Stephanie Nogueras©Skip Bolen/Peacock

Stephanie Nogueras talks “Killing it” and shares her experiences as a deaf Latina in Hollywood

Killing it is available to stream on Peacock

Killing it starring Craig Robinson is the latest comedy to hit Peacock, and the original series is a hilarious must-see. In this rags-to-riches sitcom about class and capitalism, Craig Foster (Robinson) is a bank security guard living in Miami with dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. He and his ex-wife, Camille, uneasily co-parent their pre-teen daughter, Vanessa, and the adventure that ensues as he tries to make his dreams come true will keep you laughing throughout the episode. Camille is played by Stephanie Nogueras, a talented Puerto Rican actress that was born profoundly deaf. She portrayed Natalie Pierce on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth and is ready for the world to meet her new character. HOLA! USA had the opportunity to interview Nogueras with an interpreter and she opened up to us about her experiences on set, representation, the advice she would give others that are deaf or hard of hearing, and more.

Stephanie Nogueras©Skip Bolen/Peacock

I love the series, it’s so funny and I like the grounded and real aspect that Camille brings. What is your favorite thing about playing her?

Well, thank you. I love how she is really portrayed just as an individual. She’s a mother focused on her family, trying to do the best she can as an ex-wife trying to get along with her ex-husband. It’s not a focus on her deafness. I’m not quite sure if I could have as much patience as she has in her situation, but she works very hard trying to provide for her family even though some odd things are going on, and she goes with the flow.

And the cast on the show is hilarious. What was your experience like on this set?

(Laughs) My experience on set with the cast, they are hilarious. It’s been so interesting working with all of them. I’ve learned a lot about hearing comedy. It’s Interesting because deaf comedy is different. I had an ASL interpreter onset who was able to interpret a lot of what was going on, so I was able to get it, like oh, okay, laugh when everyone else is laughing. So that was really great. Everyone I worked with was wonderful. Everyone was so sweet. It was a lot of different personalities, a lot of diversity on set, but we all got along. So that was really great.

Craig has big dreams to start his own business. Do you remember when you decided you want to pursue a career in acting?

Well, to be honest, I never had a dream to pursue acting. My dream was to be a counselor for the deaf community and provide mental health services. That was really my goal. But the universe had different plans for me. So my road shifted to acting and really, I just go with the flow. That’s my motto. And it’s been almost 10 years. I’m surprised I’m still here, but various opportunities have arisen in my life, and that have kept me in the field. So I’m very humbled and thankful.

Stephanie Nogueras©Skip Bolen/Peacock

I know when it comes to representation in Hollywood, there is still so much that needs to be done. As a Latina who is deaf, how important is it that we continue to see roles like Camile in TV and film?

Yeah, it’s definitely important. When I started, it was really difficult for me to find a support system of Latinx people in the industry. Just different creatives, I would’ve loved having that, but it really hasn’t been present. Even now for mental health, for emotional health, for all of that, whether it’s an actor, writer, or various things in the industry. I’ve been alone for quite some years in this industry as a deaf Latina. And I recognize that it’s important that I’m that example for others. And I’m hoping that for the future, there are other projects that I can collab with to kind of help balance out that support system and provide some diversity within that.

You are an inspiration for everyone, but what advice would you give to those that are deaf or hard of hearing that see you and want to chase after the same dreams?

My advice for them would be to take acting courses, take small acting workshops, go with their friends, and have a support system. You can learn through Google pretty much everything, right? So do research and figure out what the acting terms are that are being used, practice in front of the mirror, and get those emotions going. Play games that involve acting, network, meet people and don’t be shy. I know I’m personally a pretty shy person, but you have to try to push yourself to get out of your shell and get comfortable meeting people and networking. Maybe start with a small theater, just start small. There are people out there, like myself- who have no acting experience and it worked out for them. So that would be my advice for any deaf and hard of hearing.

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