The BWW Q&A: Composer Scott Alan!
He's heading over to London to play at the Hippodrome as part of the London Festival of Cabaret. So we thought we'd ask Scott Alan some of our toughest questions...
You're coming back to London next month - tell us a bit about what to expect from these shows...
I have actually never done back to back to back to back concerts before. I'm creating four very different setlists for each with about 10 special unannounced performers to sing some of the fan favourites. London has always been my favourite city to perform in and so having the opportunity to be with the best audiences around on four different occasions is a real highlight for me.
Can you give us a clue as to who might comprise this "rotating cast of special guests"?
Sneaky. I know Rob Diamond (BWW editor-in-chief) told you to try and pry this from me. Hmmm. Well, listen, I love surprising an audience and not revealing any names so it all comes as a shock to them but if they think my rotating cast of favourite West End performers won't be making special appearances they don't know me very well at all.
What I will say is this...on Tuesday and Wednesday night they should expect performers who are currently in shows as those are the late-night gigs. So if you like The Book of Mormon, The Phantom, Wicked, Les Miserables, I Can't Sing and We Will Rock You you'll be happy you booked for those nights. If you like performers who aren't in shows currently you can expect them on Thursday and Friday nights. There's actually a long list of performers I've never worked with or have even met yet so it will be really interesting.
And tell us about the contest you have running. What kind of voices are you looking for? And what does a performer have to do to impress you?
Everyone knows I love to find a new talent to blow me away. From Natalie Weiss, Katie Thompson, Cassie McIvor, Raena White - nothing impresses me more then an unknown voice wowing an audience. Impressing me is so varied. You can have an OK voice but sing with so much depth and impress me. You can have no stage presence and belt your face off and impress me. It really depends on the particular song. Now if you can belt and have stage presence you'll be sure to rock my world. Lately I've become more reserved in my writing style and high belting is leaning out the window for me. There will always be the belters on I'm a Star and Kiss the Air but in my old age I am starting to really enjoy the quietness and simplicity of a vocal.
What would be your perfect job in theatre?
Doing what I'm doing. I love it. I mean, I'd love to be a millionaire to afford it but hopefully my success is matched in wealth eventually so I can continue doing what makes me happiest.
When were you happiest?
Have you heard my music ? I'm never happy ! But I'm usually happiest when I'm eating fried Oreos at a street fair on 9th Avenue in NYC.
What is your greatest fear?
Never being a father and a husband.
What is your earliest memory?
I remember kissing a boy in the bushes at day camp when I was about 5. I brought him a piece of bubble gum the next day but he never came back. It's a very similar story to my past few exes.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Myself. I would never have said that when I was younger but life has changed and I admire myself for not giving up and not letting go, though it's a daily struggle for most artists including me.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My need for acceptance. I will never be one of those people who can say that I'm happiest when I learn to love myself. I truly need the approval of those around me to be happy. I'm working on it, though.
Where would you like to live?
London or in a nice farm house outside New York City.
What makes you unhappy?
Not being on anti-depressants ! Bad joke, but probably true.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Hmmmm. "My dog is blind.' Every day. About five times a day...as he walks into every other dog...and the owner gives me nasty glances.
To whom would you most like to say sorry?
Myself but I haven't gotten there yet.
Who is your best friend in theatre?
Ellyn Marsh who is currently on Broadway wearing a mullet in Kinky Boots. We have been best friends since college.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
To the studio to watch Joni Mitchell record her album Blue.
Where would you most like to be right now?
In someone's arms.
Tell us a secret.
I'm a horrible speller and I suck at grammar. Not a good thing for a writer. But then again, I also don't read sheet music. So I'm just screwed all over.
Scott Alan and Special Guests play the Hippodrome from 13th May. The show on Friday 16th May is already sold out!