The Many Faces of Gregorio Malonte
By Jason W. Prokowiew
July 2006 – Backstage at a recent Blu Ultralounge Cabaret, Gregorio Malonte didn’t don just some of the hats someone involved in a show might wear. He wore all of them. As he patted foundation onto a performer’s face, he eyed himself in the mirror and straightened the gold lamé shirt he’d wear in the next number ~ and then barked orders from backstage for the sound person to turn up the microphone for the next vocalist. Singer, actor, director, producer, make-up artist, hairstylist, choreographer, sound and light technician, model scout, karaoke host, drag queen ~ Malonte is all of these people.
When he first stepped on stage at age 7, there weren’t a lot of parts for a half-Guamian, half-Hawaiian kid. “There were a lot of boundaries to cross ~ you’re not black, not white, not Asian enough, they were casting for specific looks. Instead of being discouraged, I decided to help in other parts of the field, I wanted to get my foot in the business, to be judged on my talent,” Malonte said. “That’s what opened up my versatility.”
When the Guam-born, Philadelphia-raised Malonte came to Worcester in the late 80s, it was to perform in a production of La Cage Aux Folles. With his mother already in Massachusetts, he found it easy to transition to the area. He’s parlayed his diverse skills into stints as Creative Director at both Ovation Model and Talent in Worcester and Blu Ultralounge, and as Coordinator of the Miss Italy Massachusetts Pageant. “If I could focus on one thing, it would be directing and placing talent because I enjoy all that comes from it, from the excitement of pre-production to reading reviews,” Malonte said. “By being a creative visionary I get to see past what other might see and lead the way.”
Next up for the 29-year old ~ who recently took home third place in the Boston Pride Idol competition ~ is an out-of-Massachusetts adventure. A June 30 interview landed Malonte a spot on the live-segment production team at NBC. Soon he’ll call one Rockefeller Center in New York City his home away from Massachusetts. “I will be a part of the team that produces all the shows taped in front of a live studio audience. It’s a true blessing,” Malonte said.
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