Claudia Yanez, Danny Burgos, Mike Scaglione, Clay Ostwald: "On Your Feet" | Talks at Google
So. Welcome again, to Google we're gonna get started today but just having the cast members introduce. Themselves and, talk. A little bit about how you got involved with the show. Hi. Guys I'm. Claudia I play, Rebecca and I cover glorious stuff on in the show. How. Did I get involved. So. I lived. In New York just I heard about the show actually I used to sing background vocals for an artist called Jon Secada and, he. Used to he actually got his career started, by singing background vocals for Gloria and so, um this cicadas, and the, astons, have a relationship, and I remember John's. Wife called me on the phone while I was doing summer. Stock in Vermont, and she, was like ok, so they're making Gloria's, life into a musical, and like you have to like try and get seen blah blah blah but I was not in New York so I couldn't audition for the show and I. Moved, there and the show was already on Broadway and I remember like I would literally call my agent like every other day being, like so when are you gonna get me in fur on your feet when are you gonna get me in fur on your feet and they're like Claudia they are not looking and. One day like he emailed me he's like okay please, stop calling me here's your audition blah blah blah and. I, went, in a ton of times and. Yeah. One day like I got the call my agent was like okay you can finally, leave me alone like here you go you're doing the show blah, blah, have fun leave, me alone. Hi. I'm Danny booty goes I'm, in the ensemble, and I understood he immediately sniffing and let. Me see my. Process. With the show was um I was doing a production in the heights and I, had been asking my agent over and over and over again please submit me for on your feet and she, was like I just don't really think it's the right show for you and I was like I'm a Cuban guy from Miami how could it not. And, so. Yeah she finally got, me that audition and I. Mean the rest is history I went in for, clay. A bunch of times I like remember his face very vividly, from my auditions, and. Eventually. My agent called me and the four I was just like hi what's happening and she just goes how would you like to be on Broadway and I was like what, and. Yeah. They needed me literally for a month on Broadway to learn the role of Emilio and then while. I was there they were like hey you're gonna go on tour I was like yes I am and. So yeah, Here I am. Okay. I'm. From Gloria's, old band I've started with her March of 88 and I, didn't, do Broadway I almost did I was still a musical, director touring with Julio Iglesias year-round, so, I didn't do Broadway but then when the road, tour started, up I was like yes I want to do it because he stopped touring so, here I am and it's a lot of fun we have five guys from the old band and it's it's like going out and doing a Gloria show every night with the energy and these wonderful people were working with so, it's a blast.
So, My. Involvement with the shows started. When. The show started I was involved. With the very first reading in New York City in 2014. I was, very. Fortunate to have Gloria Nemo asked me to represent the music in. The development. Of the story and. In. The development of the show so, I was involved with, every process, along the way so I really. Learned a tremendous amount, about how Broadway, works because I had never worked in Broadway before I kind, of got to work with the best people. Right. Away right off the bat and, I never had any experience at, it before so it was really a fortunate, thing I kind of like equate. It to like being on LeBron James's, team but never having even played basketball, ever before you know so I. Really, learned a lot on Broadway, in the production we. Toured, with Gloria for. 32 years I've worked with Gloria Emilio as a songwriter, keyboard. Player producer, and. Orchestra. And Ranger so, my, quick. Experience. In New York taught me a lot about the entire, production and the entire, process. And the, musical director, chair, as the tour has been a complete. Joy for me I enjoy, it very much we have beautiful. Band beautiful, cast and we. Really enjoy doing the show. Thank. You for sharing absolutely. You're from Colorado, can. You