Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Blog 119!!! ORLAAAAANDO!!!

Hey Everyone,

Happy Thursday 
(It's probably not a Thursday when I end up posting this but that's how I used to start my blog when I wrote it weekly so it feels natural……it's actually Tuesday when I am writing this…..3.16pm if you want specifics!!!) 

I am sitting in my hotel apartment in Orlando, Florida waiting for my rental car to be delivered so that I can go exploring so I thought that in the meantime  I would write a little blog since it's been months since my last post. Holy swear word, I just checked and my last post was in February!!! Jeez! 

There is so much to catch up on that I don't really know where to start. I suppose I already did start…… so I'm gonna carry on by saying how excited I am to be opening The Book Of Mormon in Orlando TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!! 

For those of you who haven't seen the show and know nothing about it. The story follows two young mormon missionaries who are complete polar opposites to each other. I play Elder Price who is the perfect mormon in every sense according to himself and everyone around him, he can do no wrong and deserves nothing but the best. Elder Price had dreamed his whole life (or since the age of 9 at least) of spending his two year mormon mission in Orlando, Florida because it's just as perfect as he is. He wanted to arrive there with the perfect mission companion, and spend an amazing two years doing what he can to change the human race for the better through Mormonism. 

Well… he is paired with Elder Cunningham, who I would describe as a socially inept, Star Wars / Lord Of The Rings fanatic who has no clue about the Mormon religion and just wants a new best friend - in our production Elder Cunningham is played by the comedy genius that is Chris O'Neill (Christopher John O'Neill if you want to be formal) who has become a very good friend of mine and who I adore working with! (Most of the time - I only write that incase he randomly reads this and tries to inflate his ego!)  
Price and Cunningham are sent to Uganda in Africa on their mission, which is, of course about as much of a contrast to Orlando as you can get - The audience follows the tale of everything that happens to them during their trip and without revealing too much to those who are yet to see the show, it is has a very surprising and satisfying ending full of warmth, heart and joy with a very uplifting positive message! 

So as you can imagine, it's gonna be crazy here in Orlando to be making so many references about the city we are actually playing in.

I think you can tell…..I'm EXCITEEEEEEED!!!! 

So….. life in general - My life IS the show most of the time which is a great thing (but believe me we have a lot of fun too!)
I have been in America now not far off 12 months and I love it here. I of course miss the UK and all my friends and family but being over here this year has enabled me to visit some amazing places - some of which i would never think of visiting were it not for this job taking me there and I have really made an effort to experience these places properly. Just to give you an idea of where I've been in America thus far, take a look at this list

San Francisco (5 weeks)
Portland (1 week)
Seattle  (2 weeks)
Des Moines (2 weeks)
Minneapolis  (2 weeks)
St. Louis  (2 weeks)
Rochester  (2 weeks)
Detroit  (2 weeks)
Pittsburgh  (2 weeks)
Boston (3 weeks)
Cheeky few days in New York City here.
Toronto, Canada (6 weeks)
Buffalo (1 week)
Cleveland (2 weeks)
Flew home to the UK for a week!
Washington DC (6 weeks)
Another cheeky few days in New York City here.
Dallas  (2 weeks)
Houston  (2 weeks)
San Antonio  (2 weeks)
Austin  (2 weeks)
Flew to LA for a week of vacation from the show!
New Orleans  (2 weeks)
Orlando  (2 weeks)

We then move on to do a couple of weeks in Tampa and then the show plays in Fort Lauderdale for 4 weeks, of which I'm only doing three as I head back to the UK for a week on December 16th to see my family just before Christmas.

I have to say, writing that list was a little indulgent on my behalf but it was actually more for me to have a think back over the tour schedule, than for your enjoyment haha. This tour moves so quickly that we very rarely take the time to think back over everywhere we have been. I have agreed to stay with the show through to next summer too so there's a whole lot more to come.

People always ask me what my favourite city has been. I have enjoyed so many places. I loved Boston, what a great place - we were there during the time of the tragic marathon bombings, but what was great was seeing an incredible community come together to stand 'strong and proud' against violence! We head back to Boston again in the spring of 2014 which I'm looking forward to.
I also liked Toronto as we got to settle for 6 weeks. There's lots of cool stuff to do there , my family visited for a week and we did Niagara Falls and all the touristy stuff which was awesome.
I loved Washington DC just because it's such an incredible place. It's like being in a film because everything is so familiar. The First Lady, Michelle Obama watched the show too which was cool. 
Dallas had some of the best audiences we've had throughout the whole year and I really liked it as a city. 
New Orleans was probably the coolest place we've been to and I'm sure all of you who have been there will agree. The live music and food and drink and atmosphere in general is in a purely unique league of it's own. However two weeks was more than enough there for now. I am on a strict detox since being there, ha.
Having pointed out a few favourites I have to say that I did enjoy ALL of the places we vis……well, almost all of the places we visited - Yup, I'm not that nice - without naming names there was one place I would not choose to go back to in this lifetime but we made the most of our time there regardless and I'll let you decide for yourselves where it might have been. :-)

So I feel like I have just summed up my travels of 2013 as much as possible in a nutshell. 

