Patrick Ortiz


EP 66: Patrick Ortiz (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it, episode 66. 

[00:00:05] Alrighty, let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today, Patrick Ortiz. Are you ready for this Patrick? 


[00:00:13]Patrick Ortiz: [00:00:13] Yeah.

[00:00:17] Dane Reis: [00:00:17] Yes. I love that. All right. Patrick is a multifaceted performer and entertainer taking on roles in various mediums. Credits include TV. Zoe’s extraordinary playlist, where he played Eddie one life to live and the unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Broadway West side story and mama Mia, regional Baz star crossed the love where he was the dance captain Romeo and the understudy for the ballroom couple. Just one of them. The brat pack alter boys, the muni production of West side story mama Mia, Cathy Rigbys, Peter pan and orchid, a burlesque circus as lead vocals and vocal. Captain Patrick also holds a BFA from Cal state Fullerton. Patrick. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps, who you are, where you’re from, where you’re currently calling home and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:19]Patrick Ortiz: [00:01:19] . I grew up in beautiful sunny San Diego. I grew up in East County, San Diego in a town called San te. Um, I currently live in Los Angeles. Uh, I didn’t start performing until I was around 16. I did start, um, by playing piano at the age of four by ear and eventually started lessons. Um, I spent most of my childhood. 10 years actually focusing on sports and academics. I played around 14 years of competitive traveling soccer. Um, competitive tennis and track and field. And I was also heavily involved in. Academically and competed in science, science field day competitions. So I, um, didn’t start theater and still halfway through high school. And once I did, I was obsessed with it. And I decided I wanted to pursue a career in it. So I. Started the musical theater BFA program at Cal state Fullerton. Um, it’s a two year BFA program and the first two years. Uh, they make cuts every semester. So I was lucky enough to be part of the 11 that were chosen out of 140, approximately. Um, after my junior year, um, I took an offer to be in West side story on Broadway. I moved to New York at 21. And have been performing ever since. Um, my career as a performer, um, I mostly started off as. Uh, dancers slash principal cover. Um, and eventually, truly found a way or found my niece in swinging shows, which came very naturally to me. Um, I feel like most swings to an extent are, you know, triple threats, but plus they also have that brain organizational skill. Which is incredible and the ability to cover. You know, sometimes 13 tracks, uh, Swings. They’re pretty much superheroes. Um, yeah, they are because it’s, it’s not easy. , um, Because whenever casting directors see us waiting or they see it on your resume, , that’s gold for them. Um, but now mainly, uh, in my career and focusing on principal roles. Uh, trying to, we’re not the dancing’s since I’m not getting any younger. Um, But it somehow always keeps popping up at auditions and calls and breakdowns and like, all right. Still taking for a couple more years. 

[00:03:48] Dane Reis: [00:03:48] Yeah, that’s great. And I love that you brought up that you’re a swing. You’re a fantastic swing. Cause I’ve, I’ve had the pleasure of working with you. And,  I also found the swing world and you’re right. It is crazy. And you said 13 tracks. I remember there was a time I was doing in Vegas. Five different shows in 11 different tracks. And I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing from moment to moment. Uh, but it was crazy, but I, I love that. I love, I love swinging shows cause you never know what you’re 

[00:04:16] Patrick Ortiz: [00:04:16] I do too. Exactly. Exactly. And it’s always a new show. I mean, Not gonna lie. Like the first, maybe  six or seven shows are absolutely terrifying, but when you’ve, when you find your rhythm and you know, you find your patterns, it’s exciting because every show is new and different and you. Have different dance partners and different people. And so it’s, I enjoy singing a lot.

[00:04:41] Dane Reis: [00:04:41] Absolutely. Well, let’s move on to this next section here. And Patrick, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:04:52]Patrick Ortiz: [00:04:52] my quote is a quote that, um, I have hung on to since college. Um, I heard it from one of my acting teachers and I can’t remember the source of who said it. I’m sure it was.  one of the acting variants like Stanislavski or someone . Um, but it is. It goes like this, it says. To be an actor is to have compassion for the human condition. And I think, um, That just is. A beautiful insight to what we do as actors. You know, we have to. Have the capability to go inside. Different people from different walks of life and different backgrounds and go into their minds. And. Understand how they function and believe them, whatever their truth is and relate to them. And most of all, you have to. Root for them. You have to want them to win. And,  I think having compassion for the human condition. Applies to acting, but then it also applies to reality and real life and everyday life. And you know, when you are forced to put yourself into other people’s shoes for a living, you start to do it in real life. And it  makes you a lot more, um, understanding with strangers or people you don’t agree with .  Absolutely. Absolutely. I think you’re 100% correct with that, that us as performers and entertainers. And when we’ve been able to have the opportunity to play different roles that. When it translates into real life, the level of empathy. 

