Thursday, 26 January 2012

Blog 80!!! SSSSSHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Everyone


Wow that felt  good. Even typing a scream relieves some of my frustration. For those of you who don't know what the hell I'm talking about - I was signed off work for 5 days on complete silence without being able to speak a word to anyone as I had an infection on my throat and in order to make sure the medication has the chance to work on a relaxed voice and throat I have had to keep shtum! Not a peep! It is so much harder than I ever imagined.

Basically I saw an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat specialist) on Monday as I was having trouble speaking as I normally would, it was sounding weaker than usual. We assumed it was because of how vocally demanding and exhausting Ghost is for me to perform so checked it out, but he actually put a camera down my throat and I saw for myself that it was an infection that had not cleared since having my chest infection in November and it was still in my throat which, combined with the work load I'd undertaken, simply was not going to shift without letting myself be quiet and rest! - He did actually say it was a fungal infection in my throat but I don't like to call it that cos I just think fungal means mould - picture me being a bit mouldy, like my adams apple has gone off like a proper apple would when left at the bottom of the fruit bowl - green/brown and furry


So clearly my week has been a little testy since the last time I wrote. Friday I had a day of complete quiet to let my voice recover from the double show day the day before and then went to have a massage to relieve any stress that had built up around my neck and then I headed to work. I do love performing that show. Playing Sam is brilliant. It's such an action packed role that I genuinely feel like I'm acting in a film or in an episode of '24' or something (which believe me I've seen a lot of recently!) Just call me Jack Bauer! For those of you who ain't seen 24, just watch it. It's like a feature length film every episode. I bought the full box set which contains all 8 seasons! AMAZING!

On Friday I started reading a book I now believe everyone should read. It's called 'The Right To Speak' and it's written by a renowned voice coach named Patsy Rodenburg. You don't need to be a performer or actor to benefit from it or be educated by it, in fact it is very much written to target everyone and to appeal to everyone. It's basically just a very interesting read about how our voices reveal so much bout us as people and can hold so much of our past and how various things can make you manipulate your voice and change it unknowingly, for example from the moment we are babies and start making sounds like mama and dada we are very quickly encouraged to turn those sounds into Mummy and Daddy and from that moment on our voices are forever evolving and this book basically fills you with confidence and reassures you and educates you in the knowledge that you should feel free to have your own voice and speak as you so desire. It's actually very liberating and as someone who uses his voice professionally to earn a living I have learnt a lot. I can highly recommend it to you all no matter who you are, where you're from or what you do! 

I woke on Saturday morning and my voice was trying to say to my head, I don't know if i can perform two today, but my head was saying, you bloody well will and you'll just get on with it! (My head can be very authoritative when it needs to be) I enjoyed the two shows and by the end of the night I was actually really up for going out and partying - which very rarely happens for me, and to be honest, it frustratingly only ever happens at the least convenient time. It's like my brain goes "ok Evans, I'm gonna test your will  power and put you in the mood to P.A.R.T.Y!!!" I was a good boy and left the West End of London and its electric buzzing Saturday night atmosphere and had myself some sushi, mini eggs and a good night's sleep! ROCK AND ROLL!!!!!!

Sunday I yet again had a chill out day of food, reading, sleeping and about 6 episodes of 24. It doesn't help me relax though cos it has you tense as you watch it all the time! Great TV.

So you all know what the deal was on Monday, I was slightly anxious about seeing the ENT incase he told me I should never sing EVER again and that I should forget about all the work I've done on my career so far because I would be far better off going to work in a library where the only thing I would have to use my voice for would be to make the annoying "shhhhhh" sound (which frustrates the hell out of  me because it quite often is louder than all the people who are talking put together and very rude in my opinion) - I digress - and am being very overly dramatic for comic effect - god i'm funny!!! - I really wasn't that worried about the ENT appointment, more intrigued than anything.

He gave me my pills and diagnosis and his advice and then I headed to treat myself to a chai tea latte in Starbucks (love them - I'm addicted) but it was only when I got to the counter and the pretty girl with the beautiful smile asked for my order and I thought 'oh god I can't talk!' - so I ended up grabbing a napkin and her biro and wrote my order to her and from that moment on I thought, I've gotta see this week as a challenge else I'll get really bored of it and just give in and end up chatting just to be a rebel!

