Meet Spring Awakening Star Austin McKenzie

first_imgAge: 22Hometown: Mesa, AZCurrent Role: A powerful Broadway debut as the charming and thoughtful Melchior in Deaf West Theatre’s revival of Spring Awakening, in which he is utlizing American Sign Language, which he studied at Columbia College Chicago with the aim of being an interpreter.Stage Cred: McKenzie sent a video to Deaf West for a job as an interpreter, but ended up with the leading role when Spring Awakening premiered in Los Angeles earlier this year. It’s his professional acting debut.”The first thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a cowboy. My family didn’t go to church too often, but I remember wanting to be a music minister. We went to the store after church one day and that’s what I told the cashier I wanted to be.””I did some theater when I was in high school, but this is the only professional theater I’ve done. Throughout this experience, I’ve become a big believer in things presenting themselves. At the moment, I’d like to do this for the rest of my life.””I saw the tour of Spring Awakening when I was 15, and I didn’t fully understand the significance of the story, but the lyrics were just so beautiful. I always thought I was more of a Wendla than a Melchior. [Laughs.] I connected to her so much.””My apartment is in Hell’s Kitchen and I’m living with two people I met on Craigslist. So far, I’m still alive [laughs]. They haven’t turned out to be serial killers or black market workers. My favorite thing to do is sit on my fire escape and listen to jazz.””I like to think that I was born in the 1920s because I like to be a moody person and lounge in my bed and listen to music and talk on the phone and pretend like there’s some romance in my life. I can’t smoke cigarettes, obviously, but I pretend.””My best friend asked me if I’d be the godfather to her son, and he’s very special to me. I told her I’m going to teach him sign language so that he and I can talk to each other while she’s there, and he can tell me all the ways his mother’s annoying him.” Spring Awakening View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2016last_img

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