Tuesday, 8 January 2013

BLOG 117!!! Mevans The Mormon!!!

Hi Everyone,

Yup, it's been a while!!! Happy New Year to all of you. Let's make 2013 a good one eh?!

I've a feeling this blog is gonna be a long one as I've a LOT to fill you in on!!!!!!!

A lot has changed since I last post, which was upon my return from China two months ago. The reason for my lack of blogging was because lots of what I have been working on since then was not able to be announced publicly so I would have been blogging about random pointless stuff instead of what I was actually up to.

So as I'm sure most of you who are followers of my Twitter and Facebook pages are aware, I am no longer living in London.....far from it!

I am gonna take you back to April 2012, when I'm sure I mentioned that I was having meetings for future projects...well having gone through many auditions and being flown to New York and back I was officially offered the lead role of Elder Price in the MASSIVELY SUCCESSFUL musical comedy The Book Of Mormon, which has broken numerous box office records and received countless awards including 9 Tony Awards.

I knew that I was going to be working on this show while I was still in Ghost The Musical and many people were questioning me about rumours they had heard but as far as I am concerned, until it is announced publicly, the job is not yours.....or actually, until you open on your first night, it can still be taken away from you so I wasn't telling anyone but close family and friends!

I was thrilled when I was asked if I wanted to join the First National Tour of the show in the America. I have said for years that I wanted to see more of the States, as the only place I'd been was New York City, but I knew that the only way I'd ever be able to tour the states was to do it whilst working, because it would be impossible for me to take a long break from my career to go backpacking around the states. Having said that, I never really thought the opportunity would arise to actually do it, so I'm thrilled and this is the perfect show to tour with.
The company are amazing and the cast are phenomenally talented and this is no disrespect to any show or anyone I've worked with in the past but as a complete production, I have never worked with a group of people on and off stage including creatives who are this talented.....and as a lot of you know, I have worked with some INCREDIBLE people so I'm just trying to point out how great they are here!

My preparation for the show all started in November in New York....

I was in the city observing the rehearsals of the company of The Book Of Mormon who are now playing in Chicago. It was a great way to be immersed into the Mormon world and do my research.

I then returned back to London for a couple of weeks to sort my life out as I'd only had a couple of days after Shanghai before having to fly to NYC. So I needed to attend my visa appointment, sort my flat out, sort my car out and many other boring, responsible adult type things, but most importantly, spend some quality time with my family and friends, a lot of whom I'd not seen for months!

I headed home to Wales for 10 days and it was amazing. We had a few family nights which included an early Christmas as I obviously wasn't able to be there for December 25th! It was quite emotional saying goodbye to them as this is the longest time I will have gone without seeing them. Thank goodness for Skype eh?!

I had a great leaving party in London with my friends before jumping on my flight, kissing goodbye to London on December 4th and heading to San Francisco (via Chicago for one night to have a costume fitting....as you do!)

I arrived San Fran and settled into my really cosy, apartment which had so much character and was nicely spacious and I thought, "yup, Christmas here will be just fine!".

After that, I headed on down to the Curran theatre to meet the people I would be sharing the next 7 months with. What a great group of people....clearly that was just first impressions cos I've since learnt that they're a bunch of assholes!.....I'm joking, obviously!
I am so fortunate to be working with an AMAZING group of lovely, kind, welcoming and TALENTED people! Did I mention they're talented? 

I watched the show that evening and was absolutely blown away by it. I had seen it a couple of times in New York, but the touring cast are incredible and I just thought to myself  "Mevans, you've got your work cut out if you wanna keep up with these incredible people!". I was not intimidated in the slightest though, it was an inspiring evening and I felt so hyped to be given this opportunity and was excited to get cracking with rehearsals.

Chris (who I play opposite) and I started rehearsing the next day - we learnt the whole of act one that afternoon and the whole of act two the next afternoon. It had of course helped that we had watched some stuff in New York but my goodness we worked at a speedy pace!

