https://youtu.be/a3cXb0_xPkY?feature=shared

Tune in as Michael Jamin talks with his good friend, actor Rick Negron who plays King George in Hamilton. Discover what he has to say about being the first Latino King George, doing his first show in his home country of Puerto Rico alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda who was acting as Hamilton, and his overall Hamilton touring and acting career experience.

Show Notes

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rick_negron/?hl=en

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0624508/?ref_=nmmi_mi_nm

IBDB: https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/rick-negron-107348

The Spokesman-Review: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2022/apr/28/youll-be-back-in-playing-king-george-iii-in-hamilt/

Michael’s Online Screenwriting Course – https://michaeljamin.com/course

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Join My Watchlist – https://michaeljamin.com/watchlist

Autogenerated Transcript

Rick Negron (00:00:00):
That’s still the case nowadays for a lot of young dancers and, and musical theater types. They go to New York and they take dance classes and they take voice lessons, and they take acting classes, and they get that picture and resume ready, and they go to open calls. And if you’re talented and you’re lucky sometimes you, you get an equity show, a, a union show from an open call. It’s tough. And you have to, you have to hit that pavement. And sometimes, you know, getting to know, being in the right place at the right time. I, I, I was mentioning to you before that I, I booked this H B O commercial and I met more a dancer on that show who said, Hey, you’d be right for the show. And one of the guys is leaving the show and they’re having auditions at the theater, and you should go. And that’s how I got my first Broadway show.

Michael Jamin (00:00:50):
You’re listening to Screenwriters. Need to hear this with Michael Jamin.

Michael Jamin (00:00:58):
Hey everyone, it’s Michael Jamin. Welcome to Screenwriters. Need to hear this. If you are an aspiring theatrical actor, I got a present for you and we’re gonna unwrap him right now. And his name is Rick Negron. And he’s been my buddy for many years. He’s at my wedding. We go back, Rick. Now Rick is most famous for probably, he’s done a ton of stuff though, but he’s probably most famous for playing the role of king George in the touring company of Hamilton, which he’s been doing for four years. But he’s done a ton of Broadway stuff. We’re gonna talk about him. He’s also done voices. I didn’t know this, but he was also he does vo he did some voices in Red Dead Redemption as well as grand Theft Auto, which I wanna know all about that as well. But mostly I wanna talk about his incredible theatrical acting career. Rick, thank you so much. Thank you so much for <laugh>. For

Rick Negron (00:01:47):
What? Michael Jamin? I’m in the room. I’m, I’m in the room where it happens, man.

Michael Jamin (00:01:52):
<Laugh>, this is the room. This, what people don’t realize is that I recorded some of this and I bone, I didn’t, I didn’t record, so, yeah. And this is, this is part two of our interview. I had a record over cuz I wasn’t recording. Stuff

Rick Negron (00:02:03):
Happens. And you know what, Michael, you, you and I can talk till the cows come home. This is not a problem.

Michael Jamin (00:02:09):
This Rick’s great guy, and he’s gonna tell us all about. I, I, I had, so there’s so much I wanted to get outta you, but first of all, what I, we were talking about is, you’ve been doing Hamilton, you’ve been King George and Hamilton, the first Latino King George, I might say, which is a big deal. And so yeah, you’ve been touring the country from city to city, and I kind of really wanted to talk to you about like, what is your, what is your day like when you go up on stage, you know, what are you doing before, what you’re doing all before that, before you got on stage, because it’s a, you’ve been done. How many performances have you said you’re done? This,

Rick Negron (00:02:44):
I’m over 900 easily. I’m close to like nine 50. I, I, I don’t count ’em, but every time the, the company management has like, oh, this is our 900th performance, I just kind of go, well, I’ve only missed maybe about between vacations and days that I’ve been sick. Maybe I’ve missed 30 at the most over a four year period. <Laugh>, that’s, I’ve, I’ve done a lot of performances

Michael Jamin (00:03:11):
And, and we were talking about this and your character, like I, I’ve, I hate to make you repeat it, but how do you get, like, how do you get psyched up before each show when you do that many shows? How are you, what’s your process before you, you run on stage?

Rick Negron (00:03:27):
Well, this, this character is a real gift in the sense that it’s beautifully written. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, it’s just three songs. <Laugh> honestly, Uhhuh <affirmative>. I’m on stage for a little over 10 minutes, but it’s so well written that if I just hook into the words of, of the songs, I got ’em. Uhhuh <affirmative> you. I, I, I can, I can hook my myself into that myself, into that character very easily, just with the words. But the other gift is that I have time to get ready. So when every, when the show, when we are at places and the show starts, that’s when I get my wig on. Mm-Hmm. I still have 15 minutes to do some vocal warmups and get dressed. And are you

Michael Jamin (00:04:12):
To being like tea with lemon? What are you sit, what are you doing that day?

Rick Negron (00:04:16):
Nah, nah. I, I mean, I’m not a huge tea guy unless, unless I’m having some vocal distress. And then I do like a nice warm tea with honey and lemon if I’m, if, if my voice is a little wonky or my throat’s a little sore. But the main thing for me for vocal capacity is sleep. If I get less than seven hours, my voice suffers. If I eat a lot of cheese and dairy, that’s gonna be a lot of gunk on the vocal courts.

Michael Jamin (00:04:45):
But if you’re nervous the night

Rick Negron (00:04:46):
Before

Michael Jamin (00:04:47):
Hmm. But if you’re nervous, if you have, if you get stage nerves and you can’t sleep the night before <laugh>, right? I mean, no. Are you, are you beyond that?

Rick Negron (00:04:55):
Yeah, I’m beyond that. I mean, I’ve been in the business long enough that, that I, I get nervous. Uhhuh <affirmative> and God knows, I was nervous the first time I did the show in front of an audience in Puerto Rico of all places. Right. That’s where we opened, right. With Lynn Manuel Miranda back in the role of Hamilton after being a away from it for a few years. That was a dream job because I’m from Puerto Rico and I literally went back home

Michael Jamin (00:05:23):
To a hero

Rick Negron (00:05:23):
Welcome star and one of the biggest shows on Broadway with Lynn Manuel Miranda and me playing the king. Yeah. I was born like four blocks away from the theater that we were at. It was just crazy sauce. So yes, I was incredibly nervous opening night. And there was my wife, my sister-in-law, in the audience you know, yes. Really nervous. But did I lose sleep the night before? No. I slept like a baby. No, really? My nerves don’t really hit me until I start putting on that costume

Michael Jamin (00:05:51):
<Laugh>. Really? Yeah. I see. I would imagine to me, I mean, I know it’s a big deal to be star of a movie, but to me this to me seems like a bigger deal. What you, what you’re doing in terms of, it seems like a you are lead in this giant freaking play that, I mean, one of the biggest plays, you know, of our, of our time on. Seriously. Yeah. Yeah. And you are these, you play this character who the minute he walks on stage, the place goes nuts cuz you hit a home run and then you walk out, you’re the home run guy. Exactly. Bye. Hello. No. Expect

Rick Negron (00:06:21):
Bye. And by the way, no expectation. I’d literally walk on stage and the place goes bananas. And I haven’t said

Michael Jamin (00:06:26):
A word. Right. They love you before. You haven’t even said anything. I mean, what a huge, I don’t know. I just think this is like, I don’t know, if I were an aspiring actors, that would be the part. I don’t see how you, I don’t know how, where you go from here, Rick <laugh>

Rick Negron (00:06:41):
<Laugh>. It’s all downhill

Michael Jamin (00:06:43):
<Laugh>.

Rick Negron (00:06:45):
No, I guess listen, it, the beauty of it is also that I’ve had this really long career mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and, you know, I started out as a chorus boy on Broadway and then worked myself into understudy and then did some roles. And then finally at, at a ripe old age. I’ve gotten this great job and I’ve really, I’m at the point in my life where I’m really enjoying it. Yeah. I’m enjoying the process. I’m enjoying the traveling cuz I, I, I’ve toured some, but I haven’t toured a lot. And this tour has been to some really great cities all on the west coast up and down the west coast. Yeah, the mountain west. In the winter I got some snowboarding in, in Salt Lake City, Denver. I,

Michael Jamin (00:07:33):
Where are you supposed to do that with you if you break your leg?

Rick Negron (00:07:36):
Yeah, I’m not supposed to do that. Can we delete that from the podcast? <Laugh>? We can take that out. <Laugh>. It’s in the past. I don’t care. Okay. I, I stayed on the bunny slopes. I Right. I really took it easy. But then we spent summer in Canada, which was amazing. I was up in Calgary in the summer and went up to band for the first time in my life. And my wife, Leslie, who you know well, came up to visit and we stayed on Emerald Lake and I just spent two months in Hawaii. So this tour has just been amazing. Well, it started out in Puerto Rico, as I said, right. For a month with Manuel Miranda. And then we went to San Francisco and sat for a, a year in San Francisco. So I got to live in San Francisco Right. For a year and experienced that incredible city until the pandemic. And then we shut down for a year and four months before we started up again.

Michael Jamin (00:08:27):
And then, and then So how did you start? We, how did you start? Like, you know, take me back. I know you, I know you were, take me back to when you were a child. Did you, I mean, this is, did you dream of being a Broadway star like this? Like, what happened? Who, who dreams of that? Like who, how, I mean, you all dream of that, but who achieves it, I guess?

Rick Negron (00:08:46):
Well, a lot of people do. A lot of people do. And, and, and not everybody has the path that I had, but some of us get bitten by the bug early on. And I got bitten by the bug when I was 10. Right. And my mom was the drama teacher at school. And I guess I blame her for everything. But this must

Michael Jamin (00:09:06):
Be the be like, you must be the, the crowning achievement in her, in her in her life.

Rick Negron (00:09:12):
Yeah. She’s, but I did, she’s pretty proud. And I have ano another sister who also went in into theater and and so the whole family kind of w it was the family thing we all sang. Right. we all did mu mu musicals in the local community theater and children’s theater. So it was a family thing for us growing up. But I’m the one that sort of got bitten hard. And then I got involved, like at 14 mm-hmm. <Affirmative> a choreographer. I was doing a, a mu a children’s theater show, said, Hey, you’ve got some talent as a dancer. Come take, I’ll give you a scholarship at my little dance school. And so after school at 14, I would go take ballet, jazz, tap and acrobatics after school with Susan Cable, who luckily was a great dance teacher. She had been a, a chorus person on Broadway.

