5Q’S WITH…CHOREOGRAPHER VERGI RODRIGUEZ
Name: Vergi Rodriguez, www.vergirodriguez.com
Job title: Choreographer, Dancer, Actress
In the field(s) of: Artist Development, Choreography, Entertainment
Originally from: Astoria, Queens
Motto to live by or 1 childhood lesson that stuck with you thru today: I have all of the answers I need within myself. The only people I depend on is myself and God. I’ve learned that the "hard" way. My mother is also someone who I use as an example of how strong I have to be in order to persevere. She helps me see things clearly whenever I’m at a crossroads.
THE 5 Q’S:
Talk a little about what you do, who you’ve worked with and how you broke into choreographing music videos? I started my dance careeer in New York, dancing with local groups / artists and eventually started auditioning for different gigs. Through a referral of a friend I began to work with a Merengue hip hop group called Sandy & Papo MC. It was the first international tour that I worked on. Not only was I a dancer, but the choreographer as well. I learned a lot and was able to see the world doing what I loved. Soon after, I auditioned for the New Power Generation Dance Company which was formed by Prince. I booked it and within a week’s time I had to leave and go live in Minnesota for two months because rehearsals were going to take place at Paisley Park. The legendary studios built in Minnesota by Prince. It was an opportunity for me to work with a legendary artist. Unfortunately, the tour was short lived and was cancelled while we made our stop in Los Angeles. I had to get on the grind again as I was now in Los Angeles. Since I had worked with some Los Angeles based choreographers in New York, I went to every audition I knew about and luckily they remembered me. With the few jobs I would get here and there I began to build my resume and eventually my credibility as a dancer.
I have worked as a dancer with Prince, Shaggy, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, P.Diddy, Jordan Knight, Missy Elliott, Jessica Simpson, B2K, Mario Winanas. Recently, I choreographed Don Omar’s music video "Conte" which was featured on the "Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift" soundtrack. And L.D.A. feat. Zion & Lenoxx "Te Invitan Al Party" off of the Chosen Few: El Documenta Part II. I also choreographed for the movie "Soul Plane" & worked as assistant choreographer on the movie "Honey."
I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really amazing artist, but I am now focusing on working a lot more in the Latin music world again.
I guess if I had to give a "job description", it would be that I work with artist’s, not only for choreography purposes but to also to help them enhance their stage presence / performance skills. I am currently focusing on moving into more artist development.
A lot of my success has been by me hustling and staying focused on moving ahead to achieve my goals. I am gratefully blessed with a very supportive mother, who has guided me and provided me with an unending supply of moral support and unconditional love. She has been my mom, my cheerleader, my advisor and most of all, my best friend.
What we’re some of your greatest challenges breaking into the business? For me, some of the challenges that I came across were my own self-limiting beliefs. It was the times where I didn’t think that I could actually "make it" or that I was "any good." Those were the times were I really found myself learning the most of how strong and thick skinned you have to be to maintain longevity and be successful in this business.
What differentiates Vergi from the rest of the pack? My determination and wanting to see other people learn new things and implement those qualities, not only for "performance purposes" but , hopefully as an everyday part of their lives. If there is something I can teach an artist or performer at a rehearsal and it’s a quality that they can use as a life lesson, then I really feel like I have "done my job". To me, it’s not only about getting an artist, dancer or anyone I work with to "do as I say" but, for them to possibly learn something new about themselves that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Things that influence and motivate me? My mother, film-making, music, people that are using their fame and success to better the world (i.e. Angelina Jolie, Bono, etc.). Seeing my goal and even though I may not know how I will accomplish that goal. Just having the inner knowledge that I have all the strength and courage I need to go after it no matter how far fetched it may seem at the time.
Mac or PC and why? Mac because it’s all I’ve ever used and I love their programs. Especially iMovie. They have a really clever ad campaign as well. I’m already planning on getting the new iPhone.