BWW Interviews: Brandon Curry Talks GHOST: THE MUSICAL
Fresh off of Broadway, the visually spectacular GHOST: THE MUSICAL is making an appearance in Houston as part of Gexa Energy's Broadway at the Hobby Center series. The musical follows the plot of the Oscar-winning film Ghost and features a score written by Dave Stewart (one half of the 80s pop duo The Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (co-writer with Alanis Morissette on the multi-platinum album Jagged Little Pill, among many other notable credits and collaborations). Recently, Brandon Curry, who plays the Subway Ghost, took some time out his busy tour schedule to talk to me about his career, GHOST: THE MUSICAL, and why Houston should be gearing up to see this production.
BWW: How did you first get involved in theatre?
Brandon Curry: My mom saw a news clipping in the local paper back home for this regional touring production. Growing up, I used to play a lot of sports, and I was in the band too. I never tried theatre, but everyone was always like, "You should just try theatre. I think you'd like it." My mom took me to the audition, and I booked that show. I have been exploring theatre ever since then. It kind of hooked me in with that first thing. It was called TWIST AND SHOUT. It was about teen dating violence. It was super dramatic, and I loved it.
BWW: When did you realize you wanted to perform professionally?
Brandon Curry: I think I was 17 and a senior in high school. I was in a pre-professional program, and we were studying Mizner, Grotowski's Viewpoints, Suzuki, and our teacher was one of the working actors in my town. I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. There's tons of theatre there and tons of people make their lives teaching theatre in school and performing at the local equity houses and community theatres. I asked my teacher what his real job was, and he said, "This is my real job. This is what I do. I'm in the plays here, and I also teach you guys." At that moment, I realized it was possible to do it and that I wanted to pursue it full force. I didn't want to do anything else or have a back-up plan.
BWW: How did you come to be involved with the National Tour of GHOST: THE MUSICAL?
Brandon Curry: You know, it was just like another New York audition last summer. I went to an open call. Joy Dewing, who cast the show, wasn't there. She was casting another production, so I auditioned for one of her associates, and I was called in again to be seen by Joy. I got seen by Joy, and then I went through several rounds of callbacks and eventually got the offer. I try to go to as many auditions as I can in the city, and this was just one that ended up being really cool and an awesome opportunity. I'm glad that I got to take it.
BWW: You're playing the Subway Ghost, which is a pretty important character to the plot. How did you prepare for this role?
Brandon Curry: To be perfectly honest, I listened to a lot of Kanye West. (Laughs) I studied about posttraumatic stress disorder and things that have to do with addiction. Based on my knowledge of people who dwell on the subway, I kind of had to study to figure out who, for me, this person was in relationship to this play, the text, and what was given to me. That was really fun actually because I even got into researching PTSD with Army veterans, taggers, and the culture of spray paint and wall tagging in New York City.
Also, with the spoken word and rap kind of poem, it was awesome to go back and study some Hip-Hop history and really figure out where he [the Subway Ghost] would be in that world. I feel like the music is just as much a part of the story and story telling as any other part. So, that was really fun to explore and learn about as well.
BWW: GHOST: THE MUSICAL made a splash on Broadway with its innovative technology and visual tricks. Without giving away too much, what can audiences in Houston expect to see in the tour?