‘LL: Aside from acting you’re also credited for production work. Tell us a bit about that.

Miriam Morales: I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of those 48-hours or 72-hours film challenges, but I participated in one, and I had to write, shoot and edit a film within 72 hours. I did it because I wanted to experience what it would be like to do something like that in such a short period of time, and I always wanted to produce, so I figured, here’s my chance. I did that on the off season when I wasn’t filming Orange. That’s the best time to do anything because you really dedicate your time to it. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time, so that was a wonderful learning experience. The other project you may have seen me credited for was not as a producer, but more as a social public relations strategist for a web series. That’s what I did in my past life to pay the bills before Orange came along. The producer of that web series, I actually met him in acting class, and we worked together for a little bit, and I helped him do that.

‘LL: Would you like to pursue more opportunities like that?

Miriam Morales: I don’t know if I want to do social media strategy work for other people, but I definitely want to produce and produce my own stories and contribute to that narrative here.

‘LL: What are some stories within the Latino community that you feel should be told but currently aren’t in film?

Miriam Morales: I would say that the one I am most passionate about is the perspective of someone that grows up bicultural. I am specifically referring to myself, and I know that I’m not the only one that feels this way where here you’re born and raised in America. Yes, you are Americanized, but you’re still very much into and have a love and passion for your heritage and culture, but you don’t really fit in, because you’re too Latina for the Americans and you’re too American for the Puerto Ricans. It’s one of those things that is difficult to navigate when you’re growing up—learning about yourself, learning to love yourself, and learning to accept yourself. It’s a challenge when you feel that you are not accepted in either world, where you don’t feel that you are enough. Now, there’s this whole culture of shaming within the Latino community where it’s kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t when it comes to speaking Spanish. They don’t like the way that I speak Spanish. It is difficult, because I don’t feel that I’m any less Latino because my Spanish isn’t as elegant or it’s not what someone else’s standards are. I’m Latina, and that’s who I am. I’m not going to judge someone just because they don’t speak Spanish or speak it a certain way. I feel that you should be proud of who you are regardless of that. And, I feel that we don’t really see those stories here. People that are born here have a story, too—not only immigrants, which you see a lot of now because of what’s going on in the world, and that’s fine, but there are so many stories that we have that we could be telling.

‘LL: What are your opinions on the role of Latinos in Hollywood and their portrayal in the media? Do you feel like there has been some progress made as of recent, or do you feel that there are still challenges that remain there?

Miriam Morales: The progress has been small, in my opinion, but I guess a little progress is better than no progress. But, there are still some challenges and some obstacles there, but again it’s about diversity. You want diversity in media in general, and you want diversity within the Latino community in terms of who you see on-screen visually and what the stories are. It is getting better in a sense. You think of Jane the Virgin, and I think they did a wonderful job of just showing a real family dynamic in America. Jane talks to her grandmother in English, and her grandmother talks to her in Spanish. I relate to that a lot, because that’s how I grew up. That’s a true Latin American dynamic here in America, and they reflect that very well. But there’s not enough of that being put out there.

‘LL: What are some upcoming projects that you have coming up that our readers should look out for?

Miriam Morales: Well, I’m auditioning a lot, so you never know. But, I will be in season two of Sneaky Pete some time next year. I play a teacher, so I’m not in prison. Yay! [Laughs]. She’s very sarcastic, and she’s a lot of fun. I also have a blog that I write, so I’m always sharing articles and a YouTube channel and things like that. It’s not really acting-related, but there are other things that I’m passionate about and they could always go and check out my site (themiriammorales.com).

‘LL: What advice do you have for any aspiring actors reading this?

Miriam Morales: Study your craft, and continue to study your craft because as you develop and grow as a person it is going to determine how you view and approach your work. And, take it seriously. It’s a business and you can’t take anything too personal. It’s not going to be easy. It’s not an overnight thing. It’s very rare that you see overnight success, and I think it’s very important for people who are pursuing this to remember that because I think it’s easy to think that there’s instant fame due to social media, but this is a business that if you decide to go into, it’s for the long haul. Stay persistent, work hard, and you have to believe in yourself. You have to trust your instincts, and it’s really important that you have a set of values and morals that you stand by, and just always remember that. Let that guide you when it comes to the decision that you make.



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About The Author

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Born to Dominican parents in NYC and raised in Passaic, NJ, in nearly a decade as an entertainment writer, Emmanuel Ureña has written for numerous publications, including VIBE, Latina.com, BET.com, LLERO, Urban Ink, Inked, and many others. When he’s not typing away on his MacBook, Ureña is reading fictional novels and comic books while enjoying ice-cold Blue Moon beers. You might also find him at a local tattoo shop getting some fresh ink!

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