Dreams come true. If you see it you could be it. Today I am speaking to a man that has made his dreams become a reality. He is talented, attractive and humble. Here is my q&a with the man of the hour Mr. Frank D’Agostino.
Hello Frank, thank you for taking the time out to speak with me. You are an accomplished figure skater, coach and a producer. Tell me what inspired you to get into skating?
Frank: Oddly enough it
was pure circumstance they built an ice-skating rink next to my grade school.
We all went skating one day after school and the hockey coach the speed skating
coach and the figure skating coach all wanted to teach me. I must have had
potential! I chose figure skating because I love the feeling of jumping
and leaping in the air. I have a lyric in my show “Ice champion“ that says “ I
dream of air and music I dream I float up high. I feel the ice
caress me I feel a power deep inside”. Basically skating chose me!!
David: What do you think is
the biggest misconception about skaters?
Frank: I think the greatest
misconception about any world class athlete including figure skaters is that
they are simply athletes , but you also have to be extremely bright and self-motivated
to get to a world champion type of level. Athletes have to be smart driven and
David: What inspired you to
become a producer?
Frank: Honestly the old adage
if you want to get something done do it yourself. When I first started out no
one was going to produce my shows so I started producing them and became quite
adept at it and enjoyed the producing process. I love bringing together all
disciplines ,other producers directors, choreographers, scenic designers,
actors, and musicians it’s amazing to see everything come together in one
production. The creative process is exhilarating!
David: Which title do you
enjoy the most, skater, coach or producer?
Frank: Well I would have to
say I enjoy the writing process and the creative process more than the physical
nuts and bolts of putting a show together. That being said, I would put
producing and then coaching in that order. Hey Skating is wonderful and I’ve
loved it but I find it more fulfilling being behind the scenes on most levels.
David: What have you learned
about yourself as a skater, coach and producer?
Frank: I’ve learned that
anything I can set my mind to I can do. And I have learned that my word is
important. And if I say something is going to get done then it gets done. There
are so many times when pieces of a show are falling together and you just need
to pull everything together and make it happen and that is my motto my “word” is
David: What is the biggest obstacle you face as a producer?
Frank: The biggest obstacle
is always financing. End of the story. We
sometimes have the best choreographers, the best director, and the most amazing
Broadway actors and if we don’t have the financing you don’t have a project.
This happens in the movie industry all the time. One of the famed disappointments of Cinema is
probably that Vivien Leigh and Lawrence Olivier never got the
financing to do “Macbeth” they were very close several times and I think it’s a
crime when ….Art doesn’t happen or materialize. Also, a recent shame was that Barbra Streisand was never able to
raise the capital and greenlight “Gypsy”, her remake.
David: If you can go back in
time what would you tell your teenage self?
Frank: Be your authentic self
and don’t listen to what everyone else thinks you should be.
David: If you could change one thing about the skating profession what would it be?
Frank: I would definitely go back to the heyday of Dick Button, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, and Brian Boitano
when we cared about art artistry edges spins overall program content not just
triple quad, quad triple, quad quad. I
think it has cheapened the sport and the artistic integrity of our sport. Dick
Button, Peggy Fleming ,Dorothy Hamill ,Brian Boitano and artists
like John Curry Toller Cranston and I always loved Paul Wiley‘s and Jonny Weir ‘s skating . This was art back then. There’s
actually a comedy song in my show Ice
Champion in which the commentators discuss this in lyrics …… (when we
cared about art artistry edges spins overall program content). There is no
longevity or name recognition because every other year a new 15 or 16-year-old
takes top spot. They are not allowed to develop artistically
David: Who is someone that
influenced your skating career?
Frank: Eloise Hamill Becker, one of my main coach’s and of course the greats of our sport as
I mentioned , Tenley Albright, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Boitano, Michelle Kwan, Toller Cranston and Janet
Lynn, just to name a few. Athletes, heroes, icons, and examples to all of
the youth of today. Also, dear friends
and Olympians who inspire me every day Evgeni
Platov and Diane Agle.
David: What are some new
projects you are working on?
Frank: We are currently working on an international production of Ice Champion, The Musical an on ice musical about the lives of figure skating. We have a South Korean production team a New York production team and a Palm Beach production team. We recently did an equity reading of the show in New York to great success and look very forward to moving into the next phases of production with Amas musical theater www.icechampion.net
David: Thank you for your
time. What are some words of wisdom to all the readers?
Frank: Dream it live it every day and become it. I love A quote from Eleanor Roosevelt “never deprive someone of hope it may be all they have” So many actors and creatives are told sometimes to give up and live a more traditional life. Never give up. I’ve always said if you want to be an actor or a writer you need to want to do that as much as you want your next breath. Otherwise don’t do it
Photo Credit: Frank D’Agostino