Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wow! It's already the end of February????

So, here we are, deep into February, 2012. What's the Hurry??? Why are we in such a rush?? They're already pushing Easter at the stores in Whittier. That's in April! You guys gonna have any money for Easter Baskets after paying $4.00 to $5.00 a gallon for Gas? Better put a lock on that gas tank. Gonna be a lot of siphoning going on hereabouts!

So what's going on??? Well, my students and I are deep in rehearsal for the upcoming August 26th Student Celebration and FLAMENCO BRAVO Show here in Whittier!!!! If you're reading this, You'd better be there! The students are working very hard, and getting there. We're having to make trips to Palm Springs to rehearse with the students I have there, and They in turn are making trips to Whittier to rehearse with us here. We are starting to CLICK! Ole! and High Five!
But with that said, why is it that the students that need the most rehearsal are the one's that are absent the most???
Never changes!

Finally settled on a Venue for this endeavor. I planned to do it in my back yard. Remember Spanky and Our Gang? ? He did it in his back yard, so I thought well, why not us? Something Different! A backyard tent, tables, chairs, a raised stage, Two Paellas cooking outside, Homemade Sangria, Tapas and two shows. Simple. So, I stupidly went to the City of Whittier Offices to see what permits I would need. I was promptly told that because I was planning to charge an admission, I couldn't do it in my back yard. I could if I only took donations. Are they kidding??? How would I pay for all the expenses I'm racking up??? Donations??? Yeah, right!

So, I started looking for a venue. Banquet halls, theatres, etc. Banquet halls make tons of money on Weddings, and Quincea~neras here in Whittier! (That's a Mexican custom where they honor the girls when they turn 15 by throwing a big bash for them. They cost as much as a wedding or more. Hell, take the kid to the Olive Garden and buy her a Pizza and a Coke! Done! Happy Birthday! But no, Mexicans don't do that. Instead they dole out big bucks they don't have for these special parties, and then do it again when the kid gets married cause she's pregnant?????? Yikes!!

Would you believe there's a place here in Whittier that charges $7000.00 for the use of their hall? I flew out of that place quick!
Another charges $4000.00. I considered that one also, but couldn't get enough sittings out of them.

So, We're doing the Student Bash and Professional Flamenco Show at a place called Memories, in uptown Whittier in their upstairs ballroom. Nice place. Very high ceilings, great paintings, very early 1900's style. You expect to see Al Capone and his ladies there. They have a great intimate space downstairs, but I wouldn't be able to seat enough people to pay for it. So, we'll be upstairs.

Date of the show is Sunday August 26, 2012. For complete information, please go to Class Schedule page and scroll down! It's there. Tickets for a very limited seating of 200 people are now on sale. $35.00 Per person puts you on a VIP list and gets you a seat!

After the Student Celebration, my Flamenco Bravo Show featuring Noted Flamenco Dancers Mizuho Sato, Rina Orellana,
Emilio Dominguez and Juan Talavera (That be me), Singers Jesus Montoya, Ana Quintero, Guitarists Jose Tanaka, and
Santiago Chano, and Percussionist Gerardo Morales. I'm working on getting a very special guest artist, providing his performance schedule allows it. Stay tuned on that. Limited Standing room only space at $30.00 per person. There will be a bar service provided by Memories. More info? Call me at 562-699-7595 and leave a clear message with a complete phone number and area code... Do check the Class Schedule Page for complete instructions...

So basically that's what's happening here. I'm still doing auditions for student films at USC, UCLA, L.A. Film School, Etc. they're fun to do, and you get a copy of the completed film. I'm in the process of looking for a new agent. Any suggestions???
I wanna win an Oscar like Christopher Plummer did in his eighties! This time I'm not quitting!!

I should mention that I was invited by my dear friend, actress Lupe Ontiveros to a Pre-Oscar party and Flamenco Show at
Eva Longoria's Hollywood Club called Beso! My cousin and I got the total VIP treatment because of Lupel. Lots of TV and Film Stars were there, as well as Eva. She is gorgeous in person, and Very nice. The place is located on Hollywood Blvd and Ivar street. A thousand years ago I danced at a place called Cosmo's Alley there on Ivar. Wonder if it's still there??? There were about 300 people there when we got there, and our names were on the VIP list, Thanks to Lupe. GRACIAS LUPE! She can currently be seen on Rob, on Channel 2 on Friday nites. I've know Lupe since we both worked at the East Los Angeles Head-Start Schools. She was the Secretary there and actually the only one who knew what she was doing!! LOL! She was barely starting her acting career. She did an audition for the play Zoot Zuit with Edward Olmos, got the part of his mother, and from there her acting career took off and hasn't stopped. She's been on most every TV show there is and has done a ton of movies, stage plays and commercials. Remember the Goonies? Selena? Desperate Wives? She hasn't stopped, But she remains humble and unassuming. A true amiga!

