On Screen, Sol Miranda Shines Brightly

‘Peekskill is such a vibrant, diverse and artistic community.’ –Sol Miranda, with Peekskill friends Paul and Mary Monier Stark at New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF) 
Photo > New York Latino Film Festival

When they say “talent will out,” it means someone with obvious skills at their craft ultimately will be rewarded.

Casting directors say they know within 15 seconds of an actor’s audition if the person is right for the role.

Put those two show business beliefs together and they spell S-o-l M-i-r-a-n-d-a. 

The Peekskill resident’s acting career of more than three decades got off to a quick start and is just now hitting its stride.

Sol is starting the year with great anticipation. Friday, Jan. 14, in particular, is highlighted on her calendar.

On that date, Netflix debuts Archive 81, a horror series in which she can be seen in episodes 2, 4, and 5.

Come Find Me, an independent feature film in which Miranda co-stars with Victoria Cartagena of TV’s Gotham and Batwoman, starts streaming the same date, as an entry in competition at the Miami Jewish Film Festival. (It can be viewed online only in Florida, for free, during the Jan. 14-26 festival. The film premiered in September 2021 at the New York Latino Film Festival.) 

Per its synopsis, Come Find Mefollows a Latin mother and daughter who are facing major life changes and how their love challenges and sustains them.” Sol plays Gloria, “a school principal and widow about to retire, whose daughter Christina (Cartagena) must prove herself as a person of color in a highly competitive field. Their dynamic raises questions about identity, loss, and the damaged communication between two people who love each other but struggle to reconcile their differences.”

Miranda co-stars with Victoria Cartagena, of TV’s Gotham and Batwoman.

The film’s writer-director Daniel Poliner shares in a blog that he wrote the role expressly for Miranda. “I’d worked with her a few times and was blown away the first moment I met her,” he writes, adding, “She’s probably best known as Dona Maria on [Netflix comedy] The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and I just knew if she were given a lead role she would be incredible. And she was that and so much more – her spirit lifted the whole cast and crew.”

Anyone who knows Sol Miranda – it’s a sizable fan club, to be sure – would be so not surprised by Poliner’s effusive words of admiration. To meet her is to be energized by her boundless enthusiasm and generosity of spirit.

For eight years, until June 2018, Sol and Katie Schmidt Feder ran Peekskill non-profit Embark, named Best Avant Garde Community Arts Organization in the 2016 Best of Westchester [Magazine] honors.  

However, the constant heavy lifting that the ambitious enterprise demanded took its toll, says Miranda. “We never paid ourselves, except for one grant we received. It was exhausting, it was inspiring. You have to be producer, do marketing, stay and clean up … and you’re a roadie as well.”

Yet, the Embark experience continues to pay dividends, almost literally, for Miranda. She says “a lot of Peekskill people” donated money to help finance the production of Come Find Me. Thanks to Embark, we still have strong community connections who have been very supportive of me and the film.” She is eager to thank those hometown supporters by bringing the movie to Peekskill for a screening.

After graduating from University of Puerto Rico’s theater program, and earning a Master’s of Fine Arts in Theatre at University of Califronia-San Diego, she quickly booked her first professional gig in a Seattle stage production of Josefina Lopez’s Real Women Have Curves, netting Sol an Actors Equity union card.  

Miranda moved to Peekskill from Brooklyn 20 years to be in convenient commuting distance of New York City, where she was busy auditioning everywhere, whether for Latino or non-Latino roles. “I got great feedback from casting directors and was cast a couple of months after arriving in New York City in 1995.”

In addition to its favorable geography, settling in Peekskill, says Miranda, was a logical extension of having two young children at the time – Julia and Michael. “We wanted to buy a house with a little yard. I’m very happy here. It’s such a vibrant, diverse, and artistic community.”

To reignite her Embark spark, and stay connected with the community she loves, Miranda recently joined the board of non-profit online publication Peekskill Herald 2.0. She also has been an adjunct professor of acting at NYU in Manhattan and CUNY’s Hostos Community College in the Bronx 

“I don’t see myself relying on acting as a full-time job just yet,” she says, “but I have faith that it’s going to happen soon.”  

In the meantime, the first order of business is to find a distributor so Come Find Me can find its audience. “We have a couple of angels working behind the scenes to connect us,” she says. “I don’t believe I will ever have this opportunity to star in a film that is as beautiful and solid and heartfelt.”

Sol Miranda fans might disagree. After all, talent will out. 

IG > @solmiranda11; @comefindme_themovie  

Bruce Apar is Editorial Director of River Journal North

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