Shane Crawford thinks it may have been the kinky boots that did it. He tried them on backstage at the Cyndi Lauper musical of the same name and, as he puts it, “I was having too much fun”.
“They put me on the conveyor belt that has been part of the show and I think that must possess stuck in someone’s head, so I was asked if I’d like to audition. ”
The former AFL footballer, who played 305 games for Hawthorn over 16 years, is now about to make his musical theatre debut in Paul and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat .
It’s something of a lifelong ambition with regard to Crawford, 48, who says he had been interested inside theatre at high school, but too shy to make the leap.
Even as an adult, he states he “chickened out” associated with the first round of auditions regarding Joseph . In the particular second round, which was conducted over Zoom, Crawford sang Song associated with the King (Seven Fat Cows) , the track he performs in the show, and was accepted for the part.
Joseph, a Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber stage show based on the particular biblical story of Jacob and his sons, has a quirky storyline. Joseph is the youngest of 12 children, his father’s favourite; great jealous brothers try unsuccessfully in order to kill him, before selling him into slavery. The particular show, first staged in 1970, was originally marketed as a follow-up to Jesus Christ Superstar .
Loosely modelled on Elvis, the Pharoah has one solo and appears in three numbers. For someone who says they don’t even sing in the shower – maybe a karaoke bar, Crawford quips – singing in front of a room of people upon day one of rehearsals has been pretty daunting.
“I got to the end and they all started clapping, so that made me feel very supported plus part associated with it, ” he says. “That made me feel much that this is where I belong at the moment. ”
”I think there always has to be nerves. Even playing football there’s usually nerves because of the unknown; whereas we know where this has to go. Hopefully, that will settle down a bit, and I can play the particular role as it’s meant to be played. ”
The other thing he’s nervous about is their costume – and how little there is of it.
It sounds strange, Crawford says, yet there are some similarities between being in a musical plus being part of a footy club. “We train to become where we need to be for certain moments, everyone has got a certain role to play, that’s very much the same. Even the coaching side of things, you’ll have one or two voices and everyone files in behind. ”
“You’ve got to do things that you are passionate about and make you feel alive plus this is definitely that. I feel uncomfortable, Personally i think very a lot challenged, I feel a part of a team. This is definitely the new space. I do understand how serious it is to be part of a musical… I’m treating it because professionally since I may. I come here and I train and then I’ll go off and I’ll have singing lessons away from here. ”
After retiring from soccer in 2008, Crawford was a regular on Nine’s The Footy Show* , alongside Eddie McGuire and Sam Newman. Regular viewers might recall seeing him using a lot associated with fun with the end-of-year Footy Show which saw the panel and players dress up and perform (but these people lip-synched the particular songs).
“It’s a little challenging when Paulini is belting out a tune next to you, you’re just thinking, ‘Oh my goodness’, ” he admits that. “It’s been very exciting and it’s been daunting. Some days I walk out thinking I’ve gone backwards, it is been one of those experiences, other days I feel like, ‘I’ve got this’. ”
As for the controversy regarding his taking a place of a trained performer , he is philosophical. Everyone has a right to their opinion, he says, adding that this individual understands that people devote their own entire lives to their profession.
It is, however, not unprecedented for people outside musical theater to be brought in to try out cameo roles; the logic is they will help sell tickets and potentially attract a different audience. Sydney radio shockjock Alan Jones played US president Franklin D. Roosevelt in Annie in 2012 , while Bert Newton was literally wheeled on stage as a radio DJ within Grease The Musical in 2013. Just more than 50 many years ago, Muhammad Ali appeared on Broadway in the musical Buck White but the display only had seven performances.
Anyone attending the show might clock a few people from the AFL within the audience; Crawford says his former teammate and Questionnaire Swans superstar Buddy Franklin is going, as is the particular new North Melbourne coach – that he played for when at Hawthorn – Alastair Clarkson.
“AFL players are a bit pigeonholed, ” Crawford says. “You’re retired for a long time. It’s a big wide world, and you’ve got to carry out other things. ”
*Nine is the owner of this particular masthead.
Paul as well as the Incredible Technicolour Dreamcoat will be at the Regent Theatre from November 16.
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