Geronimo Angel Gutierrez is the next Idy Talks speaker. Geronimo is a junior at Idyllwild Arts Academy and a musical theater major. Born in Argentina, Geronimo resides in Columbia with his family when not at IAA. Photo by Marshall Smith

Idyllwild Arts Academy junior and musical theater major Geronimo Angel Gutierrez is the next speaker at Idy Talks. The speaker series, once done in conjunction with the Idyllwild Community Center, is now a solo series produced by the academy.

Geronimo, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and now a resident in Medellin, Columbia, came to IAA in the ninth grade, originally to study dance. While taking voice lessons, Geronimo also began to be involved with acting. Now his focus is to become proficient in all three required aspects of having a successful career in musical theater — dancing, singing and acting.

Before coming to Idyllwild Arts, Geronimo studied dance and competed both in New York and Los Angeles in state and national dance competitions. “Eventually, I drifted away from the notion of competing for trophies. I wanted to study where it was all about technique and performance, not about winning competitions.” He had heard about Idyllwild Arts through family friends and came to the academy to develop a career as an artist, learning technique and ensemble performance — as a dancer, as an actor and as a singer.

On advice from Theatre Chair Bonnie Carpenter to broaden his palette of artistic disciplines and in order to become more marketable, Geronimo is planning to take songwriting courses. That also fits with his love of pop music, as well as musical theater. He also wants to learn the business of the entertainment business — how to navigate as a professional performer.

While recognizing the competitiveness of the entertainment business, especially in musical theater and pop music, Geronimo also is clear that his goal is to become authentically himself. “I think everyone should embrace their own quirks, who they are uniquely rather than to try to become someone else,” he said. “There are so many talented people. I think the goal should be to use the transformative power of art to be yourself. That, I believe, is how I can stand out. My goal [as a performer] is not to be better than another person but to be better than what I was yesterday.”

Geronimo said he has learned so much from his family. His father is a professional soccer player (LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and Columbia national team). “In my talk, I will use a PowerPoint presentation to show how I have developed from a child to the person I am today,” he said. “I’ll discuss the outside influences that have shaped me. My family is amazingly supportive. Even though my father is a professional athlete, so different from my career choice, he tells me he learns things from me, watching me perform. They are so supportive.”

Most performers acknowledge that they are nervous either while auditioning or even in performance. Geronimo said he trembled in ninth grade in initial Idyllwild Arts auditions but now views auditions differently. “I go in saying to myself, ‘We’re here to play.’ As much as they’re auditioning me, I’m auditioning them. At the end of a day, everything happens for a reason. If they want to work with me, to help transform a diamond in the rough, then maybe that’s where I should be — working with people who will be supportive and fun to work with.”

Geronimo is focused on today. Although post-IAA professional preparation is a possibility, it is his time at IAA that consumes his attention. “I know the training I take here will prepare me.”
Geronimo will talk about his life and training at the academy and his dreams of becoming a professional performer. “Since I was a young boy, I knew I wanted to be a performer on stage.”

His talk is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at the Town Gallery on North Circle Drive. The talk is free to the public.