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The Big Apple

Hey everybody!!… First off, if you are the type of person,  just have a tiny moment of silence in reflection for everyone battling cancer, we lost my best friend’s mom this week and most everyone knows someone these days who is battling this ever-evolving disease… (moment)…

Alright, It’s been a while since I wrote anything, and that’s because I have literally been working my butt off, trying to play catch up with the competition that’s in New York.

Since moving to NYC on July 1st, the most important thing I can say is… This IS NOT LA. I had myself mentally prepared for the move, but now that I’m here, I see just how much more competitive, not just the acting world is, but the entire city itself. In Los Angeles, everyone is hustling, but with the understanding of.. “oh, hey, if it doesn’t work out today, it’ll work out tomorrow… I’m late 5 minutes to my meeting? it’s all good, the other person’s probably late too, traffic on the 101 is real bad today.”… In NYC, it’s straight Darwin! Survival of the fittest, eat or be eaten; and it’s not just the other actors your jockeying for position with, it’s everywhere… on the subway, in line at Starbucks, playing pick-up bball in the park, crossing the street… everyone is trying to fit 36 hours into a 24 hour day, and if you’re not moving that fast, you WILL get left behind!!

I LOVE IT!!! I’ll take that challenge NYC, lol

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It’s Over!!!

Well ladies and gentleman, the tour has been over for a week now and I’m finally starting to wake up in the morning and remember that I don’t have a show to do, hahaha

In reflecting on the tour experience, I have to thank the University of Notre Dame with providing me every tool I’ve needed thus far in my short career to navigate the rough seas of the theater world. If you don’t know anything about Notre Dame, it’s a private-catholic-liberal arts university and when speaking to all my freinds that went to other schools; it is a truly unique experience. It’s a school that takes extreme pride in its dedication to Catholicism, but allows you complete freedom in shaping your educational experience. If you never want to see the inside of a church at Notre Dame, or take a class with a priest or nun, you don’t have to. If you want your experience to further your understanding of the Catholic faith and want to immerse yourself in its history, you’ve also chose the right place. And if you’re like me and want to learn about every possible thing you can, they support you too, and because of that I’ve never found myself in a position where lack of experience puts me at a disadvantage. It is in fact an advantage for me because my education showed me how to apply the principles of every other industry to what I’m doing now, and it makes me look more intelligent and I comprehend challenges faster than my competition. That right there, is quite a valuable asset to have.

Enough of promoting Notre Dame (but seriously, if you have a teenager, truly have them consider applying to Notre Dame, and if they get a scholarship, then hell you’ve saved money anyway)… Now, I want you to choose your favorite reality TV show and then combine it with your workplace, and come up with the craziest possible TV show hilarity combination, and I’m not exaggerating… we went through it.

Power outages – check… broken down in the middle of nowhere – check… so lost you in the middle of Texas that you end up at George H.W. Bush’s future resting place in the woods – check… broken relationships – check… poor management decisions from your boss – definitely check… hirings, firings, quittings, cheating, leaving in the middle of the show, cat fights, crying, being so loud you’re asked to leave, considering going on strike, complaining, rejoicing, grand theft, and even murder and mayhem (remember the time our crew got stuck because some one was murdered outside the stage door, cuz I do!!!)

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Just Another Day

Hey everyone!!!

With 156 shows under our belt now, we’re down to our last 18!!! I’m finally taking an hour or two since this last leg started in Yakima, WA to sit down and write a little bit and it feels wonderful (considering we don’t always have the best internet at some of these hotels so I have to get things done on my comp quickly, lol). We’re chillin in Kansas City, MO on our way to Wichita, KS and I have no idea what hotel we’re at but it is soooooo nice.

We have had some hilarious happenings this last leg for sure. Things I can remember off the top of my head –

1. I lost my right contact lens during the middle of Act 1 last week and it was crazy to do When You’re Home all the way to the end of the Act feeling cross-eyed and queasy. I kept grabbing for props and realizing they were much farther away from me than I thought, hahaha… That same show, I think, was when one of the ensemble dancers went to move one of the prop chairs on one of the balconies and it literally fell apart. That had to have looked hilarious to whatever random audience members actually saw it.