That said, I'll close for now. Please come and see our shows on Sunday, August 26th! You won't be disappointed!

Un Abrazote,


PS: Next week we go material hunting in DT Los Angeles. Gotta start getting samples for looks I want the students to wear. Hope they don't give me any trouble on my selections.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

We Made It!!!! Welcome to 2012

So, the nay sayers said we wouldn't make it. Some extreme Christian Wag was running around telling his flock
(a bunch of pendejos) that the world was going to end on a certain date. The date came and went as did the others he predicted. Nada! Would you believe he announced another date coming soon??? Knock, knock, Hello, We're still here.

Hope you all had good holidays, whatever Holidays you observe during December and January. Yes! celebrate! You might not be around the next time. Do it now!

My holidays? Very quiet. Saw 1/2 half of my familia, because we get together, open presents, eat, drink and have a great time. Sadly, because of religious beliefs, 1/2 of my familia doesn't. I miss them tremendously during the holidays, and it really breaks my heart. We all miss out. Pobres! Pobre yo, tambien! But, we get do together after the New Year and do a show and lunch date. Always enjoy that.

This time we're seeing the new Sherlock Holmes Flick. Looking forward to it. I remember when the kids were smaller, I had to watch them like a hawk, for fear of coming home with one less, or someone else's kid! ! My sons always told me to come back with the same three or four I left with. Try five!! Not easy!

Now they're all grown adults, so I just enjoy their "grownup" company. (they're still kids, even though they think they're adults!!) So we'll be roaming around at the Irvine Spectrum, walking, eating, seeing a movie, and enjoying this awesome weather the Good Lord bestowed on us.

Other stuff:

Well, Sadly, I think I've been put to pasture at the Cafe Sevilla in Long Beach as of a couple of weeks ago! I knew that time would come sometime soon. I mean, really, a guy doing Flamenco Publicly at 72 and getting away with it? Unheard of! But I'm proud to say I did it!!! I haven't given up dancing. Believe me!!!

The booking manager called and said the managers at Sevilla Long Beach decided to rotate their performers. I countered with "but they do that all the times with the girls". In actuality, there's not that many Men that dance Flamenco strong enough to rotate. Timo Nunez, Ricardo Chavez, Emilio Dominguez, Artoro Nazzari, and I, locally. So, I wish them luck. I feel the premise of the Sevilla shows is old and stale. That has nothing to do with the performers. The premise was good years ago, but lots of groups have taken further steps and perform duets, trio and group numbers. Audiences like that very much. Sadly, They don't do that at either of the Sevillas. Long Beach or San Diego. They may have very strong performers, but it's still the same old premise. That's what has to change, if the "knowledgeable "Sevilla managers want more customers! Advertising their Flamenco Dinner shows a tad more on their internet and Newspaper ads would help too. People now have their "flamenco favorites". They know and follow the good performers. At either Sevilla you don't know who's dancing or who's singing or playing until you get there. I don't think that's good policy, when you're dishing out big bucks to see a show. They do advertise all their other attractions a lot more than the Flamenco Dinner shows. ? Audiences are very educated now when it comes to Flamenco. They know the good from the bad, the stale from the boring.
I'm really fooling around with the idea of talking to the managers and saying Hey, let me produce shows that bring back the people. I could. Been doing it since I was 19. I should know by now how to work an audience! You think?


My present students and I are preparing like crazy for our first Student and Professional show on Sunday, August 26th, 2012. TELL YOUR FRIENDS!! BE THERE!! I have four numbers done, and they're working very hard to do them the way I want. It's going to be a big backyard Gypsy Style Flamenco Juerga, with a student performance, and a Knockout professional performance by my group, FLAMENCO BRAVO! .
We'll be having a tent, tables, chairs, a raised stage, shows, food and drink! Artists performing include
JOSE TANAKA, SANTIAGO PRECHTEL, and singers JESUS MONTOYA, and ANA QUINTERO. These artists are awesome!!!

