Tom Heath: Good morning Tucson! It’s a beautiful fall Sunday in the Old Pueblo. Thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on your downtown Tucson Community sponsored rock and roll radio station. This week, we talked to actor, writer, producer Dan Guerrero about his upcoming screening at Tucson Film Fest.
Tom Heath: Each and every Sunday, our focus is on social cultural and economic impacts and Tucson’s Urban core and we shed light on hidden gems. Everyone should know about From a mountain to the U of A and all stops in between you get the inside track right here on 99.1 FM streaming on DowntownRadio.org, and we’re also available on your iPhone or Android by using our very own app. Just head over to your Google Play or the App Store and download Downtown Radio Tucson and you can take us wherever you go. You can get us here on the show contact at Life along the streetcar dot-org. We’re on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.
Tom Heath: Today is October 5th. My name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to Life Along the Streetcar and we start today with an awareness campaign to stop the cycle of domestic violence. The domestic violence awareness series begins tomorrow at is October 7th and according to their website one out of four women and one out of seven men will experience domestic violence.
Tom Heath: This awareness series is an opportunity to learn more about what domestic violence is hear from survivors learn about resources and what you can do to help break the cycle. The sponsoring groups are the Domestic Violence Support Services Project, Downtown Radio and The Screening Room. In fact, the screening room at 127 East Congress is where you can catch the entire series.
Tom Heath: The event is scheduled on the first two Monday’s and the Second Sunday and the last two Tuesday’s in October. So it goes weekly between now and the end of the month and you’re going to want to link to the event from our Facebook page if you want to get the precise details.
Tom Heath: The schedules mostly are in the evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. On October 7th, 14th, 22nd and 29th. So those are two Monday’s and a last two or Tuesdays and there’s also a day-long session with presentations and performances on Sunday the 13th. That’s next Sunday and that’s going to run from 11 to 9 and all of that’s at The Screening Room on Congress.
Tom Heath: Looking at the website, it’s one of those events that’s hard to summarize. It’s one of those opportunities where so many members of our community are coming together with different backgrounds and skill sets and all focused on the goal of ending the cycle of violence. The Tucson quilt project will be participating there be a musician Al Perry, artist Kathy Morrow, personal safety advocate Charles Heller.
Tom Heath: Survivors are sharing their stories, supporting organizations like Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse will provide information and options on what can be done. Felicia Chew, a driving force behind this effort and on our Page Facebook page will link to her website FeliciaChew.com/DVAS for more details.
Tom Heath: A few weeks ago, we mentioned Lalo Guerrero in one of our features about Barrio Viejo and an email came in from one of our listeners saying that his son, Dan Guerrero, was going to be in Tucson for Film Fest. Well, Film Fest is next week, so we reached out to Dan and he graciously responded and we had a great conversation that covered a wide range of topics from his childhood growing up with Lalo Guerrero as a as a father, you know being in a family of a legend.
Tom Heath: Dan was actually born here in Tucson, but grew up in LA and then moved to New York as part of his his own entertainment career and we could take pretty much the entire show to do the introduction with the accomplishments of Dan Guerrero. So we just invite you to check out his website for the complete list. It’s pretty simple. It’s www.DanGuerrero.com.
Tom Heath: Of course, we’ll link to that on our Facebook page after the show, but Dan will be in Tucson next weekend for the screening of his newest film, GayTino, Made In America. It’s an autobiographical film that began as a stage performance back in 2006 and the film version here in Tucson will be at the Scottish Rite as part of Arizona’s part of Tucson’s Film Fest. We recorded our conversation with Dan by phone a little earlier this week and I’m going to share some parts of it with you right now.
Dan Guerrero: I grew up basically in I mean I only was a couple of years in Tucson, but I grew up in LA but at age about 13 or 14 my junior, I was already by the way in drama class at age 13, go figure, and such as such as it was and you know 1950s East LA and our teeth we want to field trip to see the first run of the musical Oklahoma – The Movie and I was just dazzled. I had no idea you could you know go through life singing and dancing.
Dan Guerrero: So I’m like I’m there and as a result by the time I was 21, I moved to New York and to get into musical theater and I lived there for 20 years – 20 years. I lived in New York in the theater their first as a performer and then I more To a theatrical agent for Broadway people and then I eventually moved back to LA when I was 40 and I’ve been here ever since and my entire life has been the entertainment business.
