Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dan Guerrero, Gaytino in Pasadena

You know there are those folks that you meet in your life with whom you don't seem to have anything in common, but somehow, in ways you can't describe you almost instantly connect.  That's the case for me and Dan Guerrero.

I find him charming, funny, hard working, funny, bright, exacting, intelligent, proud, funny.
Well, you get the idea.
I met him when he toured a "guerrilla exhibit" I curated of his father, Lalo Guerrero.  He decided he liked what I had done and probably was a little desperate for an Office Manager for this production he was working on.  The first, gigantor Los Angeles Latino Film Festival.

I had never worked in an office, and haven't worked in one since, but working to coordinate a film festival is amazingly intense.  Deadlines, grants, sponsorships, Edward James Olmos, Andy Garcia, Esai Morales, Helen Mirren, Lee Diamond Phillips - not folks I normally run into on my rounds as a historian.

Through it all we lived and worked in a way that was bigger than life; exacting and flamboyant attention to detail, laughing and working12 hour days, frustration and 14 volunteers in a tiny, tiny office on the KTLA lot.

Part of the joy of working with Dan was getting to hear all the stories.  Of his childhood, of his time in New York and his work on Broadway, and his return to So Cal when he became a Chicano and was  a pioneer in the production; producing, producing, producing.

Some years ago Dan wrote a show about his life.  ¡Gaytino! Mariachi to Merman, Sondheim to Cesar Chavez, A true fable in story and song.  80 minutes of swell theater.

How many folks become a Regents Lecturer at UCLA at 74?  Folks that know Dan are not surprised to know that that is one of his new roles.

Thursday night Dan will be presenting his one man show at 7:00 p.m. in the Westerbeck Recital Hall at Pasadena City College.  I'll be in Row D.

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