(00:10:05):
Wow. And, and, and that’s what, how I started in my dance career. And then it kind of took off. And by the time I got to college I thought I was gonna be a, a concert dancer. I was in college, I was sort of groomed to, to, to possibly go into the Paul Taylor Dance company. And I actually was not on scholarship. I was a intern with a Paul Taylor dance company for a while until I realized I’m making no money. I’m working super hard and I’ve always wanted to be on Broadway. That was my real

Michael Jamin (00:10:42):
Dream. So those people don’t interchange those concert dancers. Don’t, they don’t.

Rick Negron (00:10:46):
Some do it. Usually the concert dancers, if they can sing.

Michael Jamin (00:10:52):
Right.

Rick Negron (00:10:54):
Will, will sort of move into the musical theater world and sometimes move back into the concert dance world. One of the great concert dancers of all time who I met when he was super young, Desmond Richardson mm-hmm. <Affirmative> he was a lead dancer with the Alban AI company for many, many, many years. I mean a God in the dance world. And now he owns his own owns, he runs his own dance company, complexions. And he’s a great choreographer. And he was in the bad video with me back in the day with Michael Jackson. Right.

Michael Jamin (00:11:30):
So Rick was in the, I should say for the, I don’t wanna gloss over this. Rick. Rick was in the a dance for, in the Michael Jackson’s bad video directed by Martin Scorsese. Yeah. Was Quincy Jones produced?

Rick Negron (00:11:41):
Yeah, 1985. I was, I was a chorus dancer at the time. I was in I was doing my second Broadway show. The mystery of Evan, Dr. My dance captain was Rob Marshall. <Laugh> went on to direct Chicago, the movie and many other movies since then. And, and while I was doing the show, there was this audition for the bad video and yeah, it was, it was really surreal. I took vacation from, from the Broadway show to do the video and, and, and got to meet Michael who was really sort of like, it was two people in that body. I mean, he was super shy and, and sort of very reserved, but the minute the cameras went on it, he was, he became somebody else. Right. And he was a perfectionist. 25 takes sometimes e every setup. And Scorsese was famous for just burning through film. Easy 20 Takes the video was supposed to shoot for two weeks, and I think it went for four. And this is a music video. It was the first SAG music video at the time, by the way.

Michael Jamin (00:12:44):
Really?

Rick Negron (00:12:45):
Anyway, Desmond Richardson was a young dancer at the time. There were a lot of young New York dancers in, in that show. And he famously went into the Avid Ailey company, but then he also worked on Fosse the Musical. And he also worked on Chicago. The, the movie with me. I, I got to work on Chicago, the movie cuz I had this great relationship with Rob Marshall and, and I was invited to audition. I didn’t get, the dancers don’t usually just get the job. You still have to come in and audition. Right. But even though, you know, the people involved it just is the way it is. And, and there was, and, and Desmond and, and I, we bump into each other all the time and we have so many memories. You know, going back <laugh> 20, what is that, 85? 1985 was the bad video.

(00:13:35):
And I, I still bump into ’em. I I’ve been into ’em at the opening of the new USC school a few years ago. The School of Dance there at usc, the Kaufman School of Dance, I think it’s called. But anyway yeah, people go in in from the dance world into musical theater and they go back and forth. Not a lot. Actually. We have one member of our, our of our of our Hamilton company, Andrew who was a modern dancer in the dance world and then moved into musical theater. And,

Michael Jamin (00:14:04):
But you were telling me how, and this is kind of important cause people are gonna be like, well, how do I break in? And you were, I mean, what, as you were explaining, it’s like, it’s basically you had this, you were just, you were in the circle, you were just there, and then things le one thing leads to enough simply because you put yourself there. Right. So how did you, what was your first break? How did you get that? I mean,

Rick Negron (00:14:24):
Every, everybody, everybody has a, a different story about first breaks. And when I was starting out, it was really different. Things have changed, you know, in all these years. Now, if you go to the right school, you can get into the right you know casting director workshop. And they see, oh, really? You, and, and maybe you get an agent out of that workshop and, and you know, it’s, it, when I started out it, that wasn’t the case when I started out. You go to New York, you start taking dance class at all the big dance studios where all the other Broadway dancers are taking dance class mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And then you pick up Backstage. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> newspaper, and you go to the open equity calls for every show. I remember my first open equity call was for cats, the national tour, right after Cats had opened on Broadway.

(00:15:14):
And I, I had four callbacks. I got really close to booking cats, but I didn’t. And and I just kept going to open calls. And that’s still the case nowadays for a lot of young dancers and, and musical theater types. They go to New York and they take dance classes and they take voice lessons and they take acting classes and they get that picture and resume ready and they go to open calls. And if you’re talented and you’re lucky sometimes you, you get an equity show, a a union show from an open call. It’s tough. And you have to, you have to hit that pavement. And sometimes, you know, getting to know, being in the right place at the right time. I, I, I was mentioning to you before that I, I booked this H B O commercial and I met one, a dancer on that show who said, Hey, you’d be right for the show. And one of the guys is leaving the show and they’re having auditions at the theater and you should go. And that’s how I got my first Broadway show by somebody suggesting that I go audition and I showed up at the theater and auditioned. And that night I got the job. And that’s how I got my first Broadway show. The more

Michael Jamin (00:16:24):
People, you know, the more you work, the more you hear and

Rick Negron (00:16:27):
The more you Exactly. Yeah. You’re in the mix. You have to in be in the mix and you have to network. And nowadays that involves, as you know social media and getting, getting followers and, and and, and putting out videos of yourself, singing and putting out videos of yourself, dancing and putting out videos of yourself, acting. I mean there’s all that stuff that’s going on now that wasn’t going on when I started. But is, is is the new reality of how do you get into the business really. Okay. And, and when young, when young people ask me how, you know, how do I get started? And I say, well, in your hometown, get involved. Do the, do the school musicals, but get involved with the community theater. In any way you can. If, if you want to be an actor, but you know, there isn’t a role for you do the work on the sets.

(00:17:19):
I worked on sets in community theater. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I helped my mom. She, she was makeup artist too. And so I helped with makeup and I, I did lights. I, you know, I did all kinds of stuff just to be in the room. Right. Just to see other people work, to, to network, to meet people. And and I’m glad I did because I kind of know my way around all the different elements of theater. You know, I know what Alico is. I know, you know what all the different microphones are that they use in theater. And I, I always, I always befriend the crew. I think <laugh>, as an actor, we can tend to be insular and

Michael Jamin (00:17:57):
Oh really

Rick Negron (00:17:58):
Hang out with just the actors. I hang out with the crew. The crew knows what’s up. Uhhuh <affirmative>, the crew knows where the good, the good bars are in town. They, you know, the crew is, and, and they’re the ones that watch your back. When you’re on the road.

Michael Jamin (00:18:13):
Now you were explaining to me the, and I didn’t know the difference between, cuz you as the king, king, king George, you have two understudies, but there’s also swing actors. Explain to me how that all works.

Rick Negron (00:18:24):
So in the show, you usually, you have the ensemble, which is what we used to call the chorus. Yeah. And then you have the leads. And in the ensemble you usually have two male swings and two female swings. So those individuals are not in the show nightly, but they literally understudy all the f the, the females understudy, all the females and the males understudy. All the males. And that’s usually a case. They have two male and two female. In Hamilton, we have four female swings and four male swings. I think I’m right. Three or four. We have a lot. And that’s because Hamilton is such a, a beast of a show. It’s so hard. Physically. People get injured, people get tired.

Michael Jamin (00:19:06):
It’s like being a professional athlete. It’s no different.

Rick Negron (00:19:08):
Yeah. Yeah. And you’re doing it eight times a week. And after a year it’s repetitive motion for a lot of dancers. Oh. So I always tell those dancers, don’t just do the show. Go, go and do yoga. Go do a dance class cuz you have to work your muscles a different way. Otherwise you’re gonna get repetitive motion injuries. Wow. You know, like the same person that that screws on the, you know, back in the day when they screwed down the, the toothpaste cap every day that those muscles every day, all day long are gonna get messed up.

Michael Jamin (00:19:37):
But do they have like a trainer or doctor on set at all times?

Rick Negron (00:19:40):
We have a personal train PT, physical therapist right on tour with us. Most heavy dance shows will have that on tour. Because they need, they need the upkeep. The dancers, especially in this show work so hard. They, they need somebody to help them recover from injury. And, and just keep their bodies tuned up.

Michael Jamin (00:20:04):
And so let’s say you get, you’re in Hamilton, let’s say you’re, you’re a swing or whatever, but, and then you’re on tour, they what, give you a per diem? Or do they put you up in housing? How, like what is the, what is that really like to be?

Rick Negron (00:20:15):
So let me I’m, I’m gonna finish the whole understudy thing because Oh yeah. You have the swings and then you have the understudies, which are people in the chorus who understudy the leads. But then you also have standbys. And the standbys aren’t in the show. Right. But they’re backstage and they understudy anywhere between 2, 3, 4, 4 different characters. And so at the drop of the hat, they can say, Hey, you’re on tonight for Burr, or you’re on tonight for Hamilton. It, it can happen five minutes before the show. You can know way in advance cuz you know that character’s going on vacation and stage management has told you, oh, you’re gonna do the first five of, of, of the, of the vacation or the first four and somebody else is gonna do the other four. So you may know ahead of time and you can ask or tell your friends and family to come see you do that role. Right. Cause you know, ahead of time. But many times you, you find out last minute that somebody is sick or, or doesn’t fe or hurt their knee or whatever. Or even in the middle of the show, sometimes somebody will twist an ankle and boom, we have a new bur in act two. It, it’s, it’s happened not a lot, but it’s happened often enough that the understudies come in, warmed up and ready to go.