talk a little bit what it's like a bit a little bit about what it's like to bring the show and music to your home state, well. I'm. From, Boulder I was born in Denver I grew up in Boulder and, went to Boulder high school and. Had. A great. Experience. In, Miami at college, but whenever. We come back and do our music in Boulder. It's. Or in Denver it's a great experience for me because I get my, two worlds to collide my, youth, my, childhood my family and the, music. Of Gloria and our music from Miami, and. Caribbean. In the South America, and all the types of music that we play, so. It's. A real like. Real. Adrenaline rush for me to come back home and have this show again, represent, and. And, entertain, people here in Denver, for sure. And so, you, and Mike have, known Gloria and Emilio for, a long time correct. Can you talk about what. It's like to work with them so closely. Gonna. Start, so. Officer. So. When I first met Gloria in, 1986. I, had. No ambitions, of being in the Latin pop salsa. World. Of music, we. Had a band in Miami out of college and Jon Secada was our singer, and we had a bunch of great musicians, in the band Gloria. Emilio were, just really starting to make it big in their. Industry, so they came to hear our band and they. Really, liked what they saw and they hired five of us from that band to, be Miami Sound Machine in 1986. And, at. That moment we were all kind of into jazz and we were playing all kinds of music and we thought oh this will be kind of a fun fun, gig for a while we'll work for the astons, you know and, 32. Years later, we're. Still here, so. Through. Those the career of glory and our careers there's. Been so many different. Types. Of genres and types, of music and styles that, have led us in different directions so, it's. Also led her into different directions as a person, and she's been so. Adaptable. It's so wonderful, to like take on these new challenges for us and the same with Emilio, and. It always gives us new challenges, and new opportunities to. Produce right go, do concerts, and. Have. Our careers grow in a similar way and now a Broadway, show is an entirely nether, another, opportunity, for us that's been fantastic.
Did. I miss anything. And. So, Danny and Claudia what was it like for you guys to bring, the story of Gloria, and Emilio to life on stage. Well, we both grew up in Miami I was, born in Venezuela and then, was raised in Miami and so for. Me like I grew up my entire life hearing, about Gloria and Emilio and, like being surrounded by their music everywhere you go like you can't walk into a restaurant without, hearing Ganga without I mean it's literally, a part of. Just. Life in Miami and so um now. Getting to especially. Because like this. They're immigrants. Just like me I immigrated. From Mena's wala when I was seven and so to get to tell this story at in, this caliber and to kind of travel around the country, representing. Immigrants, and representing. This. Music, that I grew up hearing is literally, a dream come true like I could not people, always ask me like what's your dream show what's your dream world after this and literally, this is it like. I, honestly. I'm like I really hope something else comes along that I love as much as this cuz like this would be a really you. Know you. Hit, your peak. I'm. Not sure they knew maybe, it was announced but I didn't missed it yeah that they that, Claudia, understudies, the role of Gloria and Danny understands, the role of Emilio so they go on as Gloria Emilio as well yeah, yeah. Yeah and so I mean, getting to do that is just ridiculous, like especially, I'm. Singing a lot of pop music and. John. Who I sang, for, helped. Right coming out of the dark for glory with Gloria and so, um I remember being in Brazil and like singing that song singing, backgrounds for him like and then, getting to be in that blue gown at the AMAs, at, the end of the show and like lead that song and lead our, company. Of like, incredible. Actors and having the Miami Sound Machine backing. You it's a joke like. It. Doesn't get better than that I. Think. My favorite part of what we do in on, your feet every single night is the fact that we, have the incredible opportunity, as musical, theater actor singer, dancers to be playing Latin.
