There’s a new web series on the block—Carolina Ravassa just launched her “One-Man Band” web series Hispanglosaxon. In part one of my interview with Carolina Ravassa, we talked about her acting and linguistic roots. Continuing with those themes in this part, we talk more about her new web series Hispanglosaxon, which examines multilingualism in the melting pot and wacky, sometimes face-palm-inspiring encounters of a “too white” Latina in the NYC acting scene.
Hip Latina: You’re every character?
Carolina Ravassa: I’m doing everything. Every scene just has two characters; it’s never two people in the same shot, because, obviously, I’m both. I put up the tripod, I act all of my scenes where I play me auditioning, then I just turn it around and put a wig on. I’m doing all the editing myself, too. I’m just kind of a one-man band.
HL: What computer programs are you using?
CR: I’m using an iPhone, iMovie, and my computer. It’s super basic. I’m trying to do this with no budget and I’m borrowing the wigs because I’m not even buying stuff to do this.
HL: Wigs are expensive!
CR: You also become more creative. I didn’t know what wigs people were going to lend me. My friend showed up with a curly blonde wig and a straight black one, so I put them I and I start, [with a drawl] well, is this lady Southern? Or [switches to Russian accent] does she talk like this?
I’ve discovered a lot about myself as an actor and characters I didn’t know lived inside of me. Just because I’m playing, you know? And I’ve never done that. No one’s ever asked for this in an audition.
CR: So this is a spoof on all the casting situations. I have so many friends that are in similar situations, and so will jump through hoops to be more “ethnic.” They’ll be like, “Why don’t you go tanning?” It’s like, “I’m not gonna go tan for the rest of my life.”
So all that’s in the series. And also just being a white girl in the city and people assuming I don’t understand Spanish or Portuguese.
Every episode is two minutes presenting a different situation and some of them are just real life. Like as a waitress I was waiting on a table and I understood these patrons talking about me but they assumed I only spoke English.
HL: What did they say?
CR: I asked if everything was okay, if they needed anything else, and they said no and as soon as I dropped the bill, you know, they go off in French saying, “Ah, I can’t believe they dropped the bill, this is just so American, so rude.” And I don’t speak French but I understand enough Romance languages to know that they were complaining about my lack of tact, and how I was an incompetent waitress.
HL: I was a waitress in New York too, so I understand. The constant sense of, like, degradation that you have to put up with. [laughs] It’s great for the humility thing.
CR: Oh, totally. Waiting tables has taught me so much in life, period. I mean, some tables are wonderful, but when it involves other languages…even like two dudes saying, “Oh, she’s so hot,” you know. And then it’s like, You guys have no idea that I understand everything you’re saying.
HL: What’d you say?
CR: I went up to them and I’m like, “Excuse me!” And he’s like [surprised face]. I said, “Would you like it if somebody talked to your mother like this?” And instead of him saying, “Oh my god, I’m so sorry,” he just goes, “Wow! Your Spanish is so good, where did you learn it?”
CR: And I was like, are you kidding me? And I kept going and then he’s like, “Okay, calm down, lady. But really, where did you learn Spanish?”
I got so angry, I just had to get off the subway. I was with my friend and she was like, “You rock.”