I’m extremely humbled and excited to announce that I will be making my professional theater stage debut as the lead role in an equity production of The Royale on the Gables Stage at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida May 28-June 26, 2016.
The Royale is inspired by the story of boxer Jack Johnson who became the first African American Heavyweight Champion of the World at the height of the Jim Crow/Reconstruction era in the United States. He was the most famous and notorious black man on planet Earth in his time. With a combination of rapid-fire dialogue and rhythmic percussion it depicts the epic journey of one mans quest for fame, no matter the consequence.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office 305-445-1119 or online: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/473/1462075200000
Performances are Thursday & Friday at 8 pm: $45
Saturday at 8 pm: $60
Sunday at 2 pm: $55
Sunday at 7 pm: $45
Additional convenience fee of $3.00 per ticket for single ticket purchasers. This covers all applicable credit card and ticket service provider charges.
The writer/creator of the play is Marco Ramirez, a Miami native and Juilliard graduate. He has written for television shows Orange is the New Black, Sons of Anarchy, Daredevil, and more. This will be the 5th production of the show. It has previously played in Los Angeles, Chicago, London, and is currently playing at the Lincoln Center in New York City.
There is no doubt that this will be the biggest challenge of my professional career to date, if not my life. With that being said I am very humbled that esteemed director Joe Adler is giving me a shot at the title so to speak.
I know that I am prepared however thanks to being a proud Ongoing member of The Actors Workshop of South Florida under the direction of Jane Kelly for the past three plus years. I have taken several courses in preparation for this opportunity that include in Shakespeare, Monologue Study, Improvisation, Audition Techniques, Voice and Diction, and more. I was also growing increasingly frustrated by never really having the ability to spread my wings and showcase my talent consistently. I am extremely grateful for photoshoots, television commercials, and TV guest star roles also as they have prepared me on how to be comfortable in front of people as you do your craft. With that being said, I think these shows will finally allow me to show what I am really capable of.
Without Director Jane Kelly, this opportunity would not be possible. She has instilled in me the respect for the craft of acting and the respect for the fellow actor. She has given me insight into the tradition of acting and I am looking forward to paying it forward. There are no shortcuts to success and during my journey I have had many crossroads. I always research the success stories of my favorite actors and I realized that most of them have theater training on their resume. Once I realized and embraced this, I came to Jane Kelly in confidence and asked her to prepare me for theatrical auditions and we worked rigorously.
To even hope that I may fill the immense shoes in the role of Jack Johnson will take a tremendous amount of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual preparation.
During this era of the early 1900’s, white fighters would not fight black fighters for the title. The Galveston giant, aka Jack Johnson was born March 31, 1878 to former slave parents and took orders from nobody. He fought relentlessly to become the heavyweight champion of the world, a 14 year quest where he traveled the globe challenging his opponents to fight him.
At a time in North America, where the mere suspicion of a black man disrespecting a white man could result in immediate death and imprisonment, Jack Johnson not only survived, but thrived as he laughed at his opponents while beating them to within an inch of their life. The Royale, stems from the battle royal, a backroom spectacle where 6,8, or 10 black boys often blind folded, were set to punching one another while drunken white men jeered them on. The last one standing got the prize, usually a fistful of coins. This is how Jack Johnson got his start in boxing, and was often the last one standing.
Charismatic in and out of the ring, Jack Johnson liked fast money, fast cars, fast women, and slow gin. Independent and improvisational, Jack Johnson was a master showman that knew and proved that he was nothing less than an American legend.