Michael Jamin (00:21:26):
But you explained to me even before every performance, even though you’ve done the same freaking songs for 900 times, you still mentally prepare yourself. You go through, you rehearse each, each song that you go through. So you walk yourself through it. But I can’t even imagine if, like, if you, how do you prepare yourself for four different roles possibly. You know, like how do you do that? It’s like you, it’s

Rick Negron (00:21:49):
Crazy. Yeah. They, they, I know some of them will go over like difficult passages in the show because there’s, there’s moments in the show, like for Lafayette he’s got in guns and ships. He’s got some, some rap that are so fast. Yeah. That I, I know the understudies will go over those, what, what we called the, the, the moments when you can trip up. You go over those moments before you go on, but the rest of you can’t go through the entire show. Right. Just pick and choose those moments where you can like go backstage and just go over your words and make sure they’re, they’re, you know, under your belt. I go over my words because I sing the same tune three times, but with different lyrics. Right. And the, and the trap is to sing the wrong lyric in the wrong song, which I had done. And it’s, there’s nothing more embarrassing and gut wrenching than to sing the wrong lyric in the wrong song. And you just have to find your way back. And it, they call it walking into the white room. And because literally what does that will happen and your mind will, your mind will explode, your armpits will explode with sweat. Your eyeballs will get this big, your throat will dry. It is flight or flight or flight moment.

Michael Jamin (00:23:07):
Yeah. And

Rick Negron (00:23:08):
It’s so hard to, to like try to grasp the right lyric. And, and you’re in, you’re literally in a white room. Yeah. And you’re going, oh shit. How, how do I get back?

Michael Jamin (00:23:20):
Right.

Rick Negron (00:23:21):
And for me it’s a little easier cuz my song is nice and slow, but can you imagine being Hamilton and you’re rapping a mile a minute and you go into the white room

Michael Jamin (00:23:29):
And do you guys talk about that? Oh

Rick Negron (00:23:32):
Yeah. Yeah. Famously on Broadway, there, there, there was a something called Burst Corner. Uhhuh <affirmative> which was, I, I forget who started it, but I think <laugh>, they, they told ’em not to do it anymore. It was something where they post on Instagram or Facebook. Oh. so-and-so, you know, said this instead of what they should have said, you know, basically coming out and, and owning your faux PAs during a live show. Right. I remember when I did Manda La Mancha with Robert Gole on tour. He used to make up lyrics sometimes. And we, and one of the guys in the show started jotting them down. And at the end of the tour, they basically roasted him at a, at the closing night party with all the lyrics that he made up <laugh> throughout, throughout the entire thing. And he was not amused.

Michael Jamin (00:24:20):
He was not amused. I was gonna say, I

Rick Negron (00:24:23):
Was not amused with that one. Okay. But my favorite faux pod of his was we were in Nashville and he started singing Impossible Dream. And he’s sang to dream the Impossible Dream to fight the unat of a fo to carry Moonbeams home in a jar.

Michael Jamin (00:24:41):
And there was like, what?

Rick Negron (00:24:44):
That’s a big Crosby song. Oh, funny. Carry Moon Beams Home in a Jar. It’s an old Bing Cosby song. And he just pulled that lyric outta nowhere and inserted it into the impossible dream. And everybody backstage just went,

Michael Jamin (00:24:59):
What do he say? Oh my God. That’s hilarious.

Rick Negron (00:25:03):
But you know, I I’m, I’m, I might be roasting Robert Gole at the moment, but everybody’s had those moments. Yeah. Especially in Hamilton, it happens cuz the, the words are coming fast and furious and boy, if you miss that train or you screw up, oh, it’s hard to get back on.

Michael Jamin (00:25:18):
And I imagine if

Rick Negron (00:25:20):
You do, everybody does. Everybody, if you

Michael Jamin (00:25:21):
Do it one too many times, are you looking at unemployment?

Rick Negron (00:25:24):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>? No. Really? No. Yeah. I mean, nobody does it one too many times. Uhhuh, <affirmative>. I mean, some understudies have more bumps in the road than others. Uhhuh. <affirmative>. But you, you, you know, we give them a lot of grace because being an understudy is really hard. Yeah. And so when somebody’s honest and understudy you, everybody has their, their, their side view mm-hmm. <Affirmative> just because they, they might be in the wrong spot in a certain moment or cross a little differently than the usual guy. So you just have to have some grace. Don’t get upset if they’re in the wrong spot. You know, just maybe nudge them a little bit or pull them or, or, or just watch out for them and don’t bump into them because, you know, somebody is on. I, because I’ve understudied so many in so many shows, I have a lot of empathy for, for understudies and swings and, but I, I, I don’t, in my experience, and I’ve been in a ton of shows, I haven’t been around somebody who’s messed up so much that they’ve got gotten fired. Usually when somebody’s not up for the task creatives know during rehearsals that they’re not cutting it. Uhhuh <affirmative>. And then so somebody will get, will get let go. Right. the only other time I, I remember somebody lost their voice and, and took time off and came back and lost their voice again. And it was just a situation where they couldn’t do the job. Their voice just, wow. Their voice just couldn’t ha hack it. And so, you know, those are tough and difficult moments. They don’t happen often, but it happens.

Michael Jamin (00:27:09):
Wow. Yeah. And now you were also telling me, which I thought was fascinating, is that your character, because he’s the king, you were talking, you know, how, how your character has evolved, you playing the same exact part has evolved over, over all these years of you playing it.

Rick Negron (00:27:24):
Yeah. It’s, it’s been a gift. I’m, I’m, you know, I’ve realized early on that theater really is my thing. Even though I did some TV and film when I moved to la I, I didn’t, I didn’t really love the work. Right. It sort of felt a little bit empty just in the sense that, you know, you sit in a trailer for hours and hours and then you get a couple of rehearsals and you shoot and you’re done. And that’s it. You know, and it’s on, it’s out there for posterity and you walk away from the, from the gig going, oh, I could have done this, I could have done that. But in theater, you get to redeem yourself every night. You know, if you screwed up the night before, you, you make it better the next night. And I love that about theater.

(00:28:07):
And and so for, for me I just get better over time and people say, oh, but don’t you get tired eight times a week a year. I don’t. I I like to, I like to tell people that it’s, it’s almost like being a potter. You have the same, you know, square block of clay and you’re making that same pot. But every time you’re doing something a little bit different and you’re learning from the, the, the, yesterday when you made that pot, today you’re making the same pot, but you learn something new, you discovered something new, making this pot, it’s still the same pot, but you’re, you may be doing a little filigree or a little curve here, or a little something different. So every night you get to shape this pot a little bit differently. And that’s, for me, that’s the, the beauty of it.

(00:28:59):
That’s the challenge. I remember early on with, with this, with this character, I was in rehearsals and the the associate director Patrick Vassell said, you know, Rick, this is interesting. Most guys come in with a really large, over the top take on the king. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you’re coming in with a very spare low-key take on it. I mean, we’re gonna build you up, which is usually not the case with this character. And build, build him up. Not make him bigger, but just give him more depth. Okay. And that was the rehearsal process for me. And then when I started working with Thomas Kale the, the director of Hamilton right before we opened in Puerto Rico, he said, the trick to this guy is to make him, make him as simple and as small as possible because the king can, with one finger kill a whole community. Right. Know, he just has to say, those people are gone and they’re gone. So he doesn’t have to do much. He has all this power. So that, that was like the best bit of information for me. And so the challenge is over time is to do less.

Michael Jamin (00:30:14):
Right. And

Rick Negron (00:30:14):
Still with all the homework that you’ve done and the character work that you’ve done, but do less. And I, and I was telling you this before, that you walk out on stage Yeah. And the audience goes crazy. And, you know, there’s all this expectation and sometimes you get suckered in by this adoring audience to do more. Right. But you have to fight that feeling and do less. And that’s,

Michael Jamin (00:30:38):
It sounds like though you got conflicting notes though. No. They directed the eight. Well,

Rick Negron (00:30:43):
I think because in rehearsal I was still sort of finding my way with him. Uhhuh <affirmative>. And instead of making this broad fabish character, which is how somebody who starts with King George and thinks, oh, I’m just gonna do this and make him big and fabish. Right. that’s sort of a two-dimensional view of, of the king. And I came in with a lot of research about the guy and thinking, I, I, I don’t wanna make him this two-dimensional caricature. Right. I really wanna make him a, a guy who is number one dangerous

Michael Jamin (00:31:21):
Uhhuh <affirmative>,

Rick Negron (00:31:21):
Who has a lot of power and who, who is feeling jilted, but won’t allow you, you can’t break up with me. Right. I’m breaking up with you. You know, that kind, that kind of dynamic in this, in the first song specifically. And so I came in with that and he said, that’s great. Now we’re gonna just work and put more layers on him, but not necessarily make him bigger, but just give him more layers.

Michael Jamin (00:31:52):
Let me ask you the, because when you’re in, when you say, you know, you’re the analogy of making a pot, are you going into the performance thinking, I wanna try this today? Or are you so into character you forget and, and somehow it it organically arises?

Rick Negron (00:32:10):
I try to stay in, in the more organic realm.

Michael Jamin (00:32:13):
Uhhuh, <affirmative>,

Rick Negron (00:32:14):
Because I think that’s where the really good stuff is. The stuff that just pops out of you.

Michael Jamin (00:32:20):
But you can’t make that happen. That’s the problem. Yeah.

Rick Negron (00:32:23):
If, if, if I plan something

Michael Jamin (00:32:26):
Mm-Hmm.

Rick Negron (00:32:26):
<Affirmative>, I, I feel like it, it feels fabricated a little bit. Right. And so I, I try not to, but sometimes I’ll get a note from, we have a resident director that travels with us, and also sometimes the director or the associate director will show up to whatever city we’re in and will watch the show and give us notes and say, you know, in this moment, maybe try this or try that. And so I really pay attention to those notes and I try to implement them, but I try not to I try not to quote unquote fabricate them or, or, or think too much on it. I try to, maybe, maybe the best thing that I can say is I’ll tr I’ll try on my own four or five different ways to achieve that note. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Okay. I can, I can, I can make it more dangerous in this section if I lean into this word or if I, you know, take a pause or whatever it is. I’ll come up with four or five different ways to get the note across and then let whatever which one pops out pops out when it, when I do the performance. So I give myself some choices. So I don’t, so I don’t get, I don’t pigeonhole myself into a specific choice, which then feels fabricated and fake.

