Miguel Angel Ochoa is a native of Lafayette, LA who’s performed on many local and regional stages. They graduated with their Bachelors of Arts in Vocal Performance from UL Lafayette under the direction of Shawn Roy, and they’ve graced the stage as a professional vocalist, dancer, music director, and most recently burlesque entertainer. With more than 15 years of stage experience, Miguel’s most memorable roles are Alidoro in Rossini’s opera Cenerentola with Bayview Music Festival (Bayview, MI), Marquis in Verdi’s opera La Traviata with Rapides Symphony Orchestra (Alexandria, LA), Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with American Singers’ Opera Project (Winston Salem, NC), and Monty in Lutvak’s Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder with IPAL (New Iberia, LA).
Not only do they enjoy being on stage, but Miguel strongly believes in cultivating the arts in their hometown and surrounding areas. After earning their degree in Music, they went into arts administration and wore countless hats with the local Acadiana Symphony Orchestra & Conservatory of Music under the baton of Mariusz Smolij. After 7 great years of building a foundation and fingerprint in Acadiana’s music scene, COVID detoured Miguel away from managing musicians and students. This heavy challenge brought them back to their roots as a vocalist where they accompanied themselves on piano by streaming at-home concerts, which later encouraged them to perform “porch concerts” so the neighbors could find peace during a difficult time (from a distance, of course).
Even though music has been an integral part of their life since childhood, COVID dared Miguel to make a challenging decision to step away from the music and into fashion where they trained to be a top bridal stylist at David’s Bridal. Within two years, they’ve styled hundreds of brides, wedding parties, proms, etc. where Miguel earned the name “Mr. Birdeye” considering they’ve never received anything less than a 5-star Google rating. At first, leaving the music world devastated 27-year-old Miguel bc they thought they had their life figured out. But David’s Bridal gave Miguel the opportunity to gift that special spotlight to each bride considering love ALWAYS trumps fear. Coco Chanel once said “beauty really begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” And after Miguel shared their story with each bride, this new journey showed them how to embrace and humble themselves, how to live and forgive, and most importantly how to love as every soul is worthy of true happiness. Finding these core values not only brought Miguel back to the stage, but it gave them something to look forward to everyday because life isn’t meant to be perfect, it’s meant to be lived!
Other than fashion and performing, Miguel enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing baseball. But most importantly, more than anything, Miguel is thrilled to be back on stage as it develops their character one stage at a time.
Who makes up your art circle?
Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with an amazing artistic circle composed of mentors, professors and teachers, students, brides, managers, employees, musicians, friends, stage partners, my amazing boyfriend, my unique family, and my community. Without everyone’s general support, I would have no circle. And I cannot take full credit on creating my circle as it certainly didn’t start on its own. Instead, my circle linked with other artistic circles because inspiration and passion are two vital characteristics needed in any form of art.
How do you expand your art circle?
Easy! By collaborations, which I’m always seeking new stage partners and always looking to conquer new stages. As I was classically trained to “stay in the box”, burlesque has taken me out of my comfort zone. It’s giving me opportunities to enhance my improv skills and engage new connections with incredible performers from all around the US, and soon the world!
What value do you see in having a creative community?
An artist without a creative community is comparable to a man, woman, or theydy without water. Or even a Louisianan without Crawfish Étouffée 😉 With a creative community, there should always be encouragement. And every artist also holds onto being their own worst critic. So a community is vital for encouraging artists to do things out of their box for growth, and also to remind artists to stay humble bc we never know who we will inspire as we are always creating newer types of art.
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
First and foremost, my artistic approach would be nonexistent without my mentors and educators. It’s because of them that I stayed knowledgeable and dedicated to music. So it’s important for me and other artists to share that wealth with the community because life and art is nonexistent without inspiration. So my approach is to be inspired so that I can in hopes inspire others. Because art carries emotion, freedom, and passion. And my vocal coach once told me that if my dreams don’t scare me, they aren’t big enough. That approach to life taught me not to be afraid of fear, but to embrace it! Because the more I ran away from fear, the more fear conquered me. But when I continued to conquer fear itself, the stronger I evolved ✨💖 so what are we waiting for Acadiana?! Let’s conquer fear together!!! Let’s remember to stay true to ourselves, our values, and our circles ☺️ and let’s continue to inspire one another!!!