Friday, June 7, 2013

Everything I Needed to KNOW ABOUT Life
I Learned From
You’ve Got To Clear Out The Negative Energy - Daniela

Aigner Mathis & Joshua Sherman
Even though I should have learned this earlier in my life, this life lesson is one that I experienced and have come to accept because of the In The Heights FAMILIA. The lesson is how to obtain happiness and even though it may sound simple it is a task to do. I've heard this sort of thing all my life but in the reverse "think positively", "good thoughts breed good energies", "chin up buttercup" and other inspirational cliche-y quotes that you can think of. But never have I had it presented to me such as this: "Cut out the negative in your life." For some reason, phrased like that, my mind could wrap its way around it. I started weeding out the few people in my life who tended to bring me down and in return I found a huge family that supported me when I was down and who lift me up to great Heights (see what I did there?). A wise person once told me: "It is unfair to everyone around you if you are not living for yourself 100%. You want to make others happy? Be yourself and they will be ecstatic to be near you." By cutting out the negativity in my life I gained so much! Happiness. -Joshua Sherman “Benny”

Don’t Gossip. It’s a Sin! - Carla

Never be embarrassed about who you are and where you came from. Your story is YOUR story, and although many people have similar experiences, no one in this world will ever live the exact same life as you. Be proud of that.  - Natalie Coca “Carla”

Coffee is best served with a little bit of cinnamon. - Usnavi

Austin Beck, Benicka Grant, & Natalie Coca
I have learned for one, not to take myself too seriously! Being around dancers all the time can be stressful. We , as dancers strive for perfection but in the theater world, it's ok to have fun. Theater people are so much more encouraging and supportive than dancers. We people in this cast say they love you, they mean it. I've also learned that YOU CAN be a part of a cast where everyone gets along with one another. It truly feels like a family and there will never be a cast of people who are even remotely as amazing as these guys are.  -Benicka Grant “Dance Diva”

When You Have A Problem, You Go Home! - Camila

Jeremy Coca & Pamela Langton
Being involved in this amazing show has made me realize that you can never push yourself hard enough. You can always get better and there are people out there to help you along the way. It has also given me new hope that my dreams of being on Broadway or in shows here in Dallas aren’t dead! You are never too old to keep your dreams alive and I will continue to take my voice lessons, keep up my dancing and acting and get out there and audition as much as possible. One last thing, I have learned from this cast, these young people are fierce!!! They have a passion and a light that I want to steal and keep in a jar!!! They have taught me that if you try hard enough, work hard enough, love everyone enough, party enough, you can have it all!!! I want it too and I am going to take a little of all of them with me when this show is over. I love each and every cast member, I never thought that a bond like this was possible but it is. I hope they will never forget me, I know I won’t ever forget them.  -Pamela Langton “Camila Rosario”

“DREAMS COME TRUE…” – Karen Olivo, Original Broadway Vanessa

Natalie Coca, Amanda Williams, Sarah Dickerson
ITH slapped me right across my face. This show and its cast have reminded me what true love of theatre and performing is. Together we transcend the notes on the page and the words in the script. We breathe real life and real emotion into every character. We begin with joined hands and end with joined hands, and through each other we send that love and that energy into each and every heart and soul that sits wide-eyed before us. THIS is how it's supposed be. -Amanda Williams “Daniela”

With Patience & Faith, there are 96,000 possibilities! – Abuela Claudia

My life lesson...lord...I feel like being in In The Heights has given me everything. It filled so many voids in my heart. It showed me that I CAN love again, and not romantically, but just love PEOPLE. I am in love with not one person, but with about 25 people and I will never not be. I've gained sisters I've never had, I've gained confidence in myself, in my body, in who I am. Before Heights, I felt I wasn't the kind of person that stood out, or that anyone really cared to know or have around...almost like a throwaway convenience friend. With this cast, I have felt everything I never knew I could feel in my heart. Walls have been torn down by these glorious people and I am forever in debt to their love and graciousness on a daily basis. Like Adam told me before, I sparkle...I SPARKLE. I never thought I sparkled even a bit. But he and everyone involved have convinced me that I do indeed have everything I need inside of me to be wonderful, that I can accomplish anything. My fat (fab) 4...I can't even talk about them without tearing up...what we all have is so special and will always be in my heart forever. Heights has given me back what I had lost in years of heartache and pain and doubt...MYSELF. -Sarah Dickerson “Vanessa”