Michael Jamin (00:33:51):
Right. But do you ever get into the part and then n notice, oh, I, I just slipped out of it. I, I’m, I’m, I’m observing myself now. I’m not in the part

Rick Negron (00:34:00):
Happens all the time.

Michael Jamin (00:34:02):
And what do you do? How do you get back in

Rick Negron (00:34:04):
The words the text will save you for every writer out there. Thank you. Because the text will save you. You have to get back into, into what it is you’re saying. When, when

Michael Jamin (00:34:16):
You, but the words are in your head that you don’t, you’re not reading something, they’re in your head.

Rick Negron (00:34:19):
You’re in your head, but in your head. I’ve been doing this so long that I can be in the middle of my performance and going, Hmm. That wasn’t good. Right. Like, I’ll be criticizing myself while I’m doing it,

Michael Jamin (00:34:31):
But that’s not good. Now you’re out of character.

Rick Negron (00:34:33):
Now I’m out of character. Now I’m in my head. Right. And the first thing that I’ll do is I’ll, I’ll bite something. I’ll bite a word or I’ll, I’ll make a gesture. Or basically I’ll snapped my myself out of that.

Michael Jamin (00:34:47):
Do it.

Rick Negron (00:34:48):
I guess. I didn’t silence my phone.

Michael Jamin (00:34:51):
That’s okay. So,

Rick Negron (00:34:52):
Interesting enough. That’s, that’s the resident director of Hamilton just texted me.

Michael Jamin (00:34:57):
<Laugh>. He can wait. It’s not important.

Rick Negron (00:34:59):
No. She, she, luckily this is she. Yes. Better. Sherry Barber. Amazing director.

Michael Jamin (00:35:05):
So we that’s my next question though. I wanna talk about that. But, so, all right. So you snap so you, you, you get back into it with a physical, something physical, a gesture or something.

Rick Negron (00:35:14):
Physical or, or, or, or vocal. Yeah. Or some different intention. Yeah. Just mix it up. Right. Mix it up. Yeah. Do something different that, that’s gonna get you outta your head.

Michael Jamin (00:35:27):
Right. I mean, I mean, I would think that we, that way my fear is going up, going up, forgetting, oh, what, what’s my line? Line? Oh,

Rick Negron (00:35:34):
It is, that’s every actor’s fear. And, and, and if anything keeps me nervous, it’s that, it’s the fear of, of messing up. But the, and people say, oh, how do you get over being nervous? And I always say, you, how, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Yeah. Practice, practice, practice. Confidence comes from being, I can sing that song with another song, playing over a loud speaker. That’s how well I know that song.

Michael Jamin (00:36:04):
Really. With another song playing. There’s

Rick Negron (00:36:05):
Another song playing over the loud speaker. And I can sing my song while that song is playing. That’s how much in the bones in my cell that song is. See, I just have to, I, I rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Michael Jamin (00:36:18):
Do you think it’s possible to over rehearse?

Rick Negron (00:36:21):
Yeah.

Michael Jamin (00:36:22):
Uhhuh. <Affirmative>. Yeah.

Rick Negron (00:36:24):
But I mean, for me, you know, every actor’s different. For me, my comfort, what gives me my comfort zone is, and, and gives me confidence, is feeling like I, I know this inside out, left, right. I, I know ev Yeah, I know this. I got this Uhhuh <affirmative>. That’s how I get

Michael Jamin (00:36:46):
There. But, but you don’t feel that way in opening night cuz you haven’t done it 900

Rick Negron (00:36:49):
Times. No, no, no. You haven’t done it 900 times. So you just, you you, I go back to my yoga and I, I I do some deep breathing mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and I try to focus on the intentions of the character. What is he trying to do?

Michael Jamin (00:37:05):
Do you, do you sometimes kick yourself? Like, do you feel like, oh, I wasn’t in the Tonight Show. I was, I tried. I wasn’t in it. I wasn’t in it. Oh

Rick Negron (00:37:14):
Yeah. I walked out, I walk off stage sometimes and go, Ooh, that was terrible. Or whatev, you know, I’m, I’m my worst critic. Right. And sometimes I walk away and go, oh, that was good.

Michael Jamin (00:37:26):
Right. Because you’re just

Rick Negron (00:37:27):
Lost. I don’t pat myself on the back as often as I should. Uhhuh <affirmative>, I’m usually more critical of myself. And, you know, and now I try, I try to not beat myself up as much as I used to. I try to be a little kinder to myself, but yeah, I totally walk away sometimes going, oh, that was, that was not your best.

Michael Jamin (00:37:46):
<Laugh> <laugh>. And, and so these, these directors, like, what do they, what’s their job? Because they didn’t direct the show. The show has been choreographed. It’s been directed. Now they’re just jo they’re just there every night to make sure it doesn’t go off the rails.

Rick Negron (00:37:59):
Yeah. Pretty

Michael Jamin (00:38:00):
Much tune things.

Rick Negron (00:38:01):
Yeah. And the really good ones, like, like sh like our our resident director Sherry they’re there to keep it fresh. And so she’s constantly feeding you ideas. Hey, what, what if we do this? What if we do that? How about, how about, you know, and, and that’s, she, she’s great at bringing new ideas to something that we’ve been doing for four years,

Michael Jamin (00:38:27):
But I’m not sure how much I would wanna hear that if I were you. Like, you know what I’m saying? Like, oh, I love it. This is what I You love that.

Rick Negron (00:38:34):
I love it. I love trying new stuff. I love messing about with that pot that I’m creating. Oh, what about, why, why don’t you do a lip on, on, on the top? Oh, yeah, yeah. Do it. We’ll curl out the lip on the top. I’ve never done that before. Right. Why don’t we do that? You know, I did something a few months ago at the end of the song, the song I famously go, famously I should say the, the king famous famously says, and no, don’t change the subject. And he points at somebody in the audience and he gets, he, it’s a rare moment where he gets upset. Uhhuh <affirmative>. And that’s, and, and if you’ve seen the Disney Plus, Jonathan Gruff famously just spits all over the place. It just is, it’s, it’s an explosion of saliva. And it’s, it’s a brilliant moment. I think. I think his take on the king is, is wonderful and he sings it so well. And and I usually point, they want you to usually point in sort of the same area of the, you can point anywhere, but they, they usually take point over here. And I always point over there, and one night, man, this is maybe about four or five months ago, one night at the end of the song, I went, I went,

Michael Jamin (00:39:45):
I’m watching you

Rick Negron (00:39:46):
Uhhuh <affirmative>. Like, I pointed to my eyes and I pointed to that person who I had pointed to earlier in the song. And no, don’t change the subject as if that’s my one nemesis in the room. And I’m just saying, I’m watching you <laugh>. And it got such a reaction, right. That I kept it, it’s been my new little bit until I, until I decide I don’t want to, or until, you know, the associate director walks in and goes, you know what? I don’t like that thing that you do at the end, cut it. And I’m like, okay, it’s gone. Right. Well, think of something else. You know, unless there, there’s always, there’s always something right. That I can think of. And that’s, that’s the fun part that I can always improve it, I can always make it better. I can always have fun with it.

Michael Jamin (00:40:29):
Hey, it’s Michael Jamin. If you like my videos and you want me to email them to you for free, join my watch list. Every Friday I send out my top three videos. These are for writers, actors, creative types. You could unsubscribe whenever you want. I’m not gonna spam you and it’s absolutely free. Just go to michaeljamin.com/watchlist.

Michael Jamin (00:40:53):
I’m surprised you, I mean, I, I would wa I’m curious like, but you allowing yourself to watch, you know, Jonathan Grots version as opposed, you know, is that, are you, do you, you know, what’s that like, you know, cause character yours

Rick Negron (00:41:08):
Now. Yeah. I saw him do it originally on Broadway when I saw the show in previews. And then of course I saw him do the Disney Plus version. And then when we were in rehearsals in 2018 for our company, we were the third national tour to go out when we were in rehearsals, they said, oh, you you know, you can go stand back in the, at the back of the house at the Richard Rogers and watch the Broadway company. And at that point, the king was Ian I’m forgetting Ian’s last name, but he’s, I think he’s still the king right now. He’s been there for a long time. He’s brilliant. Uhhuh <affirmative> as the king. And I watched him play the King while I’m in rehearsals for the King. Right. And for me, I wish I could see all the kings really? Because really they all do something different. And, and you, and, and the stuff that’s really good. You wanna steal it, man. You wanna, but can you, I mean, love that,

Michael Jamin (00:42:00):
But can you

Rick Negron (00:42:00):
Take it from the best baby steal from the

Michael Jamin (00:42:02):
Best stuff from the best.

Rick Negron (00:42:04):
Interesting. Yes. I mean, you gotta make it your own. You can’t do the exact same thing. Right. But, but it, for me, it feeds me as an actor. I’m like, oh, what a cool idea. I should, I can do a version of that or Right. Or so. Oh, that makes me think of something else. You know, I, I I, yeah. I I love it. Do

Michael Jamin (00:42:20):
You get together and talk with the other kings at all? Yeah.

Rick Negron (00:42:23):
I’ve met the king that’s on on Zoom, actually. I haven’t met him in person, but the guy Peter Matthews who, who does the Angelica tour and he’s been doing it for a while. Most of the Kings. It’s a, it’s a nice gig. So yeah, you stick around right. As long as you, you know, want to, or as long as they’ll have you. Right. And Hamilton’s been really great about, you know, letting us stay. But Peter Peter’s really a funny guy and I haven’t gotten to see his king because obviously I’m doing it at another part of the country while he’s doing it. But I would love to see him play the King. Really. yeah. And Rory O’Malley, who played it here in la, he did the first national, he I think Tony Winter for book of Mormon. Fantastic guy. I met him in San Francisco when he came to see our company. I’d love to see his cane cuz he’s a great singer and, you know, everybody’s got their, their their take on him. And I, I find it fascinating to see what somebody does with, with this character.

