Thank God I’m A Country Boy

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day to all! For me it brings the start of my forth and final show of this contract at the Roxy. Today we begin to embark on the journey that is Almost Heaven, and this Long Island boy is lucky enough to be portraying the man himself: John Denver.

Not only do I get to sing the songs of John Denver but I get to play guitar for the show as well. I’ve played for about ten years now and have played in a couple of pits and a cover band or two, but have never had the opportunity to do it on stage. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and now I’m lucky enough to get to do it with these amazing songs. It’s a wonderful responsibility to have.

I remember listening to John Denver cassettes driving in my fathers car when I was young. The more I learn about John Denver these days the more I admire his passion and commitment to the causes he believed in such as world hunger and conservationism. To play a person so well known for his music and activism is both an honor and a challenge. I don’t believe that it should be an imitation or a caricature of what Denver was. That wouldn’t be interesting to watch or listen to for an audience. What I think the key is for a role like this is to get an essence of who this person was and find that in myself. I believe the truth of the character won’t come from thinking. How would John Denver say or sing this? But it will come from who I am and finding whatever that passion is for me.

It may not always be the same thing for John Denver as it is for me. For example I am a born and raised New Yorker. I grew up 30 minutes outside of Manhattan. I love that type of life and am proud to call it my home. John Denver in multiple songs expresses his distaste for that type of life. Although thats something that I can’t fully relate to theres an essence that I can bring to life. I do understand being in a situation that is completely overwhelming that you feel like you can’t ever relax or that you’re trapped by your surroundings. It’s this type of work that I hope will help bring John Denver to life on Roxy’s stage.

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