Jyline Carranza is currently in the ensemble of Miss You Like Hell. Read below to find out about her own connections to the piece and her family background.
How did you first come across Miss You Like Hell?
A friend of mine told me that Olney was doing Miss You Like Hell at the beginning of 2020. She told me that the story was about an immigrant mother and her daughter. I decided to listen to the soundtrack on shuffle and the first song that came up was “Tamales” and I instantly realized that this was a show that really understood Latin culture. Once I read the synopsis of the show I instantly knew that I wanted to work on this show in any capacity. I wanted to be a part of a show that really captures what being a Latino in this country means. So I took a chance and emailed Olney to see if there was any way I could be seen for this production!
How do you connect to the themes of Miss You Like Hell?
The two main themes that I connect to in this show are being a Latina that was born in the States AND being a daughter of undocumented parents.
A little background on myself: I was born here in the United States; my mother is from Guatemala and my father is from Honduras. So as a teenager what I struggled with was truly identifying as a Latina. It was hard for me because: 1. I felt like a fraud because I was not born in Latin America 2. The media rarely ever represented Latinos in a positive light, especially immigrants. To be completely candid, I was embarrassed about who I was.
It was not until I was faced with the hard reality that deportation was something that could happen to my parents, that I finally took a step back to really think about things. I finally took time to really understand my heritage. I realized that all the things that made me a Latina were something to be proud of, not ashamed of. I also saw how strong my parents were; they were able to make a life for themselves in a country that always reminded them that they “were not from here.”
I’ve heard you talk about your family’s interaction with immigration and deportation at first rehearsal and talkbacks. Can you share that with us?
Yes! As I mentioned earlier both my parents are immigrants. Many of my aunts and uncles are also immigrants who live here in the United States. I did not realize that deportation was something that actually happened until it happened to one of my aunts. That was by far one of the scariest moments of my life.I can easily say that dealing with that opened my eyes to a lot of things. I realized that could happen to my parents; in one second they could be ripped away from me. I also realized that they had been living in fear for years, and they just happened to be the lucky ones and unfortunately my aunt was not. After living in the United States for a good number of years they were able to get their papers through their job, which brought me some comfort. I knew my parents were not leaving my side. But I realized that my cousins whose parents are undocumented do not have the same relief as I do. Same with many other families who have to live their day to day life with fear.
What makes you want to share the story of Miss You Like Hell with OTC?
Miss You Like Hell is very hard to sit through because it shows the harsh reality of undocumented immigrants in this coutry, but it is VERY important. It is one of the few musicals I have been able to work on that does not stereotype Latinos. Instead it gives an honest insight on our culture, which is beautiful. Many people ask how we can bring light to this topic and the answer is through honest stories like these.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m so excited for the audience to experience this beautiful show that leaves me speechless every night.