• Christina Peña

For 10-Year-Old Christina...

When I was a child, who dreamed of being on stage, I fantasized about what it will be like. What roles would I play? Who would I get to work with? What fancy dance moves I would get to do? 

As a 10-year-old Christina, I lived in fantasy land. I wanted to be a star!


“I'm gonna be a celebrity, that means, somebody everyone knows!” 

I idolized women like Audra McDonald, Bernadette Peters, Kathy Bates, and Carol Burnett. These were the women I wanted to be. 

I never looked for artists, who look like me. It took me years to find a show like Gotta Kick It Up! A show about a bunch of Latinx Female Teenage Cheerleaders, of different sizes and skin colors. Starring America Ferrera! 

I don’t think I realized how much I clung to that show throughout my life. The idea that there were people out there, who looked like me, who were doing what I wanted to be doing. 

No one could tell 10-year-old Christina anything! She did what she wanted in theater and was totally fearless. 

She wouldn’t have let people tell her that she was too Latinx, too Big, or too opinionated. She would have just used it to her advantage.

I really miss her sometimes. 

I think as adults we forget the joy and magic that got us into this craft to begin with. 

It was about making others happy, or laugh, or cry. Creating emotions in others. Inspiring others. Still to this day I think about the artists that inspired me. It drives everything I do. 

But I also do it for 10-year-old Christina. I want to be an inspiration for other children too. This idea is in all the work I do. Whether it be a cabaret in a bar, a Broadway contract, a podcast, or even my blog. It is for others to realize that you are not alone in your thoughts. There are many of us out there trying to make a difference.

Theater is beautiful and everyone deserves to find their place within it. 

PS. Yes I'm wearing a crown! Deal with it!

PPS. Gotta Kick It Up! Is now on Disney+ So go watch it!!

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