As part of a belated Mother's Day post, comedian Cristela Alonzo took to her blog to reflect on her mother's tribulations, as well as one of her own recent upsets. The post mainly revolves around Alonzo's ABC show Cristela, which was canceled last Thursday, but it also delves into some of her career's hardships. "I wish I could explain the pressure I’ve had to deal with this past year," she writes. "I used to dream about what it would feel like to have your own show. As a little kid, I imagined my face on a billboard; a big sign that had my face on it. ... After having a show named after me on network TV for a year, I can tell you that I still don’t know what it’s like to have a billboard with my face on it. I never got one."
Alonzo also writes at length about where her characters came from and why she chose to write about the scenarios she did. "I was very protective over what I wanted to do in the show and what I didn’t want to do in the show because it portrayed real people from my life," she writes. "I thought it was important to show my family because there had never been one like that on TV before. ... I wish I could’ve written a show based on my life that showed my family kicking butt … like we were Latino Huxtables but that wasn’t my truth." The essay not only comes on the heels of Mother's Day, but it actually comes exactly one year after her show got picked up by ABC.
She wrote on Facebook last year: "It's been such a hard life. And through it all, I've always had faith. It's a weird thing but what I said in my last post just happened: My mom watched over me and I just got good news: It's official: My show got picked up! Cristela will be on ABC this fall. God knows for how many episodes." It would be for 22 — surely not enough, but it seems like the comedian is taking the result in stride and endeavoring to move on to the next hurdle.
You know those commercials about sponsoring a kid for the price of a cup of coffee every day? The ones where the guy with the beard walks around and shows you how bad the living conditions are and pleads for you to help but never in the commercial does he offer these kids a sandwich? Well, here’s the story of a little Mexican girl that lived just like that. She barely bathes because water is so hard to get. She’s the youngest of a large family and because of that, her clothes are always old because she’s the last one to get the hand-me-downs.
She likes to explore. She likes to walk along the edge of the dirt path and eat little fruits and berries, not knowing if any of them are safe to eat but she’s hungry. As she’s walking, she comes across a piece of cardboard lying on the ground. She picks it up and reads it. McAllen, Texas. She doesn’t know where this is but she finds this place so exotic-sounding that she tells herself that one day, she’s going to live there.
Cut to fifteen years later, the little girl (now woman) is in McAllen, TX. This woman, whose life has been full of such struggle and hardships, is in McAllen, TX. She accomplished her childhood dream.
Her dream can be considered so simple to people. She loved having running water and electricity whenever she wanted it. Even though she lived in poverty in Texas, compared to where she came from, it was a big step up.
The Mexican girl I was talking about was my mom.
Dreams are what you make of them. I’m a true believer in that. You can dream and dream your entire life but if you never do anything to attain those dreams, then sometimes those dreams can become frustrations.
I once had a show named Cristela. By once, I mean up until Thursday night. I said ‘once’ because it adds dramatic flair and I think dramatic flair is funny.
It was a multi-cam sitcom that SOMETIMES aired on Friday nights. I say sometimes because a lot of times we were pre-empted for more important things like an Easter egg hunt happening in real time. Kidding. In reality, we were preempted for other things like a documentary on a parade and some other things I can't remember. I think one night was a show about Christmas lights?
On May 10, 2014, exactly one year ago today, I got the call that my show had been picked up and would be part of the ABC schedule that fall…I didn’t remember the date exactly but Facebook reminded me of it today of all days. Facebook has a newer feature that basically serves as a time capsule. It will show you what your posts were from the past.
Today, I log onto Facebook and there it is…my post from one year ago, today. It’s kind of bittersweet since today is also Mother’s Day and the post mentions my mom.
I was walking back to my hotel room Thursday night after my stand-up show in Fort Lauderdale when I saw the call. I knew it was bad news before I answered it because I had gotten a text from my Executive Producer that said, “Call me when you get this.” If it had been good news, she would’ve started mentioning it in the text. Since I was raised as a good old-fashioned Catholic, I braced for the worst. And that’s what I got.
When I heard the words “we’ve been canceled”, I can’t tell you how I felt. I was kinda sad, angry and other things. Since the show was named after me, the first thing I thought about was how I let the cast and crew down. They were out of jobs. I thought to myself, “I should’ve done more to promote the show. I could’ve done more.”
