Sometimes I find it difficult to like, truly authenticate
my experience as Hispanic.
II, I know I'm very white passing.
So I know I am Hispanic.
Uh And I know I'm Cuban, but it feels less true.
My name is Gabrielle Hagenlocker.
I am 21 years old and my occupation is a college student.
Um I understand you grew up in a mixed family, one parent, Latino
one parent, not Latino.
Um What was particularly interesting about that upbringing
Um I noticed it was most noticeable, I think in like holidays
and stuff like that.
Um My Cuban family or my mother's side of the family was always
I think they're only 15 minutes away.
And I mean, it was a big party like my aunt would host and it was
everybody's a cousin.
I have no idea my relationship with any of them.
They're all my cousins, they're all my uncles, they're all
Um And that's just always how it's been uh with my dad's side
I think I noticed in holidays it was very um a limited family
or not like it was very um like I knew my relationship with everybody
and like I knew, I don't know, I would see them less and, um,
I don't know, like, it, it, I don't know quite how to describe
I think in, like, with my Hispanic family it was just like,
I mean, everybody knew my name.
I, I didn't really know everybody's name.
Everyone was just, like, so immediately warm and intimate
Um, but I think my dad's side feels like a little bit more like
diplomatic and everyone is like, it's like very formal.
Um And it's really just like my cousin, my, my dad's two siblings
they're my cousins and then my grandma and grandpa and then
Um That's all I've really seen of them.
I don't really know.
And, and as you were coming up, how did you, how did you identify
did you identify as more as one or the other 50 50?
Like, where did that come from?
Uh especially in Miami the way I identified definitely leaned
more towards Hispanic, Cuban, other Cuban American.
Um As I've kind of left Miami, I study in Tallahassee now.
There aren't that many Hispanic people in Tallahassee.
I feel like I've kind of lost my Spanish a little bit.
Uh At least it's not where I wanted to be.
And so I don't take as much pride in it anymore and it's a little
there's a little shame in there.
Um But I would probably lean more towards just like, II, I know
I'm very white passing so I know I am Hispanic.
Uh, and I know I'm Cuban but it feels less true.
Does that make sense?
Yeah, it does, it does.
And I can see what you mean.
I mean with that last name, right.
You, you, you could pass for being that girl from Michigan
Um, and with that last name, no, one sort of sees it sees it coming
Um Has that been an advantage you think?
Um I think it has allowed me to, I wouldn't necessarily describe
I think it's allowed me to not necessarily think about it.
Um especially because I do theater and I mean, I just created
this like actor access profile and it's like, what is your
And I'm like Hispanic.
And so in that way, I like take some pride in it and I'm like,
Um But there's definitely a moment of like, if I were genuinely
to be cast in something like this or like take on a role or um
I know my experience and I know it's not fully, sometimes I
find it difficult to like, truly authenticate my experience
as Hispanic even though I know it is because it's so interesting
having such a Hispanic mother and uh growing up with such Hispanic
traditions and I mean, even still like in the food in uh the
style and the raising and the way my siblings and I talk to each
other and I still talk to my mother in Spanish and I'm still
Um And I think, I don't know if you find this in your family because
I know you're also Cuban, but a part of my Cuban identity is
like hating Cuba, which is really weird.
Um And it's like Det Testament for Fidel Castro, um which I
always find wildly hilarious.
Um, but it's just a party.
I don't know, it's fun.
You, you just mentioned earlier, you get to fill out this profile
You check off his family.
That's one way, you know, the question was, is there any fear
that that may lead to type casting?
So whoever sees that?
So if the role doesn't call for a Hispanic, maybe they overlook
you and go to someone else when obviously you're fully capable
of playing any role.
Um, I don't know, I guess I haven't, I haven't thought about
or experienced that fear necessarily in my, uh, collegiate
I am entering the professional world very, very soon.
And so I, I will keep that in mind, but I don't think I have like
experience or had a moment of realization where I was like
oh my God, I'm genuinely scared of doing this.
You know, I, I take that back there was one moment in which,
um I was called in for a film and the film was this um bilingual
like Hispanic and also um white, like someone like me, like
Um And I was reading the sides and I just, I practiced the Spanish
over and over and over and over and over and over and over again
And I was like, this is so cool that I'm doing something in my
own, in my mother's language, like in my grandmother's language
Um And I think the fear came from like, I must do this on her.
Like I have to have like, am I putting on an accent?
Is that inappropriate?
Like my, my, the Cuban accent is like thoroughly in my, like
Um So like, how do I compromise or reason with that um in my theatrical
But I guess in musical theater, you don't really, at least
not in my collegiate career.
I've had a moment like that except for that one film, right
Yeah, because you wonder, right?
You hear these stories, you know, professionally, a lot of
the casting tends to fall into the hands of people that don't
necessarily look or sound like we do, right?
And what I've heard for many, many years was that, oh, you're
either not Latina enough or you're too Latina or Latino for
Like that plays into choosing or passing on someone for a role
I also um as you mentioned in the industry, I believe that there's
something called branding and there's this type cast, this
brand and a lot of people today are like the stereotype and
typecasting is not a thing anymore.
Uh But I still think there's an emotional attachment to it
where it's like this is my history.
This is like my story.
This is my root and so much of our work is part of who we are.
And um I think there is always that question of like, OK, I have
I have a website like, is there, is this something I build into
a part into like who I am because it is, but does it, is it valid
Is it authentic enough?
Like what does it mean?
Um And I know some people who, I mean, I look German but some
people who don't look German, um They like, um I don't, I don't
know there like there's, you can't take off your skin color
you know what I mean?
And that is inherent and that is, it's a beautiful thing.
Um My friend uh she's talked to me about it a little bit.
She's like, I will never apologize for being black.
I will never apologize for the color of my skin.
I never want to be put in a position of it.
I'm not sorry about it.
And um so like, I, there's nothing I can do with it.
It's, it's just such an interesting dialogue and, and path
to pursue, especially in theater.
But I, I think there's a new way of, of, um, considering colorblind
casting and color conscious casting that I'm starting to
see, especially in my generation.
Um, I know we're taking stories.
At least my school is doing 9 to 5 next semester and they're
already like, there's only one character that has to be white
and then everyone else is just like, it's color blind, which
I think that like the institution of the vocabulary and the
discussions about it I think are heading in an interesting
direction that I'm excited to see.
At least as someone who's just entering the industry.
You know, I hear from a lot of, you know, a lot of people, not
only your age but sort of your experience, right?
This, this, this sort of first generation, this um um the issue
of all you're, you're, you're not Latino enough if you don't
speak Spanish or you're not really Latino if you.