Age: 24 “Instead of walking through a casino with [slot] machines and people drinking and smoking, I now go down Theater Row to get to work, with all these actors I’ve looked up to for a long time walking down the street. It’s so crazy that this is where I live!” “My parents told me not to audition for Rock of Ages. They were like, ‘Oh no, you’re an opera soprano, don’t hurt your voice auditioning for this.’ They regret that so much, ‘cause it totally changed my life.” View Comments “Rock of Ages crowds in Vegas were really rowdy. They were ready to party! And then sometimes, they’d get so drunk that they’d fall asleep by the second act.” “When I was a kid, I played softball. It wasn’t really a success, although I’m sure the Broadway Softball League wishes that weren’t true! I don’t want to go out there and embarrass myself yet, but maybe over time I’ll grow a pair of balls.” “I thought I was going to be an opera singer, but after two years of studying [at USC], I realized I’d always go home and belt showtunes in my car. I want to stick with what I’m really passionate about. But I’d love be in Cinderella or Phantom one day.” “I recently watched a video of my pre-school Christmas concert. I thought if I sang louder than everybody else that I was the best, and I made sure everyone around me was doing the dance moves the way they’re supposed to. That’s when it all started.” Stage & Screen Cred: Before originating the role of Sherrie in the Las Vegas production of Rock of Ages, St. Louis appeared in regional productions of The Fix and Justin Love. Rock of Ages Hometown: Palm Desert, CA Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 18, 2015 Current Role: A Broadway debut as small-town girl Sherrie Christian, who takes a midnight train to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress in Rock of Ages.
Lieutenant General Luis María Carena: I have been on other missions, where the environment is different. For example, in the Middle East that problem isn’t going to be resolved because Syria, or Israel, or Egypt have their governmental structures and their economic structures. The problem is a different one. One is going to achieve a certain easing of tensions among the parties. And with that easing of tensions, the military objective is then fulfilled. Here the goal has been met, but there were others that extend beyond the military part, that are the ones about which one would say, “if that were achieved, then we would be done.” Haiti will not need a United Nations mission again, which would be the goal of all of us who participate. In one way or the other that is what we hope for, isn’t it? To leave the problem resolved. Diálogo: Has peace been restored to Haiti? One of the Argentine Air Force’s mobile military hospitals has been in Haiti since January of 2010, after the devastating earthquake that shook the country. In the days following the earthquake, there were more than 15,000 people who were potential patients for the hospital, due to new contingents that were arriving or increasing. To talk about this and other humanitarian aid initiatives provided by Argentina to other countries, Diálogo spoke with Lieutenant General Luis María Carena, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Argentine Armed Forces, during the 4th Annual South America Defense Conference (SOUTHDEC 2014) held in Santiago, Chile from August 11–14. Lieutenant General Luis María Carena: To a much larger degree than before. Today one sees a peaceful Haiti. Of course, that doesn’t mean that gunshots are no longer heard. Of course they are; periodically one hears shooting, since there is a part of the population that is violent and armed; that is true. But fortunately, now there are no groups that control zones of Haiti, that have territories, as there were before. Are there some violent groups? Yes, there are violent groups. Do they have weapons? Yes, they have weapons, but there is no state of quasi-civil war, nor anything similar. It’s pretty tranquil and friendly. Diálogo: Are there other countries where the Argentine Armed Forces are present on peace missions? Lieutenant General Luis María Carena: There may not be any super hospitals to be seen, but what can be seen are hospitals in operation, routes in certain conditions… Much is still lacking, but when compared to 2004, it is much better. Back around 2004, it was horrific, the poverty and the number of malnourished children, who didn’t eat. Malnourished children… I’m not saying that they no longer exist, but now it’s an exception to see a malnourished child. Before, it was massive; there were several per block. The situation is much better, although there still is a lot lacking, quite a lot. What the peace missions do not do is bring economic development; that is no longer a military issue. If there were more sources of work, that would be the ideal accompaniment to say “the situation in Haiti is changing for good, it will never go back,” but, well, that issue is not a military