[00:06:24] Empathy. Yeah. 

[00:06:26] Dane Reis: [00:06:26] within the entertainment community, I think is some of the highest that you’re gonna find.  across any industry.

[00:06:32]Patrick Ortiz: [00:06:32] Of course, and you know, that is validated and re. Selected in, , what  the most successful people in our business? You know, they’re, they’re philanthropists there, you know, hu human rights activists. They’re fighting for human trafficking for like all these human rights, because. They have empathy. They have compassion for the human condition. So. I love that quote.

[00:06:54] Dane Reis: [00:06:54] Absolutely. I love that. Thank you for bringing that up. And let’s move on to this section. So Patrick, of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think that you’d agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries, either of us have probably ever experienced. And you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like your having now takes a lot. Of dedication and hard work. And while of course, yeah, there was an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:07:52]Patrick Ortiz: [00:07:52] Yeah. Yup. You’re you’re correct. It’s not easy doing what we do. Um, I would say. , a key challenge. An obstacle that I learned very early on in my career when I was. First starting off in New York. That was 20 years old living in New York. And. Um, is just getting an understanding of the business, but being. Prepared for EV overly prepared. I feel like for, um, auditions and call backs, there was one specific, uh, invited call. That I, um, went to and I thought I had it in the bag. And. I definitely did not. 

[00:08:30] And, you know, it’s one thing when you mess up in a safe place, like. In a masterclass or  at college. But when it’s in the real world, it’s not so cute and it’s not so fun to laugh about. So, um, Yeah, and being overly prepared for me also helps, um,  battle my nerves, you know, and just helps me just stay focused in the moment.  

[00:08:52] Dane Reis: [00:08:52] I love that. And you’re so right. It’s so good to be prepared, but also calm. Right? And I think being prepared brings that calm when you enter that

[00:09:02] Patrick Ortiz: [00:09:02] Exactly. Exactly. Because when you’re prepared, you have less things that you’re thinking about worrying about, you know, you can just walk into the room, present the work that you’ve worked on. Be connected to the material. Yeah, peace with it.

[00:09:17] Dane Reis: [00:09:17] Yeah, absolutely. All right. Well, let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:09:40]Patrick Ortiz: [00:09:40] Mm. like I said, I got started kind of late compared to lead to other people that work in my business. Um, but I, when I. Joined Cal state Fullerton. We had the opportunity to do this program called front and center. Where they hired a. Uh, huge, uh, Celebrity artists to perform for a benefit and, um, The students got to do a little opener for the artist and our featured artists that I was casting was the Steve Miller band. 

[00:10:10] Which was. Pretty Epic. And, um, I had the opportunity to, um, open the show. Playing the piano singing old time, rock and roll at the Honda center, uh, in orange County, which holds like 10,000 seats. And, um, so, and it was completely packed. So it was one of those moments where. It was so special and magical and it just felt the electricity. And I was like, I need to do this. It’s not a hobby. It’s  my passion. It’s my drive. It’s what I’m going to do. Whether or not I’m getting paid.

[00:10:43] Dane Reis: [00:10:43] Right. I love that. Well, let’s piggyback on that real quick and let’s talk about your number one. Booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs, if they happen to be a part of it and what was going on in your life. And what about that moment makes it your favorite Did moment.

[00:11:05]Patrick Ortiz: [00:11:05] That moment, that one moment in time, like when the Houston said. 

[00:11:11]Um, that moment for me was, will forever be probably the most incredible moment of my life. It was when I booked Westside story on, um, Broadway. , um, It was actually the time. I booked it was my. Third time. They called me in. Um, I auditioned for the remounts in 2009. Um, I was 18 years old. And I had only had one semester of ballet training. And my, and my friends who I was doing youth theater with, he’s like, we’re going to LA you should audition for West side. And I was just excited to learn the choreography. Jerome Robbins. West side story choreography is so iconic and West side story was something. It was my favorite musical of all time. Like we used to dance to it in our living room. My family. , um, when we were little. And it, and it has Puerto Rican. So, you know, being someone of. Puerto Rican descent. It was exciting to see, , my people up there on stage being fierce. Um, . So, yeah, so I made it all the way to New York. The final callbacks in New York on May 1st, um, call and I didn’t make it. I was devastated. Heartbroken, cried a lot. And went back to school and, uh, continued two more years at school. And then they called me, asked me to come in again. And unfortunately I couldn’t come in because of a. School conflicts. Um, And then finally, a month later they called me again and they said, are you still available to come in? And I said, yep. Flew to New York. Had, um, my final reading and singing, I read for Chino and saying for Arthur Lawrence, who wrote the script West side story, he was 93. Years old at the time. 

[00:13:02] And it was funny because I was still so new and naive to musical theater. I didn’t realize that was him. 

