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Luis Salgado Joins The WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT Podcast For Hispanic Heritage Month

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Why I'll Never Make It is a weekly theater podcast hosted by actor Patrick Oliver Jones.

Luis Salgado Joins The WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT Podcast For Hispanic Heritage Month

Luis Salgado (In the Heights, On Your Feet) talks with fellow actor and podcast host Patrick Oliver Jones about his journey from Puerto Rico to New York City and the initial disappointments he faced.

Back in 2004, Salgado came to New York to pursue a performing career as well as to get more training. "I came to the city to find that food for myself artistically." So it was fitting that the Off-Broadway premiere of Fame on 42nd Street would be his first attempt at a musical. Even though he made it all the way through down to a handful of dancers, he didn't end up getting cast. At least, not at first. Several months later they invited him to a private audition to be an understudy. Little did Salgado realize, though, that there were 75 others invited to this "private" call.

It is challenges like this that Salgado enjoys and looks for. "I wanna go into an audition in something I don't know." He is constantly pushing himself to learn and grow as a dancer and actor-singer. And he believes that disappointments are a part of that growth.

His next show was the Broadway-bound musical Mambo Kings with an out-of-town tryout in San Francisco. While the choreography of Sergio Trujillo received rave reviews, there wasn't much else that critics enjoyed, and the show's hopes of coming to New York ended in the bay city.

But that relationship formed with Trujillo would become a constant in Salgado's career. From assisting in Cirque du Soleil's Paramour to workshopping new choreography, Salgado became a fixture in Trujillo projects, including the recent Broadway musical On Your Feet! But again, there is that constant challenge and push to do more and be better. "Sergio is the only choreographer that has made me cry." A feeling that Jones knows all too well from his ensemble days in The Addams Family National Tour.

His biggest opportunity to share his Puerto Rican culture came when he coached and collaborated with Andy Blankenbuehler on In the Heights. Being a white choreographer, he had to learn not only the Latin feel and style of movement but also the heart of the people. And Salgado says the relationship went beyond just dance steps, "The process was very friendly, educational, passionate, supportive."

Salgado is so proud of his Hispanic upbringing and culture, and relishes opportunities like In the Heights to share it with others, especially children. Through his non-profit Revolución Latina, he is able to bring the arts to the Latino community and empower them toward personal growth and societal change.

Listen to the full conversation below!

Why I'll Never Make It is a weekly theater podcast hosted by actor Patrick Oliver Jones and features conversations with fellow creatives about the realities of a career in the arts. The podcast is currently in a month-long focus on Hispanic artists. Past guests include musical theater composer Jaime Lozano (Yellow Brick Road), singer and photographer Roberto Araujo (Do You Dream in Spanish?), and actor Dan Domingues (Caesar and Cleopatra). Find these episodes and more at whyillnevermakeit.com.


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