Who are you??
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Hi! I’m Christina Peña. There are a few facts I can’t change about myself. I am 5’6". I was born March 5 at 2:14 pm. I come from a huge family. And I’m a Gryffindor. (It’s important I swear!) But how I identify in the Theater World is constantly changing.
As an artist, we are consistently asked the question “who are you?” Well I’m a plus size mixed race Latinx female identifying human.
Well that’s the point.
As a little girl, I was taught who I was and where I came from by the people in my life. By the color of their skin. By the languages I spoke. By how far back I could trace my family lines.
As a woman, I have discovered who I am by the company I keep. By my education. By how I choose to see myself. I get to choose the narrative.
When I get asked “Who are you?” most of the time they can see my name. Peña. It’s Mexican. In case you were wondering. But when you look at me, you can’t always tell. So, I’m asked to prove it. The line goes as follows “oh Peña, you must speak Spanish.” To which I reply “No actually.” “WHY?” “Because my father doesn’t speak Spanish. His father was raised in a time in which if you spoke Spanish and not English it meant you were less than. And he didn’t want his son feeling that way.” It can silence a room. No one really knows what to say after that WOKE statement.
I’m mostly German and Irish. That where my dark hair, strong features, freckles, and skin color come from. It's the black Irish in me. But I would never get asked “oh you’re German? You must speak German.” It’s not a thing.
As an artist, you get to take control of your narrative. You decide what to tell people about you. You decide who gets let in.
You never know? What makes you different, could get you a job.