[00:13:10] So everyone for everyone. So everyone else was shaking in their boots, but I was like, Oh yeah, he’s in school.

[00:13:18] Um, Yes. Cause if I would’ve known, I probably would have, you know, How to be used the restroom or something. I dunno. But, um, anyways, uh, yeah, and from there I moved to New York at 21 and started. 

[00:13:33] Broadway. 

[00:13:34] Dane Reis: [00:13:34] That 

[00:13:35] Patrick Ortiz: [00:13:35] It was 

[00:13:36] Dane Reis: [00:13:36] amazing. 

[00:13:38] So good. Well, let’s talk about the present for a moment. And what projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And, Hey, it’s a crazy time right now. We are a bits, this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:13:57] Patrick Ortiz: [00:13:57] . Um, A project I recently just finished working on, um, kind of correlates with how I see the entertainment industry moving forward. Um, during these crazy times in situation. Um, so I recently just did an online zoom live reading of a new musical called BYOD. And it’s a story. The story is about Byard Rustin, who was a civil rights activist in the 60s. He was colleagues with Martin Luther King jr. And he was also a gay man. So this musical tells his story from his point of view of being a black man in the civil rights movement. But also having to hide his homosexuality and his, , love interests. So. It’s a, it’s a beautiful, ironic story that here’s this. , human rights activists, who’s having to. , hide part of himself from his own people, you know? and that in the it’s all original music it’s, um, original story. And we did it all via zoom, which was a new frontier for all of us. And it was a learning process. Um, . Doing music rehearsals. And doing, you know, seeing work in, um, acting exercises and, you know, we even had different, um, zoom meeting rooms where we were working on different scenes with different directors. So. It was kind of exciting to, , explore this new. Technological frontier, um, using our craft.  Another thing I loved about, um, working on this project was. That’s. When you’re acting with someone who’s on his screen, , and there’s no set dressing. There’s, um, not a lot of context around your year in your apartment. , it helped me to focus more on my listening as an actor, which. I thought was incredible because , there’s no one else in the room, so you kind of have to listen. 


[00:15:54] Dane Reis: [00:15:54] Great. 

[00:15:54] And is this zoom experience that you’ve had with this reading, something that you see. Can be a viable solution moving forward into the future.

[00:16:04]Patrick Ortiz: [00:16:04] , yes, I think so. Um, I definitely see us. I definitely see us using this and adapting and moving forward. It’s. It’s exciting and scary, but you know, we gotta keep moving forward. That’s the only choice.

[00:16:18] Dane Reis: [00:16:18] Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. And it’s time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening round. 

[00:16:29] I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready? 

[00:16:40] Patrick Ortiz: [00:16:40] ready?

[00:16:41] Dane Reis: [00:16:41] right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:16:48]Patrick Ortiz: [00:16:48] Probably the fact that when you’re an actor, you are constantly looking for work.

[00:16:54] Dane Reis: [00:16:54] it is the inevitability  of this career choice. Isn’t it.

[00:16:57]Patrick Ortiz: [00:16:57] Yes, there is no set in stone. There is no promise for tomorrow. You’re constantly having to. , be rehired and that’s, that’s a very daunting situation. 

[00:17:08] Dane Reis: [00:17:08] For sure. And the second question, what is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:17:16]Patrick Ortiz: [00:17:16] In order to be successful in this business, you have to have three things, talent technique. Slash training and good work ethic slash discipline, . But you need those three things in the reverse order.

[00:17:30]Dane Reis: [00:17:30] Can you 

[00:17:30] explain that a little bit? 

[00:17:32]Patrick Ortiz: [00:17:32] Yeah. So everyone always assumes that, Oh, you’re talented. You’re going to be successful. But it’s the reverse. I feel like in order to be truly successful in this business first, you should have good work ethic and discipline. Second, you should have technique and training to back it up. And third is talent. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people. Who are incredibly talented and I’ve seen their work in different projects or other places. And then. , because they don’t show up on time or they aren’t prepared or.  their pickup isn’t as quick as a dancer or. Technique is lacking. They don’t book the job. You know, someone who was on time prepared, ready to work, eager to work is always going to get the job. 100% because that’s someone who’s reliable and. 

[00:18:24] Who you want to work with? 

[00:18:25] Dane Reis: [00:18:25] Absolutely could not agree more with that. And the third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:18:41]Patrick Ortiz: [00:18:41] you know, right now, when we’re in this weird. Chasm of. 

[00:18:46]Reality. I’ve I’ve just been,  focusing on. Maintaining my crass, you know, singing, working on projects like Byard, um, singing with friends, recording myself, doing covers, writing, whatever it is I need doing dance classes. You know, I know. Broadway dance center is offering online dance classes. If you have enough room in your home. Um, but that way, you know, when you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready when we’re going to  be thrown back into the real world.

