Martin Kaye has been performing since he could talk. He remembers spending time with his aunt and uncle at the theater and on the stage. His father taught him how to play the piano and his passion has always been music. Martin has been traveling all across the United States playing Jerry Lee Lewis in MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET and recently moved to the Vegas production where he continues to play the role. He brings energy and enthusiasm to the role and he also brings his new bride with him as well. Martin shared his experiences of being on the road with MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET and then his transition to the Vegas stage.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into singing.
I'm 28 years old and I have been singing since I could talk really. My grandma took me to a singing teacher when I was three years old and I mean I've always loved it. My family has always been musical and so I've just been surrounded by music my whole life. I started playing the piano. My dad is a piano player and so I was introduced to the piano that way. They got me some piano lessons when I was a kid and I started playing when I was 6-7 years old. And then I got involved in musicals when I was about 11 years old. My auntie and uncle worked for this, well not worked but it was like an extracurricular thing outside of school. My auntie directed and my uncle was the stage manager of a local theatre group. So I got involved in that and that's kinda when I realized I really wanted to be on stage my whole life. It wasn't that I wanted to focus so much on musicals; it was just that I wanted to be on stage. And I got involved in choir in school and all that kind of stuff. So that's kinda how it started.
And how did you end up in MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET?
Well I was working on cruise ships. I was doing that for about four years and when I was on one of the ships, I met this guy who asked me if I had an agent or manager. He was a passenger on the ship. And he came up to me one day after one of my shows and asked me if I had an agent or a manager. And I was like "No, I don't." And he actually got me to finish on the ship. I was coming up on the end of my last contract on the ship and I wanted to get back on land and work on my career. And he said to me, "You should get in touch with an agent. I have an agent I can put you in touch with." And he put me in touch with this agent and two weeks after meeting the agent, she told me about this audition since she already knew it in New York (for MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET) so I got involved and went to the audition and did my thing and it just turned out for the best. It was my first professional audition, I had never done anything like this before and I really wasn't confidant about getting the part. I mean I was confidant in my ability to perform and do my thing but I didn't know if it was necessarily what they were looking for. I didn't have any experience in Broadway or anything like that so I didn't know if I was going to be picked. I obviously was, it was great and I'm really happy it turned out this way.
And how long were you touring with MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET?
We have been doing it since September last year (2011). So we have been touring since then.
You play the role of Jerry Lee Lewis and it seems that that takes so much energy to keep up with every night. How to you prepare every day to play that role?
I mean the thing is obviously good amounts of sleep. I think generally, just naturally I'm an energetic person. When I'm on stage I just kinda get into this mode where I don't really think about anything. I don't really try to do anything I just do what I was born to do. So I think that natural energy kinda comes through the part that I'm doing. I mean obviously playing the piano is one of my big passions. So I think that just naturally gives me the energy. And also the audience, you know, every week we have a different audience, every night we have a different audience. That kinda stirs us on and kinda keeps us going. If the audience's energy is high, you know, it just stirs me even more and more.
So tell us more about your music and what is some of the music you do for yourself?