I met Angelica when I first started with an acapella group six years ago. Her energy was something to behold. She was bright, undeniably pleasant, and introduced herself to all of us new members right away. I don't necessarily remember the first time we met but I remember the first time I heard her sing. Her talent was unlike anything I had ever witnessed. She was unbelievable. As soon as she started, my mouth hit the ground. The power of her instrument was effortless and absolutely incredible. But what I found to be the most incredible was the level of humility that was present before she sang and after. This was a voice that could leave all of us in the dust and yet, she encouraged and cheered everyone else on. It was genuine and engaging. She wanted the best for everyone.
Over the years, the humility never ceased to amaze me. Every year when new members joined, she was the first to introduce herself. The first to start cheering. Angelica is one of the most energetic and genuine people that I know. She loves to bake. She is crazy knowledgeable. I once had an issue with my car and was picking her up when it started to occur. After describing my issue, she had an accurate diagnosis. I've used her as my "phone a friend" when Neil and I got into an academic argument. She literally knows the 900 pieces of music that the acapella group needed to know by heart and in addition to her own part-knew the ladies, as well as some of the men's parts. She is a HUGE Laker fan and I'm always entertained when she and Neil (my husband- another HUGE Laker fan) talk stats about their favorite team. Her musicality is phenomenal. I could listen to her sing all day and I don't know how she's not famous. Her beauty on the inside matches the outside. I can't wait to sing with her again and see what her future holds as she navigates in new musical adventures.
What is your name and how do we know each other?
"My name is Angelica Roque and we met singing in Westbeat."
How old are you?
What are you currently doing with yourself?
"Oof. Begin that with deep sigh. I left my job of 6 and half years a year ago. So, it’s been a year of saying yes to as many things as possible and also trying to figure out what I want to put my energy into. I’m music directing for a children’s theatre. I sing at several churches and playing lots of board games. It’s not a job but it’s true. "
Are you where you hoped you would be? If not/ Why? If so-what do you love about it and could you see yourself doing anything else?
"There’s so many things you just asked me. Am I where I hoped I would be? Yes and no. Yes in a way that as a human and as an adult and an emotional being in a the world-I am a lot farther than I thought I was 5 years ago. Professionally, it’s a hard question. I spent a lot of years doing something I was very good at but it didn’t feel like success because I felt like I was drowning. "
Women are becoming a resilient sound that cannot be silenced. What are you doing to contribute that sound?
"I make a lot of noise as a person. (She laughs). I grew up being a contradiction to a lot of female stereotypes. I was called bossy and all of those gendered words. Having my tenacity was a contrast to my femininity. I was combative to a lot of that. As a teen and in my college years, It made me mad. Now, I try and be more communicative and not apologize for the intensity that I bring and also not apologize for the 'girly' parts that come with that. It’s not an either/or situation. If someone takes issue or says something that I disagree with or I find gendered or derogatory in some way, I try to approach it with questions instead of blame. "
What is something you learned from a younger age that has stuck with you?
"The first thing that came to mind that my dad always says, 'it costs you nothing to be nice' which got very annoying as a kid...As an adult, I hate to say it but he’s right. It may not cost you dollars but it will cost you effort and time and the return is so much better. "
Who is an individual who made a profound impact on you and why?
"Wow there’s a lot. There are just so many and so many ways in different seasons in my life and just happens to go with what I needed at that point. If I had to pick one, I would say my mom which I hope is common answer. She is the most reasonable, level headed, calm individual. I am none of those things. She just is also wonderfully passionate about things and gets fired up about things that she loves. It’s that balance of being passionate and caring but also not getting too wrapped up in anything. She has roots. "
What is a weakness or something that exposes your vulnerability and what do you do to combat/embrace it in order to grow?
"I go to 2 different ones. Internal and external. Body image is internal for me. It doesn’t particularly come from any one place in the world and the dialogue has changed for body positivity and inclusion. And, for all intents and purposes, I am a standard shape BUT I have never gotten to a place where I truly feel comfortable in every inch of my skin. It’s a challenge of acceptance of appreciation and being grateful that my body gets me to places I want to go and wakes me up in the morning and is the reason I can do so many of the things that I love. Not the loving the vessel feels wrong. I feel like women are raised to be apologetic to taking up space and that loving your body is being connected to a haughtiness or an egotistical perspective. Those are so programmed in me. What do I do to combat? I try and surround myself with people who I can speak frankly in front of that I can relate. I also try to own what I wear and how I dress and not make it an apology. Have you ever seen me without leggings or tights when I wear a dress?"
(No. Actually, you always are wearing a fun color).
"That’s originated from a place of hiding and fear. Starting in middle school wearing tights and leggings was a way to wear what I want but also hiding at the same time. Now the goal is, to make it as a deliberate choice. I now have a wardrobe of all this weird stuff.. And saying 'do I like it, is it still me?' "
What is something that you want to accomplish and what are you doing to get to that place, if anything?
"I want to have music as part of my job. I’m doing that in ways with music directing with kids, with church gigs and acapella gigs and things. I want to be able to answer the question of 'what do you do' with music? I guess I could say I’m answering that question now with what I am doing but in my mind, there is an imaginary threshold that I haven’t reached. "
And now..a few questions to lighten the mood...
Dogs or Cats?
Cheeseburgers or Salad?
Beach or Mountains?
"Beach. I feel landlocked. If there is a mountain with a lake..different story."
Sweet or Salty?
Lose all of your old memories or never make new ones?
*She starts to tear up..* " I am crying! Because that question is asking me…'Have I hit my best yet?' Because I would like to think my best is ahead of me so, I pick lose all my old memories. I hate it. Also, this is how my brain works, Emily. The stakes are always that high. "
Disney..or is there any alternative?
"Ahh Disney. My dad worked at Disneyland for me growing up. Come on."
What is a fun fact that someone may not know about you?
"All four years of high school in all four musicals I did, I fell off the stage or a height equal to it. "
And the final two important questions...
What is a common misconception about you that people make based on your appearance? What is your truth and how do you personify strength?
" A misconception about me...it was mostly in middle and high school. I am a lot as a person. I am lot of volume, intensity and person. That can turn a lot of people off...understandably so. The assumption was that those intense qualities are always present and there is no other side to them which is not the case. My truth is that I am an intense person. I get excited. I talk a lot. I cry so easily. I’m not sorry about it. My truth is that I am a lot of things. I always want to be respectful of others space and their preferences and way of living their own life not in a way that minimizes my own value. At least that’s the goal. How do I personify strength? I’d like to say that as a friend that’s probably my strongest time. I am able to be there for people and try to do so in a way that specifically serves that individual and whatever they're experiencing. "
You have inspired me. What about yourself do you hope to put out in order to inspire other young people?
"Positive energy. I think just having an environment that allows for both successes and failures leads to so much more productivity , inspiration and collaboration. "