Tuesday, October 24, 2017


You wouldn't build a house without a foundation right?  Same holds true with training to be an artist. In fact, anything you chose to do in life you will require training.  In the performing arts, it is the fundamental piece to success.

You cannot and should not by any means get on any stage without proper training.  If this is your chosen field, respect it.  I've witnessed so many people who take one acting class and suddenly they assume they are professional actors.  They show complete disrespect for the profession, and soon find themselves criticized by others or drop out because they can't compete.  The same holds true for dance.  There are people who call themselves dancers, but in reality their only skill is social dancing. 

Training will open doors and give you longevity.  Most importantly it will allow you to do what you want to do most... perform.  It is a highly competitive field, you need to be ready for what's ahead.  Opportunities only knock once, if you are not ready for when they arise, they'll be gone forever.  Prepare.

Get ready, because there's no way around it.  To become a professional performer, and what I mean by "professional" is to make a living at it,  you need years of training in several disciplines.  (More on being a "professional" later.)  Find the right programs and schools and train.  Read all the books you can and learn about the business.  Find yourself a mentor to guide you.  Be open to learning.  I've been in Show business for over forty years and I'm still learning.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Be grateful

One of the most important characteristics of a successful performer is to be grateful.  You must learn to be grateful to your parents, your teachers, your employers, the people that help you even in the smallest endeavor or step on the path to your career.  I cannot stress this enough.

Be grateful.

This quality must be learned from the start.  If someone lends you a hand, don't forget it.  Don't forget the teachers that help you, even when you move on to the next.  Don't forget the people who give you your first opportunities, even when bigger opportunities lie in the horizon.  Don't forget the people who give you advice.

Be grateful.

Being grateful is not just a pleasant quality to have as a performer, but also as a person.  You never know if you ever need them again.  Don't forget them.  Don't take them for granted.  Say thank you.

Be grateful.

I've met so many people who forget the people who have helped them, and later wonder why they no longer receive the help.  I know a young performer who gained all his professional experience due to the help he received from some good friends.  Later, he went off to do several smaller projects, but in the biography for those projects, he mentioned everyone but the friends who helped him.  Later when this performer had no job, he asked a friend why the people who helped him originally no longer gave him a break, and the friend told him:  "Read your bio."

Be grateful.

I've always worked in this business, and not because of my talent.  I learned early on, to say thank you and not forget those who gave me a hand.  I made a ton of mistakes along the way, but I learned that no one is indispensable.  I learned that it is not just a "nice" characteristic, but that my success in show business, and moreover in life, depended on being grateful.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Making a Choice

As an aspiring performer the most important decision that you will need to make is the active choice that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life.  It's beyond making a choice.  It's making a commitment to yourself.  No one can make it for you.  You need to believe it completely, because you will be tested in every way imaginable.   Making a conscious decision will ready you for what's ahead.  And get ready, because there's a lot that goes into being a "true" professional performer or "artist".

Becoming a performer is not just about talent or ability, ninety percent is perseverance, along with training, dedication, gratitude, networking, and a long list of things which we will cover later on.

Most of the people I have met that have had a successful career in show business, are not necessarily the most talented.  More often than not, the successful ones are the hardest working, the ones with "heart", the ones who don't give up, the ones who train and train and train, and the ones who are grateful.  They succeed because they simply love what they do, and they've made an active choice.

The question is:  are you ready to Make a Choice?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Welcome to "Advice to Performers"

Welcome to "Advice to Performers".  In this blog I will share my experiences, and give my humble advice to performers wishing a career in the entertainment industry.  It is a blog for young aspiring artists or seasoned pro's.  I've begun this blog not because I know it all or have had the perfect career, in fact far from it, but because of all the mistakes I've made and how I've managed to survive and grow from those mistakes.  

I've had a lucrative forty year career where I've made some costly mistakes, as well as really wonderful choices for myself.  I share with you my experience of working for four decades as an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, teacher, writer, director, producer, press agent, and booking agent.  I've been on just about every side of the fence.  I offer my perspective, and hope it benefits you and helps you avoid some pitfalls along the path of this wonderfully exciting and often heartbreaking career.

I wish you the best in your journey.  Hold on for a great ride.
Best regards,

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Who's Lucio Fernandez

Lucio Fernandez is a multi-award winning actor, singer, director, and producer. His many awards include ATI Award, ARTE Award, ITRA Award, ACE Award, STAR Award, HOLA Award, Proclamation from the United States Congress, State Proclamation from Governor Chris Christie, and many other Proclamations, Citations, and awards for his artistic achievements and contributions to the community.

He has had a varied and successful career working extensively as an actor, singer, director, and producer. In 2014 he appeared in the play "Comfort" at Lincoln Center in NYC; and in 2013, Lucio appeared Off Broadway in the plays "Till Death" and "Busco Amigo"; and prior to that he starred and produced the Off Broadway play "Cuba: Punto X" to great critical acclaim, and which garnered two ACE Awards, two HOLA Awards, and one ATI Award. He received rave reviews for his one-man show entitled "Lucio... Less Cuban Than Ever" in a sold-out run at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC. His previous one-man show "The Cuban Kid" also played to sold out audiences in NYC and received stellar reviews as well as several awards, including a MAC Award nomination.

