In the Room Where it Happens: Camden Gonzales
In this new exclusive series for The Magazine, members of the company of HAMILTON reflect on what’s it’s like to be a part of the show and performing in San Francisco. HAMILTON continues its smash run at the Orpheum Theatre. Tickets start at $95. Click here for tickets.
Tell us about your position/role with HAMILTON. What does a typical day on the job look like for you?
I’m one of the dance captains and a swing here at “And Peggy”. This means no two days are the same. The dance captain part entails watching the show, taking notes, helping with the overall upkeep of the dancing in the show, and helping teach the show to fellow swings and understudies. As a swing, I have to be ready to go on for any of the ensemble women pretty much at any time. So, for example on a two show day, I could be in the show during the matinee, and then backstage taking notes for the second show. Or maybe even on for someone different altogether. I’ll tell ya what, it never gets boring!
What inspires you most about HAMILTON? Which of the show’s themes have resonated in your life?
I think the overall message of legacy has been resonating most lately. The themes about what we leave behind and how we can leave the world a better place. I think that’s really important.
Are there specific moment(s) that stand out and make you proud of the work the company is doing?
The EduHams are always so incredible. On certain matinees the entire audience is filled with teenagers from under-served schools. And before we perform the show, a handful of them are chosen to get up on the stage and perform pieces they’ve created based on their own studies. The creativity and talent of these kids is out of this world, not to mention the courage it takes to get up in front of thousands of their peers at that age. I never could have done it. It’s always a really special day.
What do you enjoy about working/performing in San Francisco?
I was actually born and raised in the East Bay (El Cerrito to be exact) so for me, being here is all about being with family. I’ve been able to go back and teach at my high school, at my old dance studio and see family on a regular basis. It feels like a homecoming.
What’s an item on your San Francisco bucket list?
I would LOVE to go to a 49ers game. I grew up a fan, but I’ve never been to a live game!
During your time in SF, have you discovered any great restaurants?
Well, I’m living out in Oakland, so all of my discoveries have been across the Bay. A few include The Star Pizza, Zachary’s, Gordos, pretty much all food really.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter your field?
Be someone that people want to work with. Hard work is important, but kindness goes a VERY long way. Keep your ego in check and try to enjoy the ride. Just because someone next to you or the same age as you is achieving a certain thing, doesn’t mean you can’t or you won’t. You’re on your own path. Trust the timing of your own personal journey.