2. We flew from San Jose, CA to Tucson, AZ… when we landed at the Tucson airport, our Company Manager called the hotel to see if our rooms were ready. She was told that the Hotel Arizona we were staying at… went out of business that day, hahaha. How do you shut down your hotel and not call the group of 50 staying there for a week that they should probably find another place to stay!!! We ended up staying at a really nice Motel Inn called the Riverpark, but it took a while to get everyone’s room ready considering we had to relocate the entire group, lol.

3. Fly from Tucson, AZ to Denver, CO, drive an hour to Greeley, CO… get to the hotel and luckily my room was perfect, but other people, not so much. One of the sound engineers put her card in the door, it unlocked, and she walked in to find people already in the room. It happened to about six other people as well. What is goin on with these hotel folk, how you gonna give some body a key to a room that’s already occupied… What if you walked in and someone had just gotten out of the shower, or worse… use your imagination, hahaha. C’mon people, let’s get it together!!!

4. The AC/Heat valve on our bus is broken… ugh, so the bus is either 60 degrees or 90 degrees. NO FUN, lol… the we blew a tire a couple days ago. Traveling is not this tour’s forte, which makes no sense, right???

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We Fell In Love In A Hopeless Place

So this blog’s title refers to the Rihanna song as it has become the theme song for our tour group of friends. Literally every where we go, it is always playing, and one random day in the guys dressing room we had an impromptu a capella rave to it. Basically, one person was randomly playing a beat on the counter, then another joined in with a matching beatbox, then I started humming the notes to the build up of the song, and then every one joined in at the crazy club part, and right then another person ran over to the light switch and started the strobe light… it was hilarious and awesome!

Since the last time I wrote, we had an AMAZING two weeks in Dallas, TX. The Winspear Opera House in Dallas is an amazing venue and if you ever get the chance to see a show there, I recommend it. I had the opportunity to go out to a couple of the local public schools to talk to students about the show and answer questions and loved every second of it. It was very inspiring to go to the same types of over crowded public schools we have in the DC area, and talk to classes about how I grew up and the challenges my family and friends have overcome together for me to be where I am today. I could tell just how grateful the students were to see us (me, Virginia, and Dom went as a group) at their school and sharing how their hard work and struggle in school will pay off for them, as it has all of us. Aaaaaaaand, on my day off my cousin let me borrow her car, so we went to Cowboys Stadium. I will tell you right now… it is the most extravagant place (not just stadium) I have been to in the United States, it is a football mansion. World Records it possesses – the world’s longest spanning arches (1/4 mile long), the worlds largest domed stadium, the world’s largest HD TV, and the most HD TVs in one structure (32,000)… The crazy huge HD TV jumbo tron weighs 700 tons, and made the 1/4 mile long steel arches bend 3 inches when they hung it (P.S. – the steel was purchased out of Luxembourg, so as to not have an ounce of Pittsburgh steel on the premises). I found out it costs $200,000 to put a 20 year lease down on one of the 92 suites in the stadium and over 75 of them have already been booked, so Jerry Jones – save me a spot!!!!

Ok, enough about the greatest football team ever (hahaha, directed at all of my Redskins friends)… next stop was College Station, TX, aka Texas A&M… it was gorgeous, if you have a kid looking to get into a state school, I recommend it. Campus was huge and gorgeous and the spring time weather was amazing… so amazing that I went for a run, got completely lost, ended up running/walking 10 miles before I found my way back and loved every exhausting minute of it!!!

Then we got a wonderful 2 days off (a blessing because my voice was starting to get tired, lol) and flew out to sunny California for our last 5 shows in Palm Desert, CA… This week off from the tour has been wonderful. Getting an opportunity to sit down and relax, clear the mind, rest the voice, get some non-tour work done… but now it’s time to get back, leaving at 6am tomorrow for Seattle and then it’s right back to a 10 show week through Washington state.

Adios Amigos!!!

