One of Broadway's leading ladies, Mandy Gonzalez played Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton, originated the role of Nina in In the Heights and played Elphaba in Wicked (and that's not even everything!). Now she can add author to her resume with her new book Fearless!
Mandy discusses being both Mexican-American and Jewish and how she did not fit neatly into a box for other people. She talks about her identity and the journey she went on to clarify it, despite many in the industry telling her she had to change in some way to succeed. We hear how it affected her move to New York to pursue a career on Broadway and the fearless pursuit of her dream. She was never afraid of failing because she didn't worry what people would think if something did not work out (and it totally worked out!).
Mandy also opens up about her journey with breast cancer and how her Fearless Squad offered her support she did not know she would need. As we wrap up the conversation, we talk about the importance of self-care for us women and why we should not feel selfish for taking time to look after ourselves.
Our email this week (43:29) is about why your mineral loose powder foundation might be changing color over the course of the day.
Call Outs from the Episode:
- Mandy Gonzalez
- Mandy Gonzalez on Twitter
- Mandy Gonzalez on Instagram
- Fearless Book
- Priscilla Lopez
- Bette Midler
- Eli's Comin
Key Points From This Episode:
- The story of how Mandy’s father and mother met.
- How Mandy was told she needed to change her last name so she didn't sound "too ethnic".
- What finally gave Mandy clarity about her identity.
- Why the library was a sanctuary for Mandy when she was growing up.
- The challenges Mandy faced when she moved to New York City.
- What inspired Mandy to move to New York and the work she put in to get where she is.
- How here will be naysayers on the way to your dream; you have to choose to listen to the voice that says you can.
- The fulfillment Mandy feels when people tell her how her work has touched them.
- Why In the Heights was such an important part of Mandy’s journey.
- Mandy’s breast cancer diagnosis and how the love of her family got her through it.
- The added layer of difficulty that the pandemic added to Mandy’s breast cancer battle.
- How Mandy’s Fearless Squad started and the surprising support it has offered her.
- What led Mandy to write a book and the plotline of the first book in her Fearless
- Mandy’s approach to self-care and the importance of making time for it.
- The power of letting go of expectations and pressure and taking care of yourself first.
- Mandy’s self-care practices, including running and drinking more water..
“I always felt like I belonged with the people that loved me.” — @_mandygonzalez [0:08:24]
“I felt like I had to see my own way and imagine things that maybe weren’t possible yet or weren’t out there yet. So, in that way, I had to dream. I had to dream really big.” — @_mandygonzalez [0:15:54]
“I’ve learned that your dream is going to take a lot of different turns and that’s okay. Because that’s your journey.” — @_mandygonzalez [0:18:03]
“Being able to rely on your family, knowing that from birth, has been such a gift for my life because I really lucked out with a great family.” — @_mandygonzalez [0:28:26]