Barcardi is great to soothe your fear of flying! – Kevin

Aigner Mathis & Mark Quach

What I took away from this show is how important community and family really is. My cast mates are my family. From seeing them every day and carpooling home in the Coca car, every moment with them was special. Also, it's so refreshing being in a cast so energetic and sharing the same passion of the show as I do. Abuela Claudia says "Ay mama, what do you do when your dreams come true?" This show is a dream come true. -Mark Quach

When All Else Fails…Just Breathe! - Nina

In the end, I'm left with memories and broadening my familia. Being in this show, I was reminded that I should live in the now. Focus on what's happening at this moment around you. I'm left remembering the love of a family that I gained along the way.   -Jeremy Coca, “Little Coca”

Alabanza means to raise this thing to God’s face and say Praise to this! - Usnavi

Jordan Ghanbari, Rashard Turley, Aigner Mathis, Rashaun Sibley
& Darren McElroy
I'm going to start this by revealing something that I've held on to this entire production...I had no idea what In The Heights was until I did research for the audition, there, I said it. I know other people were in the same boat, but they got to blog about theirs and turn it into a heartwarming story...this brotha was not afforded the same opportunity. I risked being "that guy" who wasn't knowledgeable about the show and personally, I didn't want to take that risk. My theatre education dealt with learning about more non-musical plays, names like Neil Simon, August Wilson, Harold Pinter, and Christopher Durang were ones that I was accustomed to. I knew about musicals, but I wasn't rocking out to show-tunes in my car, because to me, they had been lacking something, that rawness, that grit, something that I appreciate in old school r&b and neo-soul music...In The Heights brought that for me. Someone can sing the life out of a song, do it technically perfect and you can appreciate their talent, but that doesn't mean you want it playing in on your radio constantly. In The Heights broke down a barrier and opened the door to a new set of eyes, ones who looked at chorus lines and laughed, ones where the the bubble-gum pop sounds just wasn't cutting it. I learned because of this show, musicals have changed forever. Whether this was the mindset of Lin or not, it has come to past and more and more people of this generation are becoming interested in the very thing we all love so very much. I am so thankful that I got the chance to be a part of this show that I've come to enjoy to the fullest and being surrounded by all of you made it that much more of a beautiful thing.  -Darren McElroy, “One Hell of a Right Hook-Just ask Benny”

Remember to tell your family’s story.
"Value" is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as: relative worth, utility, or importance.
That being said, we all, as human beings, just because of our existence, hold value. But how valuable we actually are however, rarely gets defined. What doing this show has taught me is that all of us, every performer, member of the creative and technical team, every note sung, move danced, and line read, is valuable beyond measure. In this industry, it is very easy to get underestimated, unappreciated. This show, these actors, this theatre, is for the most part, an underdog. A long shot. A 26 person show in the relatively small Rose Marine Theatre of Fort Worth, most of them being novice's to the stage without a professional credit on their resume, trying to pull off one of the most difficult modern musicals of our time, AND being the first professional theatre in the region to do so? Were we crazy? Who expected us to not only pull it off, but to truly produce something that the entire world could be proud of? But, we did it. We succeeded, together. There was struggle, there was anger, there was plenty of doubt, but in the end, we surpassed even our own expectations. Why? Because if there is ANYTHING that "In The Heights" can teach you, is that YOU determine how valuable you are. You determine your worth. The way you treat those around you, and the way they treat you, has the power to make whatever it is you come together to create, miraculous. We are worth the countless rave reviews from the critics, we are worth the endless standing ovations, because we believed we are. We established that that was our worth. Every single one of us has a home, a voice, a dream. We are valuable beyond measure. We are infinite, and now, there's absolutely no doubt about it.  -Matt Ransdell Jr. "Usnavi"

People Come, People Go, But There’s No Place Like Home. - Usnavi

The Friends Who Are Your Family – May Not Always Be Your Friends, But They Will Always Be Your Family.  –Adam Adolfo “The Director”
Albanza … this #InTheHeightsFW experience