Podcast Exclusive: The Theatre Podcast With Alan Seales: Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer

Yvette is currently a company member of HADESTOWN.

By: Sep. 08, 2020
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This multifaceted, multi-talented performer takes us on a trip into her psyche, sharing how she lives by the idea that "competence breeds confidence", which encourages her to continue to learn and grow even after achieving great success.

Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer is a Cuban-American actress, author, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. She performed as Cha Cha in Fox's Grease: Live, Vanessa in the 1st Broadway National tour of In the Heights, and currently as one of the Fates in the Tony Award-winning musical Hadestown on Broadway. Yvette has starred in stage productions of West Side Story, Much Ado About Nothing, and 3 Mo' Divas, and won a Craig Noel Award in the category of Outstanding Female Lead. On television she has appeared as Kiki in the Emmy Award Winning Nickelodeon TV series The Fresh Beat Band, and Soleded Penagos on Madam Secretary. As a singer and songwriter, Yvette won the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and her songs have been heard on Sirius XM and in a variety of films and TV shows, including the feature film Life Itself and television's NCIS: Los Angeles. Yvette has performed at prestigious venues like Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall, toured around the globe with a variety of artists, and can now be seen online performing through the Times Square Alliance Broadway Busker's Concert series.

Yvette's family is from Cuba, but her ancestors hail from Lebanon and Spain. While her father grew up in Havana, Cuba, and her mother in Santiago, Cuba, they would eventually meet in Miami, which is where Yvette and her sisters were born. Yvette began formal violin lessons when she was three years old, and she remembers putting on concerts with her sisters while they all wore matching outfits. She recalls there always being music in the house, as they also all sang, and dabbled in guitar and piano. Yvette shares that at different times throughout her childhood she wanted to be a figure skater, an animator, and even President - but by seven years old, she knew she wanted to perform. After seeing a production of The Phantom of the Opera, her first live musical, she left the theater floating on air, thinking "I want to do that." In highschool, Yvette took voice lessons for college credit, and when she graduated at age 19, she went on to attend the University of Miami on an opera scholarship.

In our conversation, Yvette lovingly articulates what it is she finds so addicting about performing. There is something to be said about losing yourself in a character, she says, about losing "myself in what I'm doing". She shares that she finds a liberation and a freedom on stage, which then almost becomes like mediation. Yvette is also a firm believer in continually working on your craft, and always continuing to learn. She puts her money where her mouth is too, taking guitar lessons during quarantine, because in her own words, "competence breeds confidence". Yvette is missing performing, and was excited to share some of her own original music through the Broadway Busker's Concert series.

In this episode, they talk about:

  • The story behind of the origin of her last name "Nacer"
  • The violin her mother made her when she was 1.5 years old
  • Being bullied in elementary school, and how drawing became her escape
  • What she finds so liberating about performing
  • The inspiration behind her music single "Quicksand", and who she originally wrote it for
  • The power of positive thinking
  • The importance of not staying silent about the things that matter

What is The Theatre Podcast?

A weekly release of intimate, personal conversations with theatre's biggest talents showcasing what makes them human. Featuring stars of the stage and the producers, stage managers, directors, press and marketing agents, theatre owners and other creatives of this industry. Hosted by Alan Seales. Music by Jukebox the Ghost.

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The Theatre Podcast is a proud member of the Broadway Podcast Network.