“There was a small voice calling me back to the stage, and I made the choice to listen.”
By Michael P Coleman
“What happens to a dream deferred?”
If you’re not familiar with it, that question, from Langston Hughes’ landmark Harlem, has gotten a lot of people back on track over the decades.
If actor Devin Vargas hadn’t asked himself a question similar to that iconic poem’s opening line, he most likely wouldn’t have taken the stage for the first time in 13 years.
The 33-year-old Vargas has been working for the Barstow Unified School District, serving as a Public Information Officer. But after over a decade, he’s returned to his first love, the stage, recently stunning audiences during his debut of a multi night engagement as “Tommy Albright” in a production of Brigadoon at the Barstow Community College Performing Arts Center. The production runs through April 14.
“The first musical I ever saw was Little Shop Of Horrors,” Vargas EXCLUSIVELY recalled, just before his BCC Performing Arts Center debut on April 5. “When the lights came up with Crystal, Ronnette, and Chiffon singing, my brain practically exploded. I came home and was singing the songs for days after.”
“Growing up we didn’t own a television, so the idea of telling a story through singing and dancing really resonated with me. That was probably the defining moment for my musical theatre experience. I went on to perform onstage in middle and high school and community theatre, in productions like Fiddler On The Roof, The Sound Of Music, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and My Fair Lady.”
After hearing that voice of his, many have been left wondering what took Vargas so long to find his way back to musical theatre.
“I was transferring into University and moving to a new city all on my own,” Vargas reflected. “With work and school, I didn’t have enough time for the commitments of musical theatre.”
Vargas wound up moving abroad for awhile, but upon his return, he was drawn back to the stage.
“Once I moved back to the states, I really focused on service work in my hometown,” Vargas said. “After receiving a volunteer service award, I realized I had been giving a lot of myself. There was a small voice calling me back to the stage, and I made the choice to listen.”
Maybe that’s the secret. According to the Book of Matthew, Jesus said many are called, but few are chosen. Michael P Coleman has always added that even fewer listen to the call.
“I’m flexing old muscles that I thought were long gone,” Vargas continued. “It’s so great to get back into the swing of things. It’s kind of like riding a bike — [and] the more I do it, the more I remember why I love it so much.”