“Broadway Full Out” from Fit for Broadway Apparel
(click HERE or click the picture!)
NOTE FROM ERIC: Hi there, my name is Eric and I’m currently in “On Your Feet!” at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway. When I’m not living in this gorgeous world with my beautiful show family eight times a week, I like to hang out with my one true love…New York City. I’m a man of many hats, but never forget that this city is the only place where I can wear them all and the fuel that allows me to handle this crazy balancing act.
Q: Eric, I loved seeing you in On Your Feet! It’s no secret it’s one of my favorite shows :):) And it’s your debut! What was your journey like to Broadway?
A: Haha, it’s actually kind of a crazy circumstance how it all happened. Like most actors, I have played so many regional theatres all around the country and built up a nice resume in my time here in NYC. I also balance work on the other side of the table and in the last few years found myself really veering in that direction and auditioning less and less. In March of this past year, after another long arduous audition season, I called my agents (mind you, I had just begun working with them) and told them that I was officially done performing and that my decision was final. I let go of two summer shows I had booked and was ready to make a clean break. Cut to three weeks later when my agents call me and say that I was called in for a show, and that they know I’ve “quit,” but that I should really take a minute and think about going in. It was the new Gloria Estefan musical, “On Your Feet,” and as a first generation Cuban from Miami, how could I at least not give it one last go? Well, one last go it was and within 48 hours of going in, I had booked my Broadway debut. Two things I learned from this:
- Listen even more closely to the Universe. It’ll really tell you when it’s time to let something go. Clearly I wasn’t really ready yet.
- The age old story about “You’re gonna walk into the right room one day and book that big job” is ABSOLUTELY true. Hold fast, I swear to you it’s completely true and you will feel it when you are in THAT room.
Q: You haven’t always been on the performing side of this industry, right?
A: Yup. I am also a writer and a director. I am in the process of bringing a beloved musical back to NYC in a new reinvented take. I just sold my first play and it will premiere Fall of 2016 and I have two musicals that I wrote the book for that are in talks to premiere in full production in the near future. Who needs sleep? Creativity and powerful stories are my fuel 😉
Q: I love keeping up with your “Snatched” journey at Mark Fisher Fitness on your Instagram! Can you tell us a little about it?
A: Well, I’ve known Mark Fisher since I first moved to NYC. Back then he was an actor with whom I had fierce political discussions (we were both Team Obama early on) and I remember him always having protein rich portioned out meals in Tupperware. I’ve been so proud watching his success and that someone with an idea followed it through to fruition and created an empire. As far as I was concerned, I had no interest in being a “ninja” or a “unicorn” or any of the stories I had heard from friends who were getting “snatched.” Well, it takes a big man to admit when he is wrong, so I’m gonna just proudly say it…I WAS WROOOOOONNNG! After 6 weeks of Snatched, I have not only become new person physically, but I have learned technique and gained tools that I would have never have had, had I not walked into MFF. The discipline I gained alone is worth every penny I put into it. Proud Ninja here.
Q: Has fitness always been important to you? How has it evolved throughout your journey?
A: Not at all. I used to be terrible about working out because I “was tall and had a good metabolism, so my body looks fine.”
Wrong! And it’s as simple as this, if you think you’re going to be able to handle a high endurance Broadway show eight times a week and never work out…good luck!
Q: It looks like On Your Feet! is fueled by Espresso! haha I’m sure it takes more than that to fuel you all though! How has food influenced your health as a performer?
A: Well cafecito is the fuel for all us Latinos, haha…
Aside from that though, this question is pretty simple as well. How are you going to feel well if you don’t eat well? And if you don’t feel well, you don’t perform well and there continues the vicious cycle. I personally like to vary my meats so I’m not always eating chicken (which is tiresome) and I love love love fruits and vegetables. Make those plates colorful and you know you’re headed in the right direction. Also, let yourself have that treat/snack if you are on a strong workout schedule. It’s the times that I suppress myself anything “bad for you” that I end up eating a box of Oreos at midnight with the lights out so the neighbors don’t see.
Q: On Your Feet! is incredibly empowering– highlighting the perseverance it takes to follow your dreams! What are your Top 3 ways to stay empowered in this industry?
- Go see everything out there. Nothing fuels me more than watching incredible stories onstage.
- Take vacations and enjoy them. Don’t think “what if I’m called in for…” just go take a minute and recharge. The business of show will always be here, but your sanity won’t.
- The moment you start comparing yourself to someone else, you’ve already taken a dangerous detour. We are all on our own paths with our own talents and that’s what makes us interesting. No one wants someone who’s like (fill in the blank). If they wanted that, they would just call that person in. You be you.
Q: Do you have any daily rituals that keep you centered with a demanding Broadway schedule?
A: I walk everywhere and notice everything. It not only empowers me to walk the streets of NYC and take a minute, but it also keeps me in line as I remind myself that I’m only one of 8 million stories that play out daily here.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: Passion. I’m drawn like a moth to a flame to those who brim with passion.
Q: What’s your advice for those who are pursing a career on Broadway?
A: Be realistic about it all. It’s very rare to come to NYC and book a Broadway show within moments. In fact, it took me 10 years to make my debut. Also, find ways to fuel your creativity in those times when you’re not working. It’s important to not make Broadway the only thing that will make you happy or you’ll be miserable in a very tough city.
Broadway is the icing on the cake, but you have to mix the batter and bake that cake before you can ice it.