I have discovered something this week - I must talk to myself a lot! I wasn't aware of this before. I was boiling the kettle in my flat one afternoon and all of a sudden I had to stop myself from talking. Then I thought, "Mark, who are you talking to?" and I worked out that I was about to just start talking out loud about nonsense ie "I'm boiling the kettle and I'm making a cup of tea, should I have green tea or should it be a normal brew" - and what's even more weird is that I think it probably would've come out in an australian accent! I'm a freak, go on say it, I'm a freak!
I'm sure all of the above stems from me being a little too keen with acting training and using every possible opportunity to practise my tools so whenever I would walk alone I would decide which accent to do and start talking out loud to myself (providing there were no passers-by) about what I was seeing so I could practise. For example - 
Oy'm wawkin dehn the street an oy fink the red car to moy royt is really noyce, oy loyke the personoloysed namba playt!!! - which was obviously cockney! hahaha

Anyway, I'm talking utter nonsense this week - clearly my frustration from not talking. 

Went to the cinema a couple of times this week, cos you can do that quietly! I saw Iron Lady which is incredible, Meryl Streep is just a legendary actress and I find her fascinating. She's so versatile in her career and every role she takes on is so different and in my opinion, portrayed with utter perfection! I would like to have just an ounce of her talent!Amazing!
I also saw War Horse which too was a very good film. It was shot beautifully and acted very well and all the action they got from the horses was very impressive - nothing bad to say about it but I will say that I still prefer the stage production by the National Theatre which is currently playing at the New London Theatre - if you haven't see it, just trust me and go. It's not like any other theatre around, so clever and has real heart!!!
I'm off to watch The Artist this evening - figured I'd go and watch a silent movie cos I can relate to the characters a lot after this week. :-) 

I'm gonna stop rambling now and get this blog posted. I hope you all have a wonderful week. I shall inform you next Thursday of how it feels to speak again. I tell you this, I always try and see the positive in things and these few days have made me appreciate how powerful speech and language is. I'm rubbish at mouthing without making sounds and am very grateful that I was blessed with a healthy set of chords (apart from the last week!) that I can use to communicate at my leisure.

Until the next one folks, love your lives and love your voices!

Believe (might get a tattoo of that word soon - just saying!) 



Thursday, 19 January 2012

Blog 79!!! Opening night and beyond!!!

Hey Everyone,

Happy Thursday,

How you all doing? Good I hope. 

Well what a week! This time last week I was a day away from opening in Ghost and it's been a crazy ole week since then.

I had a car into the theatre on Friday morning to take everything with me that I needed to move into my dressing room for the next year and the driver was hilarious. A short bubbly chinese lady who got ridiculously excited at the fact that I was opening in Ghost that night - or as she called it, 'The Ghost'. She was asking about what make up I have to wear, if I get flowers brought on stage at the end of every show, if I know famous people. She asked about Whoopi Goldberg who played Oda Mae Brown in the film of Ghost….actually she called her Whoopi Golding - "Oooooh that Whoopi Golding, she put on so much weight, she double in size!!!" I just giggled at her. She was very sweet and put me in a very good mood before getting to the theatre.

I popped for a swim and a steam to clear my head and then headed to buy a couple of extra opening night gifts for Siobhan (Molly) before the final dress rehearsal. The final dress left me feeling prepared and confident for the evening show and I was more excited than nervous. 
I was bombarded with gifts to my dressing room. 8 huge bouquets of flowers, at least 9 bottles of bubbly & wine, lots of chocolates and sweets, and some close friends had given me really thoughtful personal things that are only relevant to me from them. I felt so supported and it filled me with excitement for the evening show! 
It got to the half hour call and I had a rush of adrenaline that I only ever get before a first night. You can literally feel it pump through your veins for a few seconds and it makes you warm and tingly from head to toe with a slight butterfly/sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. It's like no drug you could ever take I'm sure! It got me really pumped up and by the time I was in my opening costume, microphone and make up on and ready to go, I headed to the stage and simply told myself - "this is it, the moment you've dreamed about, had nightmares about, felt anxious about, felt excited about, felt exhausted about, and so you have to use all of these things to ensure you take a mental picture of this moment and store it in your scrap book of memories!" - And although that all sounds cliche to you I'm sure, it's exactly what I did. I'll never forget that feeling of stepping on with my flashlight for the first entrance and actually taking a photograph with my eyes! I have a collection of those moments really racking up now from different shows and whenever I feel slightly down or negative or find it hard work, it's those mental images that help me remember why I do this and spurs me onward to feeling positive again! Good times!!!