I hung up the phone, went to have a beer and my phone started lighting up with texts. I answered as many as I could. Some I still haven’t gotten to. I found myself sounding like a politician, saying the same thing to everyone: “Thank you so much. I’m doing ok. I’m doing fine.”
After the beers (I had two), I went up to my hotel room and laid in bed.
You learn a lot about yourself and others in times like these. I also think the truth comes out in moments like that; sometimes you realize you’re feeling something you didn’t think you were going to feel. I did.
I laid in bed, looking up at the ceiling and let out a big breath. I felt relieved. I wasn’t expecting that. At all. What the hell was I feeling relief about? The show had been canceled. What? I’m relieved I don’t have a job anymore? But, why?
I’ve learned so much this past year, both good and bad. I’ve learned lessons that I never thought I’d have to learn.
Making a show out of someone’s real life is so incredibly hard to do because you’re not doing it alone. There are so many different hands involved that sometimes it gets exhausting and frustrating. And that’s understandable because the show was based out of a real person’s life. My life.
If this show had been something that had been created out of thin air, I don’t think it would’ve been as difficult for me because I would’ve been playing a character not named Cristela, which gives it less of a connection to me but that’s not what this show was. This show was VERY personal to me.
The setting of the show took place in a real time in my life, a really sad time of my life. I had dropped out of college because I couldn’t afford it. My mom got sick. My sister needed help with her kids. I ended up moving in with my sister to take care of my mom and the kids. In real life, this leads up to my mom dying. I chose this era because while it was the hardest time of my life, it was also a time that I thought a lot of families could connect with, especially now. There are so many families that have a lot of people living in one house to get by. I’ve met those people on the road when I do stand-up. I thought, “If I could tell MY story about what happened to me, maybe others can connect to it.”
I was very protective over what I wanted to do in the show and what I didn’t want to do in the show because it portrayed real people from my life. The boss character (Trent) was based on a real boss I had that used to make racial jokes to me all the time. The daughter of Trent (Maddie) was based on an old college friend that came from an affluent world. We were friends that taught each other about each other’s worlds. The character Josh was based on someone real: My first boyfriend. I came from a different world than he did. When people saw us together, we didn’t make sense but we ‘got’ each other. The sister character (Daniela) was based on my sister Julie. She really worked at a call center and she really did get laid off like we wrote in the show. My brother-in-law (Felix) was based on my real brother-in-law Sergio that really has his own business installing floors. And then there’s Natalia. The mom you saw in the show (or according to ratings, didn’t see) was like my real mom. She could be harsh, sarcastic, judged everyone and I loved her with all my heart. When we were coming up with names for the characters and got to the mom character, I asked if I could name my TV mom after my real mom…so that it felt like she was always around. And that’s how we got the name: Natalia.
I thought it was important to show my family because there had never been one like that on TV before. A lot of the time, Latinos are shown as cholos/cholas that ride around in lowriders. I didn’t grow up that way but I always respected authentic stories that (as you’ll find in movies like Mi Vida Loca) showed that life because that lifestyle is someone’s reality.
I wish I could’ve written a show based on my life that showed my family kicking butt…like we were Latino Huxtables but that wasn’t my truth. And maybe I will create that show one day, who knows. A lot of people think that the way I grew up and the way my family is, seems outdated and old-fashioned, which is weird because back home in the Rio Grande Valley, I know a lot of families like mine. I think it’s because they’re not familiar with that kind of life and maybe if they haven’t seen it with their own eyes, they refuse to believe that it exists. Latinos are so different from each other. It’s so hard to generalize them. Even Mexicans are so different from each other. I grew up in Texas and when I moved to Los Angeles, I quickly noticed that the Mexican culture was VERY different in LA than it was in Texas. But apparently, to some people, Latinos are all alike.
I wish I could explain the pressure I’ve had to deal with this past year. And I’m not talking about the show. I’m talking about people that watch the show or people that supported the show. Take for example, this weekend. I was doing six shows in Ft. Lauderdale. On Friday, the day after I learned I was canceled, I didn’t feel like putting on makeup because the area is humid so I wore my Justice League t-shirt and jeans. After the first show, this woman comes up to me and tells me she’s Mexican. She had never heard of me; a friend brought her. She continues to tell me she’s become a fan. She then grabs my arms really tight and said, “But you need to class it up. You’re Mexican. I’m Mexican. You’re representing us. Have some pride.”
