BroadwayWorld in Omaha had a chance to sit down with one of the reigning queens of the highly anticipated national touring production of Six, Gabriela Carrillo , for an in-depth discussion about life, theater, and the particular smash hit musical that is making waves wherever it plays.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with BroadwayWorld in Omaha!
Was music a big part of your life growing up? When did you catch the theater bug?
Music was a huge part of my upbringing. Neither of my parents are professional musicians and I don’t really have any professional music artists in my family, but the brother is an actor and my late uncle is definitely an actor on my father’s side, so I guess the particular artistic bone kind associated with runs in the family members. But yeah… I grew up in the house full of music. My dad is from Mexico plus would play music within Spanish. I grew up listening to salsa and mariachi music, and folk songs from the 70s. My parents loved folk music and Americana. I was always encouraged plus drawn to songs and the arts. My parents were very encouraging. I had a wonderful upbringing where if I showed a passion for something, it was supported. I tried a lot of things in my childhood like soccer, swimming, Japanese painting, and violin. Certain things We fell away from because I wasn’t actually interested once I attempted them, but other things stuck with me. I started my first instrument, violin, when I was three. I began playing piano at eight and then guitar later. I always adored music, yet at age 8 I saw a community theatre audition announcement for Annie and I actually wanted to audition because that was one of my favorite movies ever as a child. My parents took me to the audition, plus I wanted it so bad. I didn’t want just any kind of role though… I desired Annie. We guess my father spoke to my mother that night when they were in bed and he said he don’t know if this production of Annie was going to hire the little Mexican girl to play Annie. He just didn’t want me personally to be disappointed. This individual didn’t know what they’re looking with regard to, but he knew that will I might not be it. And I understand he was trying to protect myself from people possibly not seeing me in roles like that. But anyway… I got Annie! That movie theater company, Music On Stage within Palatine Illinois, was great! Once I actually got Annie I continued to do shows with them and other community theater companies within my hometown.
Tell me personally a little regarding your journey to finding your place in the musical theatre world.
In high school I carried on with movie theater, and in college I studied music. I went to Berklee College associated with Music within Boston to study vocal performance and songwriting, and We minored in drama. So I did a little bit of everything. At that period I really needed to be a pop star. That has been my dream. I truly wished to be considered a mega pop star plus tour all over the world with songs that I actually wrote. I moved to LA to pursue that desire after college, and after We started getting involved within the pop scene there were just a lot of things that I felt frustrated by and experienced went against my morals. I had been asked to do certain things simply by lawyers or managers that will felt like it was going against our artistic integrity just in order to get famous or get attention. It was a culture of just trying to go viral, and that was tiring for myself. It really took the creativity as well as the joy out being an artist, and I actually had to step back. Theater was usually there for me. I had been initially doing it as a security thing cause We weren’t making a lot associated with money like a pop performer, but theater was there and I actually was booking theater and it was fun for me personally. And after that I realized that this was working regarding me plus wondered why I used to be not really leaning into that. I realized I was therefore happy once i was doing theater and I was not happy when people had been trying in order to tell me how to go viral. So I just started committing myself more and more to theater. I acquired an agent and am got serious about it a new way as an adult. That’s whenever all the particular wonderful opportunities started coming my way, and that’s when Six came my method. It sensed like perfect timing and the show feels perfect intended for me because I obtain to live my take star dreams but I also get in order to be performing theater plus living my dream of traveling and singing to audiences across the country. The show was an answer to a prayers in a way that feels healthy and feeds my artistic spirit but doesn’t crush me as an artist. I love that.
You continue to release your own music under the name Gabriela Francesca. Can a person show me a little about the similarities plus differences between the creative process involved within songwriting and the approach you take in creating the character in the theatrical world?
You understand… It’s kind of similar. I would not bring a lot of the personal stuff on stage in the moment (in a theater production) due to the fact I think that would become not relevant to the character, but there’s a way where you can use emotions that you may end up being feeling in your personal life or stuff that you’ve gone through throughout the day and you can use that will to propel you. We wouldn’t be using that character for my own personal catharsis. I am trying in order to tell the particular story as best I can being that character. With songwriting I actually also can’t sit straight down at the moment exactly where We are suffering or joyful or excited or confused or whatever and write a song in that moment. It type of has to do sit in our body plus soul to get a while, and sometimes it will be years before I may write about some thing that really hit me. But whenever it comes to that will time where I can finally create about that break upward or relationship to a family member that’s hard for me to talk about, I do get into personality in a sense in the studio. I have to put my mind in this space, which is where being an actor comes in, because I know how to put the mind within a certain space in a moment and when I’m done, I’m carried out. I’m not really carrying this with me personally out of the studio or out on phase. So which kind associated with my procedure being a songwriter in any songwriting session I’ve gone in to, which is why I feel lucky that I am not just doing the pop songs machine point. I think in that case you’re writing every day all day and you’ve got to write something even if you avoid feel like you have anything to talk about in that will moment. We think that can be an interesting muscle in order to flex, yet Also i believe it inhibits my genuine creativity since it’s almost like I’m forcing it. So yes, I such as to obtain myself directly into character, and it usually takes me a while to write regarding things that are important to me or even have actually impacted myself. But when they finally come out I am usually really proud of them.
