ORLANDO, Fla. – Carlos Navarro is one of the voices behind “Monsters in the Morning” on Real Radio 104.1, but you may recognize him from “The Walking Dead” and the Marvel Studios series “Hawkeye,” too.
What you may not know is that Navarro’s road to Hollywood success involved him losing his hosting gig with The Monsters and overcoming his own monsters to get where he is today.
”I’ve manifested these moments out of the deepest darkest valleys I was ever at,” Navarro said.
The radio veteran recently sat down with Florida’s Fourth Estate hosts Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden to share his story.
When it comes to scoring a recurring role on the hit show “The Walking Dead.” Navarro said he had confidence it would happen, that he wrote the goal down, prepared for it, and “wholeheartedly believed it with my emotional being.”
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But the man who started “Monsters in the Morning” didn’t want Navarro to leave and made that clear.
Navarro said his co-host Russ Rollins, who he considered to be more like an uncle, told him while they were on stage at Hard Rock Live, “This is the biggest thing you will ever do Carlos, and you will never get anything bigger.”
“I used that as fuel and I was like ‘This is not gonna be the biggest thing,’” Navarro said.
After a string of success, which included a 10-year career with “Monsters in the Morning” that began when he was just 17 years old, Navarro said he reached one of the lowest points of his life. He said he was known to drink too much, and after a rash of alcohol-fueled decisions, he was fired.
Things only got worse from there. He was getting acting gigs, but also told of a time he got in a fight in downtown Orlando and recalled how people were throwing things at him and booing.
But he said his wife didn’t give up on him and reminded him of his goals. Navarro said she told him, “Carlos, if you give up drinking you, are going to be on ‘The Walking Dead.’”
The opportunity didn’t come right away.
”I went on the audition and I heard nothing back for five years,” Navarro said.
During that time, he said they kept calling him back for different roles. Then, during a particular call he received while taking a nap, Navarro said the voice on the other line hold him, “You need to be in Atlanta, Georgia, tomorrow. You booked a regular-recurring role, I’m sending you the script and you don’t know anything about the character except for his name rhymes with your name, bye.”
After taping some episodes, Navarro said he had the opportunity to meet with show writer Scott Gimple.
During the interaction, Navarro said Gimple told him, “‘You know, we were waiting forever to find the perfect role for you and man we are so glad.’ I said, ‘You knew the whole time?’ He said, ‘Knew the whole time? That’s why we named him Alvaro, after Navarro.’”
To some, it may seem like an overnight success, but Navarro said he worked hard, studied the comics, looked up the writers and stuck to auditioning over and over again until landing the role in the popular show.
He also scored a role in Marvel Studios’ “Hawkeye.”
During his road to success, Navarro said he made a passive-aggressive post on social media about his career and those who doubted him, saying he thinks it worked out.
Then he said he got a text from his old co-host with “Monsters in the Morning,” Russ Rollins, apologizing.
Navarro said he needed that. When Real Radio had a bowling event soon after, he was invited back as a celebrity guest.
After talking face-to-face, Navarro said Rollins asked him to stop by the show.
”Never in a million years did I think I was going to be back on The Monsters,” Navarro said.
But he said he returned with the mindset, ”Oh, I can’t screw this up. This gig is too good. I can come back with this knowledge of being humbled, of losing it all, of being able to share this with a dose of laughter, with a dose of humility, and thankfully he was so open to it and the audience was, too.”
Hear more of Navarro’s story, his role on “Monsters in the Morning” and his personal development brand on the Florida’s Fourth Estate podcast.