As a vocalist, Lucio has recorded the music CD's entitled "American Mambo", "Enamorado" and "Volver a Ti", as well as a poetry CD featuring his own poetry entitled "Lucio Fernandez, Poetry".  Recently he toured throughout Mexico, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic, followed by a concert at Lincoln Center in NYC.  Although he is a solo artist, he is also presently lead singer and manager of the musical group Maxima Alerta.

He has traveled the world with several Broadway shows including "West Side Story", "Guys And Dolls", "A Chorus Line", "Jesus Christ Superstar", and "On The Town". He has worked with many of Broadway's leading directors and choreographers, including Jerome Robbins, Jerry Zaks, Michael Peters, Robert Longbottom, and Alan Johnson. For three and a half years, he was a principal actor with Repertorio Español in NYC where he performed in such plays as "Strawberry and Chocolate", "Vieques", "Luminaria", "El Publico" by Federico Garcia Lorca, "El Cano", "Te Juro Juana Que Tengo Ganas", and "The Next Stop". Lucio also starred in the Off Broadway play "Speedo & The Straight Man" at the Kraine Theater in NYC for which he received much critical acclaim. Broadway Workshops include "Tropicana" (Chita Rivera, Artistic Director), "Strides" (Michele Assaf, Choreographer), and "El Shaddai".

Lucio has performed alongside many great artists including Marc Anthony, Shirley MacLaine, Gene Kelly, The Pointer Sisters, Tommy Tune, Susan Lucci, Shirley Verrett, Lupita Ferrer, and Lorna Luft. Recently he has appeared in concert alongside such notable Latin recording artists as Jon Secada, Jose Luis Rodriguez "El Puma", Sophy De Puerto Rico, Elio Roca, Malena Burke, and Roberto Ledesma. He has performed at many of the world's finest theaters including Lincoln Center in New York City, the Chatelet in Paris, and the Berlin Opera House. Recently he was invited by the Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra in Guayaquil, Ecuador to perform a solo concert; as well as performed multiple concerts throughout Mexico.

He has made appearances on many television shows including a recurring role as an "orderly" on the daytime series "All My Children". Most recently he was seen on "Younger" on TV Land, the Emmy Award winning show "30 Rock" on NBC, "Louie" on FX, and "The Jimmy Fallon Show" on NBC. Presently, he is the host of the television show "Live On Stage" airing on Cablevision, ComCast, Time Warner Cable, RCN, and Verizon FiOS; and on the show "La Revista Semanal" on Azteca America. 

Lucio has appeared in many television and radio commercials for products such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Sprite, Panasonic, Kudos, Verizon, etc. He has worked extensively as a voice-over artist, and did the looping for the role of "Lazaro" in the award winning feature film "Before Night Falls", and on the feature film "Che" starring Benicio Del Toro. 

Lucio is the author of "Union City in Pictures", two poetry books, two children's books, and a dozen plays.  He has directed, choreographed, and produced many shows, from big musicals to one character plays, from children's performances to benefit concerts. His comedy "Till Death Do Us Part" premiered at The Grace Theatre in 2001, and then played at Newark Symphony Hall, followed by a run at The Gramercy Arts Theatre in NYC. His family musical "Friend Wanted" also premiered at The Grace Theatre before touring through many of New Jersey's best theaters. His original production, "Havana Moon, The Musical" played to a sold-out audience at Newark Symphony Hall, then at the Park Performing Arts Center. 

As a fine artist, he has exhibited his work at many galleries and museums, including Queens Museum of Art, Union City Museum of Art, Newark Museum of Art, Pace University, and MasterCard World Headquarters.

Lucio is founder & CEO of MeLu Communications Group, a full service production and public relations company, dedicated to producing for theatre, television, and film. Through its subsidiary, MeLu Films, the company has produced many films including the feature films "Vampire in Union City" and the documentary "Bahia de Cochinos, Nuestra Perspectiva"; as well as many short films such as "Massacre in the Woods", "Under a City Tree", "Blink", "Cubanoson: The Story", "Pissin", "The Embroidery Industry in Union City, NJ", “Sal”, and most recently the documentary "Painting Linda".  He has produced many films with other companies including "The Death of April", "La Academia", and "Almas de Furia”.  As a producer, he has produced hundreds of of events, plays, and concerts including at notable venues such as the United Nations, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall.

He was co-founder and Artistic Director of The Grace Theatre Workshop, Inc., the premiere presenter of bilingual and Spanish language theatre in the State of New Jersey. He has taught dance, drama, and playwriting, as well as participated in many school career days, and lectured at many organizations.

Lucio is presently Commissioner of the City of Union City. He has served as Chairman of the Union City Redevelopment Board, Trustee of the Union City Board of Education, Commissioner for the Union City Housing Authority, President of the Union City Public Library Friends, Inc., and President of the Union City Day Care Program. Lucio is a graduate of Rutgers University, and studied acting in New York City with the legendary acting teacher Bobby Lewis. He is an advocate for the arts and is always trying to promote and support artists and the arts in general, as well as stress the importance of the arts in every community.