“Latinos prefer to flex on different Latinos. No one holds us down like how we maintain one another down,” Puerto Rican and Dominican comic Aida Rodriguez says in her new one-hour HBO Max comedy particular Preventing Phrases, that premieres on Nov. 4. Ain’t that the reality! Whereas there’s something stunning about the way in which Latinx communities unite and take pleasure in our cultures, there isn’t any denying the discrimination and the hurt that additionally tends to stem from Latinidad. Aida retains it 100 on the subject of that actuality. In her new present, she breaks down among the hardships she’s skilled from homelessness, rising up with out her Dominican father current on account of deportation, sexual abuse, and the problems that very a lot plague Latinx communities from colorism to misogyny and the divisions that exist inside numerous Latinx communities – just like the long-lived beef between Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. She highlights the disgrace that always comes with these experiences and her mission behind the particular was to not solely make people who can relate to her upbringing really feel seen, however to additionally present therapeutic by comedy and remind folks they are not alone in these experiences.
Rodriguez who’s half Puerto Rican and half Dominican, shares early on within the present that she did not know she was half Dominican till she received older. Her Puerto Rican aspect of the household managed to maintain it from her that her dad is Dominican, prefer it was “dangerous information,” she says. “I am severe, they had been like we gotta discuss to you. You are most likely not going to love this, however you are half Dominican. You do not have to inform no person,” she says on stage to a laughing crowd earlier than sharing the current journeys to each Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic that she took, in an effort to reconnect along with her roots and reunite along with her Dominican father. In actual fact, Rodriguez deliberately had the whole expertise filmed and included as a mini journey documentary directed by award-winning documentarian, Nadia Hallgren, that performs on the finish of the comedy particular.
“I used to be raised in america. A whole lot of the stuff that I’ve performed when it comes to comedy has concerned me speaking about being Puerto Rican and Dominican however I imagine that not solely are Latinx, Latino and Latinae folks not a monolith, neither are Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. And I really feel that a lot of my comedy has to do with the place I am from,” she completely tells POPSUGAR Latina. “It feels exploitive if it does not embrace the those who I am speaking about. I do know that at HBO Max, that is going to be a pioneering second for Latinas in comedy and I needed to make it possible for I included and made seen the folks whose shoulders I stand on and that made it attainable for me to be who I’m, and people folks come from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.”
Rodriguez may be very intentional about her comedy particularly on the subject of how she’s representing for Latinx communities. She’s actually nailed her storytelling in a approach the place she will share her reality and her experiences – even the exhausting ones – in a approach that does not perpetuate unfavourable stereotypes. It is one thing she’s at all times conscious of on the subject of her craft. She desires to problem folks about the way in which they view communities of colour who come from wrestle. Even when somebody grew up in poverty, round home abuse, or with out a father, that does not imply they do not need to be handled with the identical dignity and respect that somebody who grew up in a way more privileged upbringing may obtain. She desires to humanize these experiences for audiences.
“I simply know that colorism was actual in my household, so I am not going to disregard that or erase folks of darker hues. I’ll use my lighter privilege to deliver to mild the ache that is been triggered to the folks not simply in my household however all through the world, that need to cope with this as a result of it is not one thing that is simply unique to us.”
“I need to make it possible for it does not really feel exploitive as a result of as a lot as some issues are stereotypes, these issues may be actual for different folks… for me it is like this journey that I am taking and it is not nearly me. It is about us,” she says. “In fascinated about my tales and what I speak about, I at all times begin with me and what I’ve skilled in life and the way I see these points from my perspective. I can solely communicate on my behalf. I can’t communicate on the behalf of different Latinx folks and I do not attempt to. I simply know that colorism was actual in my household, so I am not going to disregard that or erase folks of darker hues. I’ll use my lighter privilege to deliver to mild the ache that is been triggered to the folks not simply in my household however all through the world, that need to cope with this as a result of it is not one thing that is simply unique to us. It exist in all cultures.”
Rodriguez who has been within the comedy sport for the reason that early 2000s, acquired mainstream success in 2019, when Tiffany Haddish selected her together with 5 different comedians, as a part of her Netflix Anthology collection Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Prepared. The chance put loads in perspective for Rodriguez. Not solely did she need to use her platform to place Latinx communities on with out perpetuating stereotypes, however she additionally needed her performances to be a chance to begin essential dialogues. In her current particular, Rodriguez talks about her distaste for woke and cancel tradition and the way it in the end does not resolve something. She explains the way it in the end capabilities as a product of individuals working from their ethical excessive horses after which happening Twitter rants, however not essentially addressing the larger points that always go approach past the individual they’re attempting to get canceled.
“Cancel tradition for me, I attempt to steer clear of it. I do not imagine that cancel tradition is actual. The time period cancel tradition has been weaponized by the proper wing folks, individuals who need to say no matter they need to say and need to get away with it. They need to be offensive and assault folks of colour, Black folks, queer folks, and people from the LGBTQI+ neighborhood,” she says. “I believe it is essential to determine who the monster is and the monster is the machines. It is the business [and] the powers that be that put out all this messaging that retains us in these fights and [that causes us to] by no means maintain them accountable. You possibly can cancel a comic all day lengthy however you are not affecting the machine and so that you gotta goal the machine. You gotta goal the powers that be. You gotta goal the monsters that make quite a lot of revenue from us being on the backside. For me, that is what it is about.”
“I’ve talked loads about Latinos and among the issues which are divisive and make us sophisticated however I do need to reward us as a result of we’re stunning folks and I like us,” Rodriguez says in direction of the tip of the particular. “And as sophisticated as we’re, we’re f***ing phenomenal. We’re stunning. And I will inform you this, one factor all of us have in widespread is that we love meals and we love our grandmothers. Sure, Abuela is vital.”
“I simply needed folks to stroll away understanding that we’re all a piece in progress and everyone seems to be worthy of forgiveness and style.”
A part of her choice to movie her journeys to Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and embrace them within the particular, was in an effort for folks to see the humanity of each these communities. “I needed folks to see the completely different hues of us. To see how stunning the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico actually are… I simply needed folks to stroll away understanding that we’re all a piece in progress and everyone seems to be worthy of forgiveness and style,” she concludes, “I might have been like f*** my father! I am by no means going to see him once more. Why did not he discover me? However that wasn’t the higher selection for me for what my private aim of evolution is. I used to be like, I’ll give this man an opportunity and a break and I am simply going to satisfy him the place I’m and I really feel like I’m higher for it. And on the finish of the day, I simply needed folks to stroll away with love and simply say we’re attempting. We’re all attempting to be higher.”