In the Room Where it Happens: Rick Negron
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 $75. Click here for tickets.
HAMILTON’s King George III, Rick Negron, has taken San Francisco to heart, exploring its many restaurants and scenic spots. He’s inspired by the show’s many themes and offers up some advice to those who might want to follow in his path.
Tell us about your position/role with HAMILTON. What does a typical day on the job look like for you and what’s your routine?
I play King George III, the villain and comic relief of the show. In many ways this role is the pinnacle of my many years in the theater. A beautifully written character that is demanding vocally and theatrically. It literally has changed my life. My day revolves around adequate sleep, good nutrition and exercise. After a good night sleep, I usually begin with a regimen of probiotics and herbs before breakfast, followed by yoga and or a run/hike. I eat an early dinner around 5pm before heading to the theater. Once there I start warming up my voice before my first song. After the show, I enjoy meeting our fans, signing autographs outside the stage door. Then I go home and wind down with a book and a cup of herbal tea before bed time. I’m pretty consistent with this schedule with the occasional after show meet and greet with friends and family.
What inspires you most about HAMILTON? Which of the show’s themes have resonated in your life?
There are many themes in the show that inspire me. The first that comes to mind is ‘I wrote my way out’. This has been Lin’s (Lin-Manuel Miranda) motto since I met him. He wrote his way into an acting career with In The Heights and has written his way into history. He saw this common thread between Hamilton and himself and also many of his hip hop & rap heroes. That’s when he made the connection that would change his life forever. To this day, he inspires and supports young people to write through the Eduham project.
I’m also inspired by the theme of legacy in the show. It gives me perspective about my own legacy and makes me focus on one of my passions… to inspire our youth. There’s also an excerpt from Ron Chernow’s book that is a theme I’ve been thinking a lot about in light of our current political environment: “eager to make his mark, Hamilton was motivated by a form of ambition much esteemed in the eighteenth century-what he later extolled as the ‘love of fame, the ruling passion of the noblest minds, which would prompt a man to plan and undertake extensive and arduous enterprises for the public benefit.’ Ambition was reckless if inspired by purely selfish motives but laudable if guided by great principles.”
What HAMILTON lyric would you use as your life motto?
Do not throw away your shot!
Are there specific moment(s) that stand out and make you proud of the work the company is doing?
All of it. But I have a special place in my heart for student performances. Somewhere in that audience is the next Lin-Manuel Miranda.
What do you enjoy about working/performing in San Francisco?
The Orpheum Theatre is beautiful and I’ve grown close to the people who work for the theatre and make our show possible. I’m also enjoying the beauty of San Francisco and it’s many iconic and scenic sights.
What’s an item on your San Francisco bucket list?
I have done many, but I still haven’t been to Coit Tower or Alcatraz.
Have you discovered any great neighborhoods?
I live in Cole Valley which is a quiet family neighborhood with great shops and restaurants and beautiful vistas of the city. I also enjoy walking through Hayes Valley, Pacific Heights and visiting Alamo Square Park. However, the outdoorsman in me loves Golden Gate Park, the Presidio and Fort Funston.
Near the theater I enjoy Azalina’s in ‘the market’ for a quick bite. In my neighborhood there’s Zazie’s for brunch. For an upscale dinner, I’m a fan of Foreign Cinema in the Mission District and Cala near Hayes Valley.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, the Painted Ladies, Golden Gate Bridge and Crissy Field, de Young Museum and the San Francisco Botanical Gardens
Muir Woods, Point Bonita Lighthouse (open Sunday & Monday from 12:30-3:30pm), the hike along the cliffs overlooking the ocean in the Presidio and believe it or not, I loved the Bay Cruise from Fisherman’s Wharf.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter your field?
It’s a tough business. Make sure you’re going into it because it’s what inspires you to wake up every morning. At first say yes to everything. Try to experience as many facets of the business as possible.
What’s one thing audiences would be surprised to know about you?
I danced in Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ video.