The bench in the lobby of the building where I live is a faithful witness of my arrival in Madrid. I remember the first time I came: I had just finished the last year of high school (COU) in Oregon (USA). I arrived with great excitement, to accomplish my desire to be an actor.
I also remember that I stayed at the ancient Hotel de los Toreros, in Plaza de Santa Ana, but soon came other new homes: on the first floor of Carretas Street, 25; Later in Cascorro Square, within the Rastro, and also in Jorge Juan street…
It was a time of shared homes, a time of discussions with roommates for cleaning shifts, a time of shared purchases, a time of endless parties, and with them, the complaints from neighbors, rightly protesting _ against our youth and our insatiable and voracious desire to live and to succeed.
I could say that my life is full of coincidences (or causality, as some would say), and perhaps my arrival to the ancient Hotel de los Toreros in the Plaza de Santa Ana was one of them. This hotel was only four numbers away Nunez de Arce street, where at that time lived Antonia San Juan, whom I never met.
In Carretas 25, right where my brother lives now, from whose window I sometimes fly to transport me to the balcony that once dwelt, I began to memorize my first scenes of theater, and composed characters in my work as an actor in the Cristina Rota school: O’neill, Shakespeare, Tenesse Williams, Chekhov, Orton, Pinter, Coward, Ibsen, Moliere, Lope de Vega, Calderon … All these and many other poisoned my blood, growing my latent desire to become a great actor.
And it was there, at the School of Cristina Rota, where I met with colleagues who still consider my teammates. Many of them are great actors who have succeeded. There I began to feel the strain before going on stage. I have fond memories of the kisses of my colleagues, I remember his support, the evenings when we met for rehearsals, and I especially remember the excitement and enthusiasm. That enthusiasm that still I have, and always will.
In the School of Cristina Rota I met Manuel Hormigo. He made possible the encounter with Antonia, when we met to perform a play written and directed by himself, entitled “Making off”, and which also involved Alberto San Juan, Goya Toledo, Gustavo Salmeron, or Antonio Zabálburu, among others.
There is one thing that I remember with special affection: the performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at the legendary Florida Park (it was all playback), a prom musical show, which was celebrated in style. The place was full, excitement and nerves running down the corridors of the backstage. I was Jesus Christ. It is curious that, being as I am agnostic, this was the part I most wanted to play, and yet play a prophet did not kill my agnosticism nor will it took me to religion. In any event it made me more atheist than I already was.
If at Cascorro I shared a flat with the actress Pilar Castro, and in Carretas I did the same with actor Diego Paris, madness came when I went to live with Guillermo Toledo (also joined Diego Paris) to Aduana Street. Now I remember that time fondly, but at that time the unpredictable coexistence with Willy Toledo was an adventure. Every time I came home, I found myself with something new, strange people, some drunk guy lying on my bed, loud music, friends, not friends, girls, people in my room sleeping, others playing my guitar (which it bothered me a lot, by the way). And why not say it, you could get home at 2 in the morning and find a great party with orchestra playing on the grand terrace, yes, always with good vibes and wanting to share everything.
Gradually everyone was taking his way, Willy and Alberto created the theater group Animalario in the same house at Aduana street. Right there began the first rehearsals of “Ración de oreja”, and the bench in the portal with which I started this little biography disappeared each time the group had a gig at a club or small theater. I was left with a a thorn in the flesh, which of course have already passed, because it hurt me not to be invited to participate in the group … But at that moment my life was about to change.
The meeting with Antonia in “Making Off” made us inseparable friends. Tea & coffee afternoons, film & theater evenings, gradually forged our friendship.
In a great act of generosity, a trait that characterizes Antonia, she asked a great friend, Félix Sabroso, to write and direct “The powerfull boys” for my friend Armando del Rio and for me, a play of which I keep a beautiful memory.
At that time, I passed my writings to Antonia. I used to write all the time, and she lovingly used to read everything I gave her, and encouraged me to continue writing. These writings led to short films “VO”, “La China”, and also theatrical monologues and scenes, which later, with the help of Antonia, were taken to the stage.
On the night of May 22, 1999, Antonia had gone to dinner with Pedro Almodóvar and the team of the film “All About My Mother”. She had just taken a big leap, and although we had several weeks without seeing each other, late at night the phone rang in my house. It was her. I asked where he was, and told me right in the bar beneath my house, MAD, a place where I had seen her perform many times.
That night we met, and from that time until today we have been together.
In January 2000 I released my first show of monologues directed by her. “Men and some women” was called. Then came the opening of our production company, Trece Producciones, and later we started to manage the Harlequin Theatre, and also to make theatrical productions, films, and television series “La que se avecina” where I first met my dear Laura Caballero in a casting that I will never forget.
I could tell a thousand memories and anecdotes (maybe I will use this website to keep doing it) but for now I’ll end here. Thank you very much to all who have accompanied me in these years: friends, colleagues, family, public and supporters.