We had the good fortune of connecting with Erika Miranda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erika, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald. I always come back to this quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald. There is so much to unpack and to be inspired by. Moreover, I’m especially struck by the bit that says “There are no rules to this thing.” Most often I find myself caught up in the “shoulds”. You know them. I know them. For me, the “shoulds” show up to judge my productivity and worth. When these judgements arise, I have learned to stop myself in my tracks and then gently remind myself that [there are no rules to thing]. Be kind, show up for yourself, work hard, rest harder, speak up and ACT up for your community and then trust it, whatever your it is. [There are no rules to this thing.] So, quit comparing yourself to others and instead, blaze your own trail, chase that which lights you up, be brave enough to fail and be curious about what you don’t know (and hey- it’s okay to not know). Finally, it’s that bit at the end about starting over that has inspired me lately. It’s what gave me the courage to pursue another path as a producer in both theater and film. I finally had the realization that I was totally capable of creating the authentic, complex stories that I crave to be a part of. The problem of not seeing myself represented on screen, is solved simply by doing the work myself. It doesn’t matter that there are things I do not know, because now is a perfect time to start learning about them. Also, starting over can mean coming home to that which reminds us of our why? Being “a professional artist” is no small feat, coming home to why we pursue this life is imperative.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I am an actor and producer. I am most excited about the changes that are coming surrounding equity, diversity and inclusion. They are long overdue. The role that I play as a white presenting Latina producer is not lost on me. I am committed to creating artistic spaces that truthfully celebrate, honor and include Black, Indigenous and all People of Color. As an actor and as a producer, I am committed to learning and applying equitable and inclusive practices in every artistic endeavor. I am grateful for the chance to build SheATL; a sister festival to SheNYC and SheLA that champions and produces full length plays by women identifying playwrights. I am also incredibly humbled to be among the new season of producers for The Weird Sisters in ATL.
And well, challenges are never ending, but with that, so are our triumphs. If it is in alignment with your purpose, you will find your way in. Don’t shape shift to fit someone else’s box. One of the recurring challenges I face is how I am perceived. I am a Mexican Norwegian raised by a white mother and a Brown father in the South. To some I look “white” and to most, I look anything but. This has been a theme I have struggled with when it comes to casting: not hispanic enough or not white enough, no accent, but speaks Spanish fluently. I started to put myself into the boxes that were created by others, and it left me with this feeling of “unbelonging”. Ultimately, it is what led me to create my own production company; one that tells stories that I have always longed to tell but never quite fit into, stories of love and joy and pain and loss. All the things we love to consume as humans, because well, we are all just that…humans who feel the depth of all emotions and who do not have to be bound by the misleading and suffocating narratives created by people who simply are not us. So, my next adventure is producing and acting in a wonderful short film. Stay tuned. 🙂
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am not the planner type when it comes to this sort of stuff. Cue my anxiety! I choose friends that come with itineraries- kidding, kinda. I would say let’s take some bikes to the Belt Line and see where we end up. However, expect a cocktail, a ChromeYellow coffee, and a patio- several patios.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh gosh. There are so many humans to be grateful for. I’m currently re reading “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. This book is a life changer. My cousin, Stephanie Miranda, who chose the photos for this interview and is my go to graphic designer for any project I am working on- thank you Steph. Caitlin Hargraves, SheATL co producer and dear friend, is the best producing partner a gal could ask for. Finally, a never ending thank you to my family for showing up to every project I’ve ever been a part of and to my 7 month nephew, Riley, who has already figured out how to send me flowers when a project has been completed!
Josh Stringer (headhshot)