Mexican-born Paulina De La Parra now calls NYC her home.
“As an artist, I feel strongly responsible for what I put into the world,” the actress/singer/writer says, “my main job is not to make you forget about the world but quite the opposite — to be a mirror of the society we live in, to open difficult conversations and to challenge myself and audiences to question everything they know,” the emerging artist said withy conviction, “every work I am involved in and I decide to audition for, I make sure aligns with my integrity and most importantly I that opens a space for more Latinas to be portrayed in a positive light.”
Paulina finds inspiration in artists like Bianca Marroquin, Karla Souza and Mauricio Martinez, for many reasons but they all have one thing in common: they don’t necessarily fit in as the stereotypical “LAINO/A” but yet there they are holding space for future generations of artist, transforming the industry into a more inclusive one. “If, at the end of my career, I can get anything at all, I want the arts to represent every color and every shade; That is the work I’m so passionately pursuing,” she concluded.
Paulina de la Parra she started her acting career in her beloved Mexico City, participating in the original cast of Vive un Nuevo Musical as well as Elphaba in Wicked, Eponine in Les Misérables and Belle in Beauty and the Beast among others. Since moving to New York some of her most recent work includes Tonya Pinkin’s Truth and Reconciliation of Womyn at the #HealMeToo Festival, Vocal Ease (Feinstein’s/54 Below) as a lead vocalist and was part of the Manhattan Film Festival’s winning movie musical “Plus One.” She is also heavily involved and passionate for charity work, traveling and making the world a more human and empathic one through art. Her goal is to portray Mexico (and Latinas!) in a positive light.
Paulina enlightened us on her journey in the arts.
What event in your life made you make the decision to be an actress?
I luckily found my passion for the arts the short age of 12; I went to a theater camp, all jokes aside I played “Waiter #5” but for me it felt like my whole world had been turned around, and what started as just another summer activity suddenly became clear to me that, that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, shortly after I started looking for casting calls back in Mexico City and I debuted my first professional play next year at 13 years old on the original cast of the show “VIVE, Un Nuevo Musical”. I discovered then, at a young age, something that I felt extreme passion for and also I could make my living out of. for me was just a win-win.
Was it a difficult transition to joining the entertainment community of the United States? What are some of the obstacles you faced?
The first month after moving to NYC was an absolute cultural crash for me, I didn’t know anyone that could explain to me how the entertainment industry worked here, why was it so important to have the perfect American accent, why everyone walked so fast all the time and why they say the pizza tasted better here. NYC is an incredible place and I’ve met the most insanely talented, strong and beautiful people, they immediately opened their arms to receive me making me feel like I belonged in here, but the more time it passed, the more I noticed the lack of Latin representation in the arts I always felt like I had to play into stereotypes either I was the maid, or the drug dealer no deeper than that, and it made me feel as if that’s all I could be, it frustrated me for the longest time without realizing that in that obstacle I found my biggest mission on the performing arts, I’ve purposely devoted my time to doing plays and auditioning for art that holds space for actors to represent different stories and different representations of what it means to be Latino/a in the USA and by doing that not only I feel inspired to do more work that showcases every type of latino but I also encourage to other people to do the same.
You walk the line between theatre and film … is there one you like better?
I started my career as a Musical theatre actress starting in the lead roles of shows like “Wicked”, “Beauty and the beast”, “CHICAGO”, “Mamma Mia!” and “Les Miserables” among others.
When I moved to New York my perspective on performing arts broadened to Theatre and Film participating in films like “PLUS ONE” which was selected and winner of the Manhattan Film Festival 2018 and for the NOVAfilm festival the same year. The more I continue my journey as an actress and signer the more I realize that stories well told through art can and will change the world to a more humane and empathic one; It doesn’t matter if it’s through a movie, a musical, a song, a dance or even as simple as a painting; Having both film and Theatre experiences have taught me to appreciate and learn the beauty of each one and the complexity of telling a story while being well executed.
I personally have and always will have a special place for theatre in my heart; Not only I started my career and found my passion for the arts there, but because for me there is no feeling that compares to wearing your heart on your sleeve, being intimate and vulnerable in front of a live audience.
What are you working on now and what’s next?
I’m currently working on the play “Six Evacuations” written by Tirosh Schneider playing “Jamie”.
Six Evacuations is one of the three plays being presented on the festival “Plays for the planet” they are produced by Imaginarium Theatre and tells the story of how global warming affects the lives of those who live in this world more and more each day. 20% of the Ticket sales plus 50% of donations and 50% of merchandise sales will go to “Root Solutions” foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to provide policy makers and conservationists tools and resources to create more effective campaigns that motivate good behavior for the environment.
Due to covid-19 restrictions and safety guidelines the show will be presented via Zoom this April 24th at 3.00pm EST and 25th AT 7.00 pm EST. Tickets: http://www.imaginariumny.com/plays-for-the-planet
“THEM” an original piece for the series of “chose your own adventure” audio plays, produced by LAVAHOUSEarts in which I start as well as the narrator of the show. The story takes place in the far future in the middle of a cyberspace war in which the rebels (the audience) and the forces fight for power or peace on this earth. The play will open on June and can be listened on: www.lavahousearts.com
This upcoming May I will be participating in the show “Eastern Standard” written by Richard Greenberg and directed by Rebecca Frank. The show will run from May 16th till the 21st via zoom due to covid-19 restrictions and safety guidelines. (More details to come)