Recently we got the chance to interview Yvette Gonzalez – Nacer!
Yvette has experience acting, singing, playing several instruments, and writing. She is well known for her role of “Kiki” in the Nickelodeon show Fresh Beat Band. In 2015 she released her debut song and music video “Havana.” This weekend, Yvette can be seen playing the role of “Cha Cha” on Fox’s Grease: Live !
upfrontNY: You will be playing the role of “Cha Cha” in Grease Live. What are you most looking forward to with this experience?
Yvette: I’m really just trying to enjoy every single moment of this process because it’s going to be over before we know it. It’s interesting how this rehearsal process is similar to that of a regular Broadway show, except instead of doing the show for months or years, we do it for one night! But that being said, I’m probably most looking forward to the 31st, where we will all get the chance to put all of our hard work and hearts out there for everyone.
upfrontNY: What has it been like working with this great cast and such an iconic story?
Yvette: It’s been an incredible experience from Day 1. Even at the table read, it was pretty apparent we were all a part of something very special. The entire cast and creative team is amazing. We have Julianne Hough, who is the perfect Sandy and Aaron Tveit as Danny, Vanessa Hudgens, Carlos Pena Vega, Keke Palmer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessie J, Boyz II Men, and it’s a pretty big cast, but everyone is so talented. We even have two of the original cast members, Didi Conn and Barry Pearl (who were the original Frenchie & Doody). Tommy Kail, who currently has “Hamilton” on Broadway and who I worked with before on “In the Heights,” is our fearless leader and it really doesn’t get much better than him. I’m really so excited to play Cha Cha! To have the opportunity to play such an iconic role is such an honor. I assure you the 7 year old me is freaking out!
upfrontNY: You have experience with acting, singing , and playing several instruments. Is there one that you are most passionate about?
Yvette: I was formally introduced to music first, since I learned to play violin when I was three, so I would probably have to say music will always be my first love. But whether I am singing or acting, writing songs or performing, I just love being creative and telling stories.
upfrontNY: Can you tell us about your song “Havana ”and the meaning of it to you and your family?
Yvette: I wrote “Havana” about my parents journey to the US from Cuba and the sacrifices they had to make for a better life, all the while, never letting go of where they came from. Although that was the original inspiration for the song, it could also be interpreted a lot of different ways. I was inspired by their story and wanted to go to my roots for the sound. So while the song is soulful and even a little urban at times, there are some traditional Cuban elements in it.
upfrontNY: What have been some of the best places you have performed and places you hope to one day perform?
Yvette: I have been fortunate to perform in all kinds of incredible cities and venues, but some of my favorite places so far have been Madison Square Garden, Woodstock, Radio City and I even got to share a concert with Jason Mraz at Carnegie Hall, which was pretty awesome. There is so much to do still and so many places I would love to perform at, like Glastonbury, Royal Albert Hall, Red Rocks and Sydney Opera House.
upfrontNY: When not performing and acting, what are your favorite things to do?
Yvette: I’m a movie buff, so I definitely love to watch good films. I love spending time with friends and family, going to the beach or being in nature and going on adventures.
upfrontNY: Is there anything you have always wanted to share with others about yourself?
Yvette: I’ve been through a lot and there are probably a lot of things I could say. But at the end of the day, I am here to use my gifts and my superpowers for good. We are all here to serve after all.
Tune in to Grease: Live on Sunday, January 31st at 7 p.m. to see Yvette in the role of “Cha Cha.”
We can’t wait to see it!