Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Day One

It's 6am and I can't sleep. I'm too excited. I don't even know if I have entered the wrong competition. One thing i do know is that I have been waiting for an opportunity like this for a very long time. I read yesterday that Sir Tim Rice (the lyricist of jesus Christ Superstar) is in fear of this competition degrading or dumbing down what is essentially one of the greatest pieces of music theatre of all time. I must say, that after watching ITV turn Grease into a dental veneer and muscle top parade of all that was bad about the 1990s I do share similar fears. When you look back at the history of JCS (or indeed any really good piece of theatre) it's success has very little to do with who is in the lead roles as to how successful it becomes.
Rice and Webber occasionally are very lucky in casting when they end up with somebody who has the whole package of incredible stage presence and the voice to be able to carry off the incredibly demanding vocalisations required to make this long musical rivet people to their seats night after night. I would have to include Paul Nicholas and Steve Balsamo in a long list of people who managed to make the Jesus grade for me personally.
Paul Nicholas was Iconic as jesus

Rayman Tikram was more of a looker as Judas than a great singer.

Steve Balsamo made it his own.
However, I am sure that they would both agree with me that the beauty of this
part is that its written in such a way that occasionally someone really special comes along and totally makes Jesus OR Judas their own. If you haven't heard of him please take a few minutes to visit YOUTUBE and have a listen to Ted Neeley. This guy rocked like a bastard (and still does)

Ted is still playing jesus

Whilst I agree with Sir Tim that it will be terrible and extremely sad if Sir Andrew is forced by the judging panel into choosing young lookers who can rock for three or four shows but can't roll for a tour or indeed get bored with this style of music, I think that JCS itself will sort out the wheat from the chaff. I'm really not interested in the 'fame' aspect of it. Let's face it, unless you are Michael Bolton or Elaine page you are very unlikely to make a huge living out of music theatre as JCS is one of those musicals which is just bigger than any one person that's in it. I am however confident that should 'The Webber"'s panel somehow lose out to the British public's sense of irony (otherwise known as The Michelle McManus effect) or some Ant & Dec (which one IS which BTW?) fuelled, past family tragedy, storyline; that JCS will not be floored for long and will come bouncing back under another more 'avant garde' directorship, somewhere down the line. One thing I have learned as a song writer is that sometimes you don't own or create music, you discover it and it finds its own way out of your limited abilities eventually.

On a plus note I have heard that Rice must agree on the casting for it to go ahead (though that just may be badly informed press conjecture). So why am I doing this? For fame? nahhhh, to get on TV? Nahhhhh (I would be just as enthused and dedicated to be part of it if the local 'Amdram' were advertising auditions for JCS. Probably for the same reasons that plenty of other people will be, to see if they can. To see if the people who have told me for years that I should be doing it were just being nice or really felt something when I sang. To test that demon that refuses to rest or quit until I've been told by the best that I am sadly deluded. Why haven't I gone for X-Factor or BGT? because that's not me. JCS is and I wouldn't accept from Simon Cowell or Louis Walsh that I don't have talent, besides I really don't want to do Karaoke on children's television for 6 months or end up on Celebrity Big Brother or some last ditch pantomime 6 months down the line (and no disrespect to people that do want all this). I WANT TO DO JUDAS and do it well and make it mine. I don't have a sad story, I don't want to marry a footballer, I don't crave fame and fortune. I want to do Judas and JCS justice and prove to myself that there is something deep inside me and  it will make other people happy not just me. I want the little bit of help from the professional theatre people to get my voice over into 'the really special'. I know it can be done.

There....I'm going back to bed now...... Vocal exercises later.

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