American, People. We're not playing a Latin American stereotype. We're not playing a Latin American, like. Thing. We're, playing these, two, like. Pop. Icons, who, are. Cuban. And it's just they happen to be Cuban, and we, happen to be Latin and we get to relay this story around. The country we're telling people a, little bit about our culture, and I, think that's so important, to educate, the. Country. On what, we are you, know this is Cuban, culture at its finest, and. It's. Awesome like we're representing, people who, made. It they, made it and they're just Latin, people who made it and it's awesome. The. Show definitely had a lot of like move your shoulders in your seat kind of songs can. You talk a little bit about what, it was like to bring these. Kind of like international. Hits like the conga and rhythm is on your feet or sorry rhythm is gonna get you and on, your feet to, stage. Well. For. Me it's again. It's just a really special feeling, to, know that the music that we wrote. Performed. Did, so many thousands, of times and did so long ago still. Is being used for something meaningful. And, and effective and significant, and that matters, to. The audience and to the band to the cast's that that's really an incredible thing that our music, that we we thought it was pretty cool when we wrote it or did it and some. Of it is Jarek very. Straight. Ahead kind of dance pop music, and some of it is folkloric. Culturally. And. Significantly. In. Cuban. Peruvian. South. American, Caribbean things, so. To. Have that matter, again and happy part of a story for me is really fun and it, it really like. Justifies. So much of what we did in our career I think, kind. Of selfish but it feels it feels good to say that yeah. It's. Also, super cool like to be on stage and write, as soon as like for example if one one two three starts you see like people light up and they're like I love it but. Then it also is, kind. Of a part of moving our story forward our writer did a brilliant job and, the team who assembled, the musical did, such a great job of using like, the. Music, to move the story forward and that is rare and jukebox, musicals. Which is what you call like a, musical. That uses. A catalog, of music that, already existed it's. Rare to kind of have all the, songs kind, of move you along but they do and so ya, know it's so cool to get to see especially, the, top of Act two starts, with a medley of like all the hits and when. You come out of there and you start singing get on your feet and people are literally having to like restrain themselves in their chairs. I. Was. A shy introverted, little kid I loved. Public, speaking, passed out in my fifth grade class trying, to do a book report. Horrified. Of audiences but, I but. I just clicked, with a saxophone and I did my first professional, gig at 13 and immediately, I was like oh well it seems like all the band guys are friends, so, I just went into band in seventh grade and by the end of eighth grade I was professional, musician, gigging up to four gigs a weekend and, it I've been that way ever since. May. Of 1977. I'm, really, old I. Came. Out of the show I just immediately went into music and just loved it now. Look at you the life of the party. Seriously. Um. I mean I wasn't shy ever I. Yeah. I've just always loved performing and, when I was a little girl I would like force my parents to sit and like hear, me saying it was a monster.
But, Yeah. And as I got older I fell in love with theater just the idea of like being able to tell the story and kind of. Yeah. Just kind of connect. With humanity of, the people that are in the audience and kind of I think the theater is such a beautiful, vehicle to get people to kind of like. Let down their walls for two hours or however long the show is and kind. Of like allow. Themselves to see themselves on stage and, to feel something maybe learn something, hopefully. So. Yeah like the idea that we, get to tell, stories for a living is just I mean I don't want to do anything other. Than that. Let's. See in seventh grade I, auditioned for the drama club and the. Teacher told me I wasn't drama material, and, then in, eighth grade because, I'm stubborn I auditioned, for the, school musical which, was Annie and. Literally. For boys auditions, so I got apart and I. Was rooster, in Annie and. Roosters. First, thing that he has to do when he comes onstage is crow like a rooster and, I, was, so shy and so introverted that I was like and. I was terrified. So I never did, anything musical, again and when, I was 13 I got a job at Cold Stone Creamery and, they. Sing for their tips so. I. Got. A dollar from, some. Guy and I sang an ice-cream, version. Of my girl and the. Guy like. Turns back around and goes do. You want to be in a musical, and. I was like. Sure. And I, showed up to the first day of rehearsal, and I was cast as the, little. Newspaper. Delivery. Boy and she, loves me and. The. Lead didn't, show up for the first day of rehearsal, so, he was like hey how'd you like to be the lead and I