Updated: Sep 21
Inspiring Artists Stories
Today we'd like to introduce you to Tricia Fierro
Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tricia, thanks so much for taking the time. Before we get into it, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. Because both of my parents worked full time, my grandmother took care of me and my brother while they were at work. My grandmother signed me up for ballet at the age of two. The studio’s age limit started at thre but she convinced them to take me because I was a “busy child.” For the next thirteen years I danced under the Royal Academy of Dance curriculum with the same instructor who I met that first day at the studio. I was dancing five days a week in multiple dance levels. Over time I began to expand to other dance genres but ballet will always be home to me. In high school I participated in the NorCal Honor Choir and won Best Monologue award in the Lenaea Festival. After high school, I worked at The Disneyland Resort and Universal Studios in the entertainment department where I performed in multiple shows as well as a characters throughout the park. Outside of the theme park life, I attended Fullerton College and performed in musicals in Orange County. I’ve now lived in Los Angeles since 2010 where I continue to perform in theater throughout Southern California.
Can you tell us about what you're currently working on ?
Unfortunately the theater community was deeply affected by the Covid Pandemic, so I’ve been spending a lot of my time taking virtual dance classes and vocal lessons.
Overall, has your journey been a smooth road? If not, what are some of the struggles you've experienced along the way and how have you overcome them?
Absolutely not. Being an actor in a big city like L.A. is the fastest way to second guess your life decisions. But it does help you develop the thick skin that is needed to be in this line of work. Before I dedicated my time to theater, I gave the commercial dance world a try. I performed in a few events here and there and even did some back up dancing for a local up and coming pop singer. I was consistently running into discrimination, usually directed towards dancers like me, who were under 5ft 5in or not a size 0. It began to take an unhealthy toll on my mentality so I decided to focus my energy solely on theater. Not to say that the theater world doesn’t have struggles of its own, but they are the ones that are worth dealing with.
Are there any lessons that you have learned along the way?
Everyone’s path has been customized to learn specific lessons along the way to success in their career. I was accepted to multiple conservatories on the East Coast, one of which was Ithaca College. Unfortunately there isn’t much theater culture in Sonoma County so I wasn’t aware of the excellence of these schools. After taking a campus tour of Ithaca, I decided I didn’t want to move to such a small town. In fact, I felt the same way about all of the colleges I was accepted to. Instead, I moved to Fullerton and got a job at Disney. At times I wonder how different my path would be if I were to have moved to New York. But if I didn’t meet the people who have come in my life over the past 14 years, I would be an incredibly different person. For that I am grateful.
Has there been any advice you've been given that has stuck with you?
Everyone has their own timeline of how their career will develop. Trust the process of the business and don’t make excuses for the timing of said process. This is a crazy life I’ve chosen, but I try to remember that I’m not alone in the struggles.
Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration comes from the people around me. Especially my grandmother. She was the most patient and caring person. I don’t remember her ever raising her voice in anger towards anyone. She supported me by driving me to all my lessons, and going to all my performances. Not just once for every show. Every single performance.
What do you consider your proudest moment?
My proudest moment isn’t from a role I booked, but from overcoming a medical condition I developed. Last year I was diagnosed with a pre-case of vocal nodes where I started to develop a blister on my vocal cords. After going to a few specialists, I was advised to either undergo surgery- which risked me losing my singing voice altogether- or intense therapy. I really wanted to avoid surgery at all costs so I went on total vocal rest for a full month which was very hard considering I’m a group fitness instructor. Thankfully I had clients that have taken my class for a long time so they were able to pick up on my non-verbal signals well. When I was able to speak again, I thankfully had a great team made up of my vocal coach, vocal therapist, and laryngologist who helped me to recover by not only re-learning how to sing , but also how to speak properly to prevent it from happening again.
Given the current events of today, what role do you think the arts plays in society?
The arts play a big role in society by accepting all those who are involved. Of course it’s a time for the audience to escape and forget about the outside world, but for those who are working on and off stage, it's a sanctuary. A no judgement zone for those who are trying to figure out who they are, and what they wanted in life.
With the arts industry seemingly at a standstill, what are your hopes for the future of the arts?Theater will be back stronger than ever after the pandemic has passed. By my hope is that the BIPOC community will be better represented in the future through open minded casting as well as by the inclusiveness and diversity in creative and production teams.
What role do you think the arts have played in unifying people?
Everyone is looking to be accepted. In the arts, everyone is welcome no matter what race, religion, sexual orientation, or level of skill.
Image Credit: Sylvia MacCalla
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