Today, I was faced with the news that my VISA was denied. Yes, my Artist VISA that would allow me to live my dream and stay in America was denied. The moment I got the news I got dizzy, started sweating. But moments after I calmed down, I closed my eyes and started thinking why I was so calm.
In February of this year, I was diagnosed with depression. I have been in treatment for almost seven months. My therapist who is the greatest slowly got rid of any emotional baggage I had from the past.
I have gone to College in America and in College is where signs of my depression started. I had to put on masks, force myself to smile, be ok with what in my head was unfair, deal with hidden relationships and deal with bullying. These episodes started piling up to the point I was awfully miserable my senior year. There were no more good moments. I could not see any brightness and happiness.
I graduated and started working right away. I was part of the best shows I could ever be. I still hold dearly my Singin’ in the Rain cast. I miss the craziness of West Side Story’s choreography. I wanted to be Twice As Strong in Original. I lived the peak of my career in Musical Theatre so far in Empire and Couldn’t be more excited to share the story of Children of Eden. But I, unfortunately, was surrounded by toxic friends. The worst kind. They made me doubt my talent, my looks, my accent, my charisma. Everything about me seemed to be not enough.
“Rodrigo, you are enough! Love yourself. Stay strong and brush the pain away with light.” I used to hear that from my therapist and never understand until I was taken to Church. By that time, I got rid of the toxins in my life but didn’t seem to detach emotionally from them. My journey in Church was relieving and I released all my pain and grew so much as a person. I erased any trace of darkness that was caused, changed my perspective of who I listen to and who should I take advice from. I saw people erasing themselves from my narrative. The sassy, negative, sometimes even evil Rodrigo was not here anymore (Well, the sassy will always be) so a lot of people got distant to the point they disappeared.
But, why am I so calm?? WHY?
I have never gone back home, since I left for College, in a good state of mind. I have never experienced my country, my people, my culture like this. And it excites me. I want to hug my mom every day. Speak my language all the time. Eat the food I used to eat. And be surrounded by the people I love and love me back in return.
Yes, the friends that stay will be missed. The mentors who guided me will still guide me. But even though it wasn’t a choice, God has showed to me, THIS is the time to go home and experience my country.
And seven months after, my therapist says I don’t need her anymore. I am cured from my depression. Fast right? I just have to thank the people that surrounded my daily life and brought my spirit up every single moment they could. You know who you are and I can’t believe I have you in my life. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE GIVEN ME!!!
Be right back, America.
And tonight we celebrated a great run of Children of Eden. We finished the show in such a good note and I can't believe it is over yet.
This cast was definitely HUGE!! Look at the picture above!!!!!! But the are all lovely people I had the pleasure to share the stage and backstage with.
I have seen the show before but now I understand in a whole different level the connection the show creates.
I want to thank everybody from the Cabrillo family for giving me such an amazing experience.
Here it is!! Empire!!! This was my favorite theater experience. The La Mirada family is truly a family and I couldn't be happier to have joined that family.
We have worked so hard to show audiences an amazing show annnnnnnnd we did!!!
We closed today and I am so thankful to be part of such an amazing team. I love them.
Now let's hope for that Broadway Bound!!!
I am officially a Voice-Over Actor!!!
I can't believe I am doing this. It is such a fun job.
The sessions are long (3-5 hours straight) but I have a blast creating different voices all the time.
I can't reveal a lot about the project but this is big for Africa, Europe and South America! I can't wait for you guys to see the finished project.
I finally got to go home! I had a little bit of a break in between projects so I flew right away to Brasil.
I got to see my friends from my hometown, São Paulo and even celebrate a very early Christmas with my family.
The energy of Brasil fills me up for at least a year. I saw my little cousin who is not so little anymore (#feelingold).
Well, I really hope I can get back soon!!!
Another fun thing I have done was check out the Musical Theatre scene in Brasil. I watched Women on the Verge and Sister Act.
Tonight was FUN!!! First of all, I got to perform in the Rock N Roll of a place called House Of Blues!!! The crowd was crazyyyy but soooo fun.
I was invited by director/choreographer Hector Guerrero to open Tomasina's concert. We rehearsed a couple of times, learned our routine and performed with her. It was epic. I was in awe the whole time. Then I got to enjoy her concert from the stage and that REALLY made my night.
Thanks for all the support of everybody in the audience, friends, Hector and Tomasina!
For a few months, I have been working in this amazing piece of musical theater: West Side Story. And tonight was the last day we performed it. It was a pleasure to be in this show and the choreography whipped me into shape. The show was done how it was originally done. I was really happy to be working with Hector Guerrero as my director/choreographer.
Now, I have some time off and let's see what will be coming my way next!
Thanks West Side for such a great experience.
I am finally back in NY!! There were so many shows I wanted to see. Got to eat at my favorite restaurants, go to my favorite spots in town and see some of my best friends.
Now, I feel this was the best NY theater marathon that I have done haha.
Get ready for this! Because Hamilton is THE SHOW!!!
I got to New York knowing this was the hottest ticket in town. I have decided to go to the show but I had to get through the lottery which was the only way to get tickets.
I went there every day and there were around 800 people there. YES, EIGHT HUNDRED!!! In every lottery.
I tried and tried and tried. No luck -.-
Then on the last day, I walked there and said it is now or never. Guess who is the second name they pull out? MINE!!! I screamed like I have won the lottery, like the real one haha.
Well, I spent s few hours at Times Square showing off my TEN-DOLLAR tickets and the Hamilton bracelet.
I sat front row center.
The show was unbelievably amazing. I was waiting for a show to hit me like this. The music is genius and of course he reinvented Musical Theatre with this show.
The staging, the music, the actors and the lights were conducted so well that I was jumping on my seat.
If you can save some money and buy your ticket, do it! If not, try the lottery. It is worth it.
UPDATE: They just released the music of the show! Please listen to it. My favorites are: "Satisfied", "You'll Be Back", "Say no To This" and pretty much the rest of the show!!!
I still can't believe we got our lives together for this.
Hector invited me to be Bernardo in the West Side Story section of Broadway in the Park. I was a little scared but said yes.
We rehearsed twice! TWICE! And were able to put the whole performance together in seven hours. This is a record. I was in complete shock when we learned everything so quickly.
I had a blast. We only performed once but it was really fun. I love sharing the stage with performers like these. I wish we could do this for a few more days at least haha.
More West Side Story news to come!!!
From Brasil to the world. Actor, Singer, Dancer, Entrepreneur. Storytelling drives me.