Surf, singing and getting stripped on stage is all part of typical night for performer Marshal Carolan. As part of the original cast of Surf the Musical, Songs By The Beach Boys at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood, Carolan not only gets to showcase his talents center stage, but also his tighty whities.
Hi Marshal! Welcome to Instinct! How did you get involved with this new show?
Thanks! There was a casting call for the project and my manager let me know about it. I had just moved to Los Angeles and wanted to do a musical theater project. It was great when they flew me out to New York and I found out I got the job. I love this show.
When did you know that you wanted musical theater to be your career?
I started performing during my senior year of high school. Right when I got out on stage I had this feeling of comfort. I got such a rush from it that I decided that this is what I want to do for a career. Also, that year, my mom and I took a trip to San Francisco to go see Wicked. I remember watching the actors and knowing this is what I want to do. It was very inspirational. I’ve always been drawn to musicals and performance but I had never tried it because of sports and other things. I loved it once I got into it.
Before you were cast in this role, what was your familiarity with the Beach Boys?
I have to thank my mom because when I was little that is all she would listen to. So when I got this audition I didn’t have to memorize the songs! I think my favorite song is, “Warmth of the Sun.” It’s this beautiful ballad that we sing in the second part of the show. Before the show, I loved “Barbara Ann” and “California Girls,” all the up-tempo songs.
It sounds like your mom has been a significant influence in your life?
My mom has always supported me in musical theater. She knew it’s what I liked. My two older brothers hated it. She has had a big impact on my career choice and especially music. She didn’t play obvious pop-culture songs; she played more underground vocalists. I think that helped me form my personal style. She was so stoked when I got this role. She is a big Beach Boy fan and my dad is a big Brian Wilson fan, too. Both are equally proud and excited for me.
Were you nervous at all to open a brand new show?
Yeah! To be honest, I’ve always replaced someone in a show and not been apart of the original cast. There’s always those concerns, how will the audience react and will this show be successful, but the energy and the cast is extremely positive and talented. Our choreographer has worked with Katy Perry, and everyone knows what they are doing, which is great! Sure it’s a little stressful, but it’s so much fun because you get to put so much of yourself and your own ideas into the show, making it a real collaborative effort. You get to find your own and create.
What was the training like to prepare for this performance? Was it all vocal training or did you have to hit the gym too?
This show, vocally, is probably the hardest show I have ever done. Brian Wilson has such a great range and jumps up into his falsetto all the time. I don’t really do that in the show but have been practicing each night to keep my voice in shape. Now that we are into the show it keeps getting easier and easier each time. And as far as physical, there’s a guy in our cast that’s a trainer that I have been working out with three times a week, because there’s a spot in the show where the girls strip my clothes off and I’m in a bathing suit. I want to look my best so I’m letting him kick my butt three times a week. It’s a good a challenge!
Whoa, you’re stripped on staged?!
Yeah, I am. I just finished doing a tour with the Broadway Company of HAIR, where we got naked every night so this is just a breeze. [Laughs] In this show I’m only down to my tighty whities. It’s all fun!
Now let’s give our readers something to think about! While at the beach, what do you like to be seen wearing?
I like the short style, ’50s boardshort…that’s what I’m going with. [Laughs] I can’t do the Speedo or the brief look. I get too embarrassed for that, but I do like the short boardshort style. I know, even though I get stripped on stage!
For more on Surf the Musical, check out http://www.surfthemusical.com/