“Wealth comes from being best at what you are.”
I found out today that my acting coach and mentor Juan Castro died from cancer last night. It is safe to say that he taught me everything that I know about acting, and although I stay back stage more often now, his lessons still impact what I bring to my craft. He talked about responsibility and hard work, and he pushed his students to take on roles that were challenging and difficult. He taught us that no matter what we were faced with, thinking positively would help get us through it. And that you can always be better, and you should never stop trying to be better.
He talked about how art can bring communities together, and build people up. That, like air, we need art in order to live. And that one day he was going to start a revolution with art and love. He was strict, and hard on his students, and along with Kris Clark created an environment where hundreds and hundreds of students flourished and grew, not only as artists but as people.
It’s been years since I’ve seen him. I was waiting to send him a really well written play, I wanted it to be perfect so that he would be proud of me, and know that I had listened when he spoke. I hope that he knew how much he was loved and appreciated. And I hope that he is now at peace.