I’m sitting in a rehearsal room right now listening to my buddy Robert Ramirez, who will be playing Sonny in the show, play the song Breathe on the piano to help one of the other cast members work on his ensemble notes. When I said a few of these people were talented the other day, I take that back… everyone is frickin awesome. In our first day of rehearsal our producer made sure to make it a point that we all throw the term “non-equity” out the window because they are putting SERIOUS money behind this show and will be ensuring that we hold the same standard that both the broadway and first national tour had. What made it even more of a compliment to us all was when Alex Lacamoire, aka Tony award winning orchestrator, looked at us and said that they literally traveled all over the country for over two months to find the BEST possible performers and orchestra… It gave me goosebumps and made me appreciate my own hard work for the first time since booking the gig… I put that moment of proudness aside, cuz it was time to get to work!!!
Lac (as the call Alex) was our teacher for the first two days and we literally went through all of the first group number for 8 hours the first two days to get things as clean as possible before we started dance rehearsals today. I have not been as impressed with a first day of rehearsal since I was in Virginia Honor Choir back in high school… the director was so impressed that he sent a recording of us to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who thusly responded to all of us on saying that we sound amazing and he can’t wait to meet us soon… wow… Lin-Manuel is one of the biggest names right now in the broadway scene and he’s down with our work already, count it!!!
I hope all of you are ready, Virginia Cavaliere is Nina and I already joke with her that she has a maid in her throat that cleans every note before it comes out, her voice sounds auto-tuned sometimes the note comes out so pure. Perry Young is Usnavi and this kid has so much energy that I think he’s going to have a stroke sometimes, haha. Prisilah Nunez is Vanessa and she looks like a Nubian princess and sings like a goddess, it’s ridiculous. Our Piragua Guy, Gabriel Gonzalez is a veeeery accomplished salsa singer, and when he sings it’s like a laser beam of sound that teleports you to Mexico, f-in ridiculous… I’m just havin SOOOO much fun… we got crazy dancers, breakers, the whole nine.
Well I just got the “5” to principal rehearsal so I gotta bounce… Tony Award winning choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler is here with us for the first week of rehearsal and from what I hear, he don’t play, so I better get my ass in there…
oh and before I leave, I just have to say how happy I am that I DON’T have my car in New York… there would not be enough bail money in the world to get me out of jail every time I ran a pedestrian over. Uhhhhh… My car weighs 3500 lbs and I have a green light, GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY before you lose a kneecap. These people are semi-suicidal and I am not alright with that… I enjoy my life, so I’ll go ahead and not get hit by a car, k cool?? Ok, glad we got that out of the way…