Anthony is always smiling, always happy, always working hard and that’s saying something considering 99% of my interactions with him are bright and early Core Rhythm Fitness classes. He doubles down each day to work hard on stage and off stage and it’s obvious after learning more about his journey, this type of determination is deliberate and learned. Anthony is nothing short of gritty, grounded and committed to always improving a lifestyle that is Fit for Broadway.
Q: Can we start from the beginning… What’s been your journey to Broadway?
A: Well, I’ve always been a performer. As a little kid I’d perform songs for my parents and took all the opportunities I could to be front and center but, I didn’t really know it was something I wanted to do until I had to figure out what to do in college. It just felt logical. I had been doing shows since I was a kid and even if I couldn’t make money performing I knew I would at least be happy in the pursuit. I was lucky enough to get cast in the Spring Awakening 1st National Tour during my freshmen year at PACE University’s MT program. I toured for two years with the show and then came back to NYC hella lost but knowing performance would be the only thing I’d be doing with my life. I had a couple gigs along the way. The Capeman in Central Park. Some tv moments on The Carrie Diaries, Blue Bloods, High Maintenance and my first recurring on Flesh And Bone but in between all that stuff I was doing a ton of readings of shows you’ve never heard of and the normal actor jobs. Cater waitering, babysitting, bartending, painting apartments in Long Island City, photographer assistant etc… You name it and I probably did it at some point. Then I got called to play Usnavi at TUTS down in Houston when their initial hire decided to pass and then Ham called. I had been in for Ham a ton since it’s inception (and almost joined the Chicago cast) but this time they called me in for the tour. I went in. Danced my little heart out, Rapped with my whole soul and the next day got the call that I would be joining the Broadway cast as John Laurens and P. Ham.
Q: You mentioned having a life coach that turned your world upside down. How did they impact your journey?
A: My life coach Aldo Civico found me! The universe truly conspired to send me an angel. Aldo wanted to interview a performer so he took me to Kodama in Hells Kitchen for sushi and I answered a bunch of his questions and enjoyed the free meal. Afterwards he offered me coaching out of the goodness of his heart. I think he could tell I was struggling but, had the potential to do something more. We met once every week for a bit and he taught me about the ten areas of life. Where I was lacking. He had me do things like write journal entries from the future. He taught me about manifestation and how my speech pattern and vocabulary leaned into negativity. Thoughts become things. Words become things. If I looked at something from the negative then it was negative. Our second session I had a panic attack and ended up in the hospital. We joke that it was because I was so rapidly responding to him changing my entire life but, I think that was true. That man truly changed my entire being on a molecular level. I literally THINK differently because of him. The mentality he helped my achieve pushed me to get through the years of crap jobs and monotony. He got me off my couch and pushed me to go after what I want. I can’t thank him enough.
Q: How have health and fitness been a part of your lifestyle as a performer?
A: It’s everything. It’s my warm up. It’s my version of meditation. My mother read an interview with Matthew McConaughey where he said his rule with fitness was that no matter what he sweats once a day. That idea stuck with me and it’s been a part of me since. For the sake of fitness sure but also for the sake of connection to my body and my soul. An hour of any sort of workout will always center me, get my chakras aligned and my heart ready to accept whatever energy’s thrown at it.
Q: You and I are big believers in Core Rhythm Fitness. How has your training with CRF changed you? (mind, body, and spirit)
A: Core Rhythm Fitness was a complete LIFE switch. It was and still is a new layer to my human. With sobriety, a focused diet and 6:45 am wakes to get to class on time my human completely flipped again. It was my own personal gift for my Saturn Returns (I turned 29 this past April) and I’m so happy I chose to join the incredible team for the Shred. Rodrick Covington (the head instructor and fellow Broadway actor) puts a lot of faith in the class and I and the program fully supported the challenge for all of us. His energy is beautiful and just hearing him “boom kat” and yell out positive uplifting affirmations was enough but he took personal interest in my journey and is still a big part of it every day. Marquise Hitchcock became my trainer and he is phenomenal. A continuous beautiful force in the gym with me. I love every second of CRF and it has completely changed my body, mind and spirit. The basics of the nutrition have become the staple to my diet and the pay off has been beautiful. Is nice to look in the mirror and not only love my body but love the spirit inside.
Q: Mental Health is just as important as physical. How do you make sure your mind feels healthy day in and day out?
A: I check in on the ten areas of life and whenever I feel a little off. Career, Finances, family/friends, romance/intimacy, spirituality, health, living environment, skills development, social/fun. When ever I don’t feel right then one of those is lacking or needs attention. Also, mental health days. I love a day where I do nothing but breathe and check in on my own thoughts. You never know when you’re haunting yourself but, we all do it. My mental health days I let Luigi into the haunted mansion and suck up whatever negative thought ghosts I have lurking up in there.
