Drew Gasparini and Alex Brightman are #musicalBFFs
Welcome to #musicalBFFs, a series of exclusive video interviews between NMT Writers and some of their musical best friends! First up: Drew Gasparini (Make Me Bad; Crazy, Just Like Me) interviews his friend, collaborator, and fellow (M)oron Alex Brightman (School of Rock, Matilda, 35MM). Watch the video, read the transcript, and check out Alex’s special performance of one of Drew’s songs at the end of the post. And because we love our #musicalBFFs, today through Friday only, use the code DREWANDALEX to get 25% off all Drew Gasparini sheet music!
DREW: Hi, I’m Drew Gasparini and I’m here for NewMusicalTheatre.com. Our first guest tonight is going to be making his star debut as the lead in School of Rock: The Musical. Please put your hands together for Alex Brightman! Alex, come on out!
DREW: What a time we’re having already.
ALEX: I just flew in.
DREW: They love you.
ALEX: I just flew in.
DREW: So we have some questions here.
DREW: You and I are friends. I think anybody who follows either of us on social media – that’s not a huge shock to them.
ALEX: No, we’re friends.
DREW: Let’s go ahead and talk about this: how did we meet? Do you recall?
ALEX: I do.
DREW: I have two instances I’d like to talk about, but why don’t you start.
ALEX: I remember the first thing that – our first interaction was actually a non-interaction. I sent Drew – I sent you –
ALEX: – a Facebook message basically saying that I thought your music was amazing, and I kind of sing the way you write, and I would love to perform with you someday. And then you never responded.
DREW: Is that true? Did I not respond?
ALEX: Yup. You never responded. And then –
DREW: I must have been all a-flutter.
ALEX: No, and then but what happened was that after that –
ALEX: – like a couple of days later or less than a week later, we were at the same concert.
DREW: That’s true.
ALEX: And we met, and I was like, “Hey, I’m the guy that sent you the message.”
ALEX: And then you were like, “Aw, thanks man!” And then the next thing we did was have a number of drinks and realize that we have the one-for-one exact same sense of humor.
DREW: That is basically how –
ALEX: I found my comedy soulmate.
DREW: That’s actually one of the things I wanted to talk about, was those two meetings.
ALEX: Yeah, but that’s what I remember too. You don’t forget when you meet your best friends.
DREW: What’s your favorite song of Drew’s to perform? Yeah.
ALEX: Just talking in the third person. My favorite song of Drew’s to perform is probably one I’ve only done once, which is “Burnout.”
DREW: Ah, nice.
ALEX: I liked doing it. It was like – It makes me – I’ve always liked the rock star aspect – axpect… I mean, I really like performing “A Little Bit.”
DREW: When do you grow out of that?
ALEX: I’m never going to grow out of it. It’s a great song.
DREW: I would say that my favorite performance of yours is probably “Burnout.”
DREW: I really like you doing that. It’s not really a theater song.
ALEX: No, but the rule is, usually, if you’re having fun onstage, people will be having fun with you.
DREW: How would you describe our collaboration? And what do you think makes our collaboration successful?
ALEX: Okay! That’s kind of an easy question, actually. It’s a good one, but it’s an easy one. My first instinct was, like, this is not gonna work, because really good friends tend to not be great collaborators because they have a hard time calling each other on their bullshit –
DREW: Yeah! It’s putting a lot at risk.
ALEX: It’s putting a lot at risk, and to not take things so personally. But the good news is that we are amazing collaborators because we’re such good friends that we have no problem saying, “this is not good” or “this can be better,” “I think this needs to change,” “kill this.” And there’s never much of a resistance because we trust each other’s talent and trust each other’s brains.
We also – we’re good writers, I think, but we’re much better editors. I think that’s what makes us better writers.
DREW: I always say we’re not writers, we’re rewriters.
ALEX: We do – and I think a lot of really good writers are. Anything we do collaboratively…
ALEX AND DREW: That’s a word.
ALEX: I’m a writer. Anything we do collaboratively doesn’t feel like a waste of time. I’ve never left a session of writing with Drew and been like, “nah, next time.” Always something very fruitful comes out of it.
DREW: What I like about our collaboration is that no matter what the idea is, if we just bring it up once, we always come back to the idea until the idea comes to fruition in some way or another. We never say something and then not do it.
ALEX: Right. We look at something, and we go, “that’s a good idea,” and rather than trying to analyze or critique why it’s not a good idea, we just go for it, and if it is a bad idea, we find out at the end, but at the end, we have something.
DREW: Quick plugs real quick. December 6th, go see my man Alex Brightman in School of Rock on Broadway. He is playing the fucking lead! He’s about to be so juge, it’s crazy.
ALEX: November 9th we begin performances for School of Rock, so if you want to see it in its early stages – my favorite time to see a show – come see it then, November 9th to December 6th. And then we open, and then we’re hopefully open for a very long time.
DREW: September 28th, if you want to see musical theater people do something a little different, come check out my live show at Webster Hall in the Marlin Room at 7:30 with opening act, NewMusicalTheatre.com’s Zack Zadek.
ALEX: I hope I can even get a ticket. September 28th. Webster Hall. Drew Gasparini like you’ve never seen him before.
DREW: That’s a hard ticket to snag.
ALEX: That’s a hard ticket to snag.
ALEX: Thank you for having me!
DREW: Thank you for being here, truly. Play him off! Thank you so much! Give it up for Alex Brightman! Thanks so much, Alex! What a swell guy. Swell guy.
Can’t get enough of Drew and Alex? Check out the extended cut of their interview, and watch them perform below:
Alex Brightman performs “Scratch Off” by Drew Gasparini
The post Drew Gasparini and Alex Brightman are #musicalBFFs appeared first on The NewMusicalTheatre.com Green Room.