Can you tell me about your own audition experience for 6?
It had been a long, long season casting process. It was the longest I have ever been through pertaining to anything, but definitely worth it. I want to say I actually first auditioned back In January 2020. I was requested to send in a tape of personally singing two different put songs that showed off my voice, and so i do that and sent in our tape and got the callback. I had been asked to sing plus read meant for Catherine of Aragon, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr. So that was really fun. I put those upon tape plus I was really excited. This little tone of voice in me was like, “This is your job. This will be what you’ve been waiting for. ” Just a month or two prior to I had been within final auditions for a different show in New York for a national tour that I thought designed for sure that was my factor, and this didn’t happen for me. We were simply so bummed by that will, but We picked me personally up because you have to do in this industry. So whenever Six arrived along I used to be like, “Oh it’s this particular! This is usually the work! ” I was sure associated with it. I actually was nervous but I also almost seemed this job just had to be mine. I did a zoom session with the team, which was really excellent and I felt like I had been really becoming considered for the tour, and am just could not believe it. Then Covid hit and everything shut down, including casting call and casting in the particular industry. I would say I thought about this job each day, and I hoped that when theater came back that this particular job be there plus that I might still become a good fit for it and that they would call me. It really has been one of those light at the end associated with the tunnel things just for me, yet I had been just hoping for so bad. And turns away that since the business slowly started to come back, they contacted me again and questioned if I was still interested. And so i went in order to an audition in Chicago, and then I actually went to perform my final audition within New York. This was a couple days or even callbacks along with like 50 or 60 women all auditioning for different queens, almost all dancing singing acting in front of people who were heading for the same role as me plus auditioning before them. It was a whirlwind and definitely overwhelming. I really had to have a lot of personal strength and just kind of keep my headphones in and sit down within the corner inside my own world mainly because it’s easy to get caught up within that energy from everyone else. We just about all wanted the particular jobs therefore bad. We just tried to keep my head down and focus on what I was presently there for plus trust in my own ability and talent, and trust that little gut feeling that this was the job for me. So after the Nyc auditions I actually waited I believe five weeks to hear anything. The agent kept checking within. I had formed to be approved by the US producers and the team in the particular UK, and it was a whole process. They really took time to place together this group and they did a fantastic job and I think anybody who sees the show will just see how well we work together. But that will was torture waiting for that answer. But then I got this on November 21, 2021. I obtained the call upon the closing night associated with another display I used to be carrying out also it just felt really serendipitous. But yeah, that was a long process.
Anything that surprised a person concerning the show/experience with Six?
For me, getting someone who grew up performing and doing music, plus this being my 1st touring Broadway show, I was used in order to not having frequent challenges in my art. I might go into jobs and know I had been killing it. Yet this rehearsal process with regard to Six was very challenging. It had been unlike anything We have done. It’s the hardest job We’ve ever experienced to perform because the amount of dancing, the lyrics, thinking about doing justice to this character and exactly where exactly We stand on stage in the formations, and dancing within the costumes. It was really tough for me personally. It had been actually challenging. But I experienced like it had been a victory at the particular end when I finally felt like I got it. Now i’m still grappling using the show, though. I actually mean there’s still moments now where I need to refresh something because it feels sticky, so I need to revisit it. Plus I think that’s essential in what We do. Yet yeah, I had developed some major ups plus downs with feeling imposter syndrome throughout the rehearsal process, and I actually think that is important to talk about. I wish that will other performers would talk about it more. I understand that this feels really tender and like we’re not supposed to admit “weakness, ” but We don’t believe it’s weakness and I think it’s completely normal within any market. You would like to impress people and you want in order to feel good regarding what you do, and suddenly you’re the grown grownup and you feel awkward at the 1 thing if you’re supposed to be really good at. So that was a really important procedure for me personally… To be able to come out of being actually challenged by something and still believe that it was nevertheless exactly where I was supposed to be. Bottom line, the lesson for me was that will you are allowed to feel like you’re bad at something that you’re really good at. You are permitted to feel awkward in the process of performing your job. You do not really always have in order to feel ideal or end up being perfect. A person don’t have to seem like things are easy regarding you to still be good at what a person do. I think I’m better at what I do due to the fact I went through that process and it humbled myself in terms of exactly how the wedding rehearsal process should go. I’m glad I struggled, but this definitely surprised me.