Q: Top 3 tips for maintaining energy for your show.
- Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. As much as I can get. Whenever I can find it.
- Eating Greens. Those complex carbs man. Truly saving the day.
- Coffee. I know I know. But truly. I’m Cuban and Puerto Rican. We live on cafecito. Just hydrate!!
Q: Food is fuel and we’ve both done the CRF Nutrition Narrative. How did that change the way you experience food and eat on a daily basis?
A: My entire experience of food changed. The balance of protein and greens is so warped in our country and CRF pushed me to understand why pretty quickly. It should be even. For every piece of protein whether it be chicken or fish I match or surpass the size of the protein with as much greens as I can. Also, when you’re eating whole foods you consume a LOT less calories. When I started CRF I was put on a diet that had me eating 2100 calories and I thought JEEZ that’s easy. NOPE! Whole foods have a lot less calories which is why you can eat SOO MUCH and not get even close. Also I now don’t eat dairy! We are all so allergic to dairy and our American dairy is so messed. I stopped touching the stuff the day CRF began and I won’t be going back… but goat cheese A-okay and I’m eating it ALL the time. So yummy!!! What else? Hmm. Uhm also the eating every two/three hours. Your body needs to eat every three hours so it doesn’t store fat . And considering I love to eat, this one was a gift 🙂
Q: Reflecting on the period of time that felt challenging because you were booking a lot of readings and didn’t seem to push past that stage of the show development… How did you manage to stay motivated and continue pursuing your art?
A: I’m big on manifestation. I saw the big break in my mind every day. I woke up to it. I went to bed thinking about it. I stayed as positive as I could and I also had an incredible group of friends who believed in me and supported me. I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t have money for food and Jamie or Marques or Norman bought me a meal. Their belief along with my families was all I needed. It took a long time but, dreams are hard. If they were easy they wouldn’t be worth it. I wouldn’t change a second of my experience being broke as shit or living with 9 people in a 4 bedroom in Washington heights. It shaped the person I am today.
Q: Top 5 products, companies or brands that are shaping your lifestyle right now.
- Quest bars! Love the stuff (birthday cake is my fave)
- Grady’s cold brew
- Jagged London (the funkiest of funky clothes)
- Kiehls. My face is a walking kiehls advertisement
- Koio. Italian shoes… I have quite the shoe addiction and this place has the COOLEST
Q: Fill in the blanks.
A: The best part of working on Broadway is… the family. The people at the Richard Rodgers. Cast, crew, band, wardrobe. They are my family and I love the hell out of them.
The most challenging part of working on Broadway is… 8 shows a week. Nobody tells you how hard 8 shows can be. Staying UP and being the hype man in the show. 8 shows a week is a beat down. A year and a half in and I’m still trying to find the balance. Also trying to find time for yourself. Every Monday we’ve got to decide “is this a catch up day or is this a lay in bed and do nothing day?”
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: My parents. They have worked their entire lives to insure that my three siblings and I had everything we needed to succeed. My mom is an immigrant from Cuba and to say her life was challenging would be an understatement. She faced all of her challenges head on and watching her still be the incredible woman she has always been, with a smile on her face and a hand to offer for help is inspiration enough. And my dad jeez. He does anything he is asked. Beaming with a smile and a joke to tell. They are incredible humans. It makes me try that much harder to honor their sacrifice with being a driving force in this world.
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring performers who have their sights set on Broadway?
A: Be diligent in your determination. No’s are everywhere. They come at you from every angle. Don’t let a no decide your journey is a no. Let it be your inspiration to try harder, do better and then turn any no into a yes. There is no formula to how any of us get here.
Q: You’re always so smiley and positive. Do you have any life hacks for being happy?
A: My biggest hack is whenever something negative happens I do two things. The first is I set the amount of time allowed to think about it or be upset about it. Like if, I I don’t know, break my favorite cup. 2 minutes being upset. Exactly two. Then as soon as the two minutes are up I find the positive in it. In this instance, it’s “I get to buy a bangin new cup!” Now of course that’s a really silly example but these two things “setting the clock and finding the positive flip” keep my happiness constantly at the forefront of my being.
Q: BE For Broadway Moment 🙂
A: BROADWAY INSPIRES ME TO BE_ determined! Determined to think better, be better, do better, love better, speak better! Our community is powerful and we are given incredible platforms through social media. I want to use mine to bring positivity. I’m determined to make change. It’s little by little but, any little bit helps.
Photos & Interview by Jane Jourdan.