First-Year Mya Espinosa Lands Role in “Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls”

She’s only 18, but she already has an agent—and a plan B in case acting doesn’t fly

Not everyone can handle the provocative energy of Wendy (Mya Espinosa), as she flirts with a nervous Derek (Simon Woods) at the train station. Photo by Olivia Sippel.

Mya Espinosa is an 18-year-old, first-year theater student at New Paltz. It is Espinoza’s first semester, and she is already performing in the production “Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls” as the character, Wendy. Espinoza started out as a shy kid doing local theater, and now she’s signed to an agency. Prior to our meeting I would have never expected that she’d open up easily and be unafraid to voice her struggles through her young acting arc.

What is your major and what do you want to double major in?

I am a theater major. I plan on double majoring in international relations after this semester, but I am a first-semester freshman. You need a backup plan. 

You are a first-year and got a part, how was the audition process?

They gave us this long questionnaire of obscure things that you were and were not willing to do. I obviously am willing to do all of them because I am a freshman and I am the only freshman in Aloha that I know of.  

Talk about your character, Wendy. 

I feel like her personality changes. From the beginning of the show, she is this very bubbly, quirky [person]. She is talkative and provocative—sex positive. I can appreciate that about her. She is this super bright girl. Not everyone can handle that energy.  

Wendy (Mya Espinosa) attempts to obtain a job at the pet store when the shop owner refuses. Photo by Olivia Sippel.

How did you get into acting? 

I have been doing theater since I was seven. I started at the Shadowland Acting Academy in Ellenville. I did not want to do it at first. My mom put me in acting because I was this super shy little kid and attached to her hip. When I did my first show, I got the smallest part. For some reason, I loved it, like dressing up and you know, saying my one line, I was like “oh my god.” I started doing musical theater in middle school. Then I did a show with the Sullivan County dramatic workshop. That led me down a road where I want to do this for the rest of my life. This is a competitive, hard industry, even at a local level. There is no right or wrong way of doing it. You just have to be yourself and see what happens.

Do you ever get anxious on stage?

I have been doing this for a billion years and I still get so anxious. I don’t know if it is exciting. I hope it never gets old. You still have jitters before every single show. This play is one of the first that I have done that runs for a long time. I only did one other before this that ran for two or three weeks. That is a lot of pressure; I’m excited for it. It’s something new and this is how the professional world works.

Where do you see yourself after you graduate?

I am only 18 and a freshman, but I do think about that a lot. The reasons why I am double majoring is based on circumstance. How far do I get in theater or acting prior to graduating? I am signed. I worked a job last week. It was the first one I ever booked; it took me four years. If I reach a point where I feel like I am booking consistently by the time I graduate, I can picture myself continuing to invest more time into theater and acting, but [it’s] risky. The plan right now is to go to graduate school for law.

Lila Andres

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