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Meet Robert Gonzalez!

Meet Robert Gonzalez, instructor and director for our Monday Performance class and the newest addition to the Crystal Sea Drama Company staff!

Tell us about your day job, Robert.

I work at SeaWorld in the entertainment department, which probably sounds more fun than it is! I work on the tech side and do all of the theatrical lighting for the park, which means I do the install, strike and maintenance of the shows, special events, and yup – all of the “millions of Christmas lights” they advertise every year. I have, however, gotten the incredible opportunity to perform in the Sea Lion show occasionally (which probably is about as fun as it sounds...) as well as record a ton of voice-overs for the park. So, if you’re going through the park and hear an announcement in Spanish or some of the Australian ones in the water park, that’s me!

How did you first get involved in theater?

I’ve always loved acting since I was a kid. But I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up because acting “isn’t a real job”. So, by the time I made it halfway through college and finished all my basics and finally had to choose a major, I thought, well, why not do what I love? So, I got my degree in theatre and started performing and directing in theatres in and around town, and they haven’t found a way to keep me off a stage since.

What role have you played on stage in the past that you wish we ALL could have seen you do?

Oh man, that’s a tough question . . . ! First a little background. I like to dress nice. Give me a suit any day of the week, and I am loving life. Casual summer wear, shorts, tank tops, etc. -- it’s not my thing. (Clearly, I live in the wrong state.) Some theatre friends asked me once if I would turn down a role if I had to wear shorts. The very next day was the first time I got called to perform in “Sea Lion High” at SeaWorld, the show where Clyde and Seamore sea lions were trying to graduate from high school. I would perform the preshow and then quick-change into nearly every one of their teachers . . . including the gym teacher, who wore the goofiest, shortest, tightest blue gym shorts. Well, I wasn’t about to say no, so I played it up for all it was worth and owned it. And then I went back and apologized to my friends! But that show, and especially the preshow (watching a preshow performer at a Universal Park when I was a kid was one of the main factors that made me want to perform when I grew up), would be one that I wish everyone could see me do. :)

The short answer though could have been “One Man, Two Guv’nors” at the Vexler a few years back; I was British and playing an actor and got to interact with the audience a bunch which I really love to do.

What brought you to Crystal Sea Drama Company?

A couple years ago, a friend of mine invited me to audition for a show called Arsenic and Old Lace as a fundraiser show for this youth theatre (CSDC), and I said that sounds like fun! The audition was that same night. I showed up without a monologue (or rather without having made up my mind as to which monologue I was going to do), so I stood outside in the parking lot for several minutes trying to figure out what to perform before finally making up my mind right after slating my name onstage. I think it worked. I got cast, and after the show I started helping out stage managing and assistant directing and observing classes. The community and relationships between the students and teachers and everyone involved felt like family, and stepping into that felt like being embraced into this wonderful family, a community of love—love for each other, love for the theatre, and love for God. I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

What are you most excited about for the coming year at CSDC?

I am so psyched to be teaching this fall! The Monday Performance class will be performing an Agatha Christie murder mystery, and it is going to be a thrill ride! Agatha Christie wrote the book on defining the genre; there is so much underlying depth behind them that makes it so intense and long-lasting. I am just so excited to see the great things in store for CSDC for the future and for this new year and to watch it come together and be a part of it. But if I had to choose one thing, there is a musical review on the horizon that is going to be aMAZing and I cannot wait!!



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