Lee Dueno (The DreamYard Project)
My name is Lee Dueno and I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. I’m twenty-three years old. I’ve been performing since I was seven years old, dancing. I used to perform on the train platforms. I started off being a salsa dancer and then I branched off to hip-hop and I’ve been doing hip-hop ever since. I did dance in school and I was in several different dance groups growing up.
I’ve been doing a lot of acting workshops for the past two years and going to auditions. I did “One Life to Live” once and I played a college student. Right now I’m pulled between the things that I want to do and the things that I need to do because I have two kids. I have a daughter that’s three and my son is one, so I do what I have to do. My family helps me with the kids a lot while I’m at Tempest rehearsal. Originally it took them a while to embrace the fact that I like dance, and singing and acting, but now they understand and they help me out a lot. But I don’t want my artistic pursuits to be a hobby. I want to do something big and I’m fighting for it. I’m not going to stop. I won’t give up; there might have been some setbacks, but that’s life. I always look at it like that. I do what I have to do first and then I do what I have to do for acting. That’s why I love being in The Tempest. I love this project.
Nelson Olivo, who’s also in the cast, is the reason why I came here. I was sleeping and Nelson called me and said, “Bro there’s an audition! There’s an audition! There’s an audition!” He didn’t tell me what type of audition, he only said, “Just come here in ten minutes.” So I came to DreamYard really quick, where they were auditioning that day. Nelson and I work together at St. Barnabas, and at first I didn’t realize we were both dancers. He didn’t know I danced until we did the audition as a matter of fact. When he saw me dancing he was like, “Wow, you’re good!” And I looked at him like, “You’re good too!”
I always wanted to be an actor; I love acting. I love dancing but I feel that acting is the center and my other talents come after, like singing and dancing. Ideally I want to do acting and musical theater. I love musical theater. I watch Glee a lot! My daughter loves Glee too. I’m excited to be on the Delacorte stage! Seeing all those people in the audience is going to give me a rush and I’m going to love it.