one. One realizes that is the part that’s missing. The State improved, as did the Police. The country is more orderly, but it is still lacking economic development; the shortage of jobs is evident. It would be good if people could earn money and thus live better, wouldn’t it? Diálogo: And as far as other peace missions? Lieutenant General Luis María Carena: Well, in Haiti there is the battalion that is in Gonaïves, that fulfills functions that are more security-related. Right now the hospital is in Puerto Príncipe and it is being relocated to another area near the capital. There is also an air group composed of two helicopters that provide support for troop movements and work on rescue efforts. They collaborate on a number of tasks. The mission in Haiti is one of the most complicated peace missions due to its environment and to the country’s fundamental situation. I think that in these ten years that the mission has lasted, much has improved. There is still more yet to be done, but things have improved a great deal. Diálogo: How? Diálogo: Could you tell us about the hospital model used in Haiti? What other examples can you give us? Lieutenant General Luis María Carena: Yes. We have a complete battalion in Cyprus, and there is also the one that we have together with Chile. The southern ones are two battalions with naval and air components. We are assuming that in this coming year and the next one we will be finalizing this mission in Haiti. We hope that will be the case. Options are being studied in Africa and in those places that are currently a bit complicated and that surely… There are several countries that need help. But always within the framework of what the United Nations resolves when an agreement is reached and also, logically, to the degree that we can, because it is one thing to have a battalion when we are six thousand kilometers away, and it’s another thing to go to the middle of Africa; we have eight thousand kilometers of water and three thousand of land to get to where the battalion is. It’s a topic that needs to be studied militarily; it needs to be dealt with. It has a different logistical and human complexity as well, doesn’t it? If I have a problem with somebody in Haiti, in hours I can have that person in Buenos Aires, or that person can be sent to the United States. However, if I’m in Mali, the situation would be different. It’s not a question of saying “tomorrow I’ll go to Sudan,” and then afterwards, what do I do with eight hundred or a thousand men in Sudan? It’s not a trivial issue. Going to those places has its military complexity. There also needs to be a political agreement. Diálogo: General, to wrap up, what is currently the main challenge for the Argentine Armed Forces? Lieutenant General Luis María Carena: If we manage to get the Haitian authorities to hold elections for Congress this year and for the presidency next year, then the president would take power with a Congress. That would be a very important step for Haiti as a nation, to have the ability to organize themselves politically and legally. I think that would establish the conditions needed to make favorable progress. I also think that after these ten years, the military part of the mission is coming to its end. I’m not saying that all of the problems have been resolved, but I maintain that elections for Congress and the new president would be a sort of final stage in the process. After that it would be necessary to determine the exact appropriate moment to withdraw the troops. Nevertheless, Haiti is reorganizing its institutions, and that is work that takes time. Diálogo: Have there been improvements, in comparison to 2004? By Dialogo August 29, 2014 Lieutenant General Luis María Carena: I think that the history of humanity says that there is a constant activity that is called war… Since there have been writings, from what can be read in hieroglyphics… there were always wars. So I think that the concept of State is indivisible from the concept of monopoly of force. The Armed Forces exist because the State keeps the monopoly of force for itself. On a side note, I don’t think that we have a military conflict with any of our neighbors. The circumstances are not those necessary politically, economically, or socially for that to happen. But any State requires the support of the armed forces to exist. And the monopoly of force is called “armed forces.” That’s why we are in the Constitution. It seems that the authors of the Constitution knew something about what goes along with founding a country; they said that the Argentine Republic’s Armed Forces were Argentina’s Navy, Air Force, and Army. That’s why we are institutions that are present in the Constitution. It’s not that we’re in just any old book, no. We are constitutional institutions, given that we form part of the State to create order in society, and within this social ordering lies appropriating and keeping the monopoly of force. It’s something intrinsic, characteristic of the State.