Share a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in a creative and non-traditional family in a small town in the San Gabriel Mountains, my father a painter and my mother an archaeologist. For a while I wanted to rebel against my roots and become a lawyer, but halfway through college and after several trips to New York City I came to my senses and nurtured my artistic-self. Best decision I ever made… I think.
My business cards say, “Teresa Yslas: Actor, etc.” because I enjoy a wide range of interests and I can’t just pick one. I am a member of an Off-Broadway company called FAB (For and By) Women, where I hold the position of co-chair on the literary committee which searches for new plays to produce readings and productions of. I also enjoy collaborative writing projects and am currently writing a soul piece called Portraits of Washington Heights which is a sort of anthropological/theatrical peek into the neighborhood of central Washington Heights where I live and very much love.
Also, I love food: all kinds of it.
My theatre friends and I are always complaining about how there aren’t many delicious roles for people of color. When there is opportunity for actors of color and when there is opportunity for Hollywood, etc. to branch out from its traditional casting scheme it will go towards its safe choices or even worse – “blackface”. I’m not just talking about Black roles when I say “blackface." I’m just unsure if there is a term for physically forming actors of one ethnicity to look like another. It happens all the time: Native American, Hawaiian, Asian, etc. And not in a, "You look like you could be…” kind of manner. This phenomenon I see mostly on television or in movies. It’s taking away work from many very talented actors.
Stories featuring LGBT characters are coming up in popularity with regard to film, television, and theatre, which is really exciting particularly with the recent passing of SCOTUS federally granting gay marriage rights. What is notable is that everyone in the cast (director and writer included) either identifies with or is an ally of the LGBT community. The characters in this piece do not identify with traditional gender roles, either. We all are of equal humanity; we are equally strong and fallible. Being apart of this piece, where everyone is Latinx and LGBT is, in a social sense, rebellious in some way. And if there’s one thing about me that people should or do know is that I am all about rebellion.