Carlos Ponce poses for pictures on Friday, March 21 at the East LA Boys & Girls Club. (Marvin Vasquez/Living Out Loud LA)
Carlos Ponce is a man of many hats: actor, singer, composer and television personality. And in his latest visit to Los Angeles, Ponce was in town to promote the April 1st DVD release of Disney’s The Pirate Fairy.
In this animated film, Ponce voices the character of Bonito – a “cultured” pirate, according to Ponce himself. Interestingly enough, Bonito is rather passionate about sewing the ship’s sails. On top of that, Bonito applies dainty double-stitched seams to his fairy captain’s tiny outfits.
Ponce spoke to Living Out Loud exclusively about what LA means to him, Bonito, The Pirate Fairy, education, Instagram and more.
Living Out Loud: How does it feel to be in Los Angeles? You come here often. You live in Miami. But overall what has LA meant to you over the years?
Carlos Ponce: I’ve resided here for 3-4 years. My home is based in Miami because my kids are in Miami, but this is a very important platform for work. I come for a pilot season every year; I book something, big or small. We did ‘Hollywood Heights’ last year. I’m doing another pilot for ABC this year.
LOL: Tell us a little bit about the character, Bonito, you voice in The Pirate Fairy? Who is he? What does he do?
CP: He’s a pirate. What makes him different from all other pirates is that he’s more cultured, a little more sensitive. He likes sowing. Obviously, food and art and literature and all the other stuff that is not very convincing for a pirate. He’s fun. He sings and perhaps he has the softest heart out of them all.
LOL: Why should people see this movie?
CP: There’s very little I have to say. It’s Disney; it’s Tinker Bell; it’s pixie dust; it’s Peter Pan. Who doesn’t want to go see it? It’s going to be a classic like everything Disney does.
LOL: Just a few moments ago you were hanging out and playing with kids here at the East LA Boys & Girls Club. What do you remember from your youth?
CP: I don’t think I have ever stopped being young; I’ve always been young. I have 5 kids and we are always doing kids’ stuff; they’re always with me. Whether it is here or in Miami, we always find the time to hang out. So that keeps me very young.
LOL: How important is education for you?
CP: It’s very complicated because I know it’s easy to preach when you have the ability to give your kids a good education, but it should be a top priority for any parent. To keep their kids in school, [put them] in activities to keep them away from stuff that they shouldn’t be doing and people they shouldn’t be hanging around with and making them ‘hombres y mujeres de provecho.’
LOL: What is your biggest satisfaction right now in your career?
CP: Getting to do what I love for a living, which is entertainment in general. I don’t need to pick [between being a] singer, actor, or producer. I just love entertaining in general and it is a blessing that I can make a living doing it and also prioritize because of the flexibility of this career when I want to have family time.
LOL: You began your career in the late 80’s ,early 90’s. What has been the biggest change you have seen over the years?
CP: Technology is the biggest change. We have all had to adapt to it. Some careers have disappeared – other kinds of bootlegging that really affects the arts in general. On the other hand, you have social platforms that you have to have direct contact with your fans. Now you know what they like and what they dislike and you have a worldwide appeal and grasp of what is happening.
LOL: You’re very social media savvy on Instagram and very good with photography. Where does that passion come from?
CP: My father is a photographer. I’ve been taking pictures since I was little. I have an eye for landscape. I don’t have the technical know-how. I would see the camera and I would run away from it so I like to have it on me and take pictures.
LOL: Anything else to add?
CP: Just watch The Pirate Fairy. It’s great. It’s awesome and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a movie for the boys, too. It’s not a princess movie; it’s a really good movie.