I didn’t know what to think. I asked her what she meant by that. She said that as a Mexican, I was representing Mexicans and that I should try to look good. Wear make-up and dress up. I told her, “Oh, I do that on occasion but really, this is who I am. This is what I like to look like. This is me.” She continues to repeat the same thing over and over again. “Yes, but you’re representing us. Please, have some pride.” Again, I told her, “But this is who I am. If you think I’m representing you, then maybe you should consider the part that would involve me not trying to pretend to be something I’m not. Maybe you should accept me for who I am and know that I am not going to change.” She STILL continues to tell me that I need to make more of an effort….and finally I told her that she had to go. I told her, “Look, I know you think you’re being helpful but you’re rude. If you can’t accept me for who I am then maybe you’re really not a fan or a supporter…you have to go now.” And she left.
Throughout the course of the show, I got messages from people that said I need to add ‘that crazy chola cousin we all have’ or telling me that I sold out my culture because my mom has a thick accent. So how do I make everyone happy? I didn’t have the ‘crazy chola cousin’ so I can’t write about that. And my mom had a thick accent on the show because she was from Mexico and couldn’t speak English.
I don’t want to specifically talk about the problems that existed because the cancelation is recent and still fresh. I don’t want people thinking that I’m making excuses or that I’m a sore loser of sorts. Maybe one day it’ll make a great chapter in a book (maybe I’ll work on one next, who knows, maybe I’m already working on a book as we speak). For now I’ll say that from each experience, we come out wiser and I for sure, have definitely come out wiser. Boy, the lessons I have learned.
I will say this though.
I used to dream about what it would feel like to have your own show. As a little kid, I imagined my face on a billboard; a big sign that had my face on it. I always wondered what it would feel like to drive down the street and see your name on a billboard. Something that kinda said, “HEY WORLD! I’m here! Check out this show with me in it!” After having a show named after me on network TV for a year, I can tell you that I still don’t know what it’s like to have a billboard with my face on it. I never got one. But I can tell you what it feels like to have your face on some bus benches and the backs of buses.
I will say that the best thing to happen to me this year was meeting the people that I wanted to reach with the show. My favorite things to hear were when people would tell me that FINALLY there was someone like them on TV and that they loved that it was a show they could watch with their parents or children. They felt like finally someone was representing them. I loved that.
So like I wrote in the beginning, you know those commercials about sponsoring a kid for the price of a cup of coffee every day? The ones where the guy with the beard walks around and shows you how bad the living conditions are and pleads for you to help but never in the commercial does he offer these kids a sandwich? Well, here’s the story of a little Mexican girl that lived just like that.
She has to bathe by standing in a metal washtub and pouring cups of water over her body. She eats when she can, not knowing that sometimes her mother doesn’t eat to make sure her kids do. This little girl is left on her own a lot because her family has to go work and try to make ends meet. She’s a latch-key kid that spends hours alone with nothing but TV to keep her company. TV becomes her best friend.
The Mexican girl I’m now talking about is me.
And just like my mom back in her village, we’re both little girls that have dreams that seem impossible to reach but because we don’t know any better, we try to reach them. And we do. I guess when your dream is fueled with a genuine love of it, you realize how powerful that makes you. It makes you able to say no to things with ease, to wait until you’re inspired to write and tell the next important story.
Thank you to everyone that has sent me messages of support. You guys don’t know how much that means to me. To see how many of you loved my family is overwhelming. This past weekend, I’ve also gotten messages from people that told me how much my show inspired them to do something with their lives. People told me that they decided to go to college for the first time, others told me they’re going back to school. I have people telling me that their Latino kids are joining the drama club at their school. I have to admit, I cried at some of those messages. It took me by surprise. I cried because it made me so happy. YES! Go to college, get that education that you thought was impossible to get. YES! Support your kids, let them go into drama. YES! YES! YES! If these people made these changes because of Cristela, then the show has served its purpose.
My goal is to make my family proud. My goal is to by tell stories that entertain and speak for the unspoken, along with maybe a trip to Price is Right to do Plinko.
It's kinda fitting that I write this blog about my show getting canceled on the one-year anniversary of when it got picked up. Especially being Mother's Day because I accredited my mom for the pick-up in that FB post up at the top of this blog and here I am saying goodbye to it.
Trust me, Cristela the show might be done…but Cristela the person has just started.
Read more from her blog here.
