Lights, Camera, Andre
Frank Sinatra School of the Arts’ (FSSA) own super hero Andre Vazquez is more than just the guy that helps with lighting and mic set ups for shows. Mr. Vazquez is involved in stage crafting and he is also the treasurer of our school, responsible for maintaining account balances and answering check requests. Mr. Vazquez plays a huge role in all of our productions as well. Aside from working at Sinatra, his outside schedule is demanding as well.
As a child, Mr. Vazquez lived in the Bronx, NY. Growing up as a New York City boy, he expressed that his childhood was so much fun and he spent it playing Nintendo and baseball outside.
“My dream was to become a baseball player, but that didn’t really work out,” says Mr. Vazquez.
At the age of 14, Mr. Vazquez was asked to help out with lighting at his church. He agreed not knowing what he would be getting himself into. “The crazy part was I had just started working maybe a month,” he said. Then the unexpected occurred leaving him with a heavy decision to make. But being the dedicated and passionate man that he is, he kept going and realized that he really enjoyed what he was doing.
Mr. Vazquez attended New York City College of Technology, and while there obtained his Bachelor’s in Entertainment Technology. He freelanced for a while and was introduced to Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School a few years after the school opened, while it was still located in Laguardia College.
“The last year in that building was my first year there,” he said. “It wasn’t very fun because I was the new guy and not many people trusted me. The teachers didn’t trust anybody. It was hard to break the tension the first yea.r”
Upon moving to the new building, he was the moving coordinator. He coordinated with many companies and contractors. “I thought it was going to be a cute little building with crappy lighting,” he said. But to his surprise it wasn’t. “Holy crap” he said. “Then I got scared because I didn’t think I could do it.” He was very intimidated and overwhelmed, but he soon found his groove.
As the Production Manager of our school, Mr. Vazquez doesn’t see it as being an actual job because he loves it so much. When asked what his favorite part of doing productions was, expression and passion burst through every pore of his body. He answered “calendars!” He then added “As nerdy as this might seem, I just love putting calendars together.”
In his free time Mr. Vazquez freelances and dabbles in other outside projects. He is currently setting lighting for an Alvin Ailey piece at City Center and is kind of nervous about it. Looking up to his inspiration Mark Brickman, Mr. Vazquez works harder and harder to put his all into everything that he does.
Aside from working in school and freelancing, Mr. Vazquez does crossfit and strong man, lifting and throwing heavy weights. He loves what he does and the environment he does it in because he has fun and gets work done at the same time.
“I was sitting on my couch watching TV and I saw this crazy thing so I tried it,” he said, “I thought i couldn’t do it and that I would die. I thought my body would give out on me but it actually didn’t and Now I love it!”
— by Stevonia Hobson ‘15