Where do I even start with Carlos? The smile, the dancing, the energy, the light!! 🙂 I met Carlos the day of our FFB photoshoot and I felt like we had known each other our whole lives, probably in part to his magnetic energy and amazing heart. He is so full of life and someone who lifts your spirit by just being! And onstage, Ohhhh my goodness, he has a glow and passion that is so special and clearly grounded in his childhood story that propelled him to be FIT FOR BROADWAY!
Sidenote: I can’t give enough praise for this amazing show!! I cried, laughed, loved the entire way through On Your Feet! and can’t wait to go back again!! 🙂 (click below for tickets!)
“Broadway Full Out” from Fit for Broadway Apparel
(click HERE or click the picture!)
NOTE FROM CARLOS: Hola hola hola this is Carlos giving you a little window into my life. I’m currently on Broadway in the new musical On Your Feet! The story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan loving every second of this experience and the family that came with it.
Q: Carlos, you could literally light up all of Broadway with your smile! But for now, you’re lighting up the Marquis Theatre every week! This story is one close to your heart I know, can you explain your background a bit and why it’s so meaningful for you to be a part of this show?
A: Thank you Jane, telling this story every night is truly a dream come true. I’m originally from Cuba. At age 11, my mother won the Visa and that truly changed our life. We left everything behind including our family in search of the American dream. That dream for me was Broadway but never in a million years did I think I would be making my debut with a story so close to my heart. There’s a scene in the show when Emilio was 11 years old and leaving his family in Cuba, that is exactly what I went through at that age. Then there’s the side that I get to dance to a rhythm that’s very familiar to me. I’m having a blast!
Q: This is also your Broadway debut!!! :):) Congratulations! What was your journey like to Broadway?
A: I have been very lucky and I truly think I have an angel looking over me. I graduated from Montclair State University with a BFA in Acting and Minor in Dance even though I was doing more Musicals than plays in school. After graduating in 2011, I never stopped performing which I feel so lucky about but some of those jobs weren’t union or they would take me out of the country for too long and I didn’t want that. At one point, I wanted to take a break and focus on photography which is my other passion, so I let go of my agent at the time and stopped auditioning. A week after I made that decision, I got a call from my friend telling me about this project and how he thought I should audition. I said “Ok this will be my last one for a while”. I showed up to the dance call and I immediately knew I needed to be a part of this. I can’t stop thanking the creative team that took a chance on me.
Q: The dancing in the show is so fun (and demanding I’m sure!) Have you had to change your workouts to compliment the physical demands of the show?
A: The stamina that this show requires is really demanding. There’s also the fact that there’s lots of partnering and therefore you are responsible for looking out for each other. I have found that without a good workout at the gym the day of the show or a really good warm up it’s really hard to do the show.
Q: I got a glimpse into the Latin diet the day you, Ana, and I went to lunch near the theater. Do you have any specific eating habits that help you stayed fueled every day?
A: Having been raised in Cuba, I feel conditioned to the Latin way of eating which is big heavy meals and not a lot of snacks in between. I know this is not ideal specifically when you have a show so I’m trying to stay away from that a bit. I just started Mark Fisher Fitness program Snatched so they are making me focus on eating more protein to achieve a little more muscle mass. The one thing that keeps me fueled is my Cuban espresso every single day before the show. I haven’t done a show without it yet.
Q: Can we play “What I Ate Yesterday?”
A: I Ate..
- Breakfast: 4 egg omelet, 2 sausages, and a protein shake.
- Lunch: a Cuban sandwhich from Margon the place we took you to. Delicious! (it is seriously delicious you guys!! – J.)
- Dinner: Some of the cast went for Sushi, I had 3 rolls.
- Snacks: I have a huge can of mixed nuts in my dressing room and I’m pretty sure I had a red velvet Schmackary’s cookie.
Q: This show is so inspiring and a beautiful story about following your heart. Who or what inspires you?
A: My parents. They left the island at the age I am now with an 11 year old boy and made a life here that inspires me every day.
Q: What is your advice for aspiring performers who want to be on Broadway?
A: There’s so much advice to give but it always depends on what each person needs to hear. I would say never stop trying and be authentic, that’s just what worked for me.
Q: Favorite quote… (in english or spanish 😉
A: I just love Hafiz so I’ll say..
Even after all this time,
the sun never says to the earth,”You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights the whole sky.
Ana Villafane will be featured on FFB very soon too!! (the beauty playing Gloria and a good friend from undergrad!) We decided it’d be more fun to do the photoshoot with the both of them and combine part of their features! Ana and Carlos each have a unique spark which is totally amplified together. Seriously, a day with these two… your head is swirling in Spanish, your face is sore from laughing, and your heart is full from their energy. After spending the morning with them and a few members of their cast, it’s easy to see they operate as a big family! And with support and love like that offstage, you can only imagine the magic that happens onstage. Ana and Carlos are each sharing a little about each other in their features because what’s better than best friend insight & fun!? 🙂
Q: Describe Ana in 3 words…
A: Humble, Talented, Fun
Q: Your favorite moment you’ve had with Ana since starting the journey with On Your Feet!
A: The time we had a sleepover during our out of town previews in Chicago and we were planning to drink wine in the jacuzzi but it was broken so we ended up making fried plantains, drinking wine and sticking our feet in our bathroom tub pretending we were in the jacuzzi. We’re classy like that.
Q: What would be something people would be surprised to know about Ana?
A: That she doesn’t know how to make fried plantains so she buys them in a bag.