"Getting to Know You" with D. Alexander Ramirez
WESTMINSTER, CA - "Audition for your dream role. Even if you don’t get it, chances are you might get a call back and be part of the ensemble. Every role is important. As the saying goes, shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars," says Alexander in offering advice to actors and performers.
A new face to the Rose Center Theater, but no stranger to the stage, Alexander's love for music has spanned over 20 years, with experience performing with orchestras, ensembles, marching bands, and choirs. A private instrument music instructor and active musician, Alexander's resume of productions of include Anything Goes, West Side Story, Les Miserables, The Music Man, and Phantom of the Opera.
Excerpts from our chat:
What is your process like in preparing for a role?
This may sound cliche but ask the who, the what, the where, the when, and the why. Once you answer those questions, start dissecting the person’s life. If you cannot find enough information on the role, create a story about that person and learn to become them. Be empathetic, and see their point of view in the world. In terms of singing, don’t sing songs you are already good at. As I tell my students, there is a time to perform, rehearse and practice. Practice, practice, practice. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Speaking of practice, how important do you think training is as a performer?
Training is extremely important. Not just training to improve your singing, acting, or dancing, but also for your health. I go to the gym not only for my health, but also for my performance. Singing in itself is quite a workout. Plus, if you’re not healthy or up to par with the demands of the performances you are assigned, it may lead to some difficulties. Your health is just as important as your singing, acting, and dancing.
What is a fun fact about you that people wouldn’t be aware of?
I use to be a magician!
Is there a particular way you prepare for an audition?
If I had a certain role in mind I would prepare music excerpts that would seem similar to the music the role is most popular for singing. Also, dress in a way that would make you appear as the character you’re auditioning for. I’m not saying to go buy a costume, but something that, not only respects the people who are watching you perform, but also gives the “silhouette” of the character they are looking for.
What do you consider the most frustrating part of being a performer?
Yourself. It is absolutely true that you are your own worst critic.
How do you handle rejection?
Just because you didn’t get the part you wanted doesn’t mean you’re not a good performer. It’s just that you don’t fit the “silhouette” or the “look” or the “sound” they were looking for. As long as you improve yourself, you will go far, and people will be interested.
Is there a role you have yet to play that you you dream of playing?
My dream role would be Archdeacon Claude Frollo from the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I have a love for playing antagonistic roles. They’re so much fun!
Any advice to other actors or aspiring performers?
The only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday. In all aspects of your life. And most importantly, love yourself and love what you do.