Any Kinky Boots fans reading this? I certainly hope so, because today's interview is with Alan Mehdizadeh, who currently plays Don in the West End production of Kinky Boots! If you haven't seen Alan in his current (fantastic) role, you may have seen him as Big Davey in Billy Elliot (and in the live broadcast) or perhaps on Grange Hill, or even Eastenders! Whatever you've seen him in, you'll almost certainly know what a talent he is, so here's what he had to say for himself...
1. If you could play any character, regardless of age, race, gender, etc, who would it be?
Quite possibly Collins in 'Rent', or maybe Curtis in 'Dreamgirls' (because secretly, I admire him! He does whatever it takes to achieve his goals)
2. What is your favourite quote from a musical?
"You change the world when you change your mind", which is lucky, as I get to sing it in 'Kinky Boots' 8 times a week.
3. What 3 items in your dressing room could you not live without?
-My Bluetooth speaker
-My iPhone charger
-My sofa for when I need a nap
4. What is your favourite thing about performing in the West End?
Probably the fact it means I can be at home! I love regional theatre, and touring (and don't think either is above the other), but there's nothing like being at home each night!
5. What’s been your biggest challenge in getting to where you are today?
Not having gone to drama school, and having to learn "on the job"; open air touring, Shakespeare, panto, children's theatre, straight plays... much like the old way of learning by doing rep theatre, I've learnt by applying myself to different environments and challenges.
6. What book or film would you like to see made into a musical?
Moulin Rouge! (Mostly so I can play Howard!!!)
7. What is your LEAST favourite thing about performing in the West End?
Ha! I don't know! I guess maybe the commute? I hate a busy tube... or possibly the fact you don't get to go to new places and theatres to work. But mostly, it's just a dream come true, so have to be very grateful)
8. Any funny backstage stories from Kinky Boots?
Possibly from my first performance, whilst Dave Hunter was starting 'Soul of a Man', I thought it was safe to walk onto stage to get into position for the next scene, I soon realised there were 1,600 people watching Dave, (and me stood in the background), and without breaking stride, I just walked backwards straight off stage again. I didn't even turn around, I just backtracked.
9. What advice would you give to someone like me who wants to be in theatre when they’re older?
Don't listen to anyone who tells you "you can't", and don't think anything is above or beyond you! Keep working hard, if you can't take one route, find another, don't be deterred by obstacles, embrace them and smash them!
10. Is there anything else you’d like to say to my readers?
Hi! Sorry if I was boring. Ha