Kyle

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Kyle Carter: From Woodbridge, VA to Washington Heights in “In the Heights”

by Joel Markowitz – April 4, 2012. Washington DC

“Since In the Heights is one of my all-time favorite musicals, and because I always enjoy interviewing young actors, I spoke to Grace about her talented son and then started ‘Googling’ and learned that Kyle is indeed a wonderful actor and singer who has a great story to tell. Here’s my interview with the very confident and excited and very appreciative Kyle Carter.”

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Random Man and 100th Show

Ok, so 1 – I have such amazing family and friends. In York, PA a bunch of my dad’s side family came and a slew of family and friends, throughout the tour I’ve had soooo many Notre Dame and Virginia friends and their families come to support, and then last week, a whoooooole bunch of my mom’s side family came to Sioux Falls, SD. It was amazing to have that much support in one room!

And then there was the funniest thing that has ever happened to me on stage before… The second to last scene in the show, right before my last song in the show, is a pretty serious scene. My character makes a huge step by standing up to Nina’s dad and making sure he knows that I’m a man and I shouldn’t be taken for granted… I make my stand, begin to walk away, turn around for my last epic statement, “I had your back Kevin…” — random man walks directly on to the stage, downstage right, walks through both me and Benjamin’s (the Dad) sight line, walks around the speaker tower on the stage and jumps off the stage and walks out of the theatre… I am frozen and can’t even believe what I just saw, where did he come from, who is this idiot, how did nobody see him, what was he thinking – oh, shit, I have one more line, turn back on brain, turn back on – “… now I’ve got my own!” (whew) aaand exit upstage left. This man, literally walked through the second quietest scene in the show.

Turns out it was the chef of the catering company hired by the theatre for the dinner being provided to both us and patrons of the theatre. Apparently he was lost, and figured no one would see him if he walked on to the stage to find his way out???… Yea, complete idiot, soooo many other smart ways to get out of that situation…

Shout out to both the University of Nebraska and University of Arkansas… these audiences have been absolutely amazing and refreshing. Considering we’re hitting our 100th show tonight, it helps keep any complacency from setting in when you can tell that the theatre-goers are still understanding and enjoying the show, despite the fact that sometimes you might be tired and sick.

Bye every one, love

Kyle

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I’m still alive, I promise, lol

Hey everyone!!

I know it’s been a looong time since I posted, but we have been ridiculously busy since we started back up at the beginning of this month. We’re at Indiana University right now and this is probably one of maybe 3 days this entire month that I haven’t had to be at the theatre for some kind of rehearsal or on the bus or train all day. We’re at the half way point of the tour, and as with all long running shows, curve balls and changes occur. Thus we are having crazy amounts of rehearsals to make sure all understudies are prepped and ready to go and we’ve even brought in a new ensemble member to help out.

The two craziest and funniest things to have happened this month… 1 – in Huntington, WV, at Marshall University, we had a 9 AM SHOW (I’m NOT a fan of waking up early to sing, lol) for elementary and middle school kids…… for those of you who haven’t seen or heard the show, it is definitely not elementary school friendly, with curse words and innuendo; it is certainly a PG-13 style show. Thus we spent a few hours on a couple of different days preparing for the show, making slight language edits. One of my lines, “The drivers, dirty bastards!!!” was turned to “The drivers, dirty rascals!!!” hahaha… it was a really fun show actually, and though a lot of the show went over the little kids heads, it was interesting to move around on stage trying to remember what lines to edit. There was only one slip up, and one of the characters said “Damn”, and right on cue the little kids giggled and “oooooo”ed… too cute.

2 – The other day in Springfield, OH, I had a hilarious mishap occur. About a week prior, our little radio in the dispatch area broke and the earphone wire came loose during a sound check. For that week we just tied the wire down and went about our business of the show. Well, our props master decided to fix it this day in Ohio and forgot to let me know. So I’m in the middle of “Benny’s Dispatch” both rapping and singing, and all the sudden I look in my right hand and the  earphone  wire is dangling in mid air… not attached to the radio. In the middle of rapping, I confusedly laid it down on the counter top, only to realize the wire was covered in wet super glue… and for about 2 seconds I was STUCK to the dangling wire. I quickly shook it off, and went about the rest of the song with no ear piece, just rapping and singing into the radio. When the song ended we pulled the counter top back in from the spotlight, and sure enough the super glue wasn’t dry and that’s why the ear piece came out. I quickly tied the wire back on the way it was gerry-rigged before, but not without covering all of my fingers in super glue… I spent the entire rest of the first act rubbing my fingers together trying to get super glue off… the audience had to think I was crazy hahaha… thus it goes.