Our rehearsal schedule was amazing, we worked a few afternoons a week (because the rest of the time the stage wasn't available because of the show's performance schedule) and the rest of the time we were just able to enjoy all the splendour that San Fran had to offer, and it certainly has lots for visitors to do and see. I loved the city, particularly the Golden Gate Bridge and actually during my stay, I crossed it three times, once on foot, once cycling (in the pouring rain) and the other time on the top of a bus tour! I loved it!

So to avoid this being the longest blog in the history of blogging I'm gonna by-pass Christmas and the other couple of weeks - which were all amazing) and head straight to my opening night.

We had an incredible work session with Trey Parker (one of the genius writers and co-directors of The Book Of Mormon and co-creator of South Park) It was one of the most inspiring, amazing and fulfilling afternoons I've ever experienced in my professional career so far. The man is a genius! Seriously! If you wanna see him at work, watch the documentary 6 Days To Air which is about how they put an episode of South Park together in 6 days. Amazing!

I felt so prepared for opening night and was thrilled that one of my best friends from London, Callum was able to be there, just as proof really that I am actually working over here and not just on my holidays for a few months!

There is no show that I have ever performed which has the audience in the palm of its musical theatre hand from the very opening and doesn't let up as far as making them laugh is concerned until they walk out the door at the end! It is without a doubt the funniest script of a musical I've ever seen or read or watched, and to perform it is an honour!

The first show went really well and I was really happy - but there was no time to celebrate as it was time for Chris and I to adjust to a weekend schedule American style which means one show Friday night, two shows Saturday and two shows Sunday. It was a bit of a challenge for us to go from working on things a couple of afternoons a week to then performing the entire show 5 times in one weekend, but we got through it and instead of going out and getting drunk to celebrate, I went back to my apartment to celebrate by attempting to eat as much of the left over food in my kitchen as I physically could fit in my stomach because the next day was our travel day to Portland and I sure as hell wasn't putting cheese and crackers in my luggage!

The flight to Portland was smooth and pain free, although I was feeling pretty tired, and our one day off before starting our first full week of 8 shows happened to be our travel day and New Years Eve. No rest for me then! :-)

New year was hilarious....I had food at a restaurant with a few of the company members which was nice and then got in a taxi to the club that was hosting a private party area for The Book Of Mormon cast....but our taxi got stuck in the New Year celebrations which caused road traffic chaos so my midnight moment was spent with our head of the wigs and hair department who makes me look like a mormon every night and a lesbian named Janet in a bowler hat who was on speaker phone with her wife saying (*cue American accent*) "happy new year doll, I'm stuck in this f***in intersection with some Mormons, don't ask, I love ya honey, Happy Noo Year"...... She was lovely and she broke the law a few times trying to get us to our party....needless to say I gave her a big tip cos that was one New Years I will not forget in a hurry. Haha.

The next day we opened at the Keller Auditorium in Portland and the first show took a bit of getting used to as it was close to double the audience capacity than San Francisco. They were great audiences all week though and I really enjoyed my stay there.

I've just arrived at my apartment in Seattle and can't really believe I'm about to start my third theatre venue on the tour already. This time is gonna fly. I love Seattle already! Although feeling as tired as I am right now, I can't imagine I'll be sleepless here.....it just has to be referenced doesn't it?! *Lame Joke*

I miss London and Wales and all my friends, family and all you loyal readers/followers, and want you all to know that the messages I've been receiving recently have been overwhelming and I really appreciate them and your constant support. Please know that I am having an amazing time here in America and I am doing my upmost to represent UK actors in the best way possible on that stage every night.

I thank whatever is out there in the universe for giving me this opportunity and am so happy to be experiencing this amazing country in the best way possible.....with an incredible show!

Sending so much love home to you all from a very proud and patriotic Mormon named Mevans! Thanks for reading! 

Believe!!! (I can still type that even though I'm no longer in Ghost, cos I sing a whole song about Believing in this show!)