Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kevin Spirtas!

"We are more alike - than we are unalike" -Maya Angelou

Happy Wednesday!
I am happy today to be celebrating Kevin Spirtas. Kevin will be appearing at Feinstein's on April 29th as part of Randie Levine-Miller's Showstopper Divo night which also includes Jim Brochu, one of this year's Bistro Award winner's Nicolas King, and Myles Savage, Stephen Bogardus and they will all be joined by Richard Danley on piano.

Randie Levine-Miller has produced, hosted and/or performed in over 80 star-studded events featuring celebrities from legendary composers Charles Strouse, Marvin Hamlisch and Ervin Drake, Tony and Oscar winning producer, Marty Richards to award winning entertainers Tovah Feldshuh, Jim Dale, Len Cariou, Tony Roberts and Lee Roy Reams.

Her showstopper Divos and Divas~ A Swell Party!, spotlighting the crème de la crème of Broadway and cabaret, always draw a sell-out crowd and is consistently a fun-filled, entre-nous party atmosphere. Randie’s shows at the prestigious Friars Club, the showbiz mecca, have earned her the reputation as a modern day, "Hostess with the mostess"! As Director of Special Events for the Drama Desk and Drama Desk Awards, this is her 16th year producing the Drama Desk Nominations and Breakfast, to be held at Feinstein's at the Loews Regency for the first time.

 Kevin Spirtas, who starred for seven years as Dr. Craig Wesley on NBC's "Days of Our Lives", first appeared on Broadway in "A Chorus Line". Immediately after co-starring in "Hairspray" in Las Vegas, Kevin was cast as Hugh Jackman's standby in "The Boy From Oz"! Currently touring the country, as well as the high seas, Kevin stars in his one-man show, "Night & Days". He is actually on the high seas as I sit down to create today's blog for you. He sat down for my interview before taking off. Ladies and genlemen, here is the real Kevin Spiritas!

The first LIVE show that Kevin remembers seeing as a young boy was he believes was The Wizard of Oz at the St. Louis MUNY when he was eight or nine years old.

He remembers they used a huge crane to lift the house during the twister—he thought that was so cool.

Luckily for Kevin, and for us, he was exposed to the arts growing up. At sixteen,he was singing and dancing at the Palace Theatre... at Six Flags Over Mid-America... It was the BIG TIME for Kevin at the amusement park for two summers in a row: 1979 and1980.

There, he won a competition that led to an appearance of him singing and dancing on The Dinah Shore Show! He was seventeen at the time... he has a copy of that performance that friends beg him to put on YouTube... Still debating :) I wish I had that to share with you!

Kevin's thoughts on Arts in Education
Don't get me started.... I think in our country, rather than cut funding, or placing funding for Arts in Education as a low priority.... we should encourage all forms of Arts in Education, at ALL levels... perhaps then we'd have less wars and more truth, and understanding of the human spirit in the world. It pains me terribly to see how the majority of our schools and institutions of learning and development across our nation, turn the focus to sports only- and have little or no opportunity for our youth to study or take part in something so precious as finger painting, even!... I'm sure this is not the first time you've had an answer like this to this question, yes???

Have you ever felt like you were born in the wrong era? What other period of time do you relate to and why?
Sometimes I wish I were alive during the Hollywood's Golden era of Movie Musicals and early
Broadway Musicals... Doesn't EVERYONE who loves musicals dream that!!!! But being born in this era
ain't so bad either... I'm always inspired by what the past has given us and try to use what I loved about
that golden era of entertainment to fuel my creativity today.

Your thoughts on Carol Channing (All my blogs focus on Carol Channing's Foundation For The Arts) I'm campaigning for Carol Channing to receive the 2012 Kennedy Center Honor in 2012. If you agree that she should receive this honor, can you say why you think this should happen (See BELOW on how YOU can help)
Well of course she should be honored!!!! She's one of our NATIONAL TREASURES!!!!! I adore her—She's one of a kind... Soooooo funny and so very, very smart. She knows exactly what she's doing! And she still has IT!!!! I don't know how she does it, but God love her... let her keep giving us more!

Most recent appearance-
I just returned from a cruise to Portugal on REGENT'S, Mariner-doing two of my shows: NIGHT AND DAYS... a solo musical show about my nights working as an actor on Broadway- and my days working as actor in Hollywood, in film and on television's Days Of Our Lives... The other show is: JERSEY MEN! A musical tribute to all the great musical men of New Jersey... Frank Sinatra, Bobby Hebb, Herman Hupfeld, Frankie Valli The Four Seasons, Jerry Herman, and Gordon MacRae. (For a clip and more info you can check out my website:

Next appearance
April 29,2012, Randie Levine-Miller has asked me to be part of: DIVOS - A SWELL PARTY at Feinstein's at Loews Regency. It will be an evening of music, where I will be joining the talents
of Stephen Bogardus, Jim Brochu, Nicolas King, and Myles Savage. Richard Danley and Mike Renzi will be the evening's musical directors. For tickets call: (212) 339-4045. Feinstein's is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street.

