Friday, July 12, 2013

Flashback Friday: This New-Your-Rican Bronx Girl Has Come A Long Way! -Denise Vasquez

Actress Denise Vasquez as Dolores in "Ariano" in the Master Class Showcase
At Miriam Colon's Puerto Rican Traveling Theater

Whether it's acting, singing, dancing, doing Standup, Improv, playing an instrument, being an athlete...on set or on stage...I love performing!

There's a  saying that says "Home is where the heart is"...
For me whenever I am performing, I am home! -Denise Vasquez

My mom recognized that when I was about 4 years old! My mom is the best! She has always & still does support & embrace all of my creative talents! Growing up, she opened up her heart & her home allowing my siblings, friends & I to take over the house! We were always putting on plays & shows in my moms' living room! I can still recall dressing my step sister Jeanine in Aluminum Foil to make her look like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz! LOL!

My mom enrolled me in creative classes over the years that ranged from ballet, tap, modern dance, and jazz, to piano, modeling, acting & commercial classes. I've studied with some of the best teachers, at some of the best schools growing up in New York City, including Carnegie Hall Dance School, The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, Miriam Colon's Puerto Rican Traveling Theater Training Unit & more!

I had the pleasure of singing & dancing at Lincoln Center on many occasions throughout elementary school at PS 94 with our chorus. I attended Junior High School 80 in the Bronx  & was placed in the classes for gifted children where we did (7th & 8th grade) two years in one. I maintained straight A's going from 7th grade to the 9th, and during my time at JHS 80, I was introduced to the violin & fell in love! I've always worked hard on mastering my instrument, still do to this day, but the violin was quite a challenge!  My teacher saw my passion and my talent, took me under her wing, along with several other selected students & worked with us outside of school as well. We had the pleasure of performing at some prestigious concert halls, but my inner voice was wanting to sing!

One my of my biggest passions was also running Track & Field. My entire life from childhood through my early years in college, I trained with amazing coaches, competed, won trophies & ribbons. My mom loves telling me the story of taking me to a track when I was a little girl to see her friend who was training. She said I could barely walk, was pushing myself to run around the track & Joe Namath held my hand & was running with me. I was really young, and don't recall that, but it's a great story!

We moved out of the Bronx during my first year in High School. I was attending JFK, I was bummed about leaving because they had an amazing track for running, but the commute was killing me from Roosevelt Island so I transferred to High School For The Humanities in Manhattan. I loved living on Roosevelt Island & having access to Manhattan. Riding the tramway, the people, the culture, the theater, the music, the art, the food, the galleries, the museums, the parks, the shops...the creative energy! I was feeling it, and soaked it up like a sponge! I really made the most of my time growing up in New York City. I joined theater groups, improv groups, sketch groups, did open mics, people watched, studied hard & worked harder on my craft! My mom says I was born to be an actress but learning and applying techniques over a life time has developed me not only as an artist, but as a woman as well!

I am an artist who creates because it is a part of my being! -Denise Vasquez 

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