Andres Chulisi-Rodriguez is an award-winning actor and the star of the hugely popular one-man show produced by Felix Rojas Growing up Gonzales. He is also the self -published author of Slips, Trips, and Falls a collection of personal essays and poetry. His one-man show I’m Just Saying sold out its limited engagement at The National Black Theater and warranted an encore at The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in which garnered a nomination for a People’s Choice Award for Solo Performer by the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA). A Brooklyn born Afro-Boricua, Chulisi is a well-seasoned performance artist with a penchant for dramedy, the ability to use comedy as a coping mechanism for traumatic life experiences.
1. Who is Andres Chulisi-Rodriguez?
I am a survivor. The one who dares dream with a backbone that amazes my own self sometimes. I am a friend, lover, supporter, believer. I am a man that fought to earn my seat at the table. Loving and emotional yet gritty and unadulterated at the same time. I am Wo-man.
2. How would you describe your artistic aesthetic?
Omg!! Hardcore. A true believer of rehearsal. You can never rehearse enough! Then preparing the body and spirit which involves meditation and prayer. Character development and research.
3. Which medium serves as your most dominant muse? The page or stage? Please elaborate.
This question made me think the most. I am very comfortable with both but I will have to say the stage. Not only am I an actor but being a director and a producer the stage seems to always be the end product. The stage is organic and constantly evolving. The audience is a huge part, it’s a constant cause and effect.
4. In the one-man hit play Growing up Gonzales, you play a plethora of characters. Do you ever find yourself having an affinity toward one specifically?
Though I relate on a personal level with both of the main characters I have a huge sense of redemption when I play Cisco, which is the more innocent and younger brother. He is the emotional bearer of the family and that was me. Except I survived and Cisco didn’t.
5. Who would be your dream collaboration?
Beyond a shadow of a doubt Pedro Amoldovar the famous Spanish director. He always has a gay/drag or androgynous actor in each and every one of his films.
6. What was the best piece of advice a mentor has passed on to you?
STAY HUMBLE!! You never know who is watching your actions. Come in peace and leave with respect.
7. With so many initiatives in place for Latino/a/x inclusivity, where do you envision the landscape of Latino/a/x creative’s is headed?
We are now in demand. They love our story, our grit, our survival. With that being said I see more writing and casting of US as a whole.
8. As an award-winning actor and content creator, what is the overall impact you hope to leave your audience with?
Hope! That our stories, our truths are valid and worthy of being seen. We have a voice. We need to be heard. We can and are more than capable of telling our own stories. Every single time I perform or write a play and see it being done I am so happy that there is an audience that can connect to our struggles or pain.
9. You and I often discuss the thin line of transparency in performance artistry. What is the ebb and flow of your body of work?
Two words. Authenticity & Truth. That’s what I write on, base it on and perform on.
10. Whats next for Andres Chulisi-Rodriguez?
In the process of writing my 2nd book with a one-man show attached to it. We have a few tour dates for 2018 for Growing Up Gonzales. I’m starting to film a pilot called Gurl Talk, about four successful career driven Latinas and their trials and tribulations in family and love. I’m also working on a play called Quien Yo Soy which will revolve around two sisters and the questionable love they have for their dysfunctional mother.