An interview with… Vas Constanti

Something very exciting has happened… Theatre Therapy has officially surpassed 25,000 views! To celebrate this achievement I have decided to do something totally out of my comfort zone and conduct my first ever interview, with Original In the Heights cast member and author of the Mythvolution series Vas Constanti. Read on to find out what we can expect from his third novel, where his inspiration comes from and what it was like to perform for Lin-Manuel Miranda!

So Vas, you are part of the original West End cast of In the Heights – what first attracted you to the show?

I was convinced to do it by my agent! I’m delighted he did, this show is so special in its content. At times it fills you with joy, and then, just when you think you’re safe, it devastates you!

The show has had a very successful run with 3 Olivier Awards and 9 What’s On Stage nominations – was there a point that you knew you were a part of something special?

No, not really, everything just kind of crept up on us! We thought we were just this little show with the big heart, but the attention we started to receive soon changed all of that, and performing at the WhatsOnStage awards and the Oliviers was wonderful.

You recently had the chance to perform the show in front of its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda – what was that like? How did you and the rest of the cast handle the pressure?

For me, it was just another show. Things like that don’t bother me; he’s just a normal human being like the rest of us. Some of the cast however went nuts and the audience that night – well, I’m sure they could be heard cheering as far away as Washington Heights itself. They were amazing!

The Kings Cross Theatre is quite an unusual venue with the audience on either side of the stage – how has the show/your performance been adapted to accommodate this?

There is no room for error as at every angle you can be seen. Concentration and awareness are paramount!

As well as playing Piragua Guy every night you also understudy the role of Kevin Rosario – how do you put your own spin on the role?

I am actually now contracted as alternate Kevin. After performing the role over 120 times, I consider the role as my own when called upon. I just think of my own young family and imagine what I would do and how I would react if the circumstances were the same.

Which song is your favourite to perform within the show, and which song is your favourite to listen to from backstage?

It’s actually not a song but Kevin Rosario’s last speech. The joy within his heart is exposed and his emotions released. To listen to, well it’s “Enough.” Josie Benson was incredible and it was an honour to play her husband. She had so much passion. I loved her.

Josie was certainly incredible in her role. If you could play one female role in any musical, who would it be and why?

It would be Fantine from Les Miserables. The injustice she suffers and the sacrifices she makes for her daughter just break my heart. Finding the depth of emotion to play such a role every night would be so rewarding.

Do you have any advice for all of the aspiring performers out there?

Trust your own talent and soak up all you can regarding your craft.

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?

Just being able to do something I love as much as I have, is highlight enough.

You currently have two novels available to purchase on Amazon – what inspired you to write the Mythvolution series?

I wanted to leave something for my children to remember me by when I’m gone. An adult tale that would inspire them to be good people, kind and caring and interested in the world around them!

What can we expect from the third novel in the series?

Closure and revelation. The power of the Earth becomes evident as everyone is placed in peril and all we have to save us is a rag tag gang of sentient animals led by a lipstick wearing rabbit!

Intriguing! Where does your interest in mythology stem from?

It stems from reading some wonderful novels and brilliant plays and by watching the fantastical movies of the incredible Ray Harryhausen (who is the man behind films such as Jason and the Argonauts [1963] and Clash of the Titans [1981]), and of course by past holidays to my beloved Greece.

Lastly tell us a fact about yourself – something we wouldn’t know by looking at you!

I love to cook and apparently, I’m pretty good at it!

***

You can catch Vas in In the Heights until the 8th of January 2017 (click here to book tickets) and I also highly recommend you check out his books on Amazon! Fancy a preview? Head to the archives page to read reviews of the first two novels in the series and follow Vas on Twitter (@Vasmythvolution) for the latest updates!

vas-constanti

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