Mandy Gonzalez was born on August 22, 1978, to a Mexican father and white mother.
She has had a successful career as an actress and singer and is best known for her roles on
Broadway. These roles include the fabulous Angelica Schuyler from the musical Hamilton,
Elphaba from the musical of Wicked, and Nina Rosario in the original cast of In the Heights.
From an early age, Mandy Gonzalez’s grandmother saw her passion for music and signed
her up for singing lessons. She attended Saugus High School in Saugus, California. It was in
high school that Gonzalez got involved with theater. For one year, Mandy went to California
Institute of the Arts. However, when she was offered a job as a backup singer for Bette
Midler, she dropped out of college and went on tour from 1999 to 2000. After touring with
Midler, Mandy Gonzalez decided to settle in New York City. In 2001, Gonzalez was a
standby actress for the character of Amneris in the musical Aida, but after landing a role in
Dance of the Vampires, in 2002, she has been on stage ever since!
Mandy Gonzalez had to learn how to be an actress and stay true to her heritage along the
way. Gonzalez recalls as a child feeling different. In an article, Mandy says, “I was the only
Gonzalez in a Hebrew School, I didn’t want to be different.” Although she felt different,
Mandy Gonzalez learned to embrace who she was early on in her career. A video series
called “#HowIGotHere” tells the story of people and their path to success. One video, in this
series, highlights Mandy Gonzalez, where she talks about how she had to learn to embrace
her multiracial identity. Furthermore, she explains how she was so eager to be a part of the
show biz world, and that she was also considering changing her last name on the contract.
Then, she remembered her family and all their hard work.
I love what she told the agent, “I am Mandy Gonzalez with two Zs.” Mandy says that
this was the first time she truly learned about integrity and staying true to her heritage
roots. I am inspired by Gonzalez’s acceptance of her identity at an early age by being proud
of her heritage. After her first job on Broadway, Mandy received some harsh reviews;
however, despite this, she continued to pursue her dreams.
Further, Gonzalez also inspires me by her positive attitude and focus on the good in life
after being diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2019. For example, in one Instagram
post, Mandy writes, “…I have a range of emotions – worry and anger, for sure, but also
gratitude. Gratitude because along with millions of other brave people around the world, I
will fight it.”
Through this trial, Mandy Gonzalez wants to bring awareness about something that many
people must face. “It’s important to know that early detection is key. As a community, as a
society, we need to figure out a way so that everyone has access to a mammogram,” says
And if that wasn’t enough, Mandy Gonzalez is also the founder of the social media group
on Twitter and Instagram called the Fearless Squad. The Fearless Squad is an online
movement that is open to anyone who takes up the morals that define the group: Help each
other when we fall, Embrace differences, Look for the good, and Dream Big. Gonzalez even
named the title track of her first album, Fearless, in honor of the group.
As a multiracial theater kid myself, Mandy Gonzalez is such an awesome role model.
She embraced her heritage and followed her dreams to become a Broadway star, and tries to
empower all types of people through all walks of life.
Project Race Kids President