Unemployed Florida actress Alea Figueroa shares her personal struggles with DEO and deals with her frustration in the best way she knows: in a film parody of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” who loses her voice in pursuit of her dreams.
In an interview with WESH-TV, Figueroa said she didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to get unemployment benefits. She had to apply three times, and waited a total of 12 weeks to get her first payment. She produced and co-wrote the Disney parody with her husband.
“It was just surviving,” Figueroa said. “I thought the state would be there for me and they weren’t. And I felt like I was helpless and voiceless, and that’s where ‘The Unemployed Mermaid’ came from.”
Figueroa said on Instagram, “Applying for unemployment sucks. Applying for unemployment in the state of Florida makes you want to scoop out your eyeballs with a spoon…This is for anyone that has dealt, is dealing, or will deal with unemployment struggles.”
This post is part of Our Stories, a continuing series profiling everyday people and how they’ve been affected by and responded to the unemployment crisis in Florida.