Choking the Butterfly
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Eric Alba
October 12, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Northern New Jersey, but I was raised in a lot of places. My family is sort of nomadic. My parents were born in Cuba and they seemed to get bored of every where we lived after 3 or 4 years. I've lived in 6 different states and gone to more schools than I can remember, but I've now lived in New York City for longer then I lived anywhere else (7 years) and I'm pretty proud to call this my home (Brooklyn, represent!).
Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
I love theater because you can't really bottle the experience. A show is here and then it's gone. This show will run for three weeks and then it's gone. And every night the audience will get something different. It always feels special knowing these shows you pour yourself into won't be something people can just see whenever they want. Every moment of live theater has a special energy to it. I'm all about that energy.
What was the most memorable/funny/unusual thing that has happened during the development and rehearsal process for this show?
The most memorable part of this process for me has got to be the friendship I've developed with our playwright, James Johnson. He lives in Ireland, so we chat online. In our first few conversations it became apparent that we had many things in common, from favorite movies, to taste in music, to sense of humor. In every thing we discussed we'd find common ground on one thing or another. He's been a really great person to talk to through this whole process. He has a really cool way of talking about his work where he doesn't answer any questions for you, he sort of just makes you think more. And thinking more is usually a good thing.
Groucho, Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo?
Chico! The first time I ever acted on stage I did a scene from the Marx Brother's film "Coconuts." I played Chico. My middle school was doing a variety show with a bunch of old-timey skits and for whatever reason at the time I felt compelled to try something new. I watched a bunch of Marx Brother's movies to get into the role. It was great. Oh, Chico. The accent and the hat. Amazing.
Who are your heroes?
My family. My parents and my brother. My grandparents. I've learned so much from them. I am so lucky to have had a great group of people around me. Heroes inspire us and give us hope. My family has always done just that. They've supported me and believed in me and been there to chew me out when I needed it. They're also all super cool people. This was kind of a cheesy answer, but you know what...I like cheese.