Aida Rodriguez

Aida Rodriguez

Nathalie Gordon
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September 12, 2023
Online Originals

5 Things You Didn't Know About Aida Rodriguez

Kick off Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month with Aida Rodriguez. You know her as an actress, stand-up comedian, writer, producer, director, and emerging author. Find out a few things you didn't know!

Like many creative people, Aida Rodriguez draws from her personal life when crafting her material. "It's my life, the people I engage with, and the things around me that fuel a lot of my storytelling," says the multi-talented actress, comedian, writer, producer, director and, more recently, first-time author.

In 1998, following a divorce, Rodriguez, who is of Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage, moved from San Diego to her native Miami and later to Los Angeles, where she found her footing in comedy. She appeared in numerous specials and films throughout the 2010s and, in 2014, earned a spot as a finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing. In 2021, after years of honing her material on stage, she scored a stand-up special, Aida Rodriguez: Fighting Words, on Max; the following year, she made her directorial debut with two installments of Entre Nos, Max's showcase for Latin comics.

October 17 will mark a new chapter in Rodriguez's creative journey with the publication of her first book, Legitimate Kid, a memoir that explores her tumultuous childhood and the obstacles she faced following her move to Los Angeles as a single mother of two.

In the lead-up to her book launch, she chatted with about her hopes for future projects and the moments in her career that have stayed with her over the years.

Here are five things you didn't know about Aida Rodriguez.

She wants to do more acting
Although Rodriguez says everything she does is fueled by writing, "I was an actor before I was a comedian, and I actually moved to Los Angeles to be a film actor." She loves being able to tell stories, but she is also eager to delve into more character-driven work as a performer. "It's fun to step away from who I am and live out another experience."

Her life shapes her art
To make sure her audiences don't feel that they're being "preached to" when she takes on topics that are important to her, Rodriguez likes to put a comedic spin on her own experience. "I wrote a joke about my stepfather getting beat up for being racist once on the bus, and it went viral," she says. "People loved it. I was tackling an issue of colorism and anti-Blackness in my community, the Latino community, but through the lens of my own story."

She would like to renovate houses
Rodriguez's passion for social progress and helping those in need is even reflected in her taste in reality TV. "I like to watch a show that's set in Detroit, where they rebuild homes for those who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them. I would love to do that."

She'll never forget the time her comedy provided a temporary respite from tragedy
The fan encounter that stands out most to Rodriguez came after a stand-up set at the Hollywood Improv when a woman approached her and addressed her by name. "She said, 'Aida Rodriguez, I need to have a word with you!' and I thought, 'Oh, snap — she's about to scold me!'" Instead, she told Rodriguez that her son had recently taken his life, and Rodriguez's set was the first thing that had made her laugh in two weeks. "To this day, I still talk about it. She said, 'I'll love you forever!' That really stayed with me."

She budgets her time to stay focused
After being diagnosed with ADHD, Rodriguez revamped her workflow. To make sure she doesn't get overwhelmed when she has multiple roles on a project, she's turned to time management. "I'm developing a project that I'm writing and starring in, so budgeting my time and making sure that I allow others to show up in their roles and not try to take over is helpful," she says. Not one to hoard the spotlight, she'd rather feed the art than her ego. "I want to give others the opportunity because there are people out there who are really good at what they do! Doing so helps me focus so I don't have my hands in everything."

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

See more "5 Things You Didn't Know About..." articles.

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