Navigating Risks and Revelations: My Journey from Solo Performer to New Victory Theater’s Inaugural Season Star

David Gonzalez

I recently had the pleasure of sharing my stories and insights in a conversation where I recounted a pivotal risk that changed the course of my career. Titled “Go big or go home,” it was 1996, and I’d been performing as a solo artist in schools and local venues. The newly opened New Victory Theater beckoned, and a brochure stirred a longing to grace its stage. Taking a chance, I called an acquaintance on the advisory board, leading to a connection with the person in charge of booking. This daring move resulted in joining the inaugural season and eventually creating Sofrito!, a Latin music/storytelling show that toured the country for over a decade.

My journey began as a music therapist, working with diverse groups facing challenging situations. The courage of those individuals became the “wind beneath my wings.” Transitioning to a performing artist and keynote speaker, I learned to create safe and brave spaces for creative encounters and meaningful interactions.

Reflecting on lessons learned, I share the backstory of unlearning early life traumas and insecurities. Despite earning a BA, MA, and Ph.D., self-doubt occasionally creeps in, but I’ve come to appreciate the value others see in me. Saying “YES” to opportunities, even when I don’t fully see them, has become a mantra for personal growth.

Being a creative professional brings a multitude of rewards. I cherish the balance between personal expression and social utility, creating work that challenges and pleases me while uplifting, inspiring, and educating others. Join me as I offer insights into confidence, composure, culture, and deep creativity gained from touring with legends like Larry Harlow and Yomo Toro. This interview serves as an invitation to embrace risks, overcome insecurities, and find the true treasures in our professional lives.

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