[00:19:15] Dane Reis: [00:19:15] Yeah, absolutely. And I love that   everything that you just said is you taking control of your art of your craft. And you saying I’m not waiting around for work and jobs to fall in my lap. I’m going to do my own thing, stay prepared, and also just express yourself in other ways, because. I feel like sometimes us as artists, we, we have to, we have to do what it is. Our art might be whatever that is. And if we don’t, it gets bottled up and we have to let it out. You know what I mean? We have to create, we have to do something cause that’s where we’re fulfilled. And I love that you are taking the time to do that for yourself.

[00:19:55]Patrick Ortiz: [00:19:55] Yeah. Yeah. And it doesn’t have to be in, um,  music or acting, you know, you can. I expressing yourself artistically through cooking or through, you know, something else, some other kind of medium.

[00:20:08] Dane Reis: [00:20:08] Absolutely. Absolutely. And the fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, a podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:20:23]Patrick Ortiz: [00:20:23] honestly, YouTube and Google. I’ve been my best friends, um, in,  figuring out career stuff and tools. , um, Since I’ve been doing so much self taping and filming since I’ve been in LA for a TV shows and pilot seasons. , it’s important to have good lighting and know how to have a good setup and what works for self-tapes. So, I didn’t know. So all I did was Google, how am I supposed to light? And I learned how to do three point lighting and you Google, how am I supposed to film? And, you know, it’s, it’s amazing how much free information and how. How willing people are. To give information. So. Google learn tricks, learn little facts and tidbits because they’re out there. And that way you just have this giant tool belt to pull from whenever you’re in trouble or need it.

[00:21:13] Dane Reis: [00:21:13] Yeah, love that. Love that. And the fifth question. If you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry. What would you do or not do, would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:21:32]Patrick Ortiz: [00:21:32] If I could restart my career right now. I definitely would have all the discipline and knowledge that I’ve accumulated through experience. Um, firsthand. Um, and I would have applied that. You know, I can’t reiterate . How important it is to take pride in your craft and how you present it. And. How others perceive it.

[00:21:55]Dane Reis: [00:21:55] Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, through this, through this podcast and talking to people. 

[00:22:01]A lot of people have,  similar things to say, you know, be disciplined, be reliable, uh, really be present with things. And. A lot of those answers. Also, we have to realize, come from a place of maturity and from being there and screwing things up because all of us as professional entertainers, I don’t think anyone could say I’ve been super determined all the time. , 

[00:22:23] we all screw up throughout our careers and we’ve learned these lessons over time. And hopefully hearing this time and time and time again on this podcast can help. Solidify in those that are coming up in this industry. That this is a real thing. Please listen to the people that have been there and done that because there are certainly mistakes that I think all of us have probably made throughout our careers that we wish we wouldn’t have done. And we’ve had to learn and grow from them. But. There’s so much knowledge right there. Sitting on the table for you to take that and to learn from that without having to necessarily. Experience those negative things yourself.

[00:23:02]Wonderful. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry that you’d like to leave with everyone?

[00:23:14]Patrick Ortiz: [00:23:14] The golden nugget that I love to tell people. Is let your validation come from within yourself. When you allow others, the opportunity. To validate you, you also give them the opportunity to affect you negatively. But  you hold the power of deeming your own success when you seek validation only from, within, not from a booking, not from a callback, but from you. You know, what is to be expected at the audition, you know, what you did to prepare. So you walk in with your list of boxes that you need to check off. And if you went in. You know, dress appropriate, prepared on time, connected to the material sounded warm. And you feel good about it, then you booked it and whatever they’re thinking or saying behind the table, doesn’t matter.

[00:24:05]Dane Reis: [00:24:05] Yeah, I love that. That is such amazing and insightful advice for anybody listening out there. Thank you. And to wrap up this interview, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:24:25]Patrick Ortiz: [00:24:25] Yeah, so you can take out the musical. I just finished working on called At Allen and and also checkouts. The season, one of Zoe’s extraordinary playlist on NBC. I believe it’s available for streaming on Hulu. It’s a great, um, great new show, incredible cast. Um, musical theater is back in mainstream TV, which we all love and we all should be fans of.  Um,

[00:24:54] yeah, so check it out. 

[00:24:56] Dane Reis: [00:24:56] And connect with you on social media?

[00:24:59]Patrick Ortiz: [00:24:59] Yes. Um, I post everything that I’m working on. All my projects, all in my Instagram at Patrick dot M dot Ortiz. 

[00:25:08] Dane Reis: [00:25:08] Fantastic. And everyone listening out there, I put the links to everything he just said into the description of this episode. Patrick, thank you so much for joining me today. It has been such a pleasure to speak with you. 

[00:25:22]Patrick Ortiz: [00:25:22] You too, Dan, thank you so much for having me.