Angelique Rivera (BFA Theatre Performance ‘14) has known what she wants for some time now. “I knew I wanted to do TV and film,” explains Rivera, “but at the time there weren’t a lot of people who looked like me on TV.” In January 2015, one month after graduating from UF’s School of Theatre + Dance, Rivera moved out to L.A. and wasted no time pursuing her goals. She immediately found a manager and started training, auditioning and working. Currently, she appears on season 2 of ABC’s award-winning drama American Crime.
“This was the first job I booked as a professional,” says Rivera. “It’s a huge deal to have this as your first gig. Everyone makes it so welcoming and comforting. It’s just awesome.”
Although she has graduated, Rivera is not done learning. She says being on a show like American Crime is a big learning experience. “I am just trying to soak everything in because everyone has so much experience and a lot to offer,” she says.
Rivera describes L.A. as the “next best thing” for Floridians, but does miss Gainesville and the Gator Nation. UF is where she learned to take risks, try new things and focus on her goals. During her last semester at UF, Rivera participated in Signs of Life, a collaborative performance between the School of Theatre + Dance, Digital Worlds Institute and a hip hop student group, which showed her that she was capable of doing more.
On the subject of doing more, Rivera would like to one day be a UNICEF ambassador and have her own charity to benefit the homeless. “Honestly,” explains Rivera, “the ultimate goal is to give back and never forget where I come from.”