The show went really well. The best  a first night show could possibly go which was a relief. I could actually feel the good energy from the great audience willing us to do well. Siobhan and I were thrilled by the time it came to our bows. It was a real "We did it!" moment. I've got a close bond with Siobhan and it's been great to experience this whole thing with someone else. She is absolutely fantastic in the show too!!!

There was a drinks reception for the two of us and our guests afterwards and then it was bedtime. I went home and didn't speak at all until the latest possible moment the next day. By Saturday the whole company where exhausted, some of them had practically done 11 shows that week because of the extra rehearsals outside of the show for the two of us. So I took in a pile of sugar for the cast and crew in the form of Krispy Kreme Donuts and we all pulled together to get through the end of a really gruelling week.

After a glass of celebratory port (medicinal purposes for my voice of course) I headed home and didn't speak at all until Monday. My Sunday was spent in silence, eating great food, watching T.V & films and reading trash and sleeping. It was blissful.

I woke on Monday and did an epic workout at the gym before having a really long steam to try and relieve some of the tension from my neck and my voice from the tough weekend before. I got to work and the show was certainly a lot more difficult on Monday evening because my body had had time to shut down a little on the day off and so cranking it back up to where it needed to be was tough.
By Monday evening my voice had decided it was exhausted, so I went home and slept for as long as I could, woke on Tuesday, had a long steam and a vocal massage and then after a 2 hour rehearsal on stage we decided it was probably best for me to not do Tuesday night's show, but to rest so I could prepare for the end of the week. So I left the theatre and yet again, headed home in silence to have a hot shower and get an early night.
So I woke yesterday morning (wednesday) after 11 hours sleep and was picked up to do a whole day of press and publicity interviews for the show - my voice hated me a little for doing that too haha but after a couple of hours rest in the afternoon and another good steam I didn't give my voice an option - I was doing the show and it was just gonna have to cope! I loved it last night. The journey that Sam goes on from beginning to end through the show is epic and it's a really satisfying feeling to get to the finish line and feel the relief that Sam feels at the end of the show (you'll know what I mean if you've seen the show) and feel content after so much anger, angst and frustration throughout! 

I headed home to watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy (nearly finished season 3). I'm gonna be doing a lot of reading, DVD watching and cinema watching as my quiet chill out time around the show. If you have any recommendations of box sets please tweet me your suggestions and tell me why you think I'd like it - or post something on my Facebook Fanpage.

Right I'm off to work for two shows. Woop woop! Love my life, love my job!!! 

Ghost is currently booking 'til October 2012 so get booking those tickets folks.

Thanks so much to each and everyone of you who has sent in mail to the stage door, be it fan mail, good luck cards, congratulations gifts. You are awesome and I really appreciate your support.

Love your lives and most importantly…..BELIEVE!!!



Thursday, 12 January 2012

Blog 78!!! The lead up to OPENING NIGHT!!!!!!!

Hey Everyone,

Happy Thursday.

OK, so I need to get one thing off my chest immediately - I OPEN IN GHOST THE MUSICAL TOMORROW NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!
This has come around SO fast. I remember getting the job offer mid November thinking "oh gosh, I wonder how I'll be feeling on the run up to opening night" and all of a sudden the time is here!!! Yikes. Don't get me wrong, Siobhan (who plays Molly opposite me) and I are ready for the challenge and feel prepared enough to open but I am looking forward to that moment when we're settled in and the anxiety settles a little more. 
A lot of people ask me "do you have any tips on how to conquer nerves?" and I always reply by saying that the way I look at it, is that I'm not performing brain surgery, there are no lives at stake, it's just a theatre performance, so what's the worst that could happen? That way it really puts things in perspective and makes it much less of a stressful event. 

