I have been an artists since I can remember. When I mean since I can remember I’m talking about being literally 5-6 yrs of age. Up in my room holding a hairbrush in hand, watching TV shows putting myself in the role not caring the gender either. It’s at that age that I knew i was different. To me it wasn’t a bad different. I just knew I saw things differently. I sought out different things that came to my mind instantaneously. To the outside it was considered a deficit. Un poco tocao. Not all there. Very gay. All these terms of describing me was what they would tell my mother. Mommy was far from happy. It wasn’t something she nurtured. If anything she tried her best to stifle it. A lot of it came from beatings. She beat me mercilessly. No place was safe. She had this saying- donde me la hace me la paga! Where you do is where you pay it!!! This abuse would go well into my teens. Then there was my sister.
10 years older than me and she loved me since my earliest of memories. Never a day I wasn’t hugged and kissed and loved. She was my best friend. Where ever she was at I went. Side by side, fric & frac!! She was and still is what I’ll consider to be unconditional love. No one loved me so and I miss it terribly. These past 2 years I have been able to see the fruits of my labor from the work I have done in theater. Not a day goes by that I don’t bring the love of my sister with me. If she was alive she would’ve been with me each step of the way. There would be no show she missed. She’d be super supportive.
It was Gladys that taught me to dance by stepping on her feet to mimic her steps. She made sure I knew what the beat of the drums and the conga did to your spirit when you let go. She said that it’s magic when you just let go, that your body will know where it needs to go. I trusted and music till this day is one of the very few artistic things I indulge in that when I do I don’t have a fucking care in the world. It was this lesson that made me one of the best dancers in the underground house scene in the 90’s with my dance partner for life, Liatt Tirado.
My love for music and not only the composition of it but the lyrics was my sister. All that singing and immersing in the feeling was all from my sister. She instilled all that in me. Her toughness yet love molded me. She made sure that I understood that it’s ok to love though at times it will hurt. She never sugar coated the truth from me! The way she made it known that in this life you are gonna have to fight, especially for what you love. She made sure I was not scared to put the fists up, to clap hands.
She left my life at 16.
She never got to see how I’ve developed as an artist. She never heard me sing. She never got to see me on stage and producing our life story into 3 one man shows.