Michael Jamin (00:43:25):
Right. Cuz there’s so much, there’s so much. Yeah. That’s so much how much constantly reinvented fun,

Rick Negron (00:43:29):
Fun role and,

Michael Jamin (00:43:30):
But by still, but you still gotta remain true to what the words are and what the intention of the words. But it still can be interpreted while still being true to those

Rick Negron (00:43:38):
Words. Which, which is the beauty of, of, of, of Hamilton and, and I give a lot of credit to the creative team, is that yes, you have to sing the words and sing the melody, but you get a lot of creative license to, to make it your own Uhhuh <affirmative>. And so if you see our company of Hamilton and then you see the Broadway company of Hamilton, it’s almost like two different shows. Right. It’s the same show. But because you have different actors in those roles, it’s pretty remarkable the difference in the companies.

Michael Jamin (00:44:10):
And tell me a little bit more about some of the other Broadway and traveling, because you’ve had such a resume, man, such a resume.

Rick Negron (00:44:17):
<Laugh>. Well, you know, I, I started back in the eighties as a, as a Chorus Boy and, and doing some really cool shows. Man La Mancha, the Goodbye Girl, the

Michael Jamin (00:44:27):
Goodbye

Rick Negron (00:44:27):
Girl leader of the Pack. I, I did, I did In The Heights on Broadway Right. For a couple of years. That’s when I, I actually did a workshop of In the Heights in 2005 with Li Manuel Miranda and the whole gang, and I got to meet them back then. So they’ve been good loyal friends since then. Yeah. And, and have kept me employed for many years. I hand, you know, hats off to them <laugh>. Oh, I do have hair by the way, but it was kinda messy. So I put on my, my hat. You

Michael Jamin (00:44:58):
Could have worn your wig, your powdered wig

Rick Negron (00:45:01):
<Laugh>. Oh yeah. I

Michael Jamin (00:45:02):
Used to wear, Hey, I’m always in character

Rick Negron (00:45:04):
<Laugh>. Yeah, A actually I have I’m, I have a few weeks off right now, which is why I’m home in la Right. Because we just did Hawaii and, and the show had to pack up and, and be put on the ship to come back to the us So they shipped, the show changed and that’s how we, how it got to Puerto Rico too, which is why it makes it kind of difficult to send those shows to the, the Islandss because they have to ship it.

Michael Jamin (00:45:29):
But even still, how long does it take to set up for them to build, you know, build the set?

Rick Negron (00:45:36):
Well the shipping of it took a, takes about two weeks.

Michael Jamin (00:45:40):
All right. But once you’re,

Rick Negron (00:45:41):
But then once it all gets there, our crew can, can put the set up in day and a half.

Michael Jamin (00:45:47):
Wow. Okay.

Rick Negron (00:45:48):
It’s, it’s like, it’s all been carefully crafted. It’s like Lincoln Logs, everything fits together, but

Michael Jamin (00:45:54):
Stages are different sizes. That’s what I don’t understand.

Rick Negron (00:45:57):
Well, they ahead of time, the, the production management and, and, and, and company management, they sit together and they go, okay, these are the cities that we’re doing, which is the smallest theater we’re in Uhhuh <affirmative>, that, those are our dimensions. We can’t, we can’t get bigger than that.

Michael Jamin (00:46:15):
But you can put a smaller on a bigger, on a stage, you can put a small,

Rick Negron (00:46:19):
Yeah, yeah. And the show, I mean, the show was made for the Richard Rogers, which is a pretty small theater. I mean, it’s an old 1920s Broadway theater, Uhhuh <affirmative>, that seats about 1300. So it’s pretty small. And the stage backstage is kind of small too. So most of the theaters that we do on, that we go to on the road are much bigger than the Richer Rogers. Okay. So they just, you know, they just do black baffling on the sides and just make it more of a letter box. And it works. It works. As long as we’re not in a place that’s smaller than our set. And some shows have what they call a jump set, which means that while we’re in one city, we have a, a second set that goes to the next city and gets built. And so that we close in, in Boise on a Sunday and we open in Salt Lake City on a, on a Tuesday, you know, but let’s say one day.

Michael Jamin (00:47:13):
But let’s say that you’re doing a dance number and the stage is this big and your’s, the dancer, you know. Okay. Six pace steps to get my next mark on a bigger stage. It’s, isn’t it more steps <laugh> or No,

Rick Negron (00:47:23):
No, no, because you’re, you’re, regardless of the size of the stage you are set. It remains the same.

Michael Jamin (00:47:30):
Okay. So no one will go out of that.

Rick Negron (00:47:32):
Yeah, no. Yeah. We’ll, we’ll we’ll never stretch it. Right. The set itself never gets stretched. If anything, the, the theater will come in with, with black you know what the, what they call the legs, those are, you know, a break a leg comes from

Michael Jamin (00:47:48):
No,

Rick Negron (00:47:48):
Literally they, you know, break a leg is good luck. But it literally means the legs are those black drapes that come down in the front and also in each wing.

Michael Jamin (00:47:59):
Okay. So

Rick Negron (00:47:59):
When you, when you, when you go on stage, sometimes you have to move that drapery to get on stage or to, if you’re gonna go in front of the, the, the in front of the curtain, you, you, you move it with your arm, you break the leg.

Michael Jamin (00:48:15):
So you’re not, so you’re not literally break. Okay. So you’re,

Rick Negron (00:48:18):
You’re not literally breaking the leg, you’re not breaking anything. Parting, parting the drapery to go on stage.

Michael Jamin (00:48:23):
Oh. So this is very interesting. This is gonna be, yeah.

Rick Negron (00:48:25):
Yeah. It’s a little theater trivia for Yeah. The, the folks out there.

Michael Jamin (00:48:30):
Fascinating. Now. Okay, so on a regular day, you go to a town, your new, your your new city or whatever, and they give you a per diem to Yeah. Goodbye lunch and get out apartment

Rick Negron (00:48:42):
Diem. The union sets a weekly per diem. And that is for you to spend as you wish. Uhhuh, <affirmative>. And then also company management way ahead of time will say we have three or four different hotels that we’ve negotiated a special deal for and choose which one you want to stay in. And these are the prices and these are the amenities and people choose from that list of hotels. But a lot of people nowadays are doing Airbnb, especially on a tour where you sit in a city for four weeks, five weeks, six weeks. The shortest stays we’ve ever had have been two weeks. But we’ve, we’ve done six weeks. And so a lot of people do Airbnbs cuz you have a kitchen and you have a washer dryer and more, you know. But is

Michael Jamin (00:49:26):
It, is staying in a hotel more fun? Is that dorm living, is that more fun for the cast?

Rick Negron (00:49:31):
Some, no, I don’t think it’s more fun for them. Some stay in the hotel cuz it’ll be right next to the theater. And that’s convenient. Yeah. Especially if we are in Denver and it’s seven degrees outside. Being, you know, li living right near the theater is really cool when it’s, when the weather’s bad. But most people, a lot of people nowadays, they’re getting Airbnbs and they’re rooming together. So three or four people can get a really cool house.

Michael Jamin (00:49:57):
But I’m picturing <laugh>

Rick Negron (00:50:00):
And, and they save money because they’re rooming together. Right. So, you know, the rent, their ability to pay rent, I mean now they can use their per diem to live on, not just for their place to stay. They can

Michael Jamin (00:50:12):
Have you shared, have you shared apartments or No. Does the king, does the king have his own place now?

Rick Negron (00:50:16):
<Laugh>, I’m too old to have roommates. You’re too

Michael Jamin (00:50:18):
That crap.

Rick Negron (00:50:18):
I had roommates in my twenties and thirties. I’m done. But the only roommate I have is my wife. And Cause

Michael Jamin (00:50:24):
You’re right.

Rick Negron (00:50:24):
But she’s not really my roommate. So

Michael Jamin (00:50:26):
My like, my naive opinion of what it must be like is like in high school when you’re in the play it’s like, you know, or even at a high school, you know, community, you are like, Hey, it’s the, we’re all the, it’s the group, we’re the gang, we’re doing everything together. But once you become a pro, that’s not the way it is. Huh? It’s not like

Rick Negron (00:50:45):
It is at first it is, it’s the honeymoon phase

Michael Jamin (00:50:49):
Real. Okay. Where you’re like hanging out together

Rick Negron (00:50:51):
Where we all just meet and Oh, I know that person. We did a show together a long time ago. And so we become a little bit of a clique and then the, the cliques start happening early on. But we’re one big happy family. Right. And we have opening night parties and you know, and all that occurs early on. But then the clicks really start creating Right. You know, the, the peop certain people start to hang out together. We had the, an our, our company’s called an Peggy cuz each separate tour has a different name. There’s the Angelica tour, the Philip Tour. These are characters in the show. Right. And Peggy is the third Skylar sister. So we became the third company. So we are called the An Peggy tour and we’re, and there’s a group of us we’re called the, an Peggy Alpine Club. And literally, literally a bunch of us who like to hike and, and do outdoorsy stuff. We went snowboarding and skiing a lot in the winter. We, a lot of us got scuba cert certified for our Hawaii stay. Wow. And we’ve done incredible hikes all over the place. So that’s our little clique. But also, you know, people that have, are married and right on tour together or have ki there’s a few people that have kids on tour. They get together a lot.

Michael Jamin (00:52:07):
So and they bring their fam, they bring their kids on onto tour with them.

Rick Negron (00:52:10):
Yes. There’s some people that do that. Yes. But some, some, some

Michael Jamin (00:52:16):
Like little kids are like high school age. Like you can’t be like a high school-aged kid.

Rick Negron (00:52:20):
No. Most, most of ’em have young kids. You gotta understand. I, I’m working with a bunch of 20 and 30 year olds. Right. And I’m the oldest guy by far in, in, in, in, in the, in the company.

Michael Jamin (00:52:30):
What’s that like being the oldest guy in the company?

