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

Hi Jose, why did you pursue a creative career?
Since I was very young I grew up surrounded by music. My biggest dream was to become an artist who could inspire others. My artistic life was enhanced by dramatic moments in my adolescence, where I had to go through bullying and then learn to love myself and my art. Chile is a conservative country and art is not well regarded, much less a man dedicating himself to a career in the world of the arts. My family feared the worst for me, but they always fought to help me because they knew that my dream was to one day show others like me that they should fight for their dreams as well. I think that was what led me to audition for one of the best musical productions in the world, A Chorus Line. Which I was able to be a part of and then go on to pursue my professional career at the prestigious AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy), where I had to be brave and remember every day that my ultimate goal was to dedicate myself to what I love and inspire others who fear to fight for their dreams. Being an international student and artist in New York is a truly complex adventure. Financially, neither my country nor the United States has much abilities to help me, but that same struggle reminds me every day that I chose this career because it is the only way I feel that I exist and that I can contribute to others who have the same dreams as me. Performing on different stages has been an invaluable tool that my artistic career has given me and today I continue learning from every show or stage I get the opportunity to be on. Finally, I would like to say that unlike any other path, the artistic career offers a growth path that no other career does. Every day I keep perfecting myself, taking classes, fighting for my dreams and the path does not end there, one can always be better, the important thing is not to forget that passion is the fundamental factor that has led me to follow this unique and incomparable path.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My path to being the artist that I am today has not been an easy path. Chile is not a country that supports artists, people there do not value culture as it should be valued and I think that throughout my growth I had to face a lot of criticism and judgment. When I began to express that I wanted to be an artist, nobody understood, not even my classmates. It was almost weird to them that I spent hours listening to music or dancing. I was heavily bullied for it, but I always had my goals clear. When I got over that stage in life, and I already had made the decision to be an artist, the struggle was with my family and being able to get the financial resources to be able to pay for it. I tried to find any possible way to financially be able to make it to the US. I am very thankful and grateful that I have a very supportive mother, and she has been my greatest support throughout my journey. The lesson that resonates with me the most is that nobody is going to fight for my dreams, the only one who can do it is me and that criticism or lack of external help are not the end. Everything is just a reminder that you are doing well and that you must insist on what you love. I grew up in a small town in the north of my country and managed to get here to New York City where today I can live from my passion and my art. I think that the most exciting thing about all of this is that I continue to grow and that every day I learn about how much strength I now have because of the difficult road I had to go through.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s hard to say in a city like New York or LA. There are so many places that one can visit, but for me everything comes first through the senses and the view is one of the most important, so I would recommend taking the Roosevelt Island tramway at night to experience the magic for a few moments of being in a city full of life like New York. Then of course I would recommend giving a visit to the best theaters on Broadway, for example Funny Girl or Moulin Rouge are a very good option to enjoy musicals. Finally, the last sense is the taste for me and this one comes from going to eat a delicious meal, and I think that Rosa Mexicano offers one of the best options to eat in this beautiful and unique city.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think that along my path I have had many mentors and friends who have supported my story. One of them is Baayork Lee, an actress and dancer in A Chorus Line who went to Chile to produce and direct the show, and she decided to bet on me when no one had before. She opened the doors for me to pursue my dreams, she inspired me and made me take real responsibility with my goals and artistic career. I learned by her side and I continue to do so here in New York City. Something I understood from her is that no one will fight for my dreams more than myself and that being on stage is a responsibility because there are many who will observe my art and would love to be in my position. My art has to be professional and as an artist I can never allow myself to stop growing. Finally, I would also like to acknowledge Barbara Remus, an entrepreneur and acting director of Galli Theater in New York City, who has conveyed to me that there is nothing more unique than being authentic and that the stage is also a place to heal. Thank you for fighting for your and our dreams, for being an inspiring woman and for giving me so many opportunities and so I can continue, but thanks to you two great women and to each one of the people in my life who inspire me and support me to continue fighting for my dreams.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/josemvargasu/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/youda.bleyd

Youtube: youda bleyd

Image Credits
-Galli Theatre

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