Broadway’s Ana Villafañe Reveals the Moment That Inspired Her to Be a Performer and the Keys to Her Success

Sponsored Content   Broadway’s Ana Villafañe Reveals the Moment That Inspired Her to Be a Performer and the Keys to Her Success
 
The star of On Your Feet! tracks the milestone moments of her journey to Broadway in our Cadillac Lounge series.

When Ana Villafañe was nine years old, she saw The Wizard of Oz and knew she wanted to be a Broadway performer. While her career took her first to Los Angeles, working on shows like Los Americans, she harbored a dream to wind up onstage and ”the fact that I knew every single original Broadway cast album forwards and backwards was my own little secret while I was like pretending to be this L.A. actress.

“When I got cast as Gloria Estefan, everything changed,” she tells Playbill from the Cadillac Lounge in the video above. “I got exactly what I asked for. I didn't feel like I had ‘made it,’ but I felt like I was enjoying. Even moments backstage where I remember being like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ Because I was out of breath and six people were changing me and I had to do my next entrance and like be at an 800 percent energy level onstage. It's just interesting what you're capable of when you actually challenge yourself.”

But Villafañe has a track record of challenging herself. On her road to success, she fought for what she wanted. Even as a child, her ambition drove her. Back in Miami, she chased down the woman who is still her voice teacher.

“I heard about her because of all of the musical theatre kids, um, that would work at this one regional theater in Miami where I kind of started,” says Villfañe. “I followed her into a bathroom at an event, when we were doing Annie, and I was like, ‘I want to take lessons with you.’”

Though Villafañe fulfilled her dream of first making it to the Broadway stage, her career is just beginning. “My dream is to affect people. And my dream is to like go to sleep at night, feeling fulfilled and feeling like I did what I love,” she says. Up next, she’s about to begin work on a biopic. (Though she can’t reveal about whom.)

“I’m excited to see how far I can stretch myself, because that's what I love about being an actor is that it's dreams of one dreams upon dreams and like accomplishments after accomplishments. Like you, you're, you're constantly building on yourself,” Villafañe says. “There’s no settling.”

Watch Villafañe and over 60 other Latinx stars of stage and screen in Playbill and The Broadway League’s ¡Viva Broadway! Hear Our Voices, sponsored by Cadillac. The star-studded concert event is a benefit performance for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Broadway Bridges. Tune in to the premiere October 1 8PM ET at Playbill.com/Viva.

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Watch Highlights from ¡Viva Broadway! Hear Our Voices
 


This digital program was created using PLAYBILLder, Playbill's custom, Broadway-quality program creation tool.

On October 1, Playbill and The Broadway League present ¡Viva Broadway! Hear Our Voices, a digital concert in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, as well as Latinx milestones in theatre. The performance will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, including championing the R.Evolución Latina initiative, and Broadway Bridges.

Hosted by Andréa Burns (In the Heights, On Your Feet!), the concert premiered on Playbill.com, Playbill’s YouTube Channel and on The Broadway League’s website (Viva.Broadway) on Thursday October 1, 2020. Helmed by director and Tony-winning choreographer Sergio Truijllo (Ain’t Too Proud), the event featured an extraordinary roster of award-winning stage and screen Latinx talent, including Lucie Arnaz, Gloria Estefan, John Leguizamo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Luis Miranda, Chita Rivera and Thalía.

¡Viva Broadway! Hear Our Voices saluted the vibrant, lasting legacy that Latinx artists have contributed and continue to give to Broadway and the entire theatre community while showcasing Latinx talent in an effort to continue to increase representation throughout the industry. The event included a performance from members of the original cast of In the Heights, including Karen Olivo, Andréa Burns, Janet Dacal, Robin De Jesús, Olga Merediz, Carlos Gomez, Eliseo Roman, Luis Salgado, and Nina Lafarga; as well as performances from Broadway-bound musicals and new works including John Leguizamo’s Kiss My Aztec; Arrabal; Passing Through; a look at the first Spanish-language production of A Chorus Line from Antonio Banderas; and so much more!

¡Viva Broadway! was produced by Jack Noseworthy, written by Eric Ulloa, and featured arrangements and music direction by Jaime Lozano, sound design by Jorge Muelle and Jessica Paz, and instrumentals by national and international musicians including Tony Award winner Alex Lacamoire, Oscar Hernandez and Michelle Rodriguez & Julio Copello. Luis Salgado is the associate director/choreographer and Roberto Araujo is the Director of Video Production and Editing.
Ruthie Fierberg served as executive producer.

This concert event was brought to you by title sponsor Cadillac along with presenting sponsor City National Bank and featured sponsor Gilead. Univision was the official media partner.

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