The beloved movie turned musical, Dirty Dancing On Tour swings it's way into Philadelphia this Tuesday, March 24th, 2015. I spoke to one of the stars of the show, Ryan Jesse about the new production. He stars as the gentle, and kindhearted, though sometimes not always perceptive of what's around his character, Neil Kellerman. He gives RyeTheNewsGuy.com an EXCLUSIVE first look at the show, his role, drawing inspiration from the late Patrick Swayze, and much more!
What has it been like to take Dirty Dancing out on the road ? What has been your favorite stop?
I just got here! I arrived Feb 3rd and met the cast in Costa Mesa. I had my first show near my hometown in Tempe, AZ. And our last stop, Cleveland, was my first "full city." Of the three, I enjoyed playing Tempe the most. I grew up watching the big shows tour through that stage, and it was my first opportunity to step out and see what it's like from the other side of the proscenium! My favorite part of the Dirty Dancing tour is, hands down, the company. The cast and crew are an amazing group of people that I enjoy going to work with every night.
Can you tell us about your character Neil Kellerman? Is he good or bad? What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Neil is a gentle, goodhearted kid that takes pride in the resort his grandfather has built. He is always nearby with a smile and a suggestion, but he may not be the most perceptive of the situations immediately around him. He has a great moral compass, but through the story he struggles to follow his instincts. The family business Neil takes so much pride in gets in the way of him standing up for what he believes.
This is a questions from one of my followers, @AliciaChristine wants to know Was Patrick Swayze and Influence for you while doing the show?
I love Patrick Swayze in the movie, but he had nothing to do with my work on this show. Since he's a different character, I didn't look to his choices for inspiration. Also, since I'm not acting with Swayze on stage, I don't use his acting from the movie to affect my choices or reactions when I'm on stage (the talented Samuel Pergande is my partner for those situations).
Is the stage show the same as the movie, or are there any differences?
I understand this isn't really "a musical" , the leads don't really sing, just the background singers. Is that correct? Is it weird to be in a show like that, or do you find it easier?
What have you learned about yourself as an actor while playing this role?
What is the best advice you can give to aspiring performers?
If you had to describe this show in one word, what would it be?