2016 Latina of Influence | Cristela Alonzo
Hispanic Lifestyle is pleased to recognize Cristela Alonzo a comedian, actress as a 2016 Latina of Influence. Ms. Alonzo along with her fellow Latinas of Influence are invited to participate in Hispanic Lifestyle’s Latina Conference to be held on April 8, 2016 at the Ontario Airport Hotel, Ontario, CA. The complete listing of Hispanic Lifestyle’s 2016 Latinas of Influence can be found on Hispaniclifestyle.com
In this exclusive video interview with Ms. Alonzo she spoke about her television program “Cristela”, supporting other Latinas and the advice she gives to other women.
Cristela Alonzo made TV history in 2014, by being the first Latina to create, produce and star in a network TV sitcom, “Cristela,” an achievement which caps a whirlwind year. She released “Some of the Hits,” her first stand-up CD through Comedy Central, was a viewer favorite as a featured guest host on ABC’s “The View” and will be making her feature film debut in the upcoming Angry Birds movie.
She’s performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, the Bonnaroo Music Festival and is a favorite at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. She also taped “The Half Hour,” her first half-hour special in Boston, which premiered in June 2013 on Comedy Central.
Cristela is based in LA and when not on tour, can be found performing at various clubs around town, including her home club, the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, CA.
From the web . . .
Alonzo was born in Hidalgo, Texas, the youngest daughter (of four children) to mother Natalia Gonzalez, who worked double shifts at a Mexican restaurant for about 20 years, and father Adalberto Alonzo. When Alonzo’s mother was pregnant with Alonzo, Alonzo’s mother left her abusive husband and raised the four children alone. Alonzo said she never met her father, who died in 2009. Alonzo grew up in the U.S.-Mexico border town San Juan, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley.
She has three siblings, older sister Julisa Maria Alonzo and older brothers Eloy Eduardo Alonzo and Ruben G Alonzo. Alonzo’s mother came from the small village of El Zancarron in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Throughout her childhood, on her mother’s weekly day off, Alonzo spent time with her maternal grandmother in Reynosa, Mexico, just across the border.
For the first eight years of Alonzo’s life, the family squatted in an abandoned diner, were homeless and destitute, even with her mother working double shifts at as a waitress. She often went hungry, and had problems with skin pigment due to a lack of nutrition.Alonzo said her mother often used humor to offset the abject poverty. Alonzo learned English from watching TV as her family spoke only Spanish at home; her mother never learned to speak English. Television was a way for the family to stay inside, avoiding the violence from drug trafficking in their neighborhood. Alonzo would translate American shows into Spanish and act them out for her mother. Alonzo and her mother were inseparable. Alonzo and her mother shared a bed until Alonzo turned 18.
Alonzo was raised in a very strict Catholic household. Because her older sister married young, she spent much of her childhood hanging out with her older brothers and became interested in comic books, trading playing cards, a lot of Star Trek: TNG, Dungeons and Dragons and metal music. She graduated from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School.