Another Q & A With Kevin Earley
November 23rd, 2002
It's been more than a year since the first time I sat down and seriously asked Kevin some questions for the site so I thought I'd try a few more when I saw him in "Spitfire Grill" at Laguna Playhouse. Kevin was, once again, more than gracious and sat through and answered all of my many questions even though he had a show later that evening and a dog he had to walk back home. :o) The following is a condensed version of the conversation we had that day. Special thanks to Kevin for his time and for his extremely thoughtful and candid responses.
S: The run for 1776 last year fell right in the middle of Sept 11th. How did that affect the cast?
K: It was really interesting...We ended up cancelling one show and when we came back on the 12th, it was really amazing because we all got together and decided to raise money. So we got together after the show and we went outside and sang some songs for everybody and collected some money for September 11th. It was kind of amazing to be doing that piece at the same time. The audiences really responded well to it - and that's what we were really worried about - would they enjoy it, would they respond well - that kind of stuff...
S: Well,...it is a show about patriotism so...
K: It is, it is...but it does talk a little about the history of America and its bad points too. (Mumbles) Of course I had the bad guy part of it all, but...
K: It was the audience response through the whole thing that really kept us going. All of us were kind of in..,not necessarily shock that we had to do it because we knew we were going to have to, but we didn't exactly know what everyone's reaction to it was going to be and it was very positive so that was nice.
S: What's been your favorite role so far and why did you enjoy it so much?
K: Out here in Los Angeles?
S: I don't know...anywhere. It doesn't have to be in Los Angeles. Cause, I mean, you've done everything...
K: (Smiles) I haven't done everything...(Thinks for a bit) I don't know, Enjolras was awesome. He was really fun to play. It was really just a blast every night to go out and kind of lead this revolution. To muster up the energy every night to try to get everyone going was really cool because it was hard at times because it was a long run...and especially on the road...it can get tiring. 1776, I would say, is my next favorite. It was really the first time that I got to go to a nice dark place with a character. Again, it's the same kind of role. He's rallying around himself and he's rallying around the people who are behind him in his cause. To say this is how it's done, this is how it's always been, and don't change it or this country will fall apart. He knew that. He knew that if they stopped slavery at that time....if they stopped the trade...it wasn't necessarily slavery. It was the trade of molasses and rum and slaves and all the key imports and exports. He knew that if all that were to cease, then there was no way they could secede from Britian because that was their major source of income. It was the same kind of role, but just in a different, arrogant kind of way. It was really neat to do a slight southern accent as well...and Gordon Hunt was great to work with.
S: Did you know that I was shocked when I met you at the stage door that you didn't actually have that accent?
K: Yeah? (Laughs) Oh, that's funny. That's cool. (smiles widely) Well, thanks. (Thinks a bit) ...One of the best nights I've ever had was that Arboretum gig....(a beat) And I'm going back.
S: Oh, you are?
K: I've been invited by Victor Vener to come back and do....they're doing two nights this year. They have a "Hollywood Musical" night and "99 Years of Broadway" and I'm doing the "99 Years of Broadway". It's going to include stuff from George M. Cohan, Kern, Berlin, and they're going to do things, hopefully from "Les Mis", "Guys & Dolls", and "Lion King".
S: I now find out you've been on stage since you were two...(Sidenote: I realize it was three, but for some reason my brain told me two that day, I don't know why...)
K: (smiles slyly) Did you talk to my Mom or something? (laughs)
S: Your Mom posted a little thing in the guestbook.
K: I was...I don't remember much about it. Mom had this thing called "Mama's Boys" and we were in red, white, and blue jean striped suits with white shirts and red bow ties with bowler hats. It was the four boys; Dave, Tom, Mark, and I. I was the youngest and I guess I was two or three or something like that. I was old enough to walk out there and kind of do some stuff, but not necessarily old enough to really know what I was doing. I've seen pictures of it, again I don't remember much about it.
S: Have you ever wanted to do anything else?
K: You know, I went through that and then when I was ten or eleven I did "Sound of Music" up in Chicago, and then when I was thirteen I did "Shenandoah". Then I did a couple of high school things and junior high things. There did come a point in high school that I said this is what I want to do. I didn't enjoy anything else. The thing that made me the happiest was this and seeing what it was like at ten and thirteen in a professional setting - I saw that it was possible as long as you worked hard. As long as you were disciplined enough to go through some hard times and things like that, it was possible.
S: And have talent like you wouldn't believe like you do...
K: (laughs a little embarrassed) Well,...It's one of those - I don't know what else I'd be doing if I wasn't doing this. They always said that if Garth Brooks wasn't who he was, he'd be a bank robber because he has that drive and that energy to do something and if he hadn't put it toward something positive, it would've gone toward something else.
S: Okay, one last question...I usually like to end things on a different note...So can you tell us one thing about Kevin Earley that we don't already know?
K: (smiles and thinks for a bit) Something about Kevin Earley you don't know...(smiles) Gee, I don't know, I'm an open book...(thinks some more) ...I write country music, you kind of know that... I'm working on a one man cabaret show that's based on those songs as well as some musical theatre songs. It's already written. It just needs a few more developing things, just....an audience (smiles)
K:...more songs to be plugged in. I'm real busy coming up....
S: That's good...
K: ...Which is great, but I don't have any time to sit and play it somewhere. So maybe if I get that time, maybe in January I'll see if I can mount it. (Thinks a bit) I have a lovely wife who's been recurring on "ER".
S: Who was in "Providence" that I didn't see...
K: She was in "Providence"...I'm so terribly sorry...She's also in Steven Spielberg's "Taken" on the Sci-Fi channel, episodes four, five, and six, so we're looking forward to that....I think that's about it...
S: So...everything else we know about you?
K: I think you do, I can't think of a thing (smiles).
S: (laughs) I'm just kidding. Thank you very much for your time.
K: You got it. :o)