Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Ricky Martin, a talented, courageous and humble artist, once again opens his heart and bares his soul to us, his fans. This past Thursday Don Francisco invited Ricky Martin as a guest in his show and I learned a bit more about Ricky’s life, his dreams, his family, children, and his new found happiness. The show opened with Ricky performing in the Chile Telethon, an event that Don Francisco has every year to raise money for disabled children. We all know how much Ricky loves children and how helping them gives him great satisfaction, so of course he had to be present at this important event.
Ricky then began his interview by saying “ Between the book and the album I can say that I emptied myself this past year, it was very intense”. Indeed it was as Ricky wrote a magnificent book titled “Me” in which he takes you on a roller coaster ride from the beginning of his life, when he took a spoon and used it as a microphone showing his love and passion for music, to the moment where he finally made peace with himself and decided to speak his truth and be a free, happy man once and for all. In my opinion I think Ricky was long overdue and I don’t think it’s fair that he lived all these years fighting the demons inside him and being unhappy. Every person has the right to choose their life, their destiny and their sexuality and being famous should not take that power away from you. But I understand that he needed to wait for the perfect time, the moment that felt right for him. And now that everything is out in the open Ricky can put all his fears aside because his fans, his audience has stood by his side, has supported him through this process, and will always be there in the good and the bad. And isn't that what a true fan is all about?
Ricky said” I’ve been able to look at myself in the mirror and see who I really am, it’s an intense process but I deserve it, I owe it to myself. To sit in front of my computer and write, release those intense emotions, this has made me a stronger person today. I am blessed because there are so many people who go their entire lives not knowing who they are and I am celebrating who I am today.”
He then started to speak about his family, people that have always supported him and that he loves very much! “I have two older siblings and I am the only child from my parents’ marriage. My parents got divorced when I was two years old. People have asked me if my parents’ divorce affected me and I tell them that I don’t remember because I was only two years old. To me it was normal for my mom to live in one house and my dad to live in another. I was able to go back and forth between the houses and stay with whoever I chose. I have a great relationship with both of my parents!”
Ricky Martin started his career doing television commercials. He would ask his dad to take him to auditions and for two years Ricky was very successful doing all types of commercials. Then Ricky decided that he wanted to join Menudo, a very famous all boy band, that would drive the girls crazy, and I can include myself in that group of girls. Ricky tried out three times and got rejected all three. They kept telling him that he was too short and that even though he was 12 he looked like he was 9 years old. They suggested he go out and play some basketball to see if he could grow a few inches. But Ricky did not give up and his perseverance got him into Menudo. The producers and managers finally saw what we all see in Ricky Martin today, a determined, hard working, talented artist whose only dream was to be on stage and dedicate his life to music.
Menudo was a phenomenon and we can’t deny that fact, but as Ricky mentions in this interview, he was a 12 year old boy who was away from his family months at a time and he couldn’t help but to get sad and lonely. He called his mom one night crying and begged her to come and get him because he felt very lonely and missed her. His mom said she would speak to the lawyers the next morning and get him out of the Menudo. Lucky for us Ricky changed his mind by morning and he continued in this group until he was 17 years old.
Once Ricky turned 18, he asked for the money he had earned with Menudo and moved to New York City by himself. Ricky was ready to start a new life, a wonderful and simple life as he describes it. He says that there were days that he would just walk the streets, go to theaters, and there were other days when he would stay in bed until 4pm. He was able to get in touch with his emotions and realized that he wanted to continue the path of an artist and musician. He went to Mexico and performed in theaters and he got totally hooked on music, acting, the audience, and this led him to acting in many soap operas. But how was Ricky’s soul, how did he feel deep down inside? His answer was “ I wasn’t thinking about me, all I wanted to do was work. I did shut out all my emotions but I must say that from all this work came wonderful things, this I cannot deny.”
Don Francisco then played a video of an old interview with Ricky, take a look at how much he has changed.
Ricky was very moved by this video. He said that this video made him feel very nostalgic. “I looked good, I was focused, I was working, but I had many conflicts inside.”
I often think and ponder about the lives of my favorite artists. We see them on television, in movies, go to their concerts, and we think that their lives can’t get any better. We see this perfect illusion but often forget that these singers, musicians, actors are human beings. They might look happy all the time and they project great joy but we really don’t know what happens in their personal lives, in their hearts, what goes on in their minds, their troubles, their fears, etc. And I think Ricky Martin is the perfect example in this situation and I thank him for being open and honest with us and showing us that he, just like us, hurts, cries, fears, loves, and the one thing that he wants the most is to be happy!
Then in 1999 Ricky began to live a crazy life or should I say “Livin’ La Vida Loca”. This song made it possible for Ricky to make his cross over and obtain enormous success inside the United States and worldwide. Livin’ La Vida Loca became Martin’s signature song.