Dan Guerrero: I have worn many hats within that industry, but they kind of all had natural progressives, you know from performer to agent then to casting for a while and then your producer and then kind of returning to performing with my solo show GayTIno, so I’m just a Broadway baby.
Tom Heath: The names that you’ve been connected with, you know, Quincy Jones, Ricky Martin, Jose Feliciano in the music scene, that just speaks to the the breadth of your involvement that’s completely different genres of music and you’re involved with all of them.
Dan Guerrero: Yes. Yes. I’m just like my Dad, I have to have something going on all the time. And I like variety, I get bored very easily. So I love that. I will in my current life, you know, I can screen my selm or I can be doing a speech at the University or I can be producing a big event. Like the one I recently did here in LA to honor our beloved Linda Ronstadt who came out for the event, you know, I can produce at the Kennedy Center then I would perform my solo show and then I direct something and I like the variety. I like the variety,
Tom Heath: You did a really well received a documentary about your father which has gotten numerous Awards and we’re going to numerous accolades. We’re going to hopefully have a chance to talk about that when you get into town, but you’re one man at your one-man show GayTino, this was this was I thought it was just coming up with this was a stage play that you were performing live for years.
Dan Guerrero: Yes. That’s right. That’s right. I mean Here’s the here’s the scenario. I was 65. I had never written a play. I had not performed on stage in 35 years since an Off-Broadway show in New York. So it made perfect sense to me that I should write a solo play. I had no idea what I was doing or what it would do if anything but I knew that I much actually much as I felt when I produce the documentary on dad that aired nationally on PBS stations that will get rid of the original Chicano is that it was always important to me that there be a documentary on Dad.
Dan Guerrero: I never expected to be the Wonder to produce it frankly being, you know producing documentaries a very different animal than producing a big huge concert events of Kennedy Center or producing an awards show on NBC or CBS music specials. Like I did but no one else seemed to be doing it. And so I finally did it. And the reason certainly for dads contribution who he was and what he did that was deserving of a documentary but in the bigger picture, I knew that through his life and her his career the film would really celebrate and and dig deep into Chicano history and Mexican American history.
Dan Guerrero: So that was the big big thing about it is through his life and career people would learn about Chicano history, which is still largely unknown even to see Connells believe it or not. So this was similar because actually the word Goethe no came to me first. I was just thinking about my two identities and the word popped into my head. So I thought it was so clever. I promptly trademarked it and I thought well what the hell am I gonna do with it now and then as Thanks for going on like talking now about 2005 2006.
Dan Guerrero: I began to look back on my life and at my two identities and kind of the intersection of each and again how yes, even even gay young gays, especially they maybe they heard of Harvey Milk, but they don’t really know the full history, you know, and and because I’ve lived so long. In fact, I will be celebrating my 79th birthday when I’m in Tucson for the screening.
Dan Guerrero: I knew that they would kind of get first person what it was like to be growing up gay an easterly and the 1950s or what New York City was like for the gay community and in the early 60s and they’d never seen a Chicano. There was one Mexican restaurant in all of Manhattan when I moved there one, you know, so it was and the people I knew and my dad I wanted to Celebrate and so I really wrote it for all those reasons to celebrate dad to celebrate my book Boyhood friend who grew up to become one of the leaders of the Chicano art movement in the 70s Carlos Alomaras, who we lost to AIDS, HIV AIDS in 1989 and his work is still selling internationally.
Dan Guerrero: So he did achieve it before he passed. I wanted to celebrate those two huge figures in my life. So I decided to write the show. I thought well what the hell I’ll make it entertaining and fun and people can learn something along the way and and then it just took off. I mean it just took off and I did perform an all over the country, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, which was pretty heady. But I always wanted to film it because as the Clock Was ticking and I was getting older I didn’t want all those stories to be lost, you know, and so I filmed it last November it’s very new. Finished it off, you know editing and colorization and little color correct, all that stuff around I’d say April May and then I started to submit it to film festivals, and I’ve been in quite a few already, but Tucson will be the crown jewel of our in my Festival screenings.
Tom Heath: You are listening to Dan Guerrero. He is the son of Lalo Guerrero and an Entertainer in his own right? We’ll be back to our interview with him from a phone conversation earlier this week and just a few minutes, but I want to remind you that you’re listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio.org. And we’ll finish up our interview with Dan Guerrera here as we talk about his film Goethe. No made in America will be at the Tucson Film Fest the Scottish Rite Temple on Saturday the 12th next Saturday.