Rick Negron (00:52:33):
Oh, I love it. Love. I used to be the youngest guy then I was, you know, in the same age as everybody. I love it because I as a king too. I, I have plenty of time to sort of mentor everybody. Yeah. And so I’ve become a little bit of, I, I’m the cheerleader. I check in on everyone and say, how you doing? I’m, I used to be a ma massage, massage therapist. So a anytime peop people are having issues. I, I’m close friends with our, our physical therapist that tours with us. So we work on people sometimes together in tandem.

Michael Jamin (00:53:03):
What is it they’re worried? What is it they want mentoring at the, the career strategy? Like what, you

Rick Negron (00:53:08):
Know, that this career strategy, sometimes it’s just dealing with personalities in theater sometimes there’s some, some headbutting. Um-Huh. <affirmative> sometimes people are just having problems with a, a particular, an understudies having a problem with a new character that they’re understudying or, you know, there’s issues on stage with somebody who doesn’t quite know where they’re supposed to stand at a certain point. Right. And all that is internal stuff that should be worked out with the dance captains and the stage management and, and the resident director. But you know, unfortunately, actors, you know, we have huge egos and, and they’re also very fragile egos. And so there’s a, a, a bit of nuance involved and people get their, their panties in a twist. And I’m, I’m usually the guy that comes around and, and talks people off the ledge sometimes. And

Michael Jamin (00:54:02):
I would imagine we be very hard even, especially for the new guy or the new woman coming in, you

Rick Negron (00:54:06):
Know? Yeah. And I, I I, I, I tend to be the welcome wagon too. Right. You’re the new ones. Come on, I’m the king. You know, I’ll show you the ropes.

Michael Jamin (00:54:13):
Wow.

Rick Negron (00:54:14):
So, so that’s, I, I like taking that mantle, not just because I’m the king, but also because I’m sort of the senior member of the Right. And I’ve been around the block and people have asked me, you know, I’m sick and tired of show business. I want to do something else. And I’m like, you know, that’s, I hear that I’ve, I’ve had that conversation many, many times in my career.

Michael Jamin (00:54:34):
Interesting. So why, yeah. I would think, see, right, you’ve made the touring company of Hamilton, it’s pretty much the peak, you know, like, you know, for

Rick Negron (00:54:41):
A lot of ’em want to do Broadway. So they’re, you know, they’re still focused on doing that Broadway show. And some of them have done Broadway, have done the tour, and, you know, they wanna settle down and meet somebody and have a Right.

Michael Jamin (00:54:53):
So they want to, is that, is that what the problem is? They, you know, they’re done with the business. What, what’s the problem?

Rick Negron (00:55:00):
Well, I mean, you know, you, we’ve got the new kids who are just starting out who wanna know about, you know, how do I get my, my foot in Broadway? You know, and there’s those kids, and then they’re the ones that have been around for a while who wanna maybe transition out of, out of the business and, and want some there was one girl who was interested in massage therapy. Oh, wow. And I said, you wanna become ao? Okay. Well, this is what you need to do. And matter of fact the union has something called what is it called? Career Transition for Dancers, which is a, a, a program where you can get grants to do some further education. So if you wanna learn how to be a massage coach, wow. Get a grant through the union. And, you know, I know some of this stuff so I can impart some of that knowledge. And for the young kids who, you know, I wanna get on Broadway, I’m like, okay, well, to get on Broadway, you have to be in New York. And while you’re on tour, you know, can’t do that. It’s hard to get into that audition for that Broadway show. But

Michael Jamin (00:55:57):
Are you still in those circles? I mean, it seems like you, I don’t know. It seems like you must know. I don’t know. You’re, I, I guess I’m completely wrong. If you were you know, a dancer on the touring company, Hamilton seems like it wouldn’t be that hard to, to find out about an audition on Broadway. And certainly wouldn’t be that hard to get a job, because you’re obviously really good.

Rick Negron (00:56:18):
Yeah. and we’ve had a few people leave our tour to go do a Broadway, Broadway show. I mean, actually, we just lost like two or three people to, one Girl is doing Bad Cinderella. She left our show to Do Bad Cinderella, which is a new Broadway show, a new Andrew League Webber show. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Another guy just left our show to do the, the Candor Nbb, New York, New York that’s opening on Broadway soon. So that does happen luckily with the advent of auditioning remotely via video that’s helped things out a lot nowadays, so that if you’re in Portland on tour, you can send in an audition via video for something back in New York.

Michael Jamin (00:57:02):
Even dancing. You can, like, you pull the camera back and you do some dance steps. I mean,

Rick Negron (00:57:06):
Is that what you do? Yeah. Or sing a song or, or, or, or read a scene. Okay. depending on what’s needed. And sometimes you, you are able to take a personal day and fly back to New York and audition for something. Right? Yeah.

Michael Jamin (00:57:23):
Cause I would think, and I, I don’t know. Obviously, I don’t know it, I would think that if you’re in Ham, the touring company of Hamilton, you’re practically on Broadway and it’s like, it’s almost the same circles, except this is where the job is, you know?

Rick Negron (00:57:34):
True. But if you’ve been on tour for a year, you’d like to settle down and stop living out of a suitcase. I It’s

Michael Jamin (00:57:39):
Hard to be on the road.

Rick Negron (00:57:40):
Yeah. Or you’ve been doing Hamilton for a while and you just wanna do something different. Yeah. There’s those, those kids, you know, they’re hungry, they wanna do different stuff. Yeah. They don’t wanna be on tour on Hamilton for four years like I have, but I’ve done a lot of stuff and

Michael Jamin (00:57:53):
Yeah. What, let’s talk about what other, what, yeah, let’s talk about some other, we, we, I think we got off track of your other Broadway shows and, and Off Broadway and not touring shows, rather.

Rick Negron (00:58:01):
Well, you know, I started, I started out young in the biz at 10 cuz my mom was a drama teacher. And then I sort of worked my way through community theater and children’s theater and all that. And, and then I was a concert dancer in college and studied for who? Well, I, in college I studied modern dance in, in ballet. But when I got outta college, I, I was an intern at, with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, briefly Uhhuh <affirmative>, until I realized this is a lot of hard work and very little money.

Michael Jamin (00:58:30):
Right.

Rick Negron (00:58:31):
And all my friends that were doing Broadway shows were making, back in 1985, Broadway minimum was $750 a week. Right. And the dancers in the Paul Taylor Dance Company were at that time in 1985 or maybe making 500, 600 a week. Right. They’re making less. Right. And, you know, that’s just the economics of the dance world. But, you know, the Broadway kids were making more money. Right. And, and I always wanted, I sang and I always, that’s really where I wanted to be. So yeah. I ended up booking a a a a jukebox musical in 85 called Leader of the Pack. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And it’s funny, you know, when, if you’ve worked in the business as long as I have, there’s people that you meet along the way who go to you, who later on in life become super famous. So Right.

(00:59:23):
The vocal arranger for the Leader of the Pack is a guy named Mark Shaman who went on to write Hairspray. Right. And Catch Me if you Can. And Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and his new show on Broadway is God, I almighty what’s some Like It Hot is his new show on Broadway. Uhhuh. So Mark Shame is an old friend of mine who I’ve known forever. Wow. You know who, who started way back then, my dance captain in my second Broadway show which was the mystery of Evan Drew was Rob Marshall. So he went on to direct Chicago the movie, and Into the Woods the movie. And But you were in nine. Yeah, I was in Chicago. The movie. I, I was lucky. That was a very odd thing. I had worked with him on a version of Annie Uhhuh <affirmative> for Disney. It’s, it’s not the old Carol Burnett film Annie, it’s Disney TV version of Annie that they did with Victor Garber. Yes.

Michael Jamin (01:00:21):
Because we, we owned the, we watched that a million times cuz we had the

Rick Negron (01:00:25):
Vhs Oh. One of the dancers in it. And that was Mar Rob Marshall’s first directorial big, big directorial job. And from the success of that is they took a, they took a leap of faith with him and, and gave him Chicago the movie, which, you know, went on to win the Oscar. Yeah. It was amazing. Yeah. And so I got, I got to work on, on that film. And what else did a really, another big bomb called Legs Diamond that closed the Mark Keller forever. Right. became a, a, a church after that. I did Man Lamancha with Row Julia on Broadway as I did the Goodbye Girl, which was another big bomb musical. It was starring Bernadette Peters and Martin Short, who were both brilliant in it, but it was just a misguided musical. Right. We thought it was gonna be a huge success because it was Jean Sachs, the guy that directed all Aneal Simons Crazy.

(01:01:21):
Broadway was a director, and Marvin Hamish did the music. And GRA Daniel you know, an incredible choreographer was doing the, we thought it was gonna be this huge hit and it was not <laugh>. It was, and that just happens sometimes these big musicals, you think they’re going to do incredibly well and they don’t. Right. But after Goodbye Girl, I think that’s when I moved to LA and, and met my wife, I, I wanted to delve into the TV and film world. And then I went back and did a tour of Man Lamancha with Robert Gole and great stories about that. Right. And then and then I was always in the chorus and understudying the lead. And then finally I thought, you know, I’m, I, I need to be a lead. And I remember I was in LA and I got a phone call from a, a director choreographer named Sergio Tuhi, who choreographed Jersey Boys.

(01:02:14):
And he won the Tony Award recently for Aint Too Proud and wonderful old friend of mine. He, he danced in Chicago, the movie with me. And he called me Outta the Blue and he said, Hey Rick, I’m working on this workshop for this, this is 2005. I’m working on this little workshop called In The Heights. And we’re doing a workshop at the O’Neill Center in New London, Connecticut, which is where all of August Wilson’s plays were workshop there. And at the time, in the Heights got the producers of Rent and Avenue Queue to back ’em. And they had workshop both those shows at the O’Neill Center. So he said, is that the O’Neil? I’m like, oh, no money Workshop gig in

Michael Jamin (01:02:52):
New, is it literally a no money workshop gig? Is that what that workshop, it’s literally no money. No money. There’s,

Rick Negron (01:02:57):
Nowadays the union has some workshops where you get a little bit of a stipend, you know, it’s a little bit of money, but

Michael Jamin (01:03:03):
A work, explain what a

Rick Negron (01:03:04):
Workshop. But back in those days, workshops are no money.

