On the Couch with Edward Grey

Edward Grey oncWho is Edward Grey?
Edward Grey. Singer and actor playing Boq in Wicked in Sydney at the moment (right now, in fact – I’m writing as Defying Gravity comes through the speaker in my room). As well as part-time Producer, pianist, & almond croissant enthusiast.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. While some things haven’t been ideal when they’ve happened, I really believe it’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t. I try to learn from your mistakes. The exception would be that I would sometimes wish I hadn’t eaten all the cheese(s).

Who inspires you and why?
My mum. She’s one of the hardest working people I know and I have always admired her work ethic. The fact that she had 4 little kids and did her PhD at the same time makes me see the joy in being determined and achieving your goals. Artistically, there’s a huge amount of people who inspire me but I must say after watching Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, I realise there’s nothing more important than ‘doing you’. So I decided to not get my ears pinned back!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’ve spent some time in the US (and want to spend more there) and have witnessed the difference between attitudes between our arts community and theirs. I think we can learn from them when it comes to realising that one person’s successes should be celebrated and that any one artist’s success is actually advantageous for the entire community. Personally, I’ve found it liberating to adopt this approach as it fosters more positivity than the un-helpful and common ‘Tall Poppy syndrome’.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I just got back from Palm Cove in Queensland and I must say, that’s going to be pretty hard to beat. It’s a gorgeous little town with great food and a stunning beach and when I was there, the moon was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And the sun and the reef and – I have to stop myself.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Cafe Sydney for a meal or a drink (depending on how much I like the person). It’s a great view and the experience is lovely. The huge diorama of Sydney on the ground floor of Customs House is also a wonderful talking point.

What are you currently reading?
Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self by Kasja Ekis Ekman. I saw her speak on Q&A a few weeks ago and she really got my attention. Her book is fascinating and I’ve found it interesting to have light shone on a normally taboo subject. Makes for great beach reading!!!

What are you currently listening to?
I’m really into the music of Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim and a few others at the moment as I’m in the process of writing a show about some composers who were/are gay men but lived in a time when they weren’t able to publicly express their sexuality. It’s in its infancy but I think I’ll be exploring how their personal experience of love is expressed in their music, amongst other things.

Happiness is?
A day where I get to do work I love, exercise, then dinner with a loved one and then seeing a Musical and supper afterwards. I really do love the Theatre and nothing makes me happier than working in it, being near it, seeing it and creating it.

What does the future hold for you?
I want to work until the day I die. I consider myself lucky that I have an unbridled passion for Theatre (in particular Musical Theatre) and that I feel a vocational pull to my work. I hope that I will be able to work across various mediums and countries, creating and telling wonderful stories and enjoying great food and travel along the way. May as well aim high!

Edward Grey is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Art’s (WAAPA) Music Theatre Program (2010) and is widely recognised as a rising star in the music theatre industry. He works as a singer, producer, composer and musical director.

His musical theatre credits include Boq in the current Australian production of Wicked (GFO), Kiki in Legally Blonde (GFO/Ambassador), Luke in Prodigal (Bryant and Frank Productions), John in John and Jen (Sydney Fringe Festival) and Georg in Spring Awakening (Sydney Theatre Company).

In 2013, Edward won the Production Company Artist’s Development Award in the Rob Guest Endowment Competition, and prior to WAAPA, he won a scholarship to study classical music in Austria, where he also starred in a production of Jesus Christ Super Star.

A regular on the concert stage, performances include Twisted Broadway (Oz Showbiz Cares/Equity Fights AIDS), Carols in the Domain (Sydney), and Trevor Ashley’s comedy hit Liza (on an e) at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and return Melbourne season. He recently produced and performed in William Finn’s Elegies: A Song Cycle at Melbourne’s Bennett’s Lane, and is currently writing a new cabaret which is slated for 2014/15.

Following seasons in Auckland, Manilla and Melbourne, Edward is currently appearing as Boq, the lovelorn Munchkin in Wicked at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. For more information, visit: www.wickedthemusical.com.au for details. For more information about Edward Grey, visit: www.edgrey.com for details.

Image: Edward Grey