I want to be able to remember every moment of my first time ever to play this role in front of an audience. It's such an INCREDIBLE show and I'm so proud to be a part of it that I really want to cherish that feeling of anxiety and adrenaline that surges through your body moments before the show begins! I'm actually feeling butterflies in my stomach just writing about it! (or maybe I just need the loo?! haha)

So it's been a busy week. Last Thursday we were rehearsing at the studio and then doing some recording work for the 'flashback' vocals for the show and then I finished relatively early and so I headed home to do a lot of preparation work for my weekend in North Wales which I'll chat about in a moment.

Friday I had a later start at the theatre so I headed into the gym for a couple of hours before going to rehearse.
Friday's rehearsal was my time with Paul Kieve who is the creator of all the illusions, to perfect all the clever special effects. I love it. Once you get taught how everything works properly it's like being accepted into a little secret club. I am literally not allowed to tell anyone how anything works. Not even my best friend or my family……and secretly I love that power I have over people. Haha! The great thing is, hearing everyone's ideas of how they think it all actually works (believe me I was one of them people when I watched the show - "it must be done like this…." or "they do it with this, right?……..) but actually I can guarantee that everyone is always wrong! You have to work at Ghost to find out!!! HA.

Friday after my rehearsal and a guitar lesson I jumped on a train to North Wales. I arrived to see my mother on the platform of the train station waiting for me - what a great sight for tired weary eyes that was! My mum's the best! 

I headed home, got a few things ready and went straight to bed.

So…….Saturday morning was the first day of Take pART which is an arts festival held at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, North Wales for youngsters of all ages to come along and have a fun day of everything from painting and drawing, to singing, dancing, beatboxing, clog dancing, balloon animals, face painting, acting, poetry, reading, circus skills, and the list goes on. 
I was approached by the organisers a few months back asking if I would be their patron and I said yes immediately. To have a completely 'free for all' event like this, celebrating and promoting the arts in today's youth is something I am very proud to put my name to and I am very happy to be their patron and fully support the festival.
My role was to just 'be there' as patron, but I also ran taster session workshops of my summer school ( and sang a few songs from my album too. There were over 3500 people passed through during the Saturday and Sunday and it was great to be a part of it and see some great potential in some of the talent that joined in my workshops!

After we packed up on Sunday I jumped straight on the train back down to London to get back asap as we had more rehearsals the next morning.

Monday morning I got to the theatre and we ran a few bits before doing our first ever run through of the whole show on stage with the set. The thing about the role of Sam is that once you step on that stage at the beginning of the show, it just doesn't stop cos any time off stage your busy doing other things  in preparation for the scenes that follow! 
Everyone is so helpful there and are really supportive to Siobhan and I and our arrival - especially one of the dressers Murray Lane, who is the most famous West End dresser that ever existed I reckon and who makes me feel honoured to have him rip my clothes off in a costume change that lasts the whole of about 24 seconds - (He didn't ask me to mention him in my blog at all. No really he didn't *cough cough!) 
The above statement, though it was said in jest is however very genuine! Murray you are a legend and iI hope you're reading this!

Tuesday was a very exciting day. It was the first time ever for the two of us to sing through all of our stuff from the show with the amazing band. The music is incredible in this show and it makes a HUGE difference singing it with a full on band who are rocking it out instead of just a rehearsal piano! It was a very special moment in our 'journey' to open in Ghost. This whole process has had so many massive 'I love my life right now' moments. I feel very happy to be a proud member of the Ghost cast!

Wednesday (yesterday) was another great day. I got up and went for an early swim before rehearsals and then we had a run through of the show and it was the first time we'd done it with full lighting and smoke and all the special effects. It made a massive difference and the run went really well, leaving Siobhan and I nicely confident and prepared for our opening!
After the rehearsals we had a meet and greet with the entire Broadway cast of Ghost who had been flown over by the producers to see the show and to meet everyone! It was a rather surreal moment, to have both casts together on stage! That's a big old bunch of believers!!!

After that I headed back to the gym, for the second time in one day with a whole 12 hours in between! Crazy dude!!! Then I headed back to the theatre for a drinks reception with the West End/Broadway companies after the show had finished. It was great to chat to some of the American lot - I love New Yorkers. Reminded me why I want to live there for a while! So positive and 'up' all the time!

