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East LA Homegirl Goes Hollywood

Sep 16, 2013

Evangeline Ordaz is no ordinary Hollywood show runner. When she’s not teaching constitutional law or rehabbing historic buildings, she’s writing for a racy soap opera about . East Los High was a big summer success for the TV-on-demand website Hulu, and much of the credit for keeping the show real goes to its multitalented main writer.

Ordaz was born and bred in East Los Angeles — East Los, as it’s known. She still lives there, and you can hear the neighborhood cadence in her voice.

“You know, I grew up saying things like, ‘Oh, we’re going to go down her house’; ‘Al lay’ instead of ‘el lay’ [LA],” she says from her home in Highland Park. “We elongate our vowels like crazy. So it’s like, ‘Brendaaa, com’ere!’ It sounds like a whine to everybody else, but to us, it’s just the way you talk.”

Though she’s tried to lose the intonation and lingo, Ordaz used it to great effect for the dialogue she wrote for East Los High

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