Carmen De La Paz, a Waukesha, Wisconsin native and international celebrity, will be donating her time and concert to perform a benefit concert on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at the Waukesha Civic Theatre. "My Life Through Music" is the premiere of a one-woman that she hopes to take to the international stage. This exciting night of music is a telling of her life story through song and anecdote, following her from Waukesha to New York and finally Los Angeles. Songs will include Broadway hits, Disco favorites, Spanish Language Pop Music as well as Romantic Songs. All proceeds from this show will benefit the Waukesha Civic Theatre.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Waukesha, Carmen is an alumnus of Syracuse University and has a BFA in Music Theatre. She also studied Broadcast Journalism though the UCLA Certificate program. Carmen is a vocalist who also plays nine instruments. She has acted and sung in 17 different countries; her current project is a television show called Be Handy con Carmen. As creator, producer and host, Carmen brings the female perspective to the combination of home improvement, power tools, design and "do-it-yourself."
As this exciting concert event approaches, we interviewed Carmen about coming home, her show, and what we can expect from her in the future.
What does it mean to you to be opening this show at home?
Of course, it means a ton to me - but, I also a feel a lot more pressure...It's a whole different game when you are standing on stage in front of strangers or in front of family, friends and peers.
What do you want the audience to take away from the show?
Most certainly, I hope they enjoy the music...but, to answer your question specifically - the message is really about following your dreams, even if you are a short, Puerto Rican Kid from Wisconsin. ANYTHING is possible. Through the years, music always gave me the spark and kept the dream alive....more than anything the message is - it is OK to dream and it may just come true.
How is this piece different from what you have done in the past?
The biggest difference is that I will be on stage as ME. Meaning, many of the songs are familiar to most but, I am not interpreting them as the character from the shows. I am interpreting them as Carmen and how these songs played important role in my believing in a dream.
Do you have a favorite moment in the show that you can tell us about?
During the course of the evening, I highlight the songs that inspired me, brought me a message. My favorite section is when I talk about my high school years and when "the world", including me and my parents figured out I actually COULD sing and maybe there was some talent here - those songs really got the dream going.
You have such an interesting, varied background. What do you like to do the best? Why?
What do you mean? Not everyone wields power tools, can cook for 50 in an afternoon and tap dance their way across a stage? Seriously, ever since I was young, people always used to tell me - you have to PICK ONE and stick to it - focus....you are all over the place....somehow, I always knew everything would add up to a total greater than all its parts. However, music is my FIRST creative love!
Tell us a little bit about what led you to write this show.
I love to sing and miss doing it more often. I have been working on the concept of this show for a few years now - wanting to do a one-woman-show and use my story to weave the songs in and out of. As serendipity would have it, the opportunity presented itself to do a benefit at the Waukesha Civic Theatre. I was open to it and also saw it as a great place to do an "out of town" try out.
When you are not in Wisconsin, what do you miss most about home?
1. The people 2. The feeling of "everyone is nice and helpful" 3. Turtle Sundae with extra caramel and pecans, please!
What other exciting things do you have in the works? Anything you can share with us?
I can share that there are some VERY exciting talks in the works for next year. I am excited to continue working with FOX International Spanish Language Channel - Utilisima! I currently have several shows on the channel - Including "Be Handy con Carmen" where I am creator, producer, and host. It airs in 17 countries, including US, Canada, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean. I will start off the next year traveling to Buenos Aires for the taping of the 3rd season of the Popular Talk Show "Tu Vida Mas Simple" - also for Utilisima! Wish I could tell you more - it's gonna get exciting!