BWW Interview: ALADDIN's Angelo Soriano Brings Broadway to Youtube
You can catch Angelo Soriano onstage at the New Amsterdam Theatre (where he is currently a swing in Aladdin), but you don't have to buy a Broadway ticket to check out his work offstage. When he's not in Agrabah, he busy creating viral videos with some of his Broadway pals.
How does he do it all? Find out below!
When did you get started with these videos?
I've been playing around with videography and creative editing since high school. It wasn't until I pursued a performing arts career when I realized that I could take advantage of my hobby to support myself in times of unemployment in a business where work can go as quickly as it comes.
So are you self-taught or did you take classes?
I've actually never attended a formal videography class to learn my craft. I learned most of what I know from Youtube tutorials, other filmmakers, and hands-on applications!
And what software do you use?
I currently use FINAL CUT PRO X and LOGIC PRO X for my music video and short film needs. I built a small home studio where clients can record vocals, shoot video auditions, and take headshots. One of my favorite things about being a videographer is getting to play with cameras and the gadgets that expand the production value of my projects. Unfortunately, it IS the most expensive part of the art but they have become my favorite and most practical investments.
What kind of videos were doing before you started doing these more creative Broadway types?
I started with producing simple solo youtube song covers in my makeshift home studio. However, as I grew as an artist, I found myself surrounded with talented friends and castmates that I could collaborate with. Also, as a performer, I learned the importance of creating ARTIST REELS to market myself in the digital media age. I created one for myself, shared it on Facebook/Youtube and before long, other singers, actors, and dancers in my network approached me to make their showcase videos for them.
Yes. Now that I get to play in Agrabah eight shows a week, I do my best to find time outside the show schedule to keep on creating new media. Not too long ago, the Aladdin dance captain, Michael Mindlin, approached me to create his choreographer's reel and shoot a concept video with some Broadway Dancers. We created RIGHT TRACK.
For something like the Aladdin/HAMILTON softball parody, how long does something like that take you do? Whose idea was it?
That video project took one day to write and one day to shoot and edit. We were so excited to publish the parody on social media! My friend and castmate, Jaz Sealey, dedicated his short offstage moments during the show to writing the alternate lyrics to the Hamilton opening after we broke their winning streak in The Broadway Softball League. We sat down, planned the shots and performed the video in a single continuous take with the steadicam operator walking backwards down our dressing room tower staircase in the New Amsterdam Theatre in between shows.
So when you do something like that, what's the reaction when you share it with the production and cast?
We just wanted to make sure that we represented Aladdin in the most positive way possible. The video was a friendly, fun representation of the sportsmanship that Aladdin and Hamilton shared on the softball fields. Our friendly competition turned into somewhat of a viral video on various Broadway websites and that was pretty neat!
Yeah, I feel like every time we run a story about the Broadway softball league we're surprised how many people don't know it's a thing.
True! What people didn't realize until this video was released was the fact that they could actually, in person, witness some of their favorite Broadway performers play softball in Central Park on certain Thursday mornings during the summer, FOR FREE! Many people actually had never heard of Broadway Softball until we created that video so it provided some really cool exposure for the whole league. It was awesome to see how many more people attended the games after our video came out!
Do you have any more videos that are coming up?
I do actually! I'm always looking for opportunities to create and share fun video ideas! We live in a time when social media feeds our artistries with "followers" and "likes" and sites like Youtube and Vimeo allow for us to have a platform we can use to expose our crafts to young performers and inspire them to dream bigger. These collaborations with my peers become a win-win situation where I can be challenged to create bigger and better projects and we, together, gain exposure and a creative outlet that takes us out of the amazing but sometimes repetitive nature of doing eight shows a week on Broadway. We get to hang out, make music, create videos and share them with the world! What's not to love about it?
Soriano is making his Broadway debut in Aladdin. National tour:Flashdance: The Musical. Disney credits: Red Car Trolley News Boys (Disneyland AGVA), "Christmas Day Parade" w/Justin Bieber (on ABC), Debby Ryan and Disney's "Shake It Up!" A native of the Philippines. @gelosaurus