Tom Heath: When you’re doing a film of a performance like that you are you recording a live performance or is it is it correct? Okay, so it’s the same thing you would have seen on stage. It hasn’t been necessarily adapted. It’s just been recorded.
Dan Guerrero: That’s right. I did two performances in one day and we filmed both of them and then obviously you take the best seen from each one or you know, all that that lighting looks a little strange was a better in the second. Oh great or or as happen all damn. I forgot that line. Did I say in the other show? Yes, I do. Thank goodness use that take you know, that kind of thing. So, okay. Yeah. It’s a film of a live stage performance with an audience. We had two audiences wondering when Freak Show. And I killed it at where I went to school. I went to East Los Angeles college graduated from their 1961 and they have a beautiful new Performing Arts Center there and that’s where I filmed the show back at my alma mater which gave it another lovely layer of personal emotion for me.
Tom Heath: Well filmed at your alma mater and now not the debut, but certainly our Arizona debut. I think in in Tucson here just coming up on this Saturday the 12th, right?
Dan Guerrero: Yes. Yes, October 12th at 8 p.m. At Scottish Rite the venue there. That’s why screen dance documentary a few years ago. So I was very very happy to be selected to have gate. I have friends coming from La actually going to see it in Tucson. They missed the screening so that I’ve done so far and they said I love to someone. Yeah, I’m going to make a road trip. I got an email last night from a friend. I just bought five. Tickets I’m going to make the road trip there.
Tom Heath: Can you tell me a little bit about about Tucson’s Film Fest you have you been involved with this before?
Dan Guerrero: Only with Dads documentary, Herb Stratford runs the festival and I submitted as documentary. I don’t know the year must have been around. Oh five or six around there because that’s about the time it was airing on PBS and and we screened it there and we’ve kind of kept in touch Through The Years, you know, I going there so many years with that especially because he was a public figure I’d need so many people through him and then they would become my friends as well. And then I’d gone on trips with my own work, you know, I done quite a few things in Tucson. I was invited to sing dad’s about your vehicle at the chunky does fails 50th Anniversary a few years ago with the Oh my God, my beautiful Boys From the Muddy AC Cobra and I think I was the girl Grand Marshal of the Gay Pride Parade a few years ago when I was performing GayTino at the Rialto
Tom Heath: GayTino, you performed it live on stage here in Tucson?
Dan Guerrero: Twice, once at the Leo Rich and and several years later at the at the Rialto. So I’ve done the play twice.
Tom Heath: They’re very nice. Very nice. Well, I know that the film fest that that circuit just has to be exhausting. I mean, you’re in a different city constantly, maybe you’re used to it from your your your home life.
Dan Guerrero: And so that was an easy drive that was like, you know, 45 minutes from where I live here in West Hollywood and then last weekend, I drove to Fresno. Where it was at the at the Fresno real Pride on Festival that was about a three hour drive and I meet such wonderful people and there’s such a positive response to the film is very personal as you see it’s very specific of course to my life, but it still is completely Universal things.
Dan Guerrero: You don’t have to be gay. You do not have to be Latino to enjoy it people go to their own father-son relationship or their best friend relationship or or there there a struggle for self identity and and self-acceptance. Those are all universal theme. So whereas people are seeing, you know, quote my life up there. They look at theirs and it becomes a very personal emotional experience with nobody ever comes up and just says, oh I love the film they do say that but then they go, you know, it reminded me when I more, you know, I felt the same way when I it just It just strikes a chord I take no credit for it. I don’t know how the hell I did it because I had no idea what I was doing. So I really just has stories to tell and that’s what I did.
Tom Heath: I have a feeling you you’re selling yourself a little short, Dan. I think you probably had some us some sense of what you were doing with that. But this is It’s autobiographical it it’s just you on stage correct, or do you have an ensemble?
Dan Guerrero: That’s right. It’s 75 minutes and I should add that. It is actually a play with music. There’s plenty of Dad’s music in it and Broadway Broadway show musical numbers in it. You never hear a you know, a three-minute number and then Applause but but I use you know, 32 bars 16 bars, you know, two choruses of you know, Sondheim and Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein and lot of yellow throughout so there’s some dancing and there’s music it’s funny and then there are some poignant moments along the way. So it’s it’s a little bit of everything.
