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‘Cristela’ Alonzo is starstruck by Joey McIntyre and 24 other things to know

Comedian Cristela Alonzo is coming to television with her self-titled new comedy where she plays a young woman struggling through law school. She works to get a coveted unpaid internship, as her family harangues her into settling down and getting a real job. Alonzo‘s winsome personality and biting humor are what make her one of Zap2it’s Ones to Watch for 2014. Learn more about her in the Q&A below.

What’s the current home-screen picture on your phone?
The New Kids on the Block “Hanging Tough” album cover because I saw Joey McIntyre in person a couple weeks ago and I freaked out.

What are your can’t-miss TV shows?
“Veep,” “Modern Family,” “Scandal,” “Family Guy” and “Bob’s Burgers”

What’s a song that always makes you happy when you hear it?
Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”  That song motivates me, and the lyrics remind me of tough times I’ve lived through. I believe in the message of it: If you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted. One moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?

What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

Chumbawumba’s “Tub Thumping,” I think that’s what it’s called. It’s that “I get knocked down but I get up again…”

Zombie apocalypse or alien invasion?

Zombie apocalypse hands down. With alien invasion, you don’t know how advanced their technology is. With zombies, they move slow so you have a fighting chance.

What’s the last item you purchased?
Don’t mean to brag, but I just bought a new humidifier for the fall.

Do you have any current pop-culture obsessions?
I love “Star Trek,” “Doctor Who, “Golden Girls” and “Lego” sets. I collect stuff from what I just mentioned and my favorite thing is the Golden Girls’ Lego set.

What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?
I have a scar in my head from a fight I got into when I was younger.

Do you have any nicknames?
My sister calls me Chunk.

Your first kiss — who and when?
Is it bad that I don’t remember?  I can’t think of the guy’s name but I remember it being in college.

What’s the worst place you have ever been to?
No worst place. I’ve lived in third world conditions and still don’t consider it bad… it made me who I am today.

What’s your spirit animal?
The platypus. I like it because it’s a weird mish-mosh of different things … like me.

What was the last lie you told?

I hung up on someone that I got tired of listening to and texted them that I had bad reception.

Do you have any strange phobias?
I have a strange phobia where I can’t listen to medical procedures. I freak out when women start talking about giving birth to the point where I can pass out.

Air guitar or hairbrush singer?
Air guitar. Always air guitar. I’d rather air guitar the Eddie Van Halen guitar solo from “Hot For Teacher” than sing anything into a brush.

Who is your last text message from?
A friend that knows I’m working on a script rewrite that wants to know how it’s going.  I have super sweet friends like that.

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 23, What’s the third sentence?
I’m in my office at work and have no book in here, so I can’t answer this. I can tell you that I’m currently reading a biography on Desi Arnaz right now that’s really interesting.

If you had to choose another career, what would it be?
Hmm, good question. I’d probably pick fashion/costume designer. I love clothes. I love fashion. I love how clothes can dictate a mood, an attitude.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
I am exactly where I want to be right now.  At the “Cristela” office, working on a script we’re shooting next week. How much better can life get?

Is there a celebrity that you have met and been starstruck by?
See first question. I was at a studio, getting hair/makeup done for a shoot when Joey McIntyre walks in. He’s lost. He looks around and realizes he doesn’t recognize anyone in the room. I’m speechless. He leaves the room, I wait ten seconds and start screaming.  I mean screaming. I throw my phone on the floor, I jump up and down, run around the room.  Everyone was laughing at me — and yes, there’s video proof of it.

What goes in your carry-on bag on the plane?
Everything. I don’t check bags. I’m really good at packing. My go-tos are: laptop, Bose speaker, notebook, bunch of pens, my stuffed animal Boo (fake dog I treat like a real dog),  iPad and usually 3-4 shirts rolled up. I only wear the jeans I’m wearing on the plane on the trip and wash midway through trip if needed. Very minimal.

What’s your favorite beverage?

Sparkling water with lemon. I drink that all day.

What food can you not resist?

I love Mexican food, or as I like to call it, food. Favorites are street tacos and menudo.

What do your friends make fun of you for?
My friends make fun of my laugh. I have the BIGGEST, LOUDEST laugh. You can hear me from very far away.  People come up to me and tell me, “We couldn’t find you but then we heard you laugh …”

What clique did you belong to in high school?

I was a theater nerd.  In fact, I was the queen of theater nerds. And I loved it.

“Cristela” premieres Friday, Oct. 10 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Below, watch some of her stand-up on which the new show is based.

Photo/Video credit: ABC