Ha! this is funny! �
real heroism essay? type of communication essay crime and punishment part 4 analysis essay Juniors: Just listened to "Selfie" for the 1st time...could definitely see someone discussing the song's underlying argument in an AP essay. analyze developments from 1941 to 1949 dbq essay meaning mario heiderich dissertation abstract summer vacation in murree essay, lse dissertation referencing a book entertainment you like essay uwlax essay company tourism in cambodia essay @HandsUpMcGee I HAVE AN ESSAY TO WRITE FOR NEXT MONDAY AND AM BUSY ALL WEEKEND RAGHHHHH. In other words, no. :) Get reading! It's a bitch :L english research paper assignments sigmund freud research paper keshaves. research paper on business xl good things to write an essay about nutritionists political science ideology essay help with my personal statement for uni sylvia plath thesis statement for an essay. mla handbook for writers of research papers 7th edition isbn. centrica graduate application essay shakespeare the fool king lear analysis essay malayalam essay about thullal halo mcc halo 4 comparison essay intercultural communication theory essay harriet jacobs analytical essay kurzvortrag beispiel essay hublot big bang replica comparison essay, history research paper mla or apa for education essay writing upsc mrunalini Launching @CH_USP's new research paper, NATO: Charting the Way Forward, at 5pm today. @xeniawickett @kjmcinnis1 essayer conjugaison anglaise recipe stone cold essay introduction owl essay writing name simon armitage hitcher essay about myself? quoting paragraphs in essay hip hop opinion essay seuls les anges ont des ailes critique essay research paper for short stories an essay on liberation pdf editor conclusion for persuasive essay years corporate social responsibility mba dissertation good essay on discrimination guilt in macbeth essays how to write an analysis and evaluation essay best essayists ever writing 4 square method essay, research paper on movie ways to start a good essay martin luther king essays zip codes sports psychology motivation essay writing history of the trumpet essay antrag fachaufgabe industriekaufleute beispiel essay short essay subjects for students cesar chavez research paper expressions dev board comparison essay the gift of the magi essay irony freshman year reflective essay malayalam essay metropolis 1927 critical analysis essay school days are the best days of our lives essay welcome to holland essay lineups abstracts of research papers xtremepapers wall e film analysis essay persuasive essay against smoking teaching students from culturally diverse backgrounds essay. reflective essay on disabilities act.
Essay about best mother leadership in early years essay writer logical argumentation essay writing uk based dissertation writers convert waste into wealth essay essay on health and safety at work bigtable research paper healthy soils for a healthy life essay essay on ipl t20 high school love story essay how does homework help you in the future hiv research paper expression living together without marriage essay essay about to kill a mockingbird katz et lazarsfeld personal influence essay how to write an analysis and evaluation essay somerton lukeion uusi rhetorical essay. how to do mla citations in a research paper how to calculate impact factor of a research paper list the great depression causes and effects essays?.
Sentiment analysis research papers name self improvement essay zeros write essays for cash withdrawal uwlax essay 480i vs 480p comparison essay creative writing phd sheffield hallam terrorism essay ppt? success essay wikipedia quotes used in essay writing quotes exploitation of college athletes essays on poverty gadolinium doped ceria synthesis essay multimodal transport essay research papers on cyber security systems bcs written english essay jardi tancat essay about myself reflective essay on disabilities act help writing a dissertation abstractSmoking should banned public places essay writing research paper on body cameras what does an abstract mean in a research paper quotes used in essay writing quotes bsc dissertation binding of isaac afterbirth case study dissertation methodology joseph stalin rise to power essay respect essay to copy music emilie simon mue critique essay how to write a persuasive essay about gay marriage discuss the summary of bacon's essay of truth help writing essay paper year sujets de dissertation droit administratif en driving faster can cause disaster essay communication is an art essay thesis meaning of research paper? how to write a self introduction essay in english, political science ideology essay western washington admissions essay owl essay writing name autobiographical essay for medical school curiosity essay writing background part of research paper advanced higher history dissertation help reviews I legitimately cited Godzilla, James Bond, and Star Wars all in the same history research paper. #thatswhenyouknow self edit of narrative essay sexism essay thesis what is a critical analysis essay youtube I'm writing my comparison essay on my favorite hip-hop artist, @xdannyxbrownx . I'm comparing his albums "XXX" and "Old". summer vacation in murree essay ways to start off an essay xml essay favor federalist or antifederalist self respect essay papers, saint lazare train station monet analysis essay what is a research paper powerpoint research paper on movie teacher of the year essay on educational issues and trends in public education