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Meet Gabrielle Ruiz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabrielle Ruiz.

Gabrielle, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born and raised in South Texas, regionally known as The Rio Grande Valley. I danced all my life and was classical trained as a vocalist all thanks to public school education. I was lucky to fall in love with musical theatre in my collegiate years at Oklahoma City University, where I auditioned and attained a role as a resident ensemble member at Music Theatre of Wichita. There I realized that I could dance sing and act AND get a paycheck for it! OCU and MTW really gave me the chance to explore the option of being a professional performer and I am so thankful for those years. I fell in love with musical theatre then, yet decided to continue my studies in dance performance and pedagogy because I still had a passion to inspire and educate the next generation of performers. After obtaining my degree, I leaped into the life of New York City and immediately started auditioning. Then, I learned the real life of a performer: pursuing, failing and not giving up. Those life lessons molded the adult I am today.

To succeed, to fail, and to keep on trying. After a national tour of A Chorus Line, my Broadway debut in In The Heights with Lin-Manuel Miranda and a few other Broadway shows, I succeeded in booking my breakthrough role of Valencia Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. And believe me, there are so many stories of failure in between. And I am grateful for all of them, because they made me who I am today. Because of New York City in my 20’s, I gratefully welcomed Los Angeles in my 30’s. I was so grateful for the change in my career and personal life with Crazy-Ex Girlfriend. Now with CXGF ended and currently living in a pandemic, stay-at-home lifestyle, I can focus on my voice over career and starting a family. And I have to say, it’s nice to take a second and focus on life, not just on career. God’s plans are so much more fun than my own. Let’s see what happens next!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The struggles made me who you see on my social media today. I hate them but I’m grateful for them. There were times when I would call my mom after being devastated not booking a role on Broadway and she would ask me, “Do you want to come home?” I would answer, “No. I just need to cry about it now, go to sleep, wake up tomorrow and try again.” I’m grateful I know WHY I decided to choose a performance career: I’m dedicated to share stories that matter and share stories that others don’t have the courage to endure. I am honored to do that for them.

Gabrielle Ruiz – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Along with being an actress, I am a proud philanthropist, producer, activist and champion for the arts. I have produced many musical theatre projects and workshops for the public-school educational systems in my home town and region of the Rio Grande Valley. I have been a life-long dream realized to address Members of Congress in support of Arts Education Week, be the keynote speaker for the Human Rights Campaign San Diego Gala, and has host many fundraisers for non-profit organizations, most of which focus on arts education and dance. I continue to mentor and choreograph in New York and Los Angeles in addition to producing two podcasts, Glendale Post Sermon and what are friends for.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My mentor, Jo Rowan, taught me the motto, “What we do is show-business, not show-begging.” And that changed the game for me. We are passionate artists but also entrepreneurs making a living. We have to find fight for the balance between art and business. And because we are indifferent to our work, no one else will fight on our behalf. It brings me joy to pass that knowledge on to the next generation of artists.

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Image Credit:

Drift Studio NYC

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