We're going to have two shows, sell Paella, Salads, Panes, Tapas, Sangria, Coffes and Waters. This will all take place in my own back yard. It's huge! I had an event planner come out and see what we could possibly do. Well it's going to be very cool!
I'm excited. I feel like one of the little Rascals doing their backyard shows. (No, Not Spanky! LOL!)
Again, the date is August 26, 2012. Sunday. 2:00PM to 6:30PM. Tickets will be on sale beginning in April. Tell your Friends, and relations. Keep checking my blog, or on facebook. Friend me on facebook to get happening information about this dynamite Flamenco Juerga. (A Juerga is a Gypsy Flamenco Party!)
Seating and ticket sales will be very limited. I can only seat about 170 People, with about 25 standing room!

So that said, my classes continue. Look at my class schedule page for new days and times. Learn to dance Flamenco!, You never know where it will lead you. Believe me.

Have a great New Year.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hello out there in TV and Flamenco Land!

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you all. It's over, thank heaven!
But there are still a lot of left overs in the fridge. I celebrated my 72 birthday this Thanksgiving! 72!!!! Luckily, I don't look or act that age. In a way that's good, but it works against you when you audition for character roles calling for your age range. One casting director just looked at me and said "Seriously??". He thought I was in my fifties. Oleee! Nice, but I didn't get the call back. My agent said they called her and said I just didn't look 68! So, There are good things about Not looking your age, and bad things about it too.

I get a kick out of the younger people I see on the buses these days. Little girls trying so hard to look older, sexier, and "with it". That's all well and good until they say something. Then it's gone! They don't know how to converse. The guys are the same also. Yeah, lookin' good in that jacket but the minute the mouth opens, it's a shattered illusion! If you kids want to be really cool, stop texting, put the phones down and converse! Be polite! Show you have manners! Make intelligent conversation.
Yeah, and uh huh don't make it anymore.

So, still "flamencoing" at Cafe Sevilla in Long Beach on Saturdays, WHEN they have a show. Did one two weeks ago, and was scheduled for tonite, but it got canceled Weds. afternoon! I had received a call from the San Diego Sevilla to do THIS Saturday there, but turned it down because I had booked Long Beach. Pos me quede sin nada!!! No more, no More! Next Time Cafe Sevilla San Diego calls, I'll be there!! Hell or High Water. They don't cancel. They're packed all the time. The Cafe Sevilla in Long Beach doesn't advertise their flamenco shows at all. Just a bi-line on their page. You have to look very hard to see it. What do they expect? I told the guy that books us that I was going to have to return the turkey I bought for Thanksgiving dinner. But it was now stuffed. He didn't make a comment! Flamenco is a hard sell item. You gotta advertise it like crazy to get a decent house. But the managers know more than the dancers, right???

Our Student recital/Flamenco Bravo Performance is set for Sunday, August 26Th, 2012 from 2:00-6:00 PM. It looks like we're going to end up doing it here at the house in my back yard. It's got a lot of room. Enough room for a tent, tables and chairs to sit 160 people, a portable raised stage 16X24 feet, A Sangria and food bar.
I have been contacting various Spanish Caterers to do a couple of outdoor Paellas, with the huge paelleras, tapas, and salads for those who want to eat. The price for the two 40 minute shows will be $30.00, shows only! . We haven't set the price for the dinner, or tapas yet. Still looking at different caterers. Surprisingly enough, some of them don't respond to the phone calls or emails. At least a "no thanks, we don't cater" message would be nice.


The Flamenco Artists in the Professional part of the August 26th show will be Flamenco Dancers Rina Orellana, Mizuho Sato, Juan Talavera and Ryan Zermeno. Guitarist will be Jose Tanaka, and Flamenco Singer Jesus Montoya, if he's in town. That Flamenco Lineup should prove to be a knock out, drag out Flamenco Show! For the Student part of the the show,
Santiago Prechtel will be the guitarist, along with Ana Quintero singing. Some of my Palm Desert Students will also be joining us to do the show.. Fun!!!

We did this show at the Laguna Hotel a few weeks ago as part of the Irvine Flamenco Festival. The caterers, servers and chefs there said that our show was the best organized, and the strongest they saw. THEY saw all the different shows!

I had never worked with Rina Orellana until that time, and it was great. Mizuho is of course a joy to work with. We know that!!!
Jesus Montoya outdid himself of course. So I thought ok, let's do this show for the Professional part of the Recital. With the addition of Guitarist Jose Tanaka, and the dancing and cajon playing of Ryan Xermeno, we got it down, folks!

I'll start taking ticket reservations after the first of the year. Let's get through Christmas. Remember $30. for the shows only.
Paella Dinner, Tapas and My Sangria which kills will be additional. Seating will be very limited. 160 People only can be seated.
for the dinners.