Michael Jamin (01:03:06):
But explain what a workshop is. It’s this, it’s,

Rick Negron (01:03:08):
So Workshop is you have a new piece of, of theater and whether it’s a straight play or a musical, and you’re, it’s not, it’s not baked, it’s not ready yet. And so the creative team will take it to a theater, Uhhuh <affirmative> or will just workshop it in a rehearsal room and literally bring in actors and listen to it, work on it over the period of, of a week maybe,

Michael Jamin (01:03:32):
But with, but there’s an, they they have an audience though, right.

Rick Negron (01:03:35):
Sometimes at the end of the workshop, they’ll do a presentation and it’ll be what we call, you know, books in hand sometimes because you didn’t have enough time to Uhhuh <affirmative> to get off book. You know, no sets, no costumes. Oh,

Michael Jamin (01:03:47):
Okay.

Rick Negron (01:03:48):
Sometimes you do it with like a music stand in front of you, or you do maybe a little bit of choreography to give it an idea of what the dancing will be like. Some short workshops take weeks, some usually only a week. But

Michael Jamin (01:04:03):
So they expect you to come fly there, put yourself up.

Rick Negron (01:04:07):
Well, they put, they put us up at the O’Neil. Okay. They put us up at, at, it was some college dorm <laugh>, right outside, you know, like Connecticut College. I forget where we were staying. Right. But it was probably then, the only reason I said yes was because Sergio Trujillo sent me a, a CD of the Music of In the Heights. And when I heard it, I said, this is fantastic. Right. I gotta be a part of this. Right. And luckily, I said, yes, I got you know, I got to know to Connecticut. I worked on it. I gotta meet all those people. And I knew some of the actors from other jobs that I had done, and it was a wonderful experience. And these are friends that I, you know, I’ve had now for many, many years. And, you know, young Lemon or Miranda back then, fresh outta college now, he’s like this megastar soon to be egot. I think

Michael Jamin (01:04:59):
He was fresh outta college when he, when he did that.

Rick Negron (01:05:01):
Yeah. In the Heights. Was this college was this college like project, a senior project? Yeah.

Michael Jamin (01:05:07):
I see. I don’t even understand how that, how, how someone of all the, of all the things to become a playwright for Broadway, like that almost seems like the craziest, forget about being a screenwriter. Like that sounds even more far-fetched. Like how many, there’s three jobs, you know? Yeah,

Rick Negron (01:05:24):
Yeah. It it’s kind of crazy. And I mean kudos to his, to his parents who sort of, you know, they had those Broadway albums in the house, you know? Right. He marinated. And, and, and I think when he saw Rent was the thing that like, oh, you know, Jonathan Larson was the, was the big catalyst in him that said, I can do that. Right. You know, and, and he went to college and, and realized that if I’m gonna make it, I have to write my way out. And it’s similar, it’s similar to, I think he has that in common with Hamilton, you know, that in order to find success, he had to write his own project that was in the Heights.

Michael Jamin (01:06:03):
Right. He had to

Rick Negron (01:06:04):
Write, and, you know, and, and how did Hamilton get out of his situation? He wrote this incredible thing on, on this hurricane that hit the islands. And that’s, that’s how he was sent to New York,

Michael Jamin (01:06:13):
Encouraging for, to

Rick Negron (01:06:14):
Writes. And that’s the connection he made with Hip Hop. He said, when he read that, when he read Hamilton the book, he said Hamilton wrote his way out of his situation the same way a rapper writes his way out of poverty into success. Right. And then he made that connection, which was brilliant. And, you know, when we heard about the, the idea we were doing Heights, when he came back from rehearsal after reading the, the book, and he said, I’m gonna write a musical about Alexander, a rap musical about Alexander Hamilton. And we were

Michael Jamin (01:06:41):
Like, right.

Rick Negron (01:06:42):
Wait, what

Michael Jamin (01:06:43):
<Laugh> and how many, how how long were you on in, in, in, in the Heights? How, you know?

Rick Negron (01:06:50):
So I wasn’t the original guy that they, that they chose for Broadway. At the time I did audition for the Broadway company. There were other guys that had done other workshops. Yeah. And John Herrera had done most of the workshops and he did off Broadway. But for whatever reason, they decided to re-audition for the Broadway company. And they chose a guy named Carlos Gomez, who’s actually a friend of mine. Wonderful. stage in in screen actor. He’s done a lot of TV in film lives here in la. And they told me, Rick, we love you, but we think you look too young to play the role. They were kind of straight up with me. Right. And I said, okay, I get that. Fine. And then literally after that I got my first lead role in a musical, which was one of the, the dads in Mamma Mia in Vegas, right?

(01:07:42):
Yeah. Play Sam Carmichael, who, who sing It’s the Pierce brazen role in the, in the film. And while I was doing a Mamma m in Vegas in the Heights was happening off Broadway. And then it went to Broadway. And Carlos unfortunately lost his voice about eight months into the, the Run. And he, you know, he, he, they had to replace him. And I fortunately auditioned yet again and got the, and got the job and ended up doing Broadway for two years. And my incredible wife moved out to New York with me for, for the second year that I was there.

Michael Jamin (01:08:22):
It’s hard, it’s hard that the life of a theatrical actor is,

Rick Negron (01:08:25):
Dude, when my niece told me she wanted to do this, I said, are you sure

Michael Jamin (01:08:31):
<Laugh>?

Rick Negron (01:08:31):
But it’s not easy. You gotta, it’s gotta be the thing that gets you up in the morning. It’s gotta be the thing that gets you through all that rejection and all the, the time you spend on the unemployment line.

Michael Jamin (01:08:42):
But do you think it’s harder to be just the harder to be a theatrical actor as opposed to a film or television? I mean, do you think that world is just harder?

Rick Negron (01:08:49):
No, no. I think they’re both hard in their own way. Uhhuh <affirmative>, they’re both super difficult. And I mean, it’s the life of an artist, you know, dancers, you know, it’s, that’s hard. Being a visual artist, being a writer. I mean, how do you get started as a writer? How do you get that job? How do you get into that to be on a TV show the way you have? I mean, but that’s hard.

Michael Jamin (01:09:13):
I, yeah. But I, I still think there’s, of all the three, I think it’s crazier to be an actor. Like in terms of it’s harder. Like you’re, you, there’s more,

Rick Negron (01:09:20):
It’s more subjective.

Michael Jamin (01:09:22):
Well, but you’re on a show, if you’re a writer, you’ll be on a show for the whole season. Right. Okay. Right. So if you’re an actor, you might be on one episode now, now you gotta find another job again.

Rick Negron (01:09:30):
Yeah, yeah. You’re constantly looking for work. You’re, yeah. You know, and you talk to any actor, successful actor out there, and they’ll tell you, they get more nos and yeses.

Michael Jamin (01:09:39):
Oh sure,

Rick Negron (01:09:40):
Sure. You know, it’s a ton of rejection. You can’t take it personally. You know, and there’s, there’s videos of, of great actors saying, you know, it changed for me when I, when success was not about getting the job, success was about preparing for the audition and doing a good job in the audition. And if I did a great job at the audition, I’m successful. If I got the job, that’s icing on the cake. Yeah. Once you make that shift, then the rejection and the nose stop crushing your soul.

Michael Jamin (01:10:11):
Yeah. Right. Yeah. It’s, it’s hard. That’s, it’s great advice. I hear it a lot. It’s, yeah. I think it’s like, it’s a mandatory, yeah. So then, so what will be next? Cause I what will be next for you? What, I mean, <laugh>, like do you think about that?

Rick Negron (01:10:24):
Are you kidding? Constantly. Especially now that I know the tour is ending. Because the, the tough part is for me specifically, is that I, I, I’m at a certain age now where there’s less roles, there’s

Michael Jamin (01:10:38):
Less roles. And it’s also, there’s also being, the dancing part is very physical. It’s like being a professional athlete’s. No. You know, it’s,

Rick Negron (01:10:45):
Oh, I, I hung up my capos a long time ago. I Oh,

Michael Jamin (01:10:49):
So you won’t even try that. You won’t even

Rick Negron (01:10:50):
Not as a dancer. I mean, I mean, if, if there’s a role where I need to dance, right, I will dance of course. But I mean, my dancing ability is, is not what it was number one. You know, I don’t take dance classes anymore. I’m, I’m physically fit, but I can’t do what I used to do in my twenties and thirties. Right. Or even forties for that matter. But the, the thing for me now is that, you know, I’m, I’m living a very sort of odd reality of being a theater actor living in La <laugh>. Yeah. So I’m, you know, I have six months to sort of put my, my feelers out there. Part of that is that when, when you have a year contract, agents aren’t gonna send you on an audition. Right. You know, because you’re kind of tied up. Unless it’s a one-off or a very short thing where you can take, and, and Hamilton famously or infamously lets us take time off to do other things. They’re very kind that way. So that’s why we also have many understudies, cuz people do go take a week off to do a workshop or take a week off to, to shoot a, a TV show. Our, our Aaron Burr Donald Weber has a reoccurring on severance right now. Oh. So he took time off to, to, to shoot that once while we were on the road.

Michael Jamin (01:12:12):
Do you? Wow. That’s so fa that’s so interesting. But yeah,

Rick Negron (01:12:15):
I’m separate. But now that we have like that six months and it’s gonna end, now we can start putting wood on the fire for the next thing and start auditioning for something down the line.

Michael Jamin (01:12:28):
Do you have a separate agent for, for theatrical versus film and television? Or is it all one agent?

Rick Negron (01:12:33):
Most people do. Most people have somebody across the, that represents them across the board. Uhhuh, <affirmative> some, you know, it depends on the size of the agency you’re with. Right. I’m currently don’t have an agent. I sort of took a hiatus from the biz after in the Heights Uhhuh <affirmative>. And then Hamilton brought me back in to the biz. Right. So to speak. And so I didn’t have an agent and got called directly. Still had to audition, but called, got called directly cuz I know, I know everybody involved. And and so I haven’t had to pay 10% Yahoo. But I’m I’m gonna be c knocking on some doors and making some phone calls cuz you know, I will be needing an agent to Right. Remove the needle once this job ends. Yeah.

