We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabriel Escobedo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gabriel, why did you pursue a creative career?
To be honest, I never imagined I would find myself living my life in pursuit of the arts. When I first got to college, my plan was to be an engineer. I don’t have any real idea as to why I chose that career path, but it wasn’t who I was meant to be. Looking back, it’s ridiculous to think I didn’t see myself going into a creative career before now. I have always retained an incredible love for work based on human self-expression. From music and paintings to theatre and film, my heart has a wonderful knack for discovering and treasuring a piece that tells a story. Going deeper, however, is a story of great personal strife and even greater triumph. Let me start by saying, I am a person in recovery. For approximately three years of my life, I suffered through the pains of substance abuse. My life was ripped to shreds around me, and every day I fell deeper and deeper into a hole of depression, anxiety, and self-hatred from which I found no escape. Thankfully, the tragic saga of my addiction has come to an end. As I write this, I am celebrating eighteen months of clean time, for which I am incredibly grateful. Once I was out of that dark period of my life, I began to start questioning who I was and started seeking out an identity for myself. In this time of rebuilding my life, I rediscovered a love of theatre from my youth. I began talking with like-minded people, and my passion for acting was reignited. I chose to chase my dream because it helped me process all of the event of my life, blessings, and trauma alike – and combined it with the beauty of creating live art. Additionally, the pursuit of becoming an actor has encouraged me to pursue all the arts. These days, I’m growing my abilities in the realms of acting, music-making, art, poetry, and writing. Though the hardships have been many, the days to come are filled with so much more, and I cannot wait to see where my life as a performer takes me.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art stems from a longing to show the world how much life can change, especially the growth that can occur for a person in recovery. I have a desire to show the world how a person recovering from substance abuse can be full of hope, enthusiasm, and become a force to be reckoned with when given the tools for healthy self-expression. What sets me apart from others is my versatility. I’m teaching myself to become a polyglot, a person versed in multiple languages. At the moment I’m focusing strongly on Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew, but intend to learn more. I am learning to play the guitar, with goals to also play the piano in the future. I am where I am today professionally thanks to the many professors I’ve had over the years. From high school theatre to the collegiate level, I could never be where I am without the support and motivation of fantastic instructors rallying behind me. Getting back into the groove of the theatre was not easy – following my life after addiction – but with the support of my peers, fellow students in recovery, I have been loved and supported through the crises which have come my way. I’ve learned friendship and love are the most powerful forces in the world and can help a person through anything.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my favorite places to visit in Lubbock are the Texas Tech University Museum and the National Ranching Heritage Center. My favorite places to eat are Lite Bite Meditteranean Cafe and Royal Indian Palace Cuisine. To hang out, I like to view the public art around the university campus. If at all possible, I highly recommend visiting the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, especially during the First Friday Art Trail. The Trail is my absolute favorite event in Lubbock, and I go as often as possible.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to give a shoutout to my sponsor, who has been supportive of me throughout my entire recovery process. A special thanks to the faculty and staff of the Texas Tech University Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities, who have given me such strength and encouragement to finish my degree. Thanks to my photographer with the purple hair, You rock and I’m so grateful for you. Thank you to my friend, the Yellow Ranger, for helping me to be more involved in the arts community.

Image Credits
Ashley Powell

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