Christina Austin Lopez is a talented and popular triple-threat entertainer from Dallas. Her ability to act, sing and dance has gained her state-wide attention as a resident actress of the Tony award-winning Dallas Theater Center where she has been showcased in numerous stage productions over the years. We were honored to speak with her recently about her theatrical journey and her many significant accomplishments.
The Dallas Theater Center consists of a prestigious troupe of actors who work together to bring dynamic and compelling performances to the stage. As a member of this elite group, Christina has honed her craft and developed her skills as a stage performer, gaining recognition for her outstanding talents. Some of Christina’s most memorable performances at the Dallas Theater Center include her roles in Into the Woods and The Sound of Music. She is known for her dynamic stage presence, her powerful singing voice and her ability to bring depth and nuance to the characters she portrays.
Dancing at Two, Singing at Four
Christina began her journey as an entertainer at a young age. “I have always loved to perform. I started taking dance lessons at age two and would sing with my mom at church starting when I was four. My mom was always singing to me around the house whether it was while getting up and getting ready for school, eating vegetables, or just driving…everything had a soundtrack. I look back and see how that was so integral in giving me a foundation in the arts. For a while, my main focus was dance, and I took dance lessons for as much as 20 hours a week! After being cast in my first musical as a freshman in high school, I knew I didn’t want to pursue anything else. There was something magical about being able to take the audience on a journey for two hours, and I wanted to feel that magic again and again.”
Deciding which she likes best to do – act, sing or dance – is tough for Christina, but as a resident actress for the Dallas Theater Center, she combines all three and uses them to her advantage while assigned various roles. “I think the answer to this question is one that has changed at different seasons of my life. I definitely used to think of myself as a dancer first because of all of my dance training growing up. I always took voice lessons, too, so sometimes, I thought of myself as a singer first also. Then in college, my program focused mainly on acting. At this point, I really believe they’re all equally important and equally fun to do.
“As a freshman in high school, after years of dance training, I was told that I was too big to be a ballerina by the manager of the dance company I was a member of at the time. I had just been cast as Rusty in Footloose at my high school, so I put all my energy towards that. As I mentioned before, this is where I learned how amazing theater can be. This began my journey to where I am now, as a member of the resident acting company at Tony award-winning Dallas Theater Center. This has to be my greatest accomplishment. I feel as though I’ve been able to grow as an artist more than I ever have here. I’ve been able to play roles like Emily in Our Town and Cinderella in Into the Woods, while also stretching myself in other ways like assistant choreographing or directing.”
A Member of the Dallas Theater Center
Christina was honored to be a part of an elite group of stage performers when she was asked to be a part of the Dallas Theater Center. “I am still in awe of how everything worked out for me to be asked to join DTC’s Resident Acting Company. My history with DTC started when I was still in college and was put on hold for their production of Hairspray in the summer of 2018. Even though I didn’t book that show, I think it gave me the confidence to continue auditioning for them, and my first show at DTC was In the Heights in 2019. The thing not many people know is that I was in final callbacks for four other productions in their 2019-2020 season and had been cast as Viola in their Covid-canceled public works production of Twelfth Night. So I had built a little bit of a behind-the-scenes relationship with DTC. In 2021, I was cast as Marian Paroo in Theatre Three’s outdoor production of The Music Man which gave me a lot of exposure in the Dallas theater community since this was the first post-pandemic production in the Dallas area. That summer, I was invited to audition for DTC’s Resident Artist Company and, after several rounds of callbacks, was invited to join in October 2021. As far as theatrical awards, I’ve been nominated for many but haven’t won any…yet.”
Stepping Out of Her Comfort Zone
Although she feels most comfortable on stage, Christina has appeared in several local commercials which has given her some national exposure. “Commercials are fun to do and have a much wider reach. I have done a few really fun commercials for companies like Six Flags, Live Nation and SunChips. Every set I’ve been on for a commercial has been fun!”
Texas is home for Christina, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “There are so many opportunities for actors in Texas. Dallas, Austin and Houston have some of the best regional theaters in the nation. In addition, Texas is a right-to-work state so there are numerous opportunities for commercial and TV work that many don’t know about. Also, there is a huge voice over market here too with Crunchy Roll being based here. I also personally love that my family is close by. It’s very special to have them around.”
Even though Dallas is landlocked, Christina enjoys the water. “I think one thing most people don’t know about me is that I love the ocean. I have been a certified scuba diver since I was 13, and there is nothing I like more than to spend a day at the reefs. I also love social media and feel very blessed to have built a community (1.8M TikTok Followers) on TikTok (@xtina_lopez) and YouTube (@xtinalopez)!”
Friends, Family…and Her Puppy
“I love to work out so I go to the gym – a lot! I also love trying new restaurants and coffee shops, shopping, playing table games and hanging out with my friends and family…and puppy.”
Believe in Yourself
Christina has this advice for those wanting to pursue a career in entertainment: “I would encourage anyone who wants to pursue a career in the arts to believe in themselves. This is a career of rejection where you have to know your worth and grow a thick skin because actors are judged daily. In order to survive in this business, you need to know that most of that rejection is not about you; it’s about other’s perception of you, the project you are auditioning for, and whether they don’t see you as a fit for the job. Sometimes you get rejected even when you feel like you had the best audition ever. I also think it is important to be open to constructive criticism and view every rejection as a learning opportunity. I think it’s important for actors to surround themselves with positive yet truthful voices. Surround yourself with people and things that you love. It’s so easy to get dragged into this industry to a point that you’re not thinking about anything else. Have other hobbies, build a life outside of theater. You will be so mentally fatigued if you don’t. It is also important to never compare yourself to others; everyone is unique and everyone’s journey is unique. Do the work. One of my coworkers always says ‘stay humble, stay hungry, stay hustling!’
“I am really excited for what the future holds. Though I have some pending projects at DTC which I am very excited for, I am not sure that I am at liberty to disclose those yet. I’ll just say I get to mix my love of the ocean and my love of the stage, and I am so excited!”
Cover photo Jordan Fraker Photography
Bob Valleau is a regular entertainment contributor for Texas Lifestyle Magazine.