A Mildly Important Announcement

Josef-Pitura-Riley-Donnie-Right-with-Keiran-McGinn-Curtis-left-Save-The-Last-Dance-For-Me

I’ve currently been sat at my laptop for a good 45 minutes thinking of ways to distract myself from writing this post but now that I’ve watched every YouTube video in existence I have no excuse for putting this off any longer.

In short I’m leaving the UK Tour of Save The Last Dance For Me. There’s a cast change that’s coming up in a couple of weeks time and I’ve decided not to renew my contract. This was all decided over a month ago but now that I only have two weeks left on tour it suddenly dawned on me that I’d not said anything about leaving at all.

The reason I’ve avoided writing this post isn’t because I’m worried that you’ll all suddenly turn against me, I don’t actually think this will bother any of you at all. The main reason I’ve been putting it off is because once I post this it’ll all seem very real. Two weeks isn’t very long and I will be sad to leave, although it is definitely the right thing to do.

So why am I leaving? Well to be honest touring is exhausting and I’ve been doing it for quite a while now, over 18 months in fact! I started rehearsals for Dreamboats And Petticoats back in December 2011 and after a year on that show I started work on Save The Last Dance For Me without much of a break between jobs. When I started touring I was still a teenager and now I’m 21, which is really scary when I think about it.

Another reason I’m leaving is because a lot of the band are leaving too. I’m friends with all of the cast but obviously during the show I spend most of my time on the bandstand with my fellow actor musicians. We spend most of the show together and that continues backstage since most of the time we share dressing rooms. The vast majority of them leaving coupled with my plans to leave anyway made my choice a lot easier.

The reason I felt the need to make a mini announcement is because I’ve never really left a tour before. When Dreamboats ended it was the end of the entire tour, the end of the year and everyone in the cast was leaving. While it was definitely an ending there wasn’t really a need to announce my departure because it was obvious that the show was ending and everyone involved was in the same position.

This time the tour doesn’t stop. On the Saturday night in Oxford the show will close and move to Bromley. When it opens there the following week it’ll be exactly the same show but with a few different faces in the cast. Because there’s no break between tours it may not be obvious to most people that there will be a cast change at all, hence the reason that I decided to make my little announcement in advance.

As much as I’ve enjoyed it, in some ways it’s a relief to be ending. When you tour you can’t really have a life outside of the show and I’ve put several personal projects on hold that I’m really looking forward to getting back to.

I’ve been saying for two years now that I’m working on my second EP and, while that’s true, it’s very hard to make any progress when I’m away from home 99% of the time. I’m also really looking forward to getting back to filmmaking and I’ve got a project in the pipeline which will be awesome if I can pull it off. I like to think that with each film I make, the quality and ambition gets better every time. Stars Of The Future, which was made back in 2010, was easily my most ambitious and professional project but what I’m planning next will blow that out of the water if it all works out. As you can see I’m very excited about getting back to doing my own thing and I hope you’ll all stick around to see what I get up to.

At the end of the day though, I am leaving the show and I’m really going to miss it. I’ve made some great friends on this tour and I’ve generally had an absolute blast so thanks to all the cast and crew who have made it so much fun. Funnily enough it’ll also be really sad to leave the part of Donnie behind. Even though he’s only a very small part in the overall plot, I’ve had a ton of fun playing him and it amazes me to see how different he is compared to how he was during rehearsals back in January. This is the only character I’ve ever played where I’ve known that someone will take over the part immediately after me. While it’s a shame that my version of Donnie will no longer exist, I think it’s great that he’ll get to live on in a different way…look at me getting all sentimental.

I wouldn’t rule out ever returning to the show should the Producers ever need someone further down the line, especially if the show ever comes into the West End, but at the end of the day it’s not up to me. Either way I’ve had a tremendous amount of fun and I’m glad that I’ve made my mark on the character, so no pressure to whoever takes over!

I’ll probably do another one of these wrap up posts after my final show but for now that’s all. Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far and if you want to keep on reading you can always follow me on Twitter.

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