Elise Santora (Hernandez)

"I have 'just arrived' more times than i care to count . I have 'always been there' and that is not as comforting as it might sound. I am consistently frightened and i dream anyway. When i am courageous, it is based mostly on intuition and less on labored thought. I am a perplexed mother but i negotiate that in silence. I am an artist when i am not a working actor. I am an activist for to watch and do nothing is to be an accomplice. I sometimes create with reluctance and other times...I cannot sleep without completing a random creative thought-a budding but sullen poet always seeking the full moon for it did heal me once. Taina...Puerto Rican native...Cuban. Celia and Celina, both and all mine in my livingroom. Nuyorican- vibrant, self-created and proudly disowned.
Pale freckled spaniards posing umbrellas as shade from the sun's closest seat to the earth, ancient Indians wearing footwork from another continent in their eyes and noses, transported Africans with their babies chained to sugar cane, drums made into defiant hands of leather stretched to coax spirits into speaking their fortunes while all the while...blackness is hidden in island mountain shacks that hang recklessly over the edge- I am also all of this. A few of the 10,000 women that live in me- loud and quiet, exuberant at the whiff of a rough creative thought and sometimes, just sometimes, brilliant by accident but that counts."

A native New Yorker of Puerto Rican and Cuban roots, her first professional brush with the stage was under the direction of renowned actor Jose Ferrer as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz presented at the Tapia Theatre in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The rainbow continued at an early age when she sang as the youngest soprano in the International San Juan Choir that performed with such guests as the Master Andres Segovia.

Most recently, she starred as Abuela Claudia in the first national tour of the Broadway hit In The Heights as well as understudying various roles in its Broadway company. Other Broadway credits include Paul Simon's The Capeman. Additional credits include Man of La Mancha with John Cullum and A Chorus Line starring Bebe Neuwirth. Toured internationally as a vocalist for such legends as Bowie, Julio Iglesias and Danny Kaye's Unicef in Africa tour.

Former Soul Train dancer (for a minute), poet, and in L.A. seeking tv/film work...stranger shit has happened.