was like okay. And, that. Was my first lead in a musical. Can. We please hear the ice-cream version. So. I'd like to say a quick story about that it's kind of fun, our. Family, was very musical and, everyone was required to, do at least learn, some music especially the piano and some other music instruments. And I. Was. Always kind of like. Surrounded. By music in the home and in the family, and. When I was growing up we all listened to certain kind of music that's just click and it's like make us like kind of inspire, us like get. Chills up your spine down your spine from some kind of music and that feeling, about music, was. Always kind of around, me and I just want to say a couple quick little stories, one. Of the first albums my dad got me for birthday was Herbie Hancock and one, of the first song books I ever had my sister had with Stevie Wonder songs, in the key life and. Those. Song books are still in our house and in our in our my. Parents, house my, where. We grew up and, last, week I shook hands and talked to Stevie Wonder for a little while at our opening in LA and. Told him how much his music meant to me as a kid and about. Two. Months ago I talked to the Herbie Hancock at the honors, award in DC. Or a few, months ago and, had a chance to talk to him and tell him how much his, music meant to me so, I think that inspiration, that you get and the chills you get from music that matters, is, what. Really motivated. Me and that I still am, fascinated, by every, night when we do the show and we hit something and it, makes us charged. And then, it immediately goes out to people and they and they let us know how it makes them charged I think that's, really. Important, in the world you know that performance. So. Switching, gears a little bit we have a couple of more, culturally, centric, questions, the first of which is although. We still have a long way to go with, the recent releases of movies like cocoa and songs, like the spasibo at the top of the entertainment charts it, feels like there's definitely been a resurgence of Latinos in film and music have. You seen this change represented. In the Broadway industry, as well. Um. Definitely, I think with, shows like Hamilton and, like, on your feet it's. Definitely. Like. Torn down a few of the walls that were up and now, you're seeing more and more diversity, on stage we definitely, have a long way to go but um it's. Kind of been a beautiful thing to see like, just. My. Peers and and my fellow like Latin community, and african-american and community getting. Roles that have, nothing to do with, like who you are and. Where your background and what language you grew, up speaking and it has to do with like your ability to like tell the story and. Saying. Or whatever it is so it's it's, beautiful yeah it's starting like right now we have in, waitress, in New York there's, gonna be an african-american actress, who's gonna play Jenna which, probably, two, years ago that would have never happened and so, it's exciting we.
Have A long way to go and definitely, um we. Have to be super grateful for all of the actors, and the older singers, who kind, of tur blaze like Rita Moreno and, all of these actors, who kind of like pave, the way for us cuz it's not just someone, writes Hamilton, and then all of a sudden there's no there's people who like have been fighting for this for years, and so yeah. But it's definitely we're, getting there slowly, but surely I. Have. Like. Such a place, of reverence in my life for lin-manuel Miranda. Because he, does things, with theater that open. Up these doors like in the heights was the first time in the heights was when I knew that I wanted to do musical theater I watched those. Tony Awards, and I was like wow Latin. People on stage doing, a show just about. One day in Washington, Heights in the heights is about nothing more than just one day in Washington, Heights and I. Used to love things like The Addams Family where, you have like Gomez Addams which is a hysterical, character, but he plays at a stereotype. Of what it is to be a Latin man and so. What I love about stuff. Like on your feet we're just Latin people in the Haight it's just a bunch of Latin people on stage you, have Hamilton, where you have Angelica. Eliza and Peggy which is a black, woman, Filipino. And a Latina, and their, sisters because, they say they're sisters yeah. Like that's it you, know so. What. I'm loving about the way that Broadway. Is moving, into its I don't like saying colorblind, casting because, I think that we. Should be very proud of who we are as people whatever, that be I think it's more color conscious casting, it's like awesome, we're looking at the fact that these three women know. They wouldn't be related maybe, in real, life but, they. Say that they're sisters on stage they say it every single time they come on stage so let's just suspend, disbelief for, a little bit for two hours they are sisters you, know it's beautiful it's really incredible, what we can do when we just allow things to happen I.
