As the temporary shutdown of Broadway and theatres around the world continues, Playbill is reaching out to artists to see how they are physically and creatively responding to a changed world.
The series continues with Janet Dacal, who was starring in the national tour of the Tony-winning The Band’s Visit when the pandemic closed theatres around the world. On Broadway she was most recently seen in Harold Prince's Prince of Broadway, and her other Main Stem credits include Carla in In the Heights, Alice in Wonderland, and the ensemble of Good Vibrations. Dacal, seen Off-Broadway in A Taste of Things to Come and In the Heights, was nominated for Carbonell Awards for her work in The Last 5 Years and Five Course Love, and her new album, My Standards, is now available from Ghostlight Records. Dacal will also be part of the all-star line-up of Playbill and The Broadway League’s October 1 ¡VIVA Broadway! concert celebrating Latinx Heritage Month as well as Latinx milestones on Broadway and in theatre.
What is your typical day like now?
Surprisingly, busy as usual! I started an online teaching platform a few years back, and with everything going virtual, the platform is slowly growing. “Broadway Coaching” offers master classes and private lessons with Broadway artists. Schools and individuals are able to connect with artists and learn from their life and professional experiences. It's a pretty neat service to offer theatre lovers during this difficult time. It's inspiring for both the artists and the students. Everyone wins, and that's what I love about it most. Visit BroadwayCoaching.com.
What book/TV show/podcast/film should everyone take the time to consume during this period?
I know so many who are having a challenging time financially, and so I'd like to share with you the miracle that is The Dave Ramsey Show. Dave Ramsey changed my financial life. He has a practical, easy-to-follow method to getting your financial life in order. He takes calls from people with real life money issues, and you learn from their relatable circumstances. Dave is like the grandpa who gives you the medicine you don't wanna take, but you do because you know it's good for you.
During this time of reflection and re-education regarding Black artists and artistry, particularly in the theatre, what do you want people (those in power, fellow actors, audiences) to be aware of? What do you want them to consider further?
Listen and consider growing from what makes you uncomfortable.
What advice would you give to someone who may be struggling with the isolation and/or the current unrest?
If being in your head is the hardest place to be, try doing something new... taking on an interest or hobby you've always wanted to try but never had the time to. This might offer you a distraction and maybe some inspiration.
How, if at all, are you keeping your creative juices flowing? Has that been helpful to you?
The teaching helps me immeasurably. Sharing the love of this art is a wonderful way to keep the fire ignited.
Are you working on any theatrical projects during this time?
I'm very excited to be a part of the ¡VIVA Broadway! concert, brought to you by Playbill and The Broadway League. The event will be taking place on October 1 at 8 PM on Playbill.com. ¡VIVA Broadway! celebrates Latinx Heritage Month, and not only features incredible talent, but proceeds go towards our beloved organizations, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Broadway Bridges.
What organization would you recommend people learn more about or donate to during this time of change?
I'd like to bring some attention to @afectchange, co-founded by @karenolivo and @edenespinosa. Artists for Economic Transparency "turns passion into action by educating artists and consumers of art about the underlying current of inequity in American theater." It's an inspiring time, and I'm moved by the heart and fire of these two women and what they stand for.