For Bill Mendieta acting on stage or TV is a way of life, and he said that there is nothing he'd rather do. "It is my passion, and I love what I do, and I take it seriously, but yet I want to have fun doing it."
In 2011, the very versatile actor portrayed one of Stefano DiMera's (Joseph Mascolo) henchmen on Days of our Lives playing a doctor who wss tasked by Stefano to brain wash Rafe (Galen Gering).
Today, Mendieta is enjoying success staring in "I Love Lucy Live on Stage", playing the lead of Ricky Ricardo. The play is in Chicago at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. Now playing through April 7th.
Mendieta is so convincing in the role that if you were to close your eyes, you would swear that Desi Arnaz was in the house, and his version of Babalu is impeccable.
Seeing the Ricardo living room is breath taking and you also get a chance to visit the Tropicana Night Club. Wardrobe is fantastic and it really takes you back to the 1950's, including a few TV commercials thrown in that were popular back then.
Mendieta is getting ready to travel with the show to Boston and Washington D.C. with hopes of it eventually going to Broadway.
"I Love Lucy Live on Stage" takes you to the Desilu Playhouse. On stage is the reproduction of the sets complete with Desilu cameras, and the program is a recreation of two I Love Lucy episodes.
There is music, dancing, bickering, all of which is done in total Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball style and of course Fred and Ethel are likewise thrown in the mix.
He admits that playing Ricky is not an easy role and can be challenging. The fans come with expectations, and as an actor you must be ready to deliver.
Mendieta attributes his acting skills to everything he has done in the business, including his Days of our Lives appearance.
"Oh without a doubt. I loved doing Days. Soap opera acting is a lot of hard work with dedicated actors," Mendieta explains. "There are scripts to study, camera angles to learn, and it is a really fast pace. It is much different from theater. Soaps are great to master the craft."
Soapdom wants to know would you ever return to Days of our Lives, or a soap? "(laughing). Yes! When? I'm ready. It is a great gig with a lot of recognition and also having some of the most devoted fans in the world."
Mendieta's list of credits is impressive. He has appeared in many stage productions and films which include: "Virgi,l""Santa's Letters," "The Wicked Do Prosper," and "Reality Check," to name a few. He has co-written, produced and directed the comedy web series: "Mob Boss Associate."
In addition he has been the casting director for a production company creating content for commercials, television, film, and the web.
"Oh Yes! I also enjoy this. I have a keen eye. I know talent when I see it," Mendieta joked. "I try in this business to explore every possible facet. You have to, and most importantly you must remain creative."
Mendieta got picked for the lead of Ricky Ricardo by auditioning and doing something rather unique. "We were told to pick a girl and do a dance number. I was like OK. I picked up my hand and snapped my fingers and the girls came running. They actually recorded me doing that. Boy if real life worked that way. Also, I'm sure being of Hispanic background also helped." he said.
Mendieta has been around the business all his life. He comes from a musical family with members dancing and playing musical instruments. "I also have always played with imagination. I love thinking out of the box," he said.
Outside of the business, he enjoys relaxing and is a big animal lover. He said that sadly he recently lost his dog and it was indeed losing a part of the family.
"Really! I miss him. It is hard. He was not only my friend, but my family."
He looks forward to "I Love Lucy Live on Stage" moving to its next cities and said that the fun part of this business is the travel and meeting and seeing other people and things, and he is never bored in this business.
Follow Bill on twitter @Bill_Mendieta
Facebook: I Love Lucy Live on Stage