Andrea Somera is an actress based in Pasadena. She got her start with local youth theatre during a production of Pirates of Penzance, but surprisingly didn’t care for performing until her next audition for Tom Sawyer! Now, her resume holds credits such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Esmerelda), Assassins,and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Letters to Eve,as well as a Halo Top commercial shoot! Somera currently strives to “[live] a life filled with love, support, experiences, and constant learning” as she paves her own path towards Broadway, and fiercely believes that the world is better with the artistry and authenticity of Asian Americans and their stories. Her advice to young artists? “Expect the unexpected!” Read on to learn more about Andrea Somera and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Name: Andrea Somera
Heritage: Filipina American
Hometown: Buena Park, CA
Current City: Pasadena, CA
What are some of your favorite credits/projects:
Esmeralda in Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Lewis Family Playhouse, Assassins at East West Players, Halo Top commercial shoot, Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Celebration Theatre.
Any advice for young people getting into the arts?
Expect the unexpected! I can’t begin to explain how many times I’ve had a “plan” for my career and instead of those plans happening, other beautiful experiences blossomed without me expecting them to happen. Also, stick around if this is something you truly are passionate about!
How did you get your start?
My mom enrolled me in a local youth theater (shout out to Buena Park Youth Theatre). My first show was Pirates of Penzance and I actually didn’t like the experience! My mom encouraged me to go for the next show (Tom Sawyer) and it was then that I realized that I loved this and wanted to keep doing it.
Do you have any favorite moments in your career that you'd like to share?
Meeting my fiancé! We met doing a show called Letters to Eve and it was about World War 2 and the incarceration of Japanese Americans.
What have you found is the biggest challenge in your career?
Definitely dealing with depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphia.
If you come from parents who aren’t in the arts, what parts of them do you see in yourself that have helped you succeed in the business?
Their resourcefulness, tenacity, compassion, and sense of humor. They are both immigrants from the Philippines who had no clue how to navigate raising a daughter who wanted a career in the arts. That in itself was a huge advantage for me in terms of wanting to work hard not only for myself but for them. I was their American Dream and the fact that their personality traits helped me pursue this career and find success in it is truly one of life’s biggest gifts. I love that in their wishes of wanting happiness and stability for me, they still remind me of how important it is to follow my dreams. They never let me forget about how alive performing makes me feel and that pursuing my dreams is them fulfilling their own dreams. The sense of humor aspect has helped me not take life so seriously and to remember to not let this industry take away my joy. Joy is something we are all entitled to and I have fallen victim to allowing the gatekeepers of the industry to rob me of it. Because of my parents, I am reminded that there is so much more to life than this industry.
If you could name one point in time when everything changed for you, what was it?
There are a few moments where I can pinpoint epiphanies here and there, but the major one that stands out is when I traveled to the Philippines in 2012 for a shot at auditioning for the West End revival of Miss Saigon. I was 19, hopeful, and full of dreams. I got a callback but ended up getting cut. I was devastated. I was staying with my late Auntie Lica at the time (RIP). We were sitting at the dinner table and I was trying hard not to cry but she was so encouraging and reminded me of how timing is so important. That truly made me feel at peace. It also made me realize how brave, powerful, and worthy I am of following my dreams. I took a huge leap of faith and that conversation was something I kept with me throughout my life and career.
Is where you are now where you thought you’d be?
If I looked back into what I thought I’d be doing at this point in my life, it was “getting paid to perform” or “performing full-time”. I am not performing full time BUT I am getting paid to perform which is so dope. Not only that, I am living in a city I love, an apartment I love, with someone I love, have traveled the world for pleasure AND work, and am with an agency I adore who sends me out for projects that I never would have imagined I’d be right for. I’m not on Broadway (yet) but the journey getting there, although can be tiresome and frustrating, is oh so sweet and beautiful. I am living a life filled with love, support, experiences, and constant learning. If this answer seems like I am hyping myself up, it’s because I am (hehe) and I hope it encourages someone else to do the same! I am in your corner and your hype girl! The world is better with us Asian Americans, our stories, and the art that arises from them.
To find out more about Andrea Somera, please visit her at:
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