Tell me about your personality and are right now there any ways you relate to her personally?
Catherine Parr was Henry VIII’s last wife. He or she passed just before she did, and she was kind of a caretaker intended for him as far as I understand. He has been ill in the time, he had been older, this individual was struggling, and she required care of him. She left behind the love of her existence to marry Henry since she sensed it was her duty. She felt that it was the calling through God to get her to marry Holly instead associated with staying with the girl true love whose name has been Thomas. She responded to a lot of duty in her lifestyle. She had been married the couple other times simply mainly because that’s type of what you did at the time… that was your responsibility, and she was a dutiful woman of faith. She has been also extremely intellectual and i believe ahead associated with her period. She had been the very first English queen to publish books under her own name. She was a writer, like me. So it’s really cool to try out Parr because I think we have comparable personalities plus it’s almost like I reflect and believe if I was alive at that time, is definitely that how I would possess had to do points? Would I actually have needed to marry because of duty? What I have in order to leave behind love? I am just such a romantic and I is so for obviously marrying pertaining to love and chasing love and chasing things that make you come alive. But it was a different time plus would I have had the similar fate as well in case I had been alive in those days as well? Probably. Therefore I hope that I do her spirit and the women who have got had a similar story proper rights by being therefore liberated upon stage plus being strong. I bring in a great deal of my very own power and personality plus my nearly sort of tomboy power, which Now i am sure isn’t a traditional way to play a queen. But it makes me personally feel empowered, and within the display Catherine Parr gets to lastly tell the particular audience regarding the incredible things that will she do totally aside from becoming somebody’s wife. And gowns really empowering in my experience. And I simply really like that she’s a writer and I’m the writer, and it’s a part of myself that I’m proud associated with that not everybody knows therefore i feel such as through telling Catherine’s story and the girl multi dimensional essence, it kind of reminds me of and celebrates my own multi dimensional essence. And that seems really strengthening.
What is this about this show that resonates with audiences today?
I believe that through the six queens everyone in the audience is going to resonate with some thing, especially ladies and non-binary audience members. I think they are going to speak out loud with something that the Queens speaks about… One of their struggles or they are really gonna resonate with a joke that they make or something. I think people fall in love with these multidimensional, vibrant plus amazing characters. I believe people really feel seen, or even at least I hope these people feel seen when they arrive to see the show… Not only because we are looking from them in the audience and in fact making eye contact and asking them to join us and dance, but also because the experiences that these a queen had hundreds of years ago, the particular themes are usually not so different to what people encounter today. Really they’re not different with all. Sure being married to a king plus being beheaded is not really relatable, but getting in somebody’s shadow, or being only considered exciting because associated with who most likely married in order to, or sensation like you require to be with someone due to money. We speak about sexual assault within the show. There are a lot of heavy topics in the show, but there are a lot of items that are addressed that are not historical themes — they’re just themes that will happened to people who are usually oppressed. Plus I think that through this powerful and happy pop display, and with therefore many jokes and the particular beautiful costumes, people may be more receptive to sitting along with those truths. I believe the show is a great vehicle for people in order to look on the world that they participate in and maybe how they participate in the oppression of others or of their own oppression. It can all about delivery, and that’s the reason why theater can be so effective because you could deliver a tough message in a manner that individuals want to listen. Also i think that aside from that, the music is fantastic. The dialogue is hilarious. In all iterations from the different cast of the show, the talent is awesome. People need to come and listen to these voices. And We are simply in awe every night being on stage with these powerhouse talents that will I’m surrounded by. Therefore it is a combination of lots of things that just make the display so special. I’m just really happy to be the part associated with it.
Any last thoughts meant for those Omaha readers that may become holding out there on buying a ticket to the show?
We always say that this show is such a good one in order to take people to who are skeptical regarding theater… People who think that musical theater is old art plus it’s not really exciting, that will think they will know exactly what it’s going to be and that they’re gonna be bored the whole time and they don’t like that type of music. This is the perfect display to take these to due to the fact at the very least they are going to end up being very amazed that this is music theater. They are heading to find a song or a queen which they love, I just know it. This is a wonderful experience designed for theater lovers and theatre skeptics alike, as well as history lovers, appear music enthusiasts and anybody who loves Beyoncé or even Ariana Grande or Alicia Keys or Nicki Minaj or Lizzo. So many different types of individuals will enjoy the show. I would say give it a chance. If there is a component of a person that says you’re skeptical, lean into it and arrive see the particular show anyhow and see what you believe. We welcome that. I believe it’s one of those shows that just surprises you.