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‘Hamilton’ star Mandy Gonzalez interrupts Broadway run to perform in St. Louis for december Magazine

Mandy Gonzales
Mandy Gonzalez

Most Broadway actors relax on their Monday days off. But on Monday, April 16, "Hamilton" star Mandy Gonzalez will come to St. Louis to help raise awareness and funds for St. Louis’ december Magazine. She stars as Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway hit.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Gonzalez about her career and upcoming performance in St. Louis, as well as with Gianna Jacobsen, the publisher of december Magazine, a non-profit literary journal headquartered in St. Louis.

december Magazine

Gianna Jacobsen is the publisher of the non-profit december Magazine literary journal headquartered in St. Louis.
Credit Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio
Gianna Jacobsen is the publisher of the non-profit december Magazine literary journal headquartered in St. Louis.

Jacobsen said literary magazines are anthologies for avid readers – “they look and feel more like a book, and they have a variety of reading material.” December Magazine publishes two times a year and compensates its contributors.

Besides pay, Jacobsen said the publication offers an evaluation process as “an added bonus” – which includes commentary and suggestions for revisions and improvements.

“If we know why we’re saying no to something, then we figure we might as well share that information with the writer,” Jacobsen said. “And they really appreciate that kind of commentary and feedback.”

This year marks the magazine’s 60-year anniversary. In honor of the anniversary, the publication established a writers’ and artists’ compensation fund.

Last summer, Jacobson met Gonzalez and talked about the fund and the need to pay artists and writers. Gonzalez agreed to come to St. Louis to perform at the magazine’s benefit event on her night off from Broadway – Mon. April 16.

The literary journal is one of the few publications paying writers of all ages for their work. Gonzalez said that, as an artist, she appreciates when publications and organizations pay people for their talent.

“I applaud december Magazine for seeing that with writers and for giving them that opportunity,” Gonzalez said.

She explained that often times, many writers and artists go un-paid for their work in exchange for some exposure – but exposure is not enough to pay the bills.

“To be paid for your work is a necessity for survival and to continue doing what you do,” she said.

Using her platform for change

Gonzalez also uses her entertainment platform to bring awareness to various political causes. During her performance in Times Square last year, she sang the title song from her album, “Fearless,” and began her performance by saying, “This is for the Dreamers,” referencing DACA recipients. The song tells the story of her multi-ethnic background – of Polish and Mexican decent.

“I think we can’t forget where we come from and we can’t forget the people that are now striving to be here and that are doing good things and making this country what it is and what it should be,” she said.

As a Jewish Mexican-American, Gonzalez is one example of the many ethnicities represented in the “Hamilton” musical cast.

“It is definitely purposeful that [“Hamilton”] is a multi-ethnic cast,” she said. “But I think it shows people that are coming to see it, a lot of times young people, it shows themselves on stage.”

She said landing the role in the Broadway hit “has opened more doors” that previously would have been closed because of her last name, Gonzalez.

“It’s now up to us as actors to continue to hold those doors open for the generation that’s coming behind us,” she said.

Gonzalez invites listeners to join her in her #FearlessSquad social media campaign to encourage people to work together and live their dreams.

Related Events

What: december Magazine Presents Mandy Gonzalez
When: April 16, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.
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