Then I headed home last night to get a good nights sleep before getting up this morning and heading to rehearsals which is where I am sat now. It's really surreal because today we are rehearsing in the exact same room that I had my Ghost auditions and the room where Siobhan and I met for the very first time to audition together! If only we'd have known then that in 3 months from that moment we'd be back here, rehearsing for the show, the day before our opening night! Good times!

I wanna thank all of you who have messaged or tweeted or sent in something to stage door for opening night and just generally showing your support! It is, as always, greatly appreciated! 

Next week's blog will be written having performed in the show for almost a week so I shall indeed be filling you in on how it has all gone!!!

Positive vibes into the universe at 7.30pm tomorrow please!!! I believe!!!

Love your lives.



Thursday, 5 January 2012

BLOG 77!!! Becoming a GHOST for 2012!!!

Hey Everyone

Happy Thursday and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!

This year is gonna be a great one I can feel it! Let's all think positively and make the most of 2012! Agreed? Good. I'm glad you all agree!

What a week it's been between holidays, new year celebrations, my birthday and getting back into Ghost rehearsals.

Last Thursday night was the first ever time for my TV documentary to be aired and I was (and still am cos some of you are watching it back online) blown away by the response. If you messaged me about it I am very grateful. The most incredible thing was that so many people got in touch to say that watching it had inspired them in one way or another - this to me means the world, because that's the whole reason behind me setting up my summer school WEST END IN WALES is to inspire people to do what they want and achieve what they actually desire in whatever line of work or whatever direction they want to go - none of us should ever have to conform to what we or other people assume is 'right' or 'what we should do'! Do what you want and work hard and live your lives. We only get one chance after all!

So Friday I flew with 11 friends to prague to bring in the new year. We arrived our lovely hotel and then headed out for drinks and to suss out a good location for new year's eve. It was a fun night but we were really cold by the time we got back to our hotel. I had forgotten to take my long johns to wear under my jeans so I ended up just wearing an old pair of ballet tights underneath instead (sexy eh?)- if you've been to Prague in the winter you will know that you definitely need extra layers on. It was freeeeeezing!!!

We woke Saturday and after I did a session in the hotel gym we did lots of the tourist and sightseeing things - the castle, Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock, and walked the entire city before heading back to the hotel for a siesta before the evenings antics. We had booked a table at a great italian restaurant for new year's eve and ended up really enjoying ourselves there. It was really good food for a very reasonable price (especially compared to London) and a great atmosphere. One of our group, Caroline had decided to go all glitzy to bring in the new year and had a little glitter powder on her cheek bones. So after a few drinks (no, actually, much more than a few) she decided it would be a good idea for everyone to apply some of her glitter (she brought it with her in her bag!) in different ways - cheeks, chins, foreheads, lips, noses, ears - and Mevans here decided it would be funny to have it in my eyebrows! BAD MISTAKE! It was impossible to get it out of there at the end of the night and I think I'm still finding little bits of glitter on me now. 

The meal finished with our waiter handing each of us a miniature bottle of champagne to take with us to the bridge to watch the fireworks at midnight. It was amazing! The atmosphere as electric. We were all very giddy and didn't seem to care that it was actually potentially rather dangerous - you see, Prague doesn't seem to have as many laws and rules as London, which became apparent when we spotted people within the crowd we were stood in, lighting fireworks in their hands and letting them fly up into the air right next to us! Crazy people! But it did mean that there were just fireworks everywhere you looked, filling the sky over the river! It looked amazing.

We then thought "we'll never be able to get in anywhere now" - but one of the first places we saw on our way back from the bridge was a little bar that was about to close, however, they decided to let the 12 of us in and we had many am alcoholic beverage, and they ended up letting a few other groups in too so it became our own little private party! 

It was a fantastic spontaneous night which ended up with me scrubbing my eyebrows in the shower before getting into bed and NOT setting my alarm clock! What a novelty!!!

