Getting Personal With Cristela Alonzo In 2014, comedian Cristela Alonzo got her big break: a primetime sitcom that she created, wrote, produced and starred in. It was called "Cristela" and was loosely based off Alonzo's life. But despite her authentic touch, the show was canceled after one season. That motivated her in the following years to release a Netflix special, become the first Latina lead in a Disney-Pixar film and release a memoir titled "Music to My Years." In this conversation, Cristela Alonzo shares intimate stories from her memoir—from living below the poverty line in San Juan, Texas to her eventual rise to stardom.
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Cristela Alonzo

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Getting Personal With Cristela Alonzo

Getting Personal With Cristela Alonzo

Cristela Alonzo

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Latino USA

In 2014, comedian Cristela Alonzo got her biggest break: a primetime sitcom that she created, wrote, produced and starred in. The show was called "Cristela" and it was loosely based off Alonzo's life.

Alonzo plays an aspiring lawyer who moves back in with her traditional working-class family —much like Alonzo's own Mexican American family— in order to do an unpaid internship. "Cristela" received favorable reviews and Alonzo was lauded for being the first Latina to create, produce and star in her own sitcom, but after one season, the show was canceled.

In a personal blog post in response to the cancellation, Alonzo wrote "trust me, 'Cristela' the show might be done... but Cristela the person has just started."

In 2017, Alonzo released a Netflix stand-up special titled "Lower Classy" and became the first Latina lead voice in a Disney-Pixar release as the voice of Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3. She also has consistently used her platform to bring light to issues from immigration to affordable healthcare in low-income communities.

Now, Alonzo can add published author to her resume. This October, she released her memoir titled "Music to My Years: A Mixtape Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up," where she shares an intimate glimpse of living below the poverty line in San Juan, Texas and her eventual rise to stardom.

In this conversation, Cristela Alonzo gets personal about the shame she felt about poverty as a child, how the singer Selena Quintanilla inspired her and she shares personal stories from her new memoir.