"In the Heights" and NOH8 by Rick Caroto

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010


Rick Caroto's Portrait & Group Shot with actress Isabel Santiago

In October 2009 we began the 1st National Tour of "In the Heights".  We left behind our families and our friends to tell the story of "Heights", a musical about home, family and finding where you belong.

About 6 months into the run of the tour I came across a NOH8 Photo on one of my friends Facebook profiles and it got me thinking:  I am a successful, single, professional gay male in my thirties and a second class citizen.  I do not have the same rights as my sister, my brother and many of my co-workers.  Basic human rights have been denied to me simply because of my sexual orientation.

I immediately looked into the origin of the NOH8 Campaign and found that the entire concept was thought up by one man by the name of Adam Bouska.  Hmmm... I am "one" man, and many "ones" creates a united force.

I decided to look Adam up on the very network that I first saw the now famous duct taped photos and sent him a message.  I wasn't sure if he would respond or even if it was actually him.  I told him that I was traveling with "In The Heights" and that we were coming to L.A. in the summer and would love to do a shoot with him.  About a week later he responded.  I couldn't believe I got a response.  He was excited about it and so was I.

When we got to L.A. it happened very fast.  I gathered up some cast members who believed whole heartedly in the message of NOH8 and I asked Lin-Manuel Miranda if he would take part (to which he replied "absolutely" without hesitation).  On Saturday, July 24, 2010 at The Pantages Theater in Los Angeles we covered our mouths with duct tape and took a stand.  That day was and is one of the proudest days of my life.   I made my voice heard.  And I shook the hand of the man who turned "one" in change.  Thank you Adam.

- Rick Caroto


I've known Rick for many years. He used to come to the bar I worked at in NYC to sing karaoke and is a sweet down to earth guy. It doesnt surprise me that he searched you out to do this. Glad to see he is doing so well and wish both of you all the success in the world.


Todd Schirripa 09/14/2010 11:58

Thanks Todd... right back at ya!

Rick 09/16/2010 20:52

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