Melissa Barrera: ‘life has better plans for you than you have for yourself’

Melissa Barrera, 32, is starring in Scream VI and she’s the subject of a long People Magazine profile that came out last week. I’ve finally had the chance to read it and I came away with a lot of respect for her and for how hard she works. She’s not as well known as her costar, Jenna Ortega, but her profile is on the rise and that seems well deserved. Melissa grew up in Mexico and went to college in the US at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She couldn’t work in America after that as she was only there on a student visa. She returned to Mexico, did telenovelas and reality competition shows and finally came back to the US six years ago on a working visa. She got the leading role on the Starz show Vida right away and went on to star in In The Heights. From Melissa’s video interview and profile, you can tell that she’s so happy and grateful for her career and that it comes from a pure place of loving her craft. Here’s some of what she told People with more at the source.

On her success
“Living in the moment is something that I struggle with,” she tells PEOPLE matter-of-factly. “My mom is always there to remind me to pat myself on the back, hug myself and speak to myself in the mirror to congratulate myself on how far I’ve come. I’m trying to change my mentality.”

Barrera says she was “painfully shy” as a child in her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, where she went to school at the American School Foundation of Monterrey.

Her love of theater
“I grew up going to see my classmates in theater perform, always wanting to be a part of that because it felt so cool,” she recalls. “I would be a little fan in the hallways, watching middle schoolers and high schoolers that were in the show.” Over time she built up the courage to participate in her school’s theater department. “I just fell in love with the whole process of auditioning and bonding with theater people,” she says. “They became my friends.”

She landed her first paid acting job in a regional adaptation of the French musical Romeo et Juliette. “I was 17 during the run, and I was like, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life,’ ” she says.

When it came time for college, Barrera got accepted into the musical theater program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. “I went to NYU thinking, ‘I’m going to graduate, and then I’m going to book something on Broadway and live in New York for the rest of my life.’ That was my life plan.”

She wasn’t allowed to stay in the US so she worked in Mexico
But things didn’t go as she had hoped. As a Mexican living in the U.S., Barrera was soon faced with the “harsh reality of how hard it is” after her student visa expired shortly after graduation. “I was like, ‘How am I ever going to get a job? They’re never going to cast me in anything because I can’t work,’ ” she recalls.

And so Barrera, always one to look ahead, decided to play the long game: go to Mexico to rack up credits, then move back to the U.S. on an artist visa, reserved for people with “extraordinary ability” in the arts. “You need to have things under your belt,” she explains.

Luckily for Barrera the work was nonstop when she returned home. First came her television debut in the Mexican reality musical talent show La Academia, followed by starring roles in telenovelas Siempre Tuya Acapulco and Tanto Amor.

Her homecoming also resulted in her meeting the love of her life: singer Xavier Zazueta, 35, whom she wed in 2019. “Life has better plans for you than you have for yourself,” she says, smiling. The pair met as singing contestants on La Academia, and Barrera felt an immediate attraction.

[From People]

I love that saying “life has better plans for you than you have for yourself!” I know it sounds kind of basic and I’ve heard variations of that, but I’ve never heard it said quite that way before. It’s similar to “man plans, God laughs” except it’s more positive. This is actually what I tell myself when I look back at things. I’ve been attached to outcomes that didn’t happen, but then realized that my life turned out better than I expected.

As for Melissa, I know we’ll be seeing more of her. I wasn’t familiar with her before but she’s definitely on my radar now.

Embed from Getty Images

Source: Read Full Article