Have. Something really quick yeah because, I have to I can't help myself so, having. The opportunity to. Have. People, from all kind of cultures and all kinds of make make, backgrounds. Is. Only, really possible for in my view when, there's arts in the schools, because. Without art programs, in the schools and the ability to learn, about it and be motivated and inspired by, arts and in, in the culture in the in the community, it's. It's nearly impossible for people to want. To go into it to have the avenue. To get into it and have, any kind of training to get into it so, I think it's really important to know that when. Our arts are taken away from school systems, we're, diminishing, that we're not headed in the right direction with, that at all and the only way to increase that direction is to provide. That understanding in, the schools at, every, level and I think that's something that needs to be. I. Would. Like to add to that because I'm a prod I'm a product, of arts. Of in arts high school and, growing. Up in Miami it's super, diverse but. At the same time like my, first time meeting like, a white. Blond. Person, was in high school in, Miami and I moved there when I was seven and also, it's, just being. Able to kind, of I feel, like that's what made me get into the arts is the. Because. I went to school with people who were so different for me people who were from the community the clusters of communities, that were like most Haitian or african-american. And stuff like that and when we were in the classroom it was kind of we were all the same and, we were able to create work. Together, and, no matter what your like socio-economic. Background it was Earl and all that stuff and so um yeah, arts in schools. So, we actually have a couple minutes for audience questions now so we can open it up to the floor if anyone, has any questions to. Find yourselves in a, technology. Environment. What. Technology. Advancement. Do you think would make the most difference. For, the theater have the most impact I, only. Say this because I was literally thinking about it in the wing last night so, I was, a spotter I was like a spot-up when I was in college. Cuz we had to do like technical. Whatever. And, I. Was, always thinking about like how jari. I was when I like moved the light and I was like how awesome would it be if like you could just have a screen, where, like you put your finger on whoever you're focusing, on and the spotlight. Just like follows, them and it's so smooth, and I was literally thinking about that in the wing while, Gloria Estefan, was singing coming out of the dark I. Think. That um we. All have, learned the, importance of technology in arts world and, some.
Of Us getting really into it I do it as far as recording, and and a little bit in video but mostly recording. And. We all understand, the importance of technology in in, the. Media. Side, of it. But. I think a lot of us really, focus. 99%. On the. Creation of the expression. And not on the, technical. Side of it so. That's I think where our priorities, are I don't know if that answers, your hurts. Hurts, the question but I. Mean. Just to I. Would, think like maybe, a device. That would silence, cellphones automatically, innovator, it. Would be amazing, because, sometimes, like you're on stage and you're like in a dramatic, scene and like it's like a silence, and then you just hear like I don't. Know why like we've got a chose the first thing that came to my mind. Anyway. But. You just hear a ringtone and you're like and then, you have to block it out and then it just takes you out of the moment and so that, would be beautiful if there was like a device that you could install in the theater and it just like automatically, silences, the pass a good one. Like. That'd be helpful I work -. Do. You have any stories about on stage or backstage mishaps. That are. So. Many I mean. Um yeah, I guess we were just talking about this in the car um so one day in, I think we were in Philly, and I was on for Gloria and I had like a lot, like, 11 or 12 like friends, and family members who like drove in or flew in to see the show and our. Opening, number tradition. At. The end of the song there's a button you go but I guess. Inga and, one. Of her cast members, tripped, me by accident and so it went but I thought I fall yeah, and I was like how did you hit the pose I was like I don't I had 11 people in the audience and not to mention like 2,000 people I was like there's no way that I'm just gonna be like, stay. Down it, was not my fault I was like honestly, I didn't even remember how I felt but that was one and then, another time we were in Chicago and, I. Was on for Gloria and I. Was singing anything for you which is right at the beginning of the show and at first Gloria, and her sister sing it together and they. Do harmonies, and it's like it's beautiful whatever and then there's, a part where everyone kind, of like disappears. Into the wings and it's just Gloria and her keyboard, and