I plan to have the student show first, then an intermission so the guests can eat drink and shosh. The Flamenco Bravo Show! after that, and then we can all sit around, eat paella, tapas and drink Sangria and have a little juerga?? Interested??? Let me know.

You should know I auditioned for the part of a (ahem!) older vampire, a la Vincent Price (Remember Him?) for a national TV commercial. Yep!!! Vampires are now doing commercials. The breakdown said to go "all Out" for this. Teeth, Cape, snarls,hair, etc.,
Well I did vampire makeup! Made myself look very pale, did my eyelids in red, darkened the eyebrows, and sunk in my cheeks.
apparently vampires are anemic looking because they don't eat food. Go figure. It was great fun, but as it turned out, I was the only one that went "all out!" some guys slicked their hair, one wore a cape, and one, a black guy I auditioned with had the teeth. I didn't have time to get the teeth or cape, so I figured I'd do the make up instead. Got good compliments from the guys that filmed the auditions, so I'm sitting here waiting to hear if I made the call backs. They're next week. Here's hoping. Actually, I wouldn't mind ending up in one of the two vampire shows on tv. First Blood and The Vampire Diaries are very cool and popular!!!!

We had a familia type belated thanksgiving dinner at my son's Luis's house. It was such a great pleasure to see all the grand kids (6 1/2 of them!) in one room interacting with the adults now. They're all grown up and contribute to the conversations! they're a crazy bunch! but they're polite, well mannered, and can converse. Their parents have seen to it!! It shows. But yet, they're still teen agers. Ole!

So, I'll close for now. Please keep Sunday, August 26th 2012 in mind for the Recital/Show I'm planning. Help me spread the word. For Reservations, call 562-699-7595 and leave a CLEAR message with a complete phone number and area code. The shows will be advertised on Face book, and on Beth Nesta's Flamenco Pages also. Remember, only 160 seats available. We'll try for more, but I have to watch the Fire Department restrictions!

Take Care out there. Un Abrazote!

Juan, The aging Vamp!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday, October 23...

Boy time flies, doesn't it???

So, what's going on around here? Well, I'm doing the Cafe Sevilla's in both San Diego, and Long Beach, not on a regular
basis, though. I'm on a week to week schedule. Don't like that, but I'm grateful for what ever bookings they give me.

Heard Diego El Cigala was in Redondo Beach last Thursday. Didn't attend. For me to do so entails a car rental, a ticket, and buying gas. Gets too expensive for me at this point in time.

Angelita's Concierto Flamenco is coming up in Baldwin Park in a couple of weeks. I'll probably do that one. The Segerstrom Theatre in Orange County is presenting Jose Porcell and his Spanish and Flamenco Dance Company in November, right after my birthday. I might treat myself and go see that. I saw them in Palm Springs a couple of years ago, and in Jerez, Spain a few years ago. Awesome theatre and dance stuff. I highly recommend that show.

Finally settled on the student recital and professional Flamenco show. Sunday, August 26, 2012 is the date. Met with Orbit Rentals and discussed my plans for the outdoor Fiesta Bash! They're bringing in a tent, tables, chairs, a raised stage, so I'm at the point of no return now. We'll be having Sangria, Snacks, Spanish food, Salads, and Tintos de Verano for sale.

Tickets will be on sale starting in January. It will be very limited seating, as we can only do about 150 seats. We'll have standing room also, but maybe for about 20 extra people. Went to the City of Whittier to discuss the event, and they want a Typed Proposal with all the pertinent information before they can rule on it. The young lady said she didn't see any problems.

Hell, my neighbors on both sides, across the street, and behind us throw loud parties with DJs and lousy music until three and four AM! We'll be doing a Sunday Afternoon thing. Please tell your friends and relations out there. As we get closer to the event I'll let you know the Professionals that will be appearing in the second part of the shows. Awesome Artists.

Hoping we don't have too many problems with the food portion of the Fiesta. If any of you have suggestions for Spanish food
caterers, let me know. We have a tapas place here in Whittier, but they don't really do authentic Spanish Tapas. Their wines are good, but that's about it.. Once you've had real Spanish tapas in Sevilla, Jerez, and Madrid, the places here don't cut it.
Suggestions? I'm all ears.

