The Stories of Us Cast: Actress Krysta Gonzales

 You may know that the play that I wrote that was featured in the Austin Latino New Play Festival in 2015 was picked up by Teatro Vivo for their 2015-2016 season.  And showtime is upon us!  The show is directed by the fabulously talented Florinda Bryant (who slays at teatro is you ask me!) and brought to life by a beautiful ensemble of artists.

I wanted to take the time to connect with the members of the cast and crew to hear about their experiences and their stories.   Today, the spotlight is on the talented ensemble member Krysta Gonzales!

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via Krysta Gonzales

 Krysta Gonzales is an actress, playwright, voiceover artist and chingona from El Paso, Texas.  She graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts and is a GenEnCo & VORTEX company member. Her recent acting credits include Bright Half Life (Theatre en Bloc) and El Nogalar (Teatro Vivo).   Krysta has also written plays (Robin Hood: An Elegy and Más Cara) that have been produced by the Vortex and Teatro Vivo in Austin!

How has the process of creating the show been?

The process has been quite honest and at times painful. I think Florinda has done a really great job of creating a space for us to be open, supportive and make the messy and difficult acting choices in order to give the show the life it requires because this is not an easy show. This is not an easy conversation. And in order for the conversation to occur productively, the trust has to be there. The trust that although intent does not diminish impact/wounding, I know you are going to do better next time once I tell you about yourself because I know your heart. The trust that we all need to have to avoid getting defensive when receiving feedback.

We can’t congratulate ourselves on merely taking the leap into these conversations. As an ensemble, we quickly realized we had to diligently build the trust to take the leap and also cultivate the fortitude and grace to stick the landing.

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via Teatro Vivo

What is your reaction/connection to the play?

I identify as Blaxican or Chicana/Tejana and Black. More often than not, I play roles where: a) the character is Black; b) the character is ethnically ambiguous; c) the character is Latinx [but usually not Mexican/Chicanx – El Nogalar was the first project where I was cast as a Mexican]; d) the race of the character isn’t addressed in depth/a significant part of the story [rare, but happens occasionally]. At this juncture, I have trained myself to expect to never be cast as Mexican because I don’t look like Salma Hayek or Sara Ramirez. So when I saw that this play was made for me – not me specifically – but for someone whose body politic and ethnic background is so close to my own, I had to catch my breath because I couldn’t believe it. I’m so grateful and humbled.

I have trained myself to expect to never be cast as Mexican because I don’t look like Salma Hayek or Sara Ramirez. So when I saw that this play was made for me – not me specifically – but for someone whose body politic and ethnic background is so close to my own, I had to catch my breath because I couldn’t believe it.

What other projects/play have you worked on?
Immediately before Stories of Us, I played Vicky in Theatre en Bloc’s production of Bright Half Life in the Pony Shed at the VORTEX. Prior to that, I performed as Dunia in Teatro Vivo’s production of El Nogalar.

I’m also a company member of the VORTEX (Salvador Dali’s Naked Feast, Sing, Muse Workshop) and the Generic Ensemble Company (Robin Hood: An Elegy, The Experiment). Amidst all of this, I’m working on my voiceover demos for commercials and animation.

This year I’ve also been working on my newest play, Más Cara, which was picked up for Teatro Vivo’s Austin Latino New Play Festival. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that maybe I can follow in your footsteps and continue to develop the piece with Teatro Vivo!

This year I’ve also been working on my newest play, Más Cara, which was picked up for Teatro Vivo’s Austin Latino New Play Festival.

Thank you Krysta for your words and amazing work!  You can see Krysta and the rest of the cast April 22nd!  The Stories of Us will be playing April 21, 2016-May 8, 2016 in Austin, Texas.  You can purchase tickets here.

 

© BLACK GIRL, LATIN WORLD 2016

 

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