Kyle Dean Massey is a busy guy. The Arkansas native, best known for his work on shows such as NEXT TO NORMAL, WICKED, XANADU, and ALTAR BOYS, is quickly becoming one of Broadway’s hottest stars. Additionally, he’s a passionate advocate for such organizations as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and The Trevor Project. (You can learn more on his website).
So, we were naturally thrilled that he was willing to spend the time to record a song for our album (one of the first songs we wrote, incidentally), and answer a few questions. Hear a clip of the song and check out his responses below…
Buy the album on iTunes.
K&D: So, we’ll start off with an easy one: Why theater?
KDM: I’m not totally sure! I became enamored with the stage when I was really young. It was magical for me. It’s an unconditional love – I’ve never had to ask myself why.
K&D: Playing the role of Gabe in NEXT TO NORMAL must have been an incredibly intense experience. Can you talk about how the role changed you, as an actor and/or as a person?
KDM: It was the hardest show I’ve ever had to do…on so many levels. My whole life revolved around being able to do that show 8 times a week. It was mentally, physically & vocally exhausting. NEXT TO NORMAL is kind of like an “anti-musical,” and by that I mean what we were doing onstage was more akin to film, television or plays rather than other musicals. So that in itself was a shift. I really learned how to focus myself onstage like I’ve never had to do before. And I learned what I had to do (or rather…what I couldn’t do) in my everyday life to be able to deliver a top-notch performance every night. It was a really incredible experience.
K&D: You recently finished the run of LUCKY GUY, playing a young man who dreams of country music stardom. Do you consider yourself to be a particularly lucky person? What’s the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to you?
KDM: I don’t consider myself to be a lucky person. I don’t believe in luck. I would say I’m terribly fortunate though. People work very hard in all aspects of this business. I feel that saying luck or chance has anything to do with a person’s success diminishes the effort & dedication that was put into the work. People don’t wake up being terrific writers, directors or actors. It takes a ton of training & persistence – and I truly believe that if you sit around and wait to get lucky you will never succeed.
I’m returning to WICKED on Broadway for a very limited time at the end of the summer. I’m always thrilled to be working with all my good friends at the Gershwin.
What’s the best career and/or life advice you’ve ever received?
If you had to sum your life up in the title of one musical, what would it be?
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve seen on stage recently?
Watching my boyfriend in PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT is always thrilling for me. I love the show; I’ve seen it 4 times now.
Your “It Gets Better” video (above), has garnered a total of over 32,000 hits on Youtube. What’s been the best part of participating in such a project?
The best part has been getting emails from teens who saw it and feel that it had a positive influence on them. The letters have been both heartbreaking & heartwarming… But all the responses have been unexpectedly and hugely gratifying.
Musical – ASSASSINS
Book – THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
Breakfast cereal – Raisin Bran (although I’m not a cereal person)
Country song – “The Grass is Blue”
Original Wizard of Oz character – The Tin Man
Toothpaste – Aqua Fresh Extreme Clean
Dance term – Jazz Hands
Stage or film death scene – KILL BILL 2 (the death of Bill)
In case you hadn’t realized it yet, Kyle Dean Massey is pretty damn awesome. For further proof, see below.