Many people ask when I am coming home and when I'll next be performing in the UK…… I'll be home for a week in December but I have decided not to do any concerts i've been invited to perform at because I want a week with my family and friends away from working. So I'm not sure when I'm going to be performing in the UK. However, Louise Dearman and I are writing a theatre advice book together at the moment which will be published in early 2014 and released in the spring, so at some point I will be back doing some promotion for the book with Louise and I'm sure we can work out that I do a little singing somewhere while I'm there. :-) 

I want to thank all of you who submitted questions for our book 'The Secrets Of Stage Success' - we've had some really great stuff sent in and a large variety of questions which is exactly what we wanted so we can cover as many aspects of the entertainment industry as we can with any advice we feel may be useful and interesting.

I have to say, so much has happened in my life in the past 12 months that I find myself quite often having to take a second to put everything in perspective. I'm not just talking about doing this awesome job in America, which is of course great but more the fact that this year more than any other has proved to me that we really don't know what life is gonna throw at us. 

Just over 12 months ago I had just finished in Ghost The Musical having had an amazing time playing a great role in an incredible show. I was performing 'Ultimate Broadway' in Shanghai, China and while I was there we were negotiating an offer I'd had to go to America with The Book Of Mormon. I agreed to do it for only 6 months and no longer incase I didn't enjoy being so far away and was convinced I'd be heading back to the UK on July 1st of this year grateful for the job and ready for what was next. 
I never thought that 12 months from that point I will have agreed to stay for a THIRD 6 month contract and be loving life in America, having made some amazing friends through my job and on my travels and having learnt so much more about myself than ever before. 
I have always been an independent guy but when you're on the other side of the world from your usual support system it means you really are left to your own devices a lot of the time so I'm even more independent now than ever.

Also when I was in London I always found myself taking on too many things (which you can clearly see I'm sure if you read through some of my older blog posts when I used to post them weekly) and now I have my one job and other than the book, I'm doing nothing else and life is a lot more enjoyable and manageable - not that I didn't enjoy life before of course, I loved it, but I find myself able to unwind a lot more than ever and that is definitely a good thing and very much a necessity when playing a role as demanding as Elder Kevin Price!!!

I am excited to write a blog in late 2014 to see what has happened in life by that point!!! No one knows what's going to happen in the future and that excites me!

I'm so grateful to all of you reading this for your support and loyalty especially my UK followers for sticking with me and still being interested in everything I'm doing even though I'm on the other side of the planet and I promise you that although I don't have any set plans yet, I will be back to perform in the UK before you know it! 

My main reason for wanting to post this blog was to spread a little positivity the way I feel my blogs used to. 
I get many young guys at the stage door of the theatres I've played this year saying that Elder Price is a dream role of theirs,
My message to any aspiring performers is that it's great to admire people's performances, or their careers or their voices or acting talents or dance ability or whatever you may admire, but I want you to know that whoever you feel inspired by, you should not consider them better than yourselves just because they are doing something you would like to do.  I happen to be in the right time in my life to be able to play this character right now but I used to look at people the same way when I was younger and wish that I could one day play roles like this! Well now I'm doing it, and one day I'll be far too old and will be auditioning to play the father of those boys who I met at the stage door! 
Basically, what I'm saying is, if you want to get something done in life and I'm not just talking about performing, I mean anything -  fully commit to it, have faith in yourself and your abilities and don't stop until it happens, and I'm telling you that if you want it enough, you will get it!!! 
It's always an honour (or honor if you're American, ha) to be considered an inspiration and I love receiving messages and tweets from people telling me of their accomplishments! Hard work and discipline will take you where you want to go.

Thanks for reading! I won't leave it another 8 months before the next one i promise!

Sending love to wherever you are from a glorious sunny day in Orlando.

I used to finish my blogs with the word 'Believe' when I was in Ghost so now that I'm in The Book Of Mormon……..

'I Believe'



PS - Many people are asking about dates and cities I'll be performing at next year. Here's the list:

Charlotte, NC, Dec 26th - Jan 5th
Cincinnati, OH, Jan 6th - Jan 26th
Atlanta, GA, Jan 27th - Feb 9th
Durham, NC, Feb 10th - Feb 23rd
Baltimore, MD, Feb 24th - Mar 9th
Schenectady, NY, Mar 10th - Mar 16th
Hartford, CT, Mar 17th - Mar 30th
Boston, MA, Mar 31st - Apr 27th 
Providence, RI, Apr 28th - May 11th
Columbus, OH, May 12th - May 25th
Louisville, KY, May 26th - Jun 8th
East Lansing, MI, Jun 9th - Jun 15th
Indianapolis, IN, Jun 16th - Jun 22nd
Memphis, TN, Jun 23rd - June 29th

PPS It's now wednesday and i'm about to post this on the site - FYI, the first crowd in Orlando last night we're INSANELY GOOD! :-)