One of the most exciting moments of my life had come, my parents were already in LA to help me how they had done all their lives. Without his presence nothing would be possible for me, especially emotionally. Founding a Festival of this category is only achieved with a great team of at least 10 production people, but because of a dream, Enrrique Morente, Diego el Cigala and El Montoyita, I threw myself into the pool only with Sofía and Paul.
La Misión de San Gabriel was the theater I chose to represent Flamenco Dreams. The theater was stately, elegant, beautiful and very welcoming, passionate red and perfect for representing flamenco, especially with 10 musicians taking live acoustics was the main thing and my father as director of the Hispavox recording studios gave me the go-ahead. The fact of being a Catholic mission for me was already synonymous with success. If I had been focused on recovering the investment with the box office, I would have looked for a theater in the city of Los Angeles and not have to displace the public, although it must be recognized that flamenco, like faith, moves mountains and people move it does not matter where as long as you can enjoy flamenco directly from Spain.
The artists all arrived on a direct flight from Madrid and a Van was waiting to take them to the hotel, I also had to go to check that no artist had stayed on the ground and so Paul and I would take my Music Director and the manager to talk about the itinerary I had prepared for them.
When we arrived at the Biltmore Hotel, all the artists were amazed at the luxury of the rooms and facilities. They asked in the contract to stay in a hotel with a minimum of three stars but they did not expect one of 5 and they immediately began to comment that Joaquin Cortes had never brought them with such category and as soon as they saw me walk through the lobby they yelled an OLE! What rumbled the walls and some of the customers who were waiting to check in at reception joined the party without thinking and repeated the OLE! As if they were in a bullfight. Of course at that time everyone in the hotel would be invited to the show.
Paul met with the artists in one room to give them the diets for the 5 days they would be in LA and warned them by my order that the contents of the mini bar did not enter the room and that they will not spend all the money in one day because there would be no more. In the world of flamenco, it is very common for them to ask production for money as if it were a bank. Then he told them to rest and what later they would pick them up for dinner and the welcome party that we had prepared for them at the mansion of a Brazilian model who was looking forward to meeting them. Just mentioning the word mansion and model was enough for everyone to start to revolutionize and of course, the party had already started for them.
The entrance to the mansion was from a movie, a 5 meter high waterfall with colored lights collided with huge rocks in a lake that ran through the entire garden bordering the mansion to flow into an Olympic pool surrounded by wildlife.
The model along with her mother, were receiving each of the musicians who very politely took the opportunity to be Spanish and give two kisses, although some decided to stay with the French culture and give 3, others decided to stay with the Normandy custom of give 4 and the most savvy with the Russian in which sometimes up to 6 kisses are given. That made us all smile and the time to relax had come.
In LA, rum, whiskey or vodka mixed with a Coke or Fanta soda, what we call Una Copa, is not the usual thing. So the cocktail menu began to pass from hand to hand through the musicians who, like little children, choosing an ice cream, drove the bartender crazy.
The next day we had general rehearsal and we couldn't go to bed very late. But it was impossible to stop the euphoria caused by the Cosmopolitans, Margaritas and Mojitos. Many guests had arrived and especially many beautiful women and that is when my state of alarm began to warn me that something was going to happen. The tobacco had run out and we were on a hill away from everything, but some musicians had already taken it upon themselves to send Paul without my permission to buy. When I realized that each of the musicians and their partner were already telling them, I don't know what story, since they didn't speak English, but as music has no languages, there they were organizing their flamenco party in a section of the garden and without any intention of leave and neither do his girlfriends. But my alert was correct and a gangster was missing! Paul did not know anything, the poor man had to travel hundreds of kilometers and still had not returned. I already needed to rest. I had not slept for a long time and to dance rest is essential. But it was also essential that the “Cantaor” the singer, showed up in time to take him to the hotel along with the rest.
Finally Paul arrived with the tobacco and the party continued this time with all the guests who did not hesitate to be part of the exclusive preview of Flamenco Dreams.
When he arrived at the hotel Paul expected to find the “Cantaor” at least asleep, but it was not like that. He did not want to call me so as not to worry and let me rest, he knew how I was fighting for this dream and the great effort of so many months. So Paul called my father and between the two of them they began to remember the last time they saw him at the mansion without success. Time passed and the gánster still did not appear. He did not have a mobile phone so the only thing left was to wait for him at the hotel.
Three hours later he appeared and could not even say good night, he was completely hoarse and voiceless and in a few hours he had to sing. Paul knew me perfectly and he was not going to allow me to be upset and not be able to do the general rehearsal in which I had worked so hard and in which the press would be criticizing and recording. Fortunately, a doctor friend of his who was able to locate and who was on duty received them at the hospital to inject him with cortisone so that he could sing. That treatment and emergencies cost more than $ 1,500. As it was a dream it had to be perfect and he did not charge anything. Although Paul would have been to discount it to the “ Cantaor” but he did not. So that the next time he would have more care and above all more consideration with the people who could not rest because of him.
The soundcheck went wonderfully, with my father and the well known sound technician Antonio Maldonado success when mixing the string was assured and the gangster resurfaced like Ave Fenix and nobody noticed. When it was time to put the lights on, the musicians continued to surprise the way I was as an artist, because when I realized that they only illuminated me, I stopped the rehearsal and asked Juanjo Beloqui to illuminate the musicians, I wanted to see them and that the public see them too. When he told me - Excuse me, Esther, because Joaquin Cortes doesn't enlighten them, I thought you wanted it that way too. A journalist immediately took an interest in the subject and asked me for an interview to speak on a TV program about the desire for leadership in show business.
When the rehearsal ended is when Paul told me about the odyssey of the night before and the gangster himself who, apologizing, explained to me why he could not resist escaping in the limousine with the African model who was waiting for him and who promised him that they would only be there for a while walking around but she would not let him go and he became hoarse as he desperately shouted in African and bulerías compás; - Let me go, you have me crazy! ...