I grew up in your average Puerto Rican household another way of saying I was constantly surrounded by music On car trips my mother would play the Camelot and Man of La Mancha soundtracks in our beat-up Subaru at full blast while at home my father played Celia Cruz and Ruben Blades salsa records on vinyl l'd retreat to my older sister's room where I was Introduced to the early days of hip-hop from Run DMC to Slick Rick to MC Lyte Looking back these seemingly disparate musical influences all came together throughout my childhood and are reflected in my creative work today Quite frankly I want to change the landscape of American Musical Theatre providing new stories and voices that haven't yet been represented in a musical format Specifically l'm excited about using Hip-hop the music of my generation as another means to tell new stories onstage I am proud to apply for the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award particularly because of Jonathan Larson's profound influence on the path my life has taken I saw Rent on my 16th birthday and it simply changed everything I had been a lifelong fan of musicals but never had I seen a show that spoke to me so directly that used fresh new music as a way of addressing contemporary concerns in an honest way By writing about his friends with the problems and anxieties he faced Jonathan Larson gave me permission to write about my life hopes and fears I wrote my first musical that year which was performed at my high school and have been writing ever since After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in theater in 2002 I saw Tick tick BOOM Jonathan Larson's hilarious and heartbreaking document of his struggle to pursue his musical theater dreams in the face of financial hardship and resistance Again Jonathan's work spoke to me and strengthened my resolve I moved to New York with a new show In The Heights under my arm It takes place over two days in Washington Heights New York near where l spent my music-filled childhood It uses hip-hop salsa and contemporary music to tell a unique story about family and life in Northern Manhattan After workshopping the show with Backhouse Productions for a year I am now in final negotiations for In The Heights to be produced by Jill Furman Kevin McCollum and Jeffrey Seller The prospect of working with the producers of Rent is a dream come true Yet as you know musicals are not written overnight My continuing work on In the Heights by fiscal necessity requires me to take literally dozens of jobs to keep the rent paid while I finish the score on my own time I write commercial jingles for health insurance commercials I sing backup for children's jazz concerts I'm a substitute English teacher at my old high school If your kids have ever been to a Bar Mitzvah in Long Island chances are I was paid to dance for them Your award would allow me to focus on finishing my show and continuing to work in musical theater an art form that has been a way of life for me since childhood Even if you don't select me thank you for creating this wonderful award in the first place there's a lot of us out there struggling to keep the dream alive and make it happern My essay application for the Jonathan Larson grant 2004 I didn’t get it But it turned out okay anyway Don’t give up Don’t you dare httpstcoW0RcnCZWDz Meme

found @ 8178 likes ON 2018-12-14 17:04:00 BY ME.ME

source: twitter