Dan Guerrero: You know, the tagline is mariachi Timmerman Sondheim to Cesar Chavez because that’s what my life has been. I’ve lived in those two worlds. And and if you’ve never heard of merman line because that little bit about her is 3 minutes and we’re on to something else. I mean we’re packing, you know, seven decades into 75 minutes so it moves very quickly.
Dan Guerrero: But yeah, I’m proud of it. I really am but I as I say, I’m constantly shocked, you know half the time I’m like, oh God who cares about this old codger being around stage and carrying on at this age how ridiculous and and then I’ll go to a festival and I hear people and especially young people or people maybe who are struggling with their sexual identity and and what the show does for them. And then I do feel proud I really do.
Tom Heath: I’d have to imagine after performing this for close to 15 years live on stage looking out. An audience to be in the audience looking back at yourself performing. It’s going to be amazing.
Dan Guerrero: It’s a trip. Let me tell you the first time I saw time like what’s with that wrinkle? What’s with that? That’s what’s with that. Look what’s with that belly. But once I got past all that I am proud of the film, you know, I was so lucky, you know, listen, I’ve been in the business so long. I know so many people and top people so I had emmy-winning producers and Executives errs, and you know, award-winning set designer. Everybody came on board. They all wanted to support me. They wanted to support the show they all knew the play and understood its importance. And so I was able to deliver, you know, a very top quality broadcast quality product for a fraction of what it would have cost in the real world. If somebody friends hadn’t jumped in to help, you know,
Dan Guerrero: I had a big crowd funding Campaign which you know, I had no idea if I’d get anything from it and the response was absolutely tremendous. It was so big and I was able to get enough money through some grants and and crowdfunding that I was able to do two things that I thought I’d have to you know do way down the line and make me have to do another crowdfunding campaign. I have had the script translated into Spanish and it is being subtitled in Spanish right now because I do want to take it to Mexico City and two cities here in the US were Spanish. Maybe they’re the first language for some so I’m doing a Spanish subtitle version and I’m also wanting to get it into universities into Chicano studies or LGBT departments. And so I’m having to study guide made that will illustrate both Chicano history and Latino lgbtq history. Those two things. So those are the things I’m in the middle of right now. Is he subtitled version and the study guide.
Tom Heath: Well, the the the film is GayTino, Made in America. It will be a tie Film Fest here at the Scottish Rite on Saturday 8:00 p.m. Saturday the 12th. You can get tickets through the through FilmFestTucson.com, or do they go to your personal website to get tickets?
Dan Guerrero: Not to my site know they have to go to the website Film Festival.
Tom Heath: It sounds like it’s going to be just just a wonderful display here for for someone who was born in Tucson to come on back and share this autobiographical story. That’s touches so many different so many different lives and if you want to find out more about Dan Guerrero will link to your website and it’s a fascinating read just to Sense of the various pieces of the of the industry that you’ve been in a probably a much easier list to say what you haven’t done, but it’s been a pleasure to speak with you. I hope to meet with you when you get here.
Dan Guerrero: We will meet in Tucson. I look forward to seeing you there. All right. I thank you very very very much for your time today and your support.
Tom Heath: I appreciate your time best of luck, and we’ll see you soon.
Dan Guerrero: Ok, bye. Bye. Bye. Bye. Thank you.
Tom Heath: Very gracious of Dan Guerrero to spend so much time with me on the phone and really looking forward to meeting him when he comes in to Tucson and checking out the screening of Goethe. No made in America at the Scottish Rite Temple as part of Film Fest will have all those details on our Facebook page right after the show. My name is Tom heathy. You’re listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on DowntownRadio.org.
Tom Heath: That’s a wrap to episode 104. Hope you enjoyed our conversation with Dan Guerrero are about his upcoming screening of the film GayTino, Made in America. And we also gave you a little bit of an update on the domestic violence awareness series that will be at the screening room that starts tomorrow and the film fest is next weekend.
Tom Heath: Well, we’re going to leave you with music today by Al Perry. He’s one of those local Tucson artist that is supporting the domestic violence awareness series and thought it was appropriate to end the show today with a little music from him. You are listening to a song called a “Dreaming”. Hope you enjoy it. Hope you have a fantastic week and I hope you tune in next Sunday for more Life along the Streetcar.