Monday, September 19, 2011

Texans Unite...In NYC!

Twitter is a land where you can meet people from all over and this particular one and I have more in common than I ever knew. We both moved from Texas to NYC to be an actor (of course, I’m not any longer) and even the current job we both have now is in the same field.  (BTW: I loved his response about his name:  Normally there is a comma before "Jr." but when I first moved to NYC and had my headshots printed, the printer left off the "," and from that point forward, my stage name is Robert Gonzales Jr. "without the comma".  

Robert Gonzales Jr.

I was born a raised in Texas and only lived in two towns:  one where I grew up and the other where I went to school and stayed there after finishing, which was a small town. I had gone to school for Business from Texas A&M University and was working as the Assistant to the Director of Academic Support Services in the Office of Admissions and Records for Texas A&M. I was also working part-time as the House Manager for the large theater complex at the University. I have been performing for most of my life, but decided I wanted to pursue it full time in 2002, when I made the decision to move from Texas to New York City. Making the move was quite a culture shock but I knew I had to do it. I decided to pursue a career as a musical theater actor---i am known as a quadruple-threat as I can sing, dance, act and play an instrument. In addition to my acting, i also choreograph, teach dance, music direct and direct. I also work at the Managing Director of a performing arts center as part of a institution of higher education.
 What made you decide to leave the business world behind and go into performing?

I had always loved performing since I was young but never thought that I was talented enough to do it as a profession.  It wasn't until I became very involved with the theater in Bryan/College Station, TX and the surrounding areas did I finally come to the conclusion this is what I really needed to do.  At that same time, my best friend was just leaving Texas to come to NYC to go to acting school. I had made promise to him that if he applied, made it in and actually attended the school, then I would follow him to NYC within two years. I brought him up to NYC to start school and right before we parted, he said, "Don't forget your promise." I then arrived back in Texas and started planning to move to NYC within two years. I moved to NYC 2 years and 1 month later.

I've always met so many Texans in NYC. How has life changed for this Texan?

I feel as if my life is more fulfilled because of it. "They" always say that there is a reason and purpose in everyone's life. I feel as if this one mine. I enjoy performing for people and taking them away from their day-to-day lives for at least 2 hours and providing them with entertainment.  

 Any advice you have for someone wanting to take the plunge?

The decision I made to move in NYC is something that I wouldn't change for anything. I have been quite fortunate that my move was the right one and I have been very successful in my new profession. I came with small goals I wanted to accomplish and once I made them, i made new ones that were bigger than the ones before. I think that's what keeps me going that I have achieved many successes and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. Giving up everything you have and doing something brand new isn't for everyone. It took me 2 years to plan and save and do what needed to be done before moving and changing my life. Make sure it is something that you really want to do and have a backup plan, just in case.

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