We had the good fortune of connecting with Alyssa Katalyna Fritz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alyssa, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
When I was a kid, the arts weren’t something that was encouraged. I grew up on a small farm in Indiana where hard work and hard skills were valued. For a little Hispanic kid who’s life revolved around the books and movies I snuck into our farmhouse, storytelling was the only outlet I had. As I grew up, I tried to fall in line with what was expected and convinced myself that I was going to be a veterinarian for the armed forces. Once I was in my first semester at Purdue studying biochemistry, I began to realize how unhappy I was. This wasn’t the life I wanted, no matter how hard I tried to pretend otherwise. I had an elective that semester, and decided to take an acting class. It was the highlight of my week and I finally felt fulfilled for the first time in my life. Acting became my gateway to directing and writing my own short screenplays. I’m currently on my journey as a third year MFA candidate at USC where I’ve decided to pursue writing and directing as my career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m proudly a bisexual Latina filmmaker who specializes in the weird. I’m tired of seeing stories about Latine people who were only there as stereotypes. If I have to see one more film about an immigrant family’s border crossing, I might lose it. I want to see our people represented in the monster movies, the fairy tales as someone who just happens to be brown rather than a caricature of a person. Even in some of my writer’s groups, places that I feel are safe spaces, there are people who question why a character has to be Latine or LGBTQ+. I always ask “Why not?”. My short The Wrangler is a perfect example of bown folks in a vampire Western. Check us out on the film festival circuit!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My little sister is coming out to LA for the first time, and I’m extremely excited to show her the city on a budget. First, we would walk along the Venice boardwalk, visit the canals, and spend some time down at the beach. We would definitely grab some fresh sushi since she’s never had that before and I know she would love it. After dinner, it’s off to Angel City brewery to finish up her night. Then it would be up in the air whether I would take her to the Getty Museum, Topanga, the Arts District, or Disneyland. There’s too much to choose from!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be the artist I am today if it wasn’t for my amazing support group I have here in LA. My amazing friends (Theron Kay: composer, Austin Hammonds: composer, Catalina Parra: DP, Katherine Osumi: costume designer) have encouraged me to trust my artistic instincts and to take risks. Thanks for letting me be a weirdo, love you guys!