The MNY Spotlight
Catch up with Broadway Actress Eva Noblezada
We first connected with Broadway actress Eva Noblezada in June 2020 at the start of the pandemic. This past summer we caught up with her to discuss how she pivoted as an actress during COVID, what projects she's working on now, and what her Filipina-Mexican heritage means to her.
Interview conducted by Social Media Manager Eileen Gazzola and Mestiza Co-Founder Alessandra Perez-Rubio Loverde
Eva wears the Lorena Gown in Blush Pink
EG: The last time we spoke, we were in the throes of the pandemic. What was it like being a Broadway actress at the time?
EVA: That was an interesting time because we were kind of understanding that we were not going to come back to work any time soon, so we were having to scramble about what we were to do to make rent or make ends meet and be safe. But also, take care of our brain, but also hustle, but also not push it – so there were lots of questions. But I think at the time I was more just focused on not getting sick and making sure my family didn’t get sick. And making a plan of like, what would I like to do, what CAN I do that I can monetize – and at the time it was teaching, singing, acting … in a very small way. I am in no way a singing teacher or an acting coach at all – in fact, I need one! But little things I could do to help that I could get paid for were very nice. It was the only way I could make money, really, at the time. But it was really scary, being an actor – for everybody. It was scary for everybody.
EG: During that time everyone took a step back and really thought about what’s going on right now, what are my opportunities, just thinking about every possible scenario and just making a plan.
EVA: Yeah, and it was really exhausting because even if I thought of all these things I could do, what connections can I actually make during a pandemic? Like I’ve never gone through a pandemic before, so I didn’t know if people were even hiring or if I COULD get paid enough.
EG: Can you tell us a little bit more about the projects that you have worked on since 2020?
EVA: Yes! I had the opportunity to work on Apple TV’s first animation called Luck, directed by Peggy Holmes. I got to work with people like Simon Pegg and Jane Fonda – I never got to meet Jane Fonda but I met Simon Pegg and he’s a legend. That was a lot of fun – my first animation movie and they were all so lovely. I also shot a movie in Vancouver called Easter Sunday with Jo Koy and Amblin – Steven Spielberg’s production company, which is really special. And then, once it started to pick up a little bit, getting back to my groove doing concerts every now and then, which is what I LOVE – I love doing concerts. Little things here and there, just to make rent and buy more alcohol!
Stream Luck on Apple TV+ and follow Eva on Instagram @livevamaria
EG: Congratulations! Voicing the character Sam Greenfield in Apple original film Luck, is a major opportunity. How is this experience different from performing live, and do you prefer one over the other?
EVA: It’s very different. In order for the editors to have enough to use and to play with in the editing process – say if the line is, “Hey, we’re going this way!” – I have to deliver that line in as many ways as possible over and over again so that the editors have enough. If I say it one way and they say, “oh I like that one!”, but then they put it in the animation process and my face is more excited, and the only take they have is one that doesn’t sound as excited, then they can’t use that take. So I have to give them as many options as possible. So, on the voice, it’s pretty difficult to just be talking and yelling all day for hours, but thankfully because I wasn’t doing Hadestown, I kind of had that freedom with my voice. I have to prefer live performance – that’s my strong suit all day. So it was definitely a challenge – I was thinking “I don’t know how to act with JUST my voice, I’m used to using my voice, my body, everything” – so it was definitely a challenge but I definitely learned a lot from that experience. I just feel like I was able to expand a lot more on thought that goes into it.
APR: And where did you go – did you do it out of your house or did you go to a studio?
EVA: I went to a recording studio just so that they got the cleanest sound. Especially in New York, you can’t get any clean sound even if you are on the phone you are going to hear sirens and people talking in your apartment above. In a sound studio, it’s completely sealed off. Any outside noise you can’t hear because the booths have special material in them.
APR: And how long is that filming process for a film like that?
EVA: Well it took a long time because while we were recording the lines they were also rewriting the script and making it perfect. So there would be times where I would have like two four-hour sessions a week, and then next week we have to go back and revisit scenes. In all, I probably had about a maximum of about 30 sessions that were about 4 hours over the course of like a year. It doesn’t sound like a lot but in the studio, I was tired. It was really tiring – but in a great way!
EG: In three words, describe yourself as a performer.
EVA: I hope I don’t sound egocentric… willing, emotional, present.
EG: At age 26 you have had quite an accomplished career – what would you attribute to your success?
EVA: Hard work. Good people in my life. And a constant desire to be more comfortable in my own skin, no matter what that means – setting boundaries, saying “no”, saying “yes” to things that are scary, really showing up for myself. And I’m still learning what that means as a young woman. But, absolutely showing up for myself in whatever way that means.
EG: Do you have any words of advice for young people who dream to perform on Broadway?
EVA: No matter what kind of training you have, work behind the scenes with yourself. Learn your body, learn to really love your body because you can’t use it as a means of artistic expression if you are not comfortable in it– that was one of my biggest obstacles in life. And know, rejection doesn’t mean you’re not good enough, it’s just the universe’s way of saying there is something better for you. Don't compare yourself to anyone else.
EG: What’s your favorite show on Broadway?
EVA: MJ! MJ the musical – it’s one of the best things I’ve seen in my life, it’s spectacular.
EG: How has your Filipina-Mexican heritage shaped the person you are today?
EVA: It’s been an understanding of “I am more than what society says I am” because society’s expectations of me is not a living, breathing being – it’s just expectations. I guess that has to do with how I look, how I speak, how I come across, what I'm interested in, and what I should be interested in. All those expectations from society are so stupid and based on Eurocentric favors and not worldwide, so what it's done is remind me that beauty comes from a very special place that is unique to every individual. And no matter what kind of person you are, it’s always bound for the stars. There is no cap on beauty and no cap on confidence. I would also say that it’s not so much about what the Asian community has done to influence America, we have to remind ourselves sometimes that we are bigger than what people want us to be. Being half Mexican and half Filipina is not just a cool extra thing – it’s who I am. It’s a huge part of who I am, it’s part of my identity and it’s not a small box that people tick off on papers when they're talking about heritage or ethnicity. It has to do with storytelling, it has to do with what my ancestors passed down to me and it opens up a conversation between me and my ancestors, and I say thanks for laying the groundwork for me to be where I am and to make sure that I’m living my life in a way that makes me proud and makes my ancestors proud. It is a really inspiring thing to remind ourselves of where we come from – and that it's not just a thing of the past. It's present. We are totally supported in the present, and I think that’s really powerful.
EG: What draws you to the Mestiza brand?
EVA: What doesn’t! It’s beautiful, the name, what it stands for, the people who run it are lovely, and they are such curated garments that make you feel connected to them in a way, and you have a personal conversation with these pieces. I know the two pieces I have already – I have a personal relationship with both of them, in a way that I feel very special when I wear these pieces and they make me feel very specifically beautiful in different scenarios – which I’m not saying that I am always saying “I feel beautiful” – I don’t at all. But when I wear these pieces, I definitely do. In fact, I remember when you sent me that last gown in 2020, I remember putting it on and telling my partner – “I haven’t felt pretty in months. I haven’t left the house.” And I felt pretty when I was wearing that dress.
EG: Where are you wearing the Lorena gown?
EVA: I really want to wear it to a really nice fancy dinner – that’d be a perfect dress to wear!
EG: What is a favorite styling tip to leave our customers with?