We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Antenorcruz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
The short answer is, I couldn’t not. I have my BS in Forensic Biology and fully intended to spend my life analyzing DNA quietly until I had enough money to do the things I *actually* wanted to do. I worked in a lab processing drugs for a year, hated every second of it, and realized that I had chosen the path that was “safe” for myself. Mentally, I had hit a point where I could no longer do what I hated when there was so much else out there that I loved. I made less money in the aftermath of my decision to quit, and I never looked back. I wake up now and know I can be my authentic self. I go to bed and don’t dread the next day so much that I wish I was ill; it’s an extreme example that I don’t wish upon anyone. I am grateful that I was able to throw myself into all the things that excite me (and frustrate me, but in cool and interesting ways) so that I can now write a video game or perform in an immersive theatre production or do an aerial show. It’s not easy and I’m still not where I’d like to be with it, but I spend my time pushing ahead instead of worrying about how unhappy I am, wishing I was doing something that utilized all my creative skills.

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.
I have long felt uncomfortable boxing myself into ONE identity. I’m not just one thing, and I always refused to be defined as such. I didn’t want to JUST be a Criminalist, I didn’t feel comfortable calling myself an ACTOR. I do many things and the freedom to move within those roles helps me express myself in a variety of ways. I am as proud of the aerial work I’ve done that I choreographed and created as I am of the creature work I’ve done. I am incredibly excited about the demo launching soon for a video game I was lucky enough write for, Drag Her! which is a drag-based fighting game. The challenge of getting funding for a new indie game that celebrates LGBTQIA+ culture and community, as well as drag as an art form, has been DIFFICULT. I so deeply want to give this game to the world because drag and the queer community has given the world so much. What I’ve learned from the experience so far is just to keep going; the only way out is through.

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.
Firstly I am an introvert, so I apologize for how potentially low key this answer might be! I would love to take a friend for a delicious breakfast, probably at Home (the restaurant, not my place) or Bea Bea’s because I love a tasty waffle and pancake selection (I never make friends choose just ONE). After that, we’d probably walk around Descanso Gardens or take some books we picked up (maybe at The Iliad, maybe at The Last Bookstore?) and sprawl out on the grass. I love desserts so if I have the chance, I’d definitely take them to grab some cake from Alcove, maybe a brownie at B Sweet. I love dancing and have enjoyed myself at Bar Sinister, Precinct, or The Abbey once upon a time. We’d probably catch a drag show, depending on the night. If we can make it to Long Beach to catch Landon Cider, that’s CLUTCH. Or if Biqtch Puddin’ has any game events going on, those are always a blast. But mostly I’d just like to make my friend laugh by proving how little time I spend outside, not knowing any “undiscovered gems” because I’m usually inside playing video games and reading. But that’s what brings me joy!

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 am only intact today because my life has been supported by two incredibly strong pillars; my mom and my uncle. They always trusted that I knew what was best for myself, even when I wasn’t quite sure. Whenever I zagged one way, they followed me and held on just tight enough to know that I could talk to them about whatever stress I was going through. They celebrated every win, even the ones I felt embarrassed about at the time. The creative spirit is so nurtured by love – I don’t think I’d be where I am today without the care they provided.

Website: dragher.game

Instagram: flyingfangs

Twitter: fangs

Image Credits
Pierce O’Toole

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