Ricky toured for two long years and these were the most intense years of his career. Everyone became interested in Ricky and he could not say no. He got calls from Sting, Placido Domingo, Julio Iglesias, and even Madonna. But all good things must come to an end, so they say right? Ricky started to get depressed and tired, so very tired. He was not enjoying this vida loca anymore. He decided he had to stop and he had to do it right away. He walked away from his music and went back home to Puerto Rico. Then Ricky with a only a backpack over his shoulders Ricky went to India. He was finally totally disconnected from all the craziness, all the noise, and he found peace, calm, humility, meditation and over 25,000 different religions. He also found as he calls them “these beautiful little girls on the streets” homeless girls who stole his heart and changed his life. He knew right then and there that he had to help them and this is how the Ricky Martin Foundation was born. His foundation advocates the well being of children around the globe. It condemns child exploitation as a consequence of human trafficking and modern day slavery. This amazing organization also provides help to victims of disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes.
Don Francisco then played a very touching video from a group of children and adolescents who wanted to thank Ricky for the help that his foundation has provided them. Look at Ricky’s face on the left side of your screen…he is very moved and by his reaction at the end of the video you can totally see the amazing human being that he is!
Ricky explains that these are very talented kids who have no way of expressing their talents and emotions. He is working on a center for these kids where they can be creative and develop their natural music and dance skills. He wants them to know that they have options in life and that they are very special people who deserve to live a descent life.
The conversation then turned a bit more intimate and Don Francisco asked Ricky Martin about his experiences with both men and women. Ricky explains that he has fallen in love with women and that the feeling has been amazing. He mentions that people might listen to this comment and conclude that he is not being honest, that he could be saying this to justify or convince himself of something. Ricky said “ I felt it, my heart was pounding, and when my stomach and hers touched I felt a vibration, there was chemistry. But then one day I fell in love with a man, and love manifests itself in many ways and of course at that moment I was afraid of feeling this way, because I unfortunately grew up thinking that what I was feeling at that moment was terrible, it was some sort of evil, according to my faith, to society. In my culture this was something very bad then my conflict began. I know there are millions of men and women who have gone through the same thing because unfortunately this is seen as being wrong. And this is the most natural, the most beautiful thing, being homosexual has been a blessing, the best gift that God has ever given me.”
Ricky’s eyes then lit up and he said “I always wanted to be a dad and when I decided to become one I already knew who I was.” Ricky was blessed with two beautiful children named Matteo and Valentino and they are his pride and joy. He goes into detail about the emotion that he felt the first time he held his sons in his arms. He admits that nothing compares to being a dad and holding your children, watching them take their first steps, and hearing them say “daddy” for the first time is a feeling that compares to no other. He remembers watching television one day, right after his children were born, and the reporter said” Congratulations Ricky Martin, I wish you all the best now that you are a dad”. Ricky confesses that he broke down and cried like a baby because for the first time he realized that he was a dad and this realization touched his heart and emotions line never before.
Don Francisco asked Ricky what’s going to happen when your children grow up and want to know who their mom is. A very calm and collected Ricky answered like this: “My kids have a “mom” and I will always speak the truth to them. When a child asks a question it means that he is ready to receive an answer . I will tell them that we are a modern family and for that we must be very proud! There are families that have a mom and a dad, others that have just a mom, and there are families that don’t have either one, but they are still a family. And we are a family of three, but there will be more because I want “daddy’s little girl”.
The last question of the night was one that affects not only Ricky but millions of other people in this country. Don Francisco asked Ricky if he had plans to get married someday. Ricky, with his head held very high, answered his question: I am in a stable relationship, love is in my home. Marriage should be an option for everybody, for every citizen of this world. Why can some people have this option and others can’t? I simply don’t understand! He added: “To some people signing that piece of paper is not important and yet it is to others and I would like to have this option. My partner and I have not discussed this, but why can’t have the option in my house, in my country. Why do I have to travel elsewhere to get it? It’s just not fair, not fair!”
Ricky ended the show singing two songs from his album Musica + Alma + Sexo. He performed “Lo Mejor De Mi Vida Eres Tu” and “Te Vas”.
With each interview that Ricky Martin shares with us, I learn a little more about him. I find Ricky a very fascinating person, someone that we can all learn from. Sometimes we live life just going through the motions. Life is precious and we can’t let it waste away. We must take life by the horns and be the person that we always dreamed of being. Just like Ricky did we must always be true to ourselves and be able to look at our reflection in the mirror and say “ I am proud of you”. Remember that the best time is “Now” and that the purpose of life is a life of purpose!
Peace and love – Candela ;-)
And for all you die hard Ricky Fans why not try your luck and enter Ellen Degeneres’ giveaway? Ellen is giving away tickets for all of his shows in the United States, so hey give it a shot, you never know! I already bought mine so if you win I might see you at the concert ;-)
Here‘s the link:
Media Research: Fantasia