Interview: Gaby Rodriguez
Current Mood: full
Current Song: Hold Me by Maria Mena
I recently had the opportunity to interview Gaby Rodriguez, a teenager who made headlines last year when she conducted a social experiment: for six months, she pretended to be pregnant and studied the reactions of her classmates, her teachers, and her neighbors. Only a few of Gaby's loved ones - her mother, her boyfriend, one of her siblings, and her best friend - knew the truth, and her faculty advisors watched her closely. When Gaby presented the findings of her project in an all-school assembly, the story was picked up not only by local papers but also the Associated Press, which in turn led to national and international news broadcasts, a book deal, and a movie deal. (Read my review of her memoir, The Pregnancy Project.)
Luckily, Gaby emerged from the media whirlwind with her head still firmly planted on her shoulders. She graduated from high school with high marks and is now working hard in college. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we were able to chat between Gaby's classes and my rehearsals. Listen in on our conversation:
First and foremost, how are you doing today?
I am doing extremely well. I have managed to keep up to date in my classes and continue pursuing my educational goals. Aside from that my family is extremely proud of me. :)
If you could change anything that you did or said while working on your project, would you?
Yes, I probably would and that would be including a little bit more people in the secret then I normally did.
Your project led to a book deal. How did you meet your co-writer, Jenna Glatzer? How did your collaboration work? Did you write chapters which she then edited, or did she interview you and then write?
I met Jenna Glatzer in NYC, when I went to do the Today Show. Sharlene Martin my Literary Manager introduced us and thought it would be best for us to work together. She interviewed me and wrote everything and then I would go through and check if all the information was correct.
What was your involvement in the Lifetime movie based on your story? Did you have any hand in the screenplay written by Teena Booth, the casting by Jackie Lind, or anything else having to do with the content and/or creative licensing?
I worked with Teena Booth over the summer and she interviewed me and wrote as well as Jenna. I wasn't involved with much more then that, they just kept me informed with everything pertaining to the film. I had the opportunity to be on set for a weekend and in doing so I met some of the cast and was included as an extra in a couple of scenes.
How is your mom doing?
My mom is doing well. She is absolutely proud of me and is excited for everything I have in store for my future.
Are you still in touch with Mr. Myers or any of your project mentors?
Absolutely, I visit Mr. Myers and other teachers every chance I get when I travel back home. I currently speak to my mentors over email and Facebook and plan to visit them soon.
I'm so glad to hear that you're still in touch with them! How's college treating you?
College is great, I've had the great opportunity to meet new people that look beyond my project. This is extremely important to me because I try to be as normal as possible. :)
What is your major, and what are your favorite classes?
I am currently majoring in Psychology and those are my favorite classes.
Picture yourself ten years from now. What do you see?
I plan to have at least a Master's Degree in Psychology and striving toward my Doctorate. I also plan on having a great career in which I am happy. I also plan to either create a program or a scholarship fund dedicated to teen mothers pursuing their education. As far as marriage and family, nobody knows what the future holds.
Good luck to you, Gaby!
Read my review of The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez and Jenna Glatzer.