Michael Jamin (01:13:25):
The life of a, it, it’s so fa to me it’s like it really is. It’s more, it’s so, it’s in a way it’s more interesting than like a television or, you know, film actor. Cuz I, I kind of know that world, but this world I know nothing of. But it’s made so, it’s so exciting cuz there’s nothing like, there’s nothing like good theater. It’s just not the same.

Rick Negron (01:13:43):
Yeah. It’s a whole nother animal. And I, it it’s, it really is. You know, cuz you can make magic with film and tv. There’s magic there, but there’s a certain kind of magic with a live audience. Yeah. And a live performance doing it from beginning to end. Yep. That you, you, you can’t, there’s, it’s just, you can’t find it anywhere else. There’s, there’s that symbiotic thing between audience and, and, and actor. Just Yeah. It’s, it’s a drug. And, and I’ve been hooked on it for a really long time. <Laugh>,

Michael Jamin (01:14:19):
You know, one thing I’ve said is that, you know, whatever, I like a TV show and be seen by a couple millions of people, or maybe less now cuz every no one watches because the audience is so fra with maybe a couple hundred thousand people. But to me, and that’s great and I’ll in it’s fun, but to stage something in a theater full of 50 people, like, I don’t know. There’s something really intoxicating about that, that you do not get from making a television show.

Rick Negron (01:14:46):
And as a creative person, as a writer, Uhhuh <affirmative>, like the creative, the creators of Hamilton, they keep changing it. After the pandemic, they changed the choreography for the the number that starts Act two, which is what did I Miss? Uhhuh, which is when Jefferson comes back from pa from France and, and joins the new fledgling government of the United States. And the original choreography had the dancers were sort of like servants and very subservient to Jefferson. And, and Sally his famous partner who was a slave but was his partner, I’m forgetting her last name at the moment, but people out there in the podcast are screaming her last name now. Right. but he, there was a moment Choreographically where she was subservient to him. And after the pandemic and what happened with the social justice movement after George Floyd, they decided to change the dynamic between the quote unquote servant slaves in the scene with Jefferson and make it less subservient and more supportive and not so much bowing to

Michael Jamin (01:16:01):
Jefferson, but if they make any changes like that, do they have to run it by Lynn? I mean Oh,

Rick Negron (01:16:06):
Yeah. Yeah. That the whole team gets together and they talk about it and they had meetings. Right, right. And and Lynn has always tinkered within the heon. He’s still tinkering with Hamilton. Not huge changes, but some small subtle changes. I remember when we went to to Canada they changed, we Hawkin because Canadians don’t know where Wee Hawkin is.

Michael Jamin (01:16:29):
Oh

Rick Negron (01:16:29):
Really? Yeah. So they said new, you know, he said New Jersey, or they just changed the lyric so that it would make better sense for the Canadians.

Michael Jamin (01:16:40):
Oh, wow.

Rick Negron (01:16:40):
Yeah. They did that in a couple of moments. I think we, Hawkin was one of them. In

Michael Jamin (01:16:45):
It almost feels sacro now that you said that. I, I always Oh no. Like cuz it’s like, but you can’t change it. <Laugh>. Yeah. Like you can’t change.

Rick Negron (01:16:52):
That’s the beauty of it, you know, film, it’s done. It’s, you know, that’s it. You can’t change it. But they can keep tinkering with, with, with a piece as long as they want to.

Michael Jamin (01:17:00):
Right.

Rick Negron (01:17:00):
They can keep making it better, which is what I get to do. <Laugh>.

Michael Jamin (01:17:03):
Right. It’s so fascinating. It really is

Rick Negron (01:17:06):
Such a writer. That’s kind of cool.

Michael Jamin (01:17:09):
You

Rick Negron (01:17:10):
Can, you can rewrite until until the day you die.

Michael Jamin (01:17:12):
<Laugh>. But that’s, and that’s, but you see, that’s the problem. At some point you have to let it go and move on to your next piece. And so what you’re saying, it doesn’t appeal to me actually

Rick Negron (01:17:21):
<Laugh>,

Michael Jamin (01:17:22):
Like, you know, it’s so tempting to, but no, you have to let it go now. It’s, you know. Yeah.

Rick Negron (01:17:27):
But because you could drive yourself crazy. Yeah.

Michael Jamin (01:17:30):
Right. Yeah. Right.

Rick Negron (01:17:32):
So true. So true. I, I was gonna tell you another story, which is pretty great. When I met Lynn for the first time during that workshop of In The Heights, I, I, I don’t, I don’t usually come out and say, oh, I was in this, or I wasn’t that. I’m not one of those actors. I, I sort of let stories come out on their own and I don’t toot my horn horn too much, but I, I, I think I, I let it drop that I was in the bad video and Lynn’s eyes like became why the sausage goes, you are in the bad video with Michael Jackson. I said, yes, I am. And he goes, wait one second. And literally, he, we were in lunch someplace at the cafeteria at the O’Neill Center, and he gets into the, the rental car he had, who, who runs to, I don’t know, Walmart, target, whatever, the closest place he buys the D V d.

(01:18:27):
He comes back, he puts it into his laptop because in those days, yeah. You play a DVD d on your laptop and he, and he po he goes, okay, where are you in the video pointing out to me? And then, so I’m pointing him out, oh, here I am next to Michael in this moment. And there I am. I jump over the turnstile there and All right. And oh man. And then we did like 20 takes of this one scene in one take. I did the funky chicken and, and the minute I did it, I regretted it. And I’m like, oh, hopefully that won’t be the take they used. Yeah. Well, of course that is the take they used. I can be seen doing the Funky Chicken Right. Sort of next to Michael at a moment. And I pointed that out to Lynn. So cut two, that’s 2005 cut to, I take over the role of The Dead and in the HAI on Broadway.

(01:19:17):
This is about eight months after they win the Tony Award for Best Musical. And it’s my, I I’ve rehearsed for a week. It’s not a huge role. I kind of knew it. I just rehearsed to get the, the, the staging. And it’s my debut. I don’t know what day of the week it was, but my first time on stage on Broadway doing this role. And I do my first entrance and I walk in and I go, good morning, us and Manuel Miranda looks at me and goes [inaudible] Oh no, he does the funky chicken in his res first response to me at the top of the show. How funny. And I just looked at him like, oh, you,

Michael Jamin (01:19:58):
You Dick <laugh>, you <laugh>.

Rick Negron (01:20:02):
That’s, he knew, he knew I was enough of a professional to take it in, like, you know, take, take it on the chin and, and, and keep going. And but you know, that’s, that’s a kind of fun Oh, wow. Loving, you know, always playful guy that, that I’ve gotten to love and adore. And he’s, he really is a prince in, in the biz. He early on gave me, coined me the first Puerto Rican king. He was in an inter, he was doing an interview with cbs morning show. And, and we were going to Puerto Rico, and he goes, oh, yeah. And then Rick Negron, who’s our first Puerto Rican king. And and since then, that’s my Instagram account. I saw Puerto Rican King. Yeah. <laugh>.

Michael Jamin (01:20:42):
You know what, and I’ll people should follow you there. What? Yeah. Gi give your, give your Instagram ham. Oh,

Rick Negron (01:20:47):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m at one, the number one St. Puerto Rican king all together now lower case. And that’s sort of my, yeah. My king account. I’ve got some great adventures on the road there posted, I did some really cool scuba diving stuff in Hawaii that I posted, you know, night diving with Man Rays.

Michael Jamin (01:21:08):
Oh my God.

Rick Negron (01:21:08):
In Kona. Some great hikes in, in Banff are, are there and, and, and some interviews with some of the cast members. And I’m, I’m gonna actually start interviewing some of the crew members too, so people can get an idea of what it’s like backstage and what the prop, the head of the props does in Hamilton and what the

Michael Jamin (01:21:26):
That’s a great idea.

Rick Negron (01:21:27):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, I act, I truly been tooling around with it for a while. And one of the, one of our Hamiltons that recently left the show, Julius, he, he did, he did it with one of our lighting people. He did a whole, like, backstage interviewing.

Michael Jamin (01:21:41):
Oh, great. He

Rick Negron (01:21:42):
Did a great job with with our friend Rachel. Yeah.

Michael Jamin (01:21:46):
Wow. Well, that’s a perfect place to, Rick, thank you so much. I’ve taken up a lot of your time. Unfortunately, not at all. Some of it was wasted

Rick Negron (01:21:53):
<Laugh>, dude, I can, I can, I can talk to the cows. Come home, as you know. So <laugh>

Michael Jamin (01:21:58):
Thank you for opportunity. Thank you so much. This is just so eye-opening to me. I just had, you know, again, I’m interested in awe, I’m in awe of your career of what you’ve done. Thank

Rick Negron (01:22:08):
You.

Michael Jamin (01:22:08):
And so I want to continue thank, obviously continue following as a fan. So, well,

Rick Negron (01:22:12):
You know, and I, you know, I wish you the best of luck with all your future projects. I know you’re working on a book and mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and, and you have that show and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. I can’t wait to be in the, in the house one day when you’re doing your show, and I can watch

Michael Jamin (01:22:26):
Yeah. When you’re in town.

Rick Negron (01:22:28):
Yeah. But I’m in town. I’ll be back in August.

Michael Jamin (01:22:30):
<Laugh>, you’ll be back. Oh, thank you again, Rick. And I’m gonna, I’ll stop, but, but hang on. I’ll, I’ll thank you again properly you know, pub privately. All right, everyone, thank you so much. Thanks for listening. This was an interesting talk for more, you know, hang on next week while we’ll, we’ll have somebody as well. Thanks for listening. Okay. Until the next one, keep writing.

Phil Hudson (01:22:51):
This has been an episode of Screenwriters. Need to Hear This with Michael Jamin and Phil Hudson. If you’d like to support this podcast, please consider subscribing, leaving your review and sharing this podcast with someone who needs to hear today’s subject. For free daily screenwriting tips, follow Michael on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @MichaelJaminWriter. You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @PhilAHudson. This episode was produced by Phil Hudson and edited by Dallas Crane. Until next time, keep writing.

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Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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