New year's day we woke and had a massive breakfast before having a 90 minute Thai Massage which was blissful! Then we spent the day wondering around the city before heading out to an amazing Argentinian Restaurant in the evening where the food was absolutely amazing and they had a dancing couple who just danced in the middle of the restaurant to the live music by the band! The atmosphere was crazy and before we left, the whole restaurant started singing happy birthday and I joined in, looking around to figure out who's birthday it was and then I realised that the whole restaurant was actually looking at me, and then I spotted one of the waiter's heading over with a slice of cheesecake and a massive sparkler in it! I was speechless! Everyone usually forgets my birthday because it's so close to Christmas and New Year so it was actually rather nice to be made a fuss of.

We then went to the famous Charles Bridge to set off chinese lanterns, which if you don't know are the very romantic looking things that are made of very thin paper and you light a little flammable patch at the bottom and the flames fill the lantern with air and when you feel them pulling your arms up you let go and they float into the sky like mini, beautifully lit, hot air balloons and the idea is that you make a wish as you let go and watch it float into the night sky out of your sight! I believe they are illegal in the UK - but then again a lot of things the Czech folk do would probably be illegal in the UK because we have so many rules and boundaries!
We finished the night with a drink in a cute little bar and as the clock turned midnight they all sang happy birthday to me and I blew out a candle that was in the middle of our table, haha.

I slept really well that night and woke up ready to enjoy our last day in the beautiful city and my birthday. We went around lots of gift shops and also went into an art gallery which was showcasing the work of Mucha and Dali which was awesome and it randomly really inspired me to want to buy some colouring penciles. I didn't want to draw, just colour (without going outside the lines) like a little kid. So upon arrival at the airport Monday afternoon, I bought some colouring pencils and I sat on the plane and coloured - it was quite therapeutic. Then we had our food on the plane which was lovely and I then worked on my script before we landed back in london. It felt good to be back and I felt really geared up to crack on with 2012.

Good job really because Tuesday morning I woke early and had to be at the theatre to get into microphones and other equipment and costume to start our technical rehearsals on stage. It was really overwhelming, having had two weeks off, to suddenly be rehearsing in show mode, with costume, microphones, set, props, cast members and doing all the illusions. It suddenly hit home that in not much time at all we will be performing these roles with an audience watching us. I can't wait!!!

I went to my new gym which is right next to the theatre after rehearsals on Tuesday evening and I was blown away by how incredible it is in there. It's on 5 different floors and has every type of equipment you could ever want including a 20metre swimming pool, a climbing wall, various different studios and classes, a boxing ring, an amazing variety of machines and weights and….get this…. it has a DJ!!!
I was in there for two hours. It was amazing. (I even got lost in there at one point as I tried to find the weights - it's so BIG)

I woke early the next day (yesterday) to swim 50 lengths before rehearsals started and then went into the theatre to tech the whole of ACT 2. We couldn't believe that we managed to tech our way through the whole show in just two days. It was great and I now know which areas I need to spend more time on! Good times!!! 

Last night I crashed in front of the TV with my script some nice food and a few episodes of Family Guy before heading to bed for 9.30pm (what a granddad eh?)

The reason I had such an early night was because I knew I was going to force myself out of bed at 6.30 this morning to get my butt to the gym before rehearsals. I arrived the gym just before 8 and did and hour and 45 minutes before picking up my guitar from the theatre and heading to the rehearsal studio. We couldn't work onstage today as the show plays Thursday matinees.

And that brings me here, sat on my bed after a good days work. I am about to do a lot of preparation work for an event I'm the patron of which is happening this weekend.
It's a festival called Take pART which is held at the massive Venue Cymru Theatre and Conference Centre in Llandudno in North Wales and I shall be performing a few tracks off my album and leading taster sessions of what I do at my summer school ( and also doing a question and answer session about life as a performer and living in London and working in the West End. There will be lots of other things happening there too so if you have an interest in performing or any element of the arts you should definitely make the effort to head on down. It's between 11am - 4pm both Saturday (7th) & Sunday (8th) January. Hope to see you there.

And on that note I'm gonna carry on working on it. Can't wait to check out what talent there is there this weekend. There is an estimated 3500 young people and children going to visit the festival over the course of the weekend. Check it out!'s_On?/Take_pART!'s_On?/Take_pART!'s_On?/Take_pART!/West_End_in_Wales_Workshops

Have a great week folks. The next time I blog will be the day before my opening night of GHOST! 


Love your lives and remember… 2012!!!