Well, off I go to the theatre again… for just another day!!! (That’s for all the Next To Normal fans, like me)

Peace and Love

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Toronto review: “Carter is eminently watchable”

by Cate Kustanczy – February 14, 2012. Toronto

“There are a few stand-out performances that do leave an impression however, among them the magnetic Kyle Carter as Benny. Blending youthful earnestness and adult determination, Carter is eminently watchable, his rich, soulful sound frequently soaring above his co-stars and offering a heartfelt portrait of a young man at odds in his world.”

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Communication is the Key to this game!!!

Hey everybody!!!

Ok, so normally I have great and funny stories to share, but this time I’d like to take a slightly more serious approach. What I feel like sharing transcends the “theatre” world and is something that every single one of us deals with on a daily basis; sometimes we forget that our heads are attached to our necks and keep walking with our common sense left behind, lol

I think one of the most powerful statements that our director gave us in rehearsal (he having been a part of this show from off-Broadway, to Broadway, and on the first National tour) is that the fun and excitement of being on tour and performing a show is a roller coaster. There will be days when everything is amazing, and there will be days where you can’t stand anybody and still expected to perform at a high level. Well, our wonderful group definitely hit a morale low this past week in Alabama, and before I dive into my thoughts on the situation, I will say that not a single person in the audience knew the difference. We still performed our butts off despite the limbo bar of morale being too low for many of us to make it under.

Trust and communication. I laugh to myself sometimes how these two words come out of everyone’s mouth as two of the most important factors in human relationship, yet I find that well over 50% of people are not able to practice what they preach. Through observation, it is easy to make the conclusion that more often than not it comes down to the fear of confrontation. What is everyone scared of?… This is the rhetorical question to be asked because I have found, and any one who’s reading this blog that knows my mother can attest I got this mentality from her, that the quicker you are able to articulate problems and concerns that require delicate confrontation, the quicker a well versed decision can be made, and the less time you waste in worry, anxiety, anger, or contempt. If you are attempting to travel through life with the purpose of avoiding the tenseness of confrontation, you might as well put shackles on your feet and tip-toe around everyone as they watch you with brows furrowed wondering what the heck your problem is (and everyone at one point or another has looked someone in the eye and said, “why don’t you just tell them ____________?”). In many animal species you will encounter confrontation – over territory, over food, over resources, over mating, etc… and to me, the fact that human beings have the wherewithal to formulate a comprehensive argument through language, we should have no excuse to shy away from confrontation. Could you imagine a world where when we had a problem with each other we lowered our heads and tried to ram each other until one of us passed out? (That would actually be kind of funny, now that I think about it, haha)

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Never Been Kissed

So the cutest thing ever happened today!! We’re in Huntsville, AL (which is absolutely gorgeous, btw, as we drove through the usual tiny southern one shop towns through Alabama, we were surprised to end up in this little modern with pre-civil war southern roots town) and we just finished the show. Virginia (Nina in the show) had a friend of a friend come up to say hello after the show and this girls friends had come along with her. As we’re all talking, this one very shy girl’s mother and friends eventually spilled that the young girl really wanted a “kiss” from Benny… my first kiss request… I smiled 🙂 and said “of course!”… I leaned in, held a kiss on the cheek so the mom could snap a pic on her iPhone and then the girl, beaming from ear to ear, said, “That was my first kiss.”… I am not a particularly gushy person, but that might have been one of the most heart warming things I’ve ever participated in. As we were walking away to head back to the hotel, the girl ran over and gave me a huge hug before running back with her mom and friends to go to the car. Anyway, just wanted to share that cute story… Hope everyone out there is having a wonderful Friday night, and have a safe weekend!!!

Love,

Kyle

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