Gemma Pilar Alfaro (pronunciation for the little voice in your head: HEM muh/p ee l ah r/ aa l - f AA - r oh) is a storyteller from SoCal. Her work has always been shaped by the fascination, or better put others fascination with, who she is or her favorite "What are you mixed with?" The need to check a certain box was a moral dilema as a Black and Salvadorian kid. And the need to be more of one and less of the other to be accepted. She always sought to find her place in the world, to make her ancestors proud with her daring to be seen. As a teacher, her goal is to ensure that all students are seen and give them the courage to be seen, to check the "other" box and show them who you are.
I became an actor for entirely selfish reasons: as an only child, playing pretend was the best way to keep myself entertained. Performing was the only place that I could be myself, I felt at home.
Why I continue to be an actor though: my senior performance thesis was A Raisin in the Sun and our marketing manager invited the local boys home to our final performance. These young black boys came in their Sunday's best and sang our praises. Then they sent the cast letters, thanking us for giving them the opportunity to see a live performance, for telling their stories, letting us know that they felt seen. That we had inspired them to be advocates for our people, they felt proud to be black, and one even said they now wanted to become an actor. I do it for them, for our families, for our ancestors, and to be seen and keep coming back home.