community.
In my spare time, I indulge in anime, learn foreign languages, paint, read, meditate, run, and practice multiple forms of martial arts, with no desire whatsoever to make it my full time gig.