Hey, see a movie called 50/50. It's awesome. A comedy about a young man who contracts spinal Cancer. It's funny, poignant and very real. I was watching the movie, and it hit a lot of stuff I went through in 2005. The young actor that portrays the lead character is awesome. He works a lot. Deservedly so...
Saw the new 3 Musketeers movie. A big waste. Great Locations. Awesome castles, churches, visuals, and costumes for the most part, but that's about all. It was very disconcerting to hear the characters speak present day slang in some of the dialog. I'm sure they didn't speak that way then. I kept waiting for a high five somewhere along the way?
I remember seeing one of the first Musketeer movies with Lana Turner, Gene Kelly, and a host of other fine actors when I was a kid. I'm sure that movie would more than hold it's own even now. I saw it on my birthday. Have never forgotten that movie.
See the one called Drive. Bloody as hell, but great acting. Good story...

Waiting to hear about an audition at the New York Film School. I must have submitted for something but wasn't able to audition a while back, and got a call from the director regarding this audition. He said he liked my photos and called to ask me to audition for this new feature he's doing. I'm going.. I'm going.. There are a lot of film schools here in Los Angeles, and they're always looking for actors. You get a reel that you can submit to other auditions or to an agent to get an agent. That's how it went for me.. Hoping to book a part in a real movie or Tv show...

So, I'll leave you guys with that note. Keep following your dreams.. They do come true. Don't Give them up!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

So, O.K., It's Saturday, Sept. 24th, AND....

I'm not working tonite because of a big snafu at Cafe Seviila in San Diego. The Cafe Sevilla's seem to be all working very well on snafu's these days. Mixed up dates, no checks to pay the artists, leaking faucets in the restrooms, No dressing rooms, all sorts of idiotic stuff for a big business concern that shouldn't be happening.

If I was managing, the faucets in the restrooms in Long Beach wouldn't be leaking water all over the floors, as they have been for the past year!!! Doesn't look good for the money spending public to see that! Give us a place to dress, and put our stuff between shows! Doesn't look good for the Public to see us in our underwaear before the shows. Somehow that breaks the whole "flamenco Magic" of the the show.

That said, I had the honor of performing at the Hotel Laguna in "wait for it" ... Laguna Beach, last Wednesday, as part of the Irvine Flamenco Dance Festival that starts at the Barclay Theatre in Irvine this Friday nite. Very well organized, so it can be done. My only complaint was the stage. It was too small for three dancers.

Heard through the flamenco grapevine that unfortunately, tickets aren't moving as they should for the Festival Performances at the Barclay. Everyone concerned is worried. But the three prior shows at three different hotels were sold out. Certainly our's was. We heard from the waiters and waitresses that cater these affairs, that our's was the best and most organized show. When waiters and waitresses take their time to tell you that, you can believe it..

Mizuho Sato, Juan Talavera and Rina Orellana were the dancers, along with Jesus Montoya, Singing, and Antonio Triana playing the guitar. Magical!!! We had such a blast performing with Jesus and Antonio, that yesss, it was magical. Guess What? No rehearsals. Just verbal ones, at best. "What are you dancing? Alegrias! How many letras? Two. Silencio? no. Castellana? no. Escobilla? yes. Buleria at the end? of course, two." Mizujo did an awesome Taranto. Rina did a Solea por Buleria that was great. I did an Alegrias that killed. Even Jesus said WE should be doing the shows at the Barclay instead! The director of the Barclay Theatre was there. Maybe next year? Hint, Hint!!

Classes are going well. Seriously planning a student recital, but with a twist. I would like to set up a stage in my back yard with sound, etc. I certainly have the space for it. My neighbors always have loud, terrible DJ parties till all hours, so I figure if I do something on a Sunday afternoon (Sunday, July 15, 2012) it won't disturb anyone. I'm planning a tent, a raised stage, Flamenco Music, Sangria, Sandwhiches, Snacks, and fun! Certainly, we'll have a Professional Flamenco Show after the student recital! I'll keep you posted.

Movies??? See DRIVER. Awesome. Gut Bloody, but Awesome. See the Planet of the Apes movie. See CONTAGION. What happens in that movie, can happen folks. Big article in the L.A. Times by reknown doctors saying the movie was very authentic and that what happens can and has happened but it's been covered up.
I'll eat at home, thanks.

So, all of you out there in TV land, and Flamenco Land, continue "Flamencoing!" Take classes. Do the Workshops that are offered. See the shows! Support Flamenco! I would, but being carless, I'd have to rent a car to get there. Can't! I only rent when I get paid for it. Otherwise it's the bus, and I don't want to be on busses at 10:00 PM, coming back to Whittier! LOL!

Take care out there!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Hi! Leave your thoughts and aspirations here, and I'll share mine with you! Thanks for visiting....