I’ve always had a face for radio. But my first cousin once removed is a star of stage and screen!

That’s Erika Henningsen (my first cousin once removed!) on the right. She has the lead role in Hazbin Hotel, a new animated series now streaming on Prime. She plays… the princess of Hell!

She also played “Young Gloria” in Girls5Eva – all episodes of that series are now available on Netflix.

And she originated the role of Cady Heron in Mean Girls on Broadway.

(I think that’s her future hubby Kyle Selig on the left… )

Oh, and she made her Broadway debut as Fantine in Les Miserables. NBD.

Erika posted this on Instagram last week, on World Theater Day.

Acting isn’t an easy profession. There’s plenty of drama before you even get to the drama (or comedy, or romance, or…). I’m glad Erika learned early on that you need to be resilient, and to separate your work worth from your self-worth:

“Constant rejection became a thing that was just inevitable,” Henningsen said of the cycle of auditions. “It is inevitable in this business because there is so much job turnover. I think I got used to that much faster than I anticipated, because I realized that rejection has nothing to do with my identity or my sense of purpose; it just is for that one job. And the sooner you can get over it, the sooner you can move on.”

Erika in this 2018 interview in W magazine

I’m thrilled about Erika’s ongoing success. But I’m even happier that she has an attitude of gratitude. Heck, she could even have a happy day in hell…