Eddie Noel Rodriguez is a Puerto Rican performer who has lived and worked as a professional artist since the age of 14. Starting with the folk dance company, Gibaro de Puerto Rico, where he quickly became a principal, Eddie quickly expanded his repertoire to include singing and acting. The triple threat gained early notoriety from local productions of RENT, HAIR, Piaf, Footloose, Godspell, La Cage Aux Folles, and Man of La Mancha; and as the host of Back2Back on WAPA TV.
As an adult, Eddie came to the continental U.S. as one of many displaced artists in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. “I’ve always dreamed of moving to The Big Apple – the mecca for all things musical theatre. I already had plans of moving to the city to start auditioning and pursuing my dream, but it wasn’t until after Hurricane Maria that I felt forced to move up my plans and get on a plane.”
Coming to New York sooner than expected, Eddie Noel began working at a shop in Times Square directly in front of Telsey + Co. Casting’s office, where he had auditioned for ON YOUR FEET a year prior.
“Working across the street from Telsey was a constant reminder of what I came to the city to do. I knew one day I would walk right back into that office in search of another opportunity; it was just a matter of time. I started working with my current manager, Karen Riposo, auditioning for T.V. shows ‘til finally, in January, Telsey called me to audition for a replacement in the ON YOUR FEET tour in the ensemble and understudying Emilio Estefan.”
Eddie earned an invitation to the final callbacks as one of six to audition for Jerry Mitchell, and two weeks later he got the call that he was booked. A couple days after receiving “the call” he was on a plane heading to East Lansing, MI and thrown into rehearsal. Eddie stepped on stage and made his debut March 3, 2018.
During his run with the show, Eddie’s abilities as an artist have continually expanded and sharpened by meeting each and every challenge with enthusiasm and hard work. “As part of the ensemble, my track consists of 17 complete costume changes and five completely different characters in eight shows a week. I also understudy three principal roles: José Fajarado, Phil, and the lead, Emilio Estefan.”
Not only has Eddie grown as a professional, he has been able to apply the practical knowledge, discipline, and responsibility gained from representing a Broadway musical on the road.
“One of the most beautiful experiences for me while out on tour has been getting to know so many other Latin American artists who, motivated by love for this art form, have been inspired to chase their dreams. In the process, we have formed a family. Similarly, the opportunity to get to know this type of production from within provides me with tools I hope to one day use in order to bring something of this scale to Puerto Rico.
Honestly, despite the limited resources, the art being done in Puerto Rico is incredibly valuable and allows us – the artists taking part in it – an opportunity to learn, work, and compete at an international level. I am proud to use this show as a platform to inform the nation of its Puerto Rican talent pool. Best of all, I get to do this through a musical about chasing your artistic vision and your dreams within the arts.”