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Tadeo Martinez Joins 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 New York actor Patrick Oliver Jones.

As part of the award-winning Theatre Three production of Noises Off, Tadeo Martinez brought himself and his native language to the role of Garry LeJeune. This talented young actor joins host Patrick Oliver Jones to talk about how he got the acting bug but also how he wants to help further Hispanic and Latinx opportunities in theater.

Listen to the episode below!

Growing up in Monterrey, Mexico, Martinez was exposed to some theater and dancing at a young age. "I grew up playing pretend. That's just what I did." And it was the Disney Channel hit show That's So Raven that gave him the idea of becoming a performer. But there wasn't a huge amount of opportunity for him to pursue acting until he came to the Southern Methodist University theater department in 2015.

The following year as the Presidential campaign was in full swing, Martinez began to talk about and understand vulnerability in a new light, not just as an actor but also as an immigrant. He was part of racial conversations within his department and among his classmates that were both uncomfortable and enlightening. "Having my eyes being open to all of these things in a very personal way was a little jarring."

Apart from his own education in such issues, though, there were also opportunities for him to educate others. In one audition he was asked to just use a Latin accent. When Martinez questioned what kind of accent (Mexican, Puerto Rican, etc.), he was told, "Just give me anything." And that provided a chance to explain how there is no Latin accent but many different peoples and cultures and ways of speaking.

Later on, Martinez noticed how other classmates were progressing to bigger and better roles while he was still in the ensemble. He had come to realize that his Mexican name but lighter skin tone could be difficult for some when it came to casting. And he began to wonder if he was white enough or Mexican enough for most roles. "But I didn't want to be the guy who was like, 'I am not cast and it's because of this.' I wanted to take responsibility for it."

And it was through that journey he discovered what he calls "the golden ticket" for himself. Once he began to bring his entire self into auditions, his full identity and race and language into performances, then he started not only growing as an actor but also loving the work.

Why I'll Never Make It is a weekly theater podcast hosted by New York 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 Off-Broadway composer Jaime Lozano (Yellow Brick Road), singer and photographer Roberto Araujo (Do You Dream in Spanish?), and dancer Luis Salgado (In the Heights). Find these episodes and more at whyillnevermakeit.com.


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