Hey there everyone! So first off, I'd just like to share with you all what gave me the passion I have for the arts. The rest of my theatrical information can be found on my resume page.
Well I am first generation here in the United States. My parents are from South America. My dad is from Colombia & my mother is from Chile. My father came to the Chicago to further his education at DePaul University, while my mother came to escape the political unrest in Chile. They met at the YMCA taking English classes, fell in love, were married, and then had two awesome sons. From there, we moved to the burbs of Chicago and that's where my parents still live today.
I had always had a love of the arts, which I get from my mother's side: my grandfather was the director of the National Opera House in Santiago, Chile, and my grandmother was the choreographer of the National Ballet. My mother will tell you how at the age of five I would watch OKLAHOMA! on the Disney channel ad nauseam. I would jump on the coffee table and start singing "OKLAHOMA WHERE THE WIND COMES SWEEPING DOWN THE PLAIN..." and dance along with Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae.
I did theatre while I was growing up, but never thought I would make a career out of it. I wanted to be an English/drama teacher in a high school. When I was a junior I was forced to audition for all state choir. Then something crazy happened: I got the 8th spot for tenors, which basically meant I was the 8th best tenor in the whole state of Illinois. That same year I got into The National High School Institute (better known as the Cherub program) for theatre at Northwestern University. So now I am starting to re-think this "not performing" thing. I went to a performing arts college fair downtown Chicago with my dad (I was done visiting the schools I was interested in) when I was stopped by this man from a school I had never heard of in central Illinois. He talked to me a little about their institution and I took the material he handed me and left. In the car my dad was like "I really liked Millikin University, what did you think?" Long story short, I applied to a bunch of places, but in the end went with Millikin University. That's where I got my BFA in Musical Theatre.
College was hard. Professors trying to break you down (some succeeding) all to rebuild you as the best version of yourself that can happen in four years. I was NOT a favorite there. I kept my head down and worked as hard as I could. There were two professors there that really rallied for me: Ann Boarders and Cynthia Oeck. Ann was my theatre mother for my last two years & was pivotal in my journey. She would tell me if my acting was great or subpar, voice was sounding great or average, etc. She pushed me more than I had ever been pushed before when she cast me as Tartuffe in TARTUFFE THE OPERA my senior year. I will always be indebted to her for simply believing in me. With Cynthia, we were together since day one. She shaped my voice to what I have today. It was a lot of forgetting bad habits and learning new, healthier ones. I will always remember how in my sophomore year, she wouldn't let me sing anything above an "E." I was DYING in my lessons and wanted to be anywhere but in that room. Flash forward to my senior year and I am singing high "A's" like it was an "E." God bless Cynthia Oeck! She, like Ann, always believed in me and my talent.
I guess the rest is history! Booked shows, did a national tour, got my equity card.
Oh and I am a crazy cat dad! I have two, Ferdinand and Fritz....and they are the cutest cats on the East Coast for sure!