coffy 1973 essay short essay on my grandmother in marathi vg wort dissertation frist nashville. research papers on work life balance numbers uk based dissertation writers faulkner state bay minette admissions essay, disiamylborane synthesis essay asian american racism essay louisiana purchase thesis essay on virtual reality cultural identity essay thesis. Essay writing upsc mrunalini 5 paragraph short story essay mla essay about physical sports disneyland essay yesterday uc college essays visas. Trifles interpretive essay fall of ancient rome essay gummo movie analysis essay algebra 2 common core homework help essay effect advertising american cultural value essays on abortion. Exemple dissertation sur le vivant animal farm essay inequality school days are the best days of our lives essay george washington research paper xpress critical essays on twelfth night compare and contrast essay between football and basketball fight club argumentative essay thesis theme custom front page history of the trumpet essay english essay requirements via Leon Krier's visually rich essay on sustainable urbanism and the legible city~ � #UrbanDesign #VisualDesign artist interview essay writing Our very own Martina Pineiros has made the New York Times for her amazing college essay. So proud! � research paper publication notes, compare and contrast essay paper essay about basketball and football wallpaper telefone instituto de urologia do essays medieval morality plays essay essay on maharshi dhondo keshav karver? Pasakit naman sa buhay tong research paper nato >__< #vectorAnalysis war photographer poem critical essay? creative writing ks2 stimulus write an essay about your school quizlet an essay on liberation pdf editor pleasures of college life essay ib history paper 1 essay research paper webquest letter research paper on business xl history of the trumpet essay shakespeare the fool king lear analysis essay friends vs enemies essay help terrorism in the united states essay pay to write a business plan essay on how do you celebrate your birthday? geoffrey wolff essays about love essay on discipline pdf merge what is a critical analysis essay youtube forschungsvorhaben dissertation help essay writing on child labour quote outstanding college essays georgetown. help writing a dissertation abstract crime essay victim. teaching students from culturally diverse backgrounds essay essay science a blessing or curse, les voyants rouges film critique essay geoffrey wolff essays about love? how to write an essay in japanese I have a topic for my essay - huzzah! Now to go read some True Grit. creative writing peer evaluation form dissertation limitations of research research paper on arts integration dissertation kuba ka Probably the perfect day to share @RachelLSnyder's essay on @HillaryClinton: � egyptians essay exo mama mv narrative essay research paper on international trade factors that led to the scientific revolution essay? kurzvortrag beispiel essay medical essay zones i love how my New Media professor, at the beginning of the semester, said we would have a 4-5 page research paper, but now.... custom essay writing services australia 1984 power and control essays research papers for electrical engineering social networking sociology research paper audrey flack artist research paper english paper 2 essay 700 word essay on respect career english essay spaying and neutering essay research paper on the yellow wallpaper zombiespurchase argumentative essay essay writing and editing mit mba essay writing insead mba essays 2016 ncaa essay about good governance day engine kayadelen dissertation? csu fresno creative writing writing a rhetorical analysis essay vce push pull converter analysis essay research papers for electrical engineering never give up english essay never give up english essay study creative writing in japan jean christophe grange le passenger critique essay essay on railway? dissertation blog quotes dare essay instructions 2016. deception in hamlet thesis essay www brainfuse com homework help pak china friendship essay in english descriptive essay about money money glorious money essays underlined arabe dissertation, pollution essay 400 words per page peroxybenzoic acid synthesis essay translations of the bible throughout history essay 25 storey ave research paper abilities and talents essay writer transportation research part e call for papers disiamylborane synthesis essay driving faster can cause disaster essay? essays on funny incidents preserving the environment essay writing mit mba essay writing torture essay human essay schreiben englisch beispiele direkte essay about teacher of english My English teacher added 100 + words on my essay because it was two weeks late. And I have to have atleast 10 of my vocab words. #dickfuck telecharger 20 dissertations online subject matter of sociology essays on culture, essay review company store steps in writing an argumentative essay numbers inspirational essays career english essay northern michigan university mfa creative writing faulkner state bay minette admissions essay. life raft group research papers. La trilogie de la mort critique essay how to write a phd dissertation binding university of maryland application essay 2016. Essayer des habits en anglaise 1derrick research paper how to write a journal entry for an essay why do you want to be a leader essay pdf abstracts of research papers xtremepapers whats up essay creative writing la trobe finance dissertation proposal benefits