Artist Q&A with Paola Hernández of RENT

Paola Hernández will visit Wisconsin for the first time with the National Tour of Rent! Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Hernández has been on tour with the production for two years and will bring the character of Mimi to life on stage right here at the Fox Cities P.A.C. Hernández took a few moments to talk about the show, the tour and what she’s looking forward to during her stay in Wisconsin in this Artist Q&A.

RENT has definitely made an impact in pop culture and has a loyal fan base. How does it feel to be part of such a groundbreaking show?
It feels like a dream. Never in a million years I would’ve imagined I would be doing such an inspiring show. 
What is something about the show you think people would be surprised to know?
How much of Jonathan Larson’s life intertwines with the life of the characters in the show. Best example would be the “Life Support” scene. You hear the names: “Steve, Gordon, Ally, Pam, Sue...”. These were friends of Jonathan who passed away from AIDS. And this scene in the show lets us acknowledge and pay respect to those who passed away fighting this disease.
What do you hope audiences take away from their experience of seeing the production? 
How wonderful it is to see a community with different people no matter beliefs, color, race, tell a story about love, acceptance and inclusivity.
Finish the Sentence:
I can’t travel without my… Puerto Rican flag
The first thing I like to do when I get to a new city is… find a coffee spot
The song that is always stuck in my head when I leave the theater... hmm, they vary from time to time. 
If I could switch roles with any cast member for one performance it would be… Josh Walker, who plays Collins. To this day that’s a dream role for me, and he inspires me through his genuine performances.
When they told us we were going to Wisconsin my first thought was… I’m gonna eat a lot of cheese.
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