she sings the whole song and amelia was like walking around her being like wow like she's so talented bah bah and so. I'm playing and everyone is walking out and all of a sudden the, whole music in the theater just like cuts, out like. Literally. No, sound coming from the keys I can't, hear the band I'm, like, we're. In Chicago of course which is a huge theatre town and I'm like okay okay this is great so, I'm playing. And I'm kind, of vamping. Waiting. To see if they're gonna stop, the show because sometimes. It, happens where stage manager will, be like guys we're stopping the show technical, difficulties, and the actors will leave then, they fix it we come back so I'm like waiting because like music, it's a glorious stuff on musical, like it's important, so, I was like and then I realized, I'm like come on guys come on come on and I kind of look and I'm like they. Weren't gonna stop the show so I had to do the rest of the song a cappella which. Was. Terrifying. At the moment but also then I was there was a moment where I was like this is the best and. It, ended, up being really cool cuz when do you get to do that like kind of being a theatre setting and just like and thankfully. Like towards the end I, could hear like a little bit of like peas but. Yeah I was crazy okay. So I'll be really quick with this one what what you don't know is that the entire time that was going on we. Have our earpieces on and stuff we hear our we're, playing along just, fine we hear our instruments, just fine we don't know why she's not singing but, we're.
Like Going what's wrong with her. So. It was a problem, with the the house sound and but, we're like why is she so out of key why she sounds so bad. The. Audience but but she wasn't with us but, the, backstage, show is if you ever want a really really really entertaining, night, pay. Somebody, like and. To sneak you in and sit on the side of the backstage area and watch what goes on backstage it's an entirely, entertaining, show like you'll never see something before and. But, one night in New York, none. Of our moving automation. Was, working the, entire computer system was down nothing, was working we did the entire first half of the show with. Only hand props and things that could be carried on the stage by the actors and they pretended like the entire props were there for the entire Act one oh my. God it was incredible, it was like it, was unbelievable. No. They did the whole thing without the kitchen they pretended, like it was there. It. Was ottoman no nothing, was there the bed never came out she just acted like her father was there. It. Was the whole the whole first thing and it was theater old school theater you pretended, like it was all happening and the audience kind of got it you know and then, for act 2 they it all got fixed so, so. The question was what song did he sing for your auditions um so I, actually, came, in with, the. Emilio packet, so the, first song that they have a sing is see your smile and I. Was dying, a fright because it's. You're. Singing for the Miami Sound Machine you're just like hey here's your song I hope you like it, and, then the director asked me to sing one, of the songs from my book and I sang a song from the musical called the last five years, it. Was shiksa. Goddess but. Um yeah. And then after, that they had me sing don't want to lose you and yeah. It's just intimidating. You are singing their music for them and it's like. Yeah. I also had the Gloria packet which is um the audition packet for, the show for Gloria is like. 60. Something pages, it's so many songs in so many scenes and I remember I had like a week to learn. Everything and, but. Really you know that I knew this stuff like two years in advance because I. But. Yeah it was scary she did okay okay. Play. Actually I never sang for clay and any of my auditions, you. Know, I never sang for you because I auditioned. For New York for the most part so is. A note saying we've already approved her for her role we'll go on to the next one she, I remember, walking in and seeing clay at my like the last time they called me in and I was so excited to sing for him because I had we had mutual friends in Beauvoir from.
Miami And I walk in and I'm like hey. Guys so they had me do this scene that was literally, like, three and a half seconds, it was them like I should, make I took, more time getting ready for the audition than what it the audition actually was I walk, in and I do the scene and I'm like okay do you guys want to hear me sing they're like no I was like oh and. Yeah. We had a note she's already approved this you, know it, was a formality. It, was just a formality. Great. So that's, all the time that we have today so thank you so much for stopping by and if you haven't checked out the show I highly, recommend you go check it out they'll be performing at the Beale Theatre in Denver until August, 19 and then heading off to Costa Mesa in California, thank, you for coming thank you for having us. You.