Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. We’ve got plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, including this month’s Theater Buff, Hector Juan Maisonet, who makes his Broadway debut in On Your Feet!
Hector Juan Maisonet
I was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico but moved to Orlando, Florida, at age 10.
Favorite Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine song:
I love listening to “Dr. Beat.” That beat just gives me everything I need to get my day going. But I do love “1-2-3.” It’s one of my favorite songs to dance to in the show!
When did you first start dancing?
I’ve always loved to dance, but the very first time I started dancing and learning more about dance was at the age of 14. I auditioned and was accepted to attend Osceola County School for the Arts in Orlando. This was an amazing accomplishment, however, it was a culture shock for my family when they had to buy me my first pair of ballet slippers and tights. When my parents saw how much time and effort I had to put in for dancing (and how much time it was taking away from my school work) they decided to take me out of it. I knew that I had to continue dancing somehow, so salsa was it!
If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
I would be one of two things:
- Chiropractor: I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and how much it can do. Whenever I’m alone, I always seem to catch myself finding different ways of cracking parts of my body that won’t crack. Those times are when I wish that I had the knowledge of a chiropractor.
- Special Education Teacher: Back when I was 19, I had an encounter with a young special needs child and his father that forever changed my life. Meeting him and seeing the way he looked up to me truly touched me. Seeing the look in his eyes when he saw me perform on stage inspired me in a way that I had never been before, and that’s when I knew that I wanted to do the same for every other child.
Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?
I’d have to say places because of the powerful and inspirational circle we have as a cast before every show. Our circle is a constant reminder of how fortunate and blessed we are to do what we do for a living, and stand on that stage with people that are now considered family. Plus, hearing the audience go wild at the rip of the curtains is an exhilarating and rewarding feeling.
The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
I will have to say that right now, the best post-show cocktail is at Chelsea Grill. I enjoy going anywhere, but I love it there because of the best bartender, “straight Dan.” He’s great and always hooks me up!
After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
This amazing place called Cachapas y Mas! It’s way uptown, but trust me when I tell you that it’s definitely worth the ride. They have the most delicious guilty-pleasure Latin food you can imagine. I personally recommend the yoyo con pernil (sweet plantain sandwich with shredded pork), along with a palito de queso (fried cheese sticks)… or six of them, haha! Also, make sure you get the special sauce to dip them in.
If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
Paris or Barcelona. I’ve never really imagined myself living anywhere else other than New York City, but something about living somewhere in Europe just feels right. The culture of those cities is something I’ve always wanted to experience.
My workout “secret” is:
It wouldn’t be a secret if I told you now, would it? I really enjoy taking class and going to the gym whenever I have the chance. I’m not too crazy about working out, but when I do, I commit. Another huge workout secret is eating a whole container of Oreos. Not just regular Oreos–double-stuffed!
When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
Confidence, honesty and good hygiene. I’m very observant, so even the smallest details catch my eyes.
My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
I google everything!
People would be surprised to learn that I . . .
Have been around the world and back, have ADHD, and a twitch that I can’t control.
When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
Ricky Martin! I mean, he’s only one of the hottest guys on the planet! Except, I secretly wanted to be like Britney Spears. Lol!
On Your Feet! is your Broadway debut. How would you describe opening night?
Opening night was very surreal! On Your Feet! is my Broadway debut, and it was extra special because the story is not only about two people that fell in love, but about the lives of every single immigrant that has come to this country. Not only did I have the support of my cast mates, but I also had my parents that came from Florida to share this wonderful experience with me. It meant more to me that my parents’ first Broadway show was one that their son was in, something I’ll always cherish!
Ten years from now I’d like to be:
I would love to still be performing, appearing in movies and other Broadway shows. I would also love to have someone I can go home to and share my experiences with. Someone who will love me… flaws and all.
On Your Feet! is currently playing at the Marquis Theatre.
Matthew Wexler is the Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @roodeloo.