We had the good fortune of connecting with Danielle-Pilar Almanza and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Pilar, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?

I remember graduating high school and knowing in less than a month I would be moving to Hollywood to study musical theatre and to follow my dreams of being a star! I have always said I don’t care to be famous I just want to do what I love. When I began my studies at the performing arts school, I knew early on I did not feel safe. I looked different, my upbringing was different, and my desires were different than that of my classmates. I wish I had the confidence then that I have now, because I could have told myself that my differences were what made me special. My passion and heart were what set me apart from the rest. My culture was beautiful even if it was not represented in our curriculum, I could incorporate it. 

As time has gone by and I have grown I just want to be remembered by how well I loved people. I hope to be remembered because I made people feel safe to be themselves, to have big dreams, to love every detail that makes them who they are. I hope I can inspire them to love every version of themselves.

I want to be remembered as a storyteller; I want to create space for my community. I want more Latinx stories to be told and if I can be apart in uplifting the voices of the unheard, then I want to contribute as much as I can. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

2020 pushed everyone to overcome their fears. I believe it was a year of clarity. During the pandemic I decided to start my podcast Mujeres de Pilar! I just celebrated one year of podcasting and that has to be one of the most exciting feelings I have felt in a long time.

Mujeres de Pilar was created to honor the women and lgbtq+ community. It was made to honor the lives of everyday people who have become a pillar in my life and are the foundation for so many people in their own lives. They have beautiful stories and I wanted to share them with those who would listen.

Creating the podcast has most definitely been a challenge on all levels. I am learning to do things I never studied or knew how to do before. I still have so much to learn! Talking has always been natural for me, but throughout the process I have had to learn to edit and create content, market myself, and consistency. 

Talking to my guests has been the easiest part so far, I love to talk! I love to learn about people, and I love storytelling. Learning to talk less and listen more has been the highlight. Listening is key.  

When I receive messages from people saying that an episode really spoke to their heart, I know I have to keep growing so I can do more. When my guests’ message or call me and say, “Pilar, I received so many messages from people I haven’t spoken to in a long time and they sent me so much love and support, they said my story helped them!” I know I must keep going, I have to keep pushing myself to learn more so I can do more.

I want to be honest there are so many great podcasts that inspire women, the lgbtq+ community, and Latinx community. What makes Mujeres de Pilar Podcast different is me and the guests I have on. We are living everyday lives, just trying to make our dreams come true, trying to leave our print on the world. We have experienced love, trauma, happiness, healing, pain, fear, accomplishments we are normal people but, in our stories, there is truth and opportunity to empower others and the voices I am sharing with my listeners deserve a platform. 

The last few months have been a roller coaster for me, and I predict a shift happening in the podcast. I am excited to get back to creating content to share my most recent life experiences with my listeners and I look forward to sharing stories from people outside of my immediate circle.

I am still on my journey but getting to where I am today is because I decided to take a risk. I decided that I CAN do what I love to do and make a living out of it. The podcast has opportunity for growth, and when it gets rough, I remember the feeling I released my first episode. I am doing this because it is important for me to share as many stories as I can so we can look back and see where we started, see how far we have come, and inspire others to keep going.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Being from Arizona, I remember prior to Covid our family and friends coming to visit a lot, in a way even after living here 8 years I am still a tourist myself.

I love to take our parents and friends to the different beaches, I love feeling the sand at Matador beach, getting in the water at Victoria beach, walking around and looking at the artists, street dancers, and tourist attractions all the way from from Long Beach, Redondo to Santa Monica and Venice!

I always take everyone to DTLA to the callejones to shop and to eat bomb Sonoran hot dogs, elote, and aguas! 

I love to take my friends to support my other friend’s businesses like Bunuelitas who show up at various PopUp events in California. From Anaheim to LA. I love you girls!!

Sometimes we pack a picnic and some drinks and head over to sunken city to look at the sunset and hangout or I take them to visit the observatory. 

When my friends are in town I love connecting them with the friends I have made here in LA one way is taking them for a night out in West Hollywood, Redline in DTLA, or Flux in Lakewood. I have not done so in a long time, but I would love for my family and friends to check out a Drag show where we can support one of my favorite ladies Vivienne Vita who is currently performing a lot at Noa Noa Place in Downtown LA.

Before they leave, we usually make a stop to eat at Guisados, Domenicos, Cuatro Milpas in San Diego, or we grab a coffee from Rooted Cafe in Los Angeles! These are some of our favorite California finds that we can’t get in Arizona! 

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

There are so many people I would love to Shout Out personally, my family, friends, and mentors but I must give a huge shoutout to my parents first, Deborah and Henry Almanza! They have given me an abundance of love and support in all phases of my life. The older I get the more I realize how privileged I was growing up with parents who accepted me in fullness, parents who have always wanted me to be true to myself and my heart, and that is so rare. They raised me to have a balance of love, passion, humility, strength, and sparkle…I would not be myself if it were not for their example.

Manny, my boyfriend and friend since childhood. It has been a journey only the two of us know. “I love you baby.”

Jenavie Marie and Elias Anthony. My Godbabies and the reason I keep pushing to succeed. I hope I can be an example that inspires them.

Rosa Araya and Jennifer Wells, my mentors and Fairy Godmothers. 

Being an only child, I secretly feared being alone in life, but I have been blessed to meet so many great people who have become my family through my journey they are protectors and motivators. My chosen family, you know exactly who you are. 

To all my Mujeres de Pilar listeners, the women and LGBTQ+ community who have taken care of me throughout my life, this is yours! The space I am creating is because of the authentic lives you live, your stories that have uplifted me to be the best version of myself even when I could not imagine her. You are pillars in my life.

Locatora Radio, the podcast I was listening to when I was in so much pain. Mala and Diosa saved my inner Goddess. They will never understand how influential they were in my life and how inspired I along with so many people from the community are by the work they do. They are paving the way. 

The I AM and Goddesses from Goddess Fix Your Crown, I stand firm with purpose and live my Goddess life because of your examples and support. Laura, thank you for sharing them with me. I love you friend.

Miah, my best friend since high school. Thank you for shining this light on me and the podcast and presenting us with this opportunity. 

I really could name so many people. artists, writers, creatives, everyday people I have come across in life. They all deserve credit for raising me and paving the way for Mujeres de Pilar Podcast.

Website: https://soundcloud.com/user-mujeresdepilar

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mujeresdepilarpodcast?utm_medium=copy_link

Youtube: https://youtu.be/vVmO-rz7_-4

Image Credits
Photo of Pilar with cacti in the background is by Noemi Alejandra. Instagram noemipossible https://instagram.com/noemipossible?utm_medium=copy_link Mujeres de Pilar Logo by Sabrina Rivera Instagram awkward.mami.art linktr.ee/awkward.mami.art

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