After that May 20th, I head back out to sea and join the maiden voyage of OCEANIA'S new ship,
The Riviera.

What is your biggest success In Show Business?
Having survived thus far!!!! LOL If you want an actual credit... I think it would have to be my first job in New York... I was 18 and I had only been in NY for a little over 3 months- I heard that A CHORUS LINE was having a closed audition-1 knocked on the stage door of the Shubert Theatre - handed the doorman my pic and res and said: "please tell the stage manager that I'm not yet a member of Equity, but if he thinks I'm right for the show, I'd love to audition"... two days later I was called into audition and I got the role of Mike (I CAN DO THAT) Costa... still one of my fave roles and show to date. There's nothing more exciting than the first time, right?

What was your lowest low and how did you surpass that?
One of my lows would probably have to have been in the mid to late 90's before I was cast on Days of Our Lives... not working consistently as an actor at that time... I had pretty much been in survival mode and was making ends meet with all sorts of part time job, (waiter, selling furniture, tele-marketing, personal assistant... I even sold knives!!!) Acting work trickled in... still I kept focused and really did noting more than stick to what I call my 5 "P's": Priorities, Principles, Product, Perseverance, and Providence... and NO PANIC!!!!! So I guess if s really 6 "P's"! Still to this day whenever things get a little slow or challenging for me— I go right back to the P-List! This biz is all circular... so you really just have to wait it out sometimes.

What one change would you like to see In today's Industry?
For Broadway (and Hollywood) to make room and allowance for more ORIGINAL shows and

Are you happy at the point you are right now in your career?
Happy? Well... I'm working... which is always a blessing and that thrills me! But 'happy" is relative. Being the creative person that I am— I am always striving for more experience in this crazy little biz we call "show". I think it's what keeps me going. Sometimes the job/role truly satisfies a deep feeling of contentment, for the moment, maybe, and in that moment or time frame I guess you could say I'm happy.

Do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do?
So far, pretty much yes— but it ain't over yet! Truly, right now, I feel that I am actually just beginning to hit my stride!

What do you do to remain positive when life's hiccups get you down?
My 5 "P's" : Priorities, Principles, Product, Perseverance, and Providence

How on earth do you reach theatergoers now that newspapers are obsolete and there are so many channels on TV you can't pick the right ones to advertise on and with the web being so hit and miss. 
Good question!!!!-when you have an answer for this one... Please let me know!!!!

A genie pops out of the lamp, he grants you three wishes. What are those wishes?
I hold those wishes very close to my heart... I'm way too superstitious to say/write "out loud" here
what those wishes are... I will say that I am very much in communication with that genie— continually
letting him know my wishes—they'll come true :)

What is your favorite song? And yes, you can only pick one!!!
"Love Don't Need A Reason"-Peter Allen.... I sing it in my show: NIGHT AND DAYS... I believe it HAS to be the jewel of Peter Allen's' Catalogue

What is the last stage show you saw. Local or professional.
Truthfully, it was Broadway's PRISCILLA - QUEEN OF THE DESERT! (Being one of the producers on the show) I was going to be away during its 1 year anniversary (which was March 20,2012)... and I very much wanted to celebrate the success of this truly wonderful piece of theatre - so a few of my pals went a few days before the anniversary and whooped it up!!! And may I say- if you/anyone has not yet seen this gigantic musical -I highly urge you to gooooooooo! Aside from all the sequins... it is full of amazing heart and love!

What do you do to prepare for your performances?
It varies, really— depending on the time and place and type of performance... A play/musical is a different muscle than film and TV. For my singing and one man shows- other than a thorough vocal warm up -I go through an easy mentally review of what's ahead and remind myself to tell the story/stories.... connect and simply do the work. If s pretty much like that across the board. Hopefully that will assist me in staying true to the material and connect with the audience.

 When do you know ifs time for a Kevin Spirtas show?
Usually always when I am compelled or feel the need to tell or express something new... something I'm am personally going through... or something has a message that I absolutely agree with and feel the needs to have it be out there in the world!

 Do you make a living at this or do you have a survival job? 
 So far- I'm making a living... but that doesn't mean I wouldn't seek out a survival job if the time ever came...

What is your favorite compliment that you've received in this business?
My goal is always to make some sort of connection with an audience so, I guess it would have to be when some one says they were moved or touched by some portion of my performance - whether it be a song or role I have done- it always comes down to connection with individuals.

The highest compliment I can pay you Kevin is to celebrate you in person on April 29th at Feinstein's! See you there!!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Tomorrow's blog will be..Happy Birthday, Cynthia Crane!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Richard Skipper,
This Blog is dedicated to ALL ARTISTS: Past, present and future and the gifts they give to the world! I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED!

1 comment:

  1. Richard you are truly a treasure yourself! Your generosity, resourcefulness, kindness and just plain hard work are an inspiration. Like the song says, "I'm Glad There Is You"