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THE BOOK OF MORMON returns to Atlanta's Fabulous Fox Theatre for two weeks January 12-24, 2016. Before the show arrived, Broadway World Atlanta had an opportunity to speak to Daxton Bloomquist who portrays Elder McKinley in this national tour.
Broadway World Atlanta: Can you tell me a little bit about Book of Mormon and the character that you play?
Daxton: Book of Mormon is about two missionaries that get paired together. One is your perfect all-American boy, and the other is maybe not quite what you would see as the perfect type of kid . He has a big imagination. It's about two young men who meet and go through this journey together in Uganda of all places. They try to convert these Africans into Mormons, which you find out in the show is very difficult to do. My character Elder McKinley is the district leader of the Uganda mission. He has already been enduring the struggle of trying to baptize the Ugandans. He also has another struggle he is dealing with, which the audience gets to see him go through that journey as well. It's more of dealing with something he has been fighting for since he was young. He has a very simple way of doing it, and the Mormon faith helps him control the behavior he thinks is wrong. He believes that if you are feeling something that you shouldn't be feeling, you just turn it off like a light switch. Everything is very simple to him, and it works. If you don't do it his way, he gets very upset. It's a really hard show to describe without trying to give away anything.
BWWATL: So, it is your character who performs "Turn It Off"! This is the second time Book of Mormon has come through Atlanta. How long have you been with the tour?
Daxton: I've been with the tour for now just a couple of weeks over a year. I'm continuing my second year in the tour. I did the Broadway production as an ensemble member and a swing for about a year and a half to two years as well. I have had quite a journey with this show.
BWWATL: With being on tour, it can be rigorous on an actor. What are some things you do to stay healthy on tour?
Daxton: For me, eating healthy has been the biggest struggle. I'm trying not to dine out a lot. In New York City, I cooked 90 percent of my meals. Being in hotel rooms, I found a huge struggle of trying to eat healthy. I have my own travel kitchen with me. I have a crock pot and a George Foreman, and I try to eat from those two things. I definitely go to the gym. I find a gym in every city which is really simple and easy to do. Sleep is very important, and drinking water is probably at the top of the list as well. We travel so much, and we are in different environments every week or every two weeks. It's that thing you have to be extra conscious about- how is your body feeling?
BWWATL: How do you keep the show fresh while on tour?
Daxton: For me, keeping the show fresh depends on a lot of circumstances. I like to have interaction with people on stage. I asked an adult actor, someone who has been in the business a long time and has done a lot of theatre, what he does to keep a show fresh because it is a difficult thing to do when you are performing the same show over and over, especially in the same role. He told me to make eye contact with somebody different. Always find different eyes. If I find I'm not in the moment, I try to look at somebody different in the eyes than I normally would. Do something a little bit different that day. The audience would have no clue, but my energy would be very present. Therefore, I'm still in the scene.
BWWATL: Do you have any dream roles that you would like to play?
Daxton: Oh, so many! I would love to originate a role at some point in my career. I say that without knowing what it will be or where it will be or if it will ever happen. I definitely have the willpower to stay in the business long enough to try and do that. McKinley was never a role I thought I'd connect with so well. I've had so much fun learning from him. I'm hoping each role I'll get will help me learn in life and as an actor. I'm hoping that the next role, or the dream role, is even more challenging than McKinley and makes me take the next step in my career, my business, my passion.
BWWATL: I've got one more question I like to ask and I like to end with. For those who are out there who are wanting to do this as a business, what advice would you give?
Daxton: That's such a great question and a hard question to answer, but I love answering it. For me, success has happened from always working very hard. Showing up every day- that's how I would describe working hard. And being genuinely nice. Those are the two things that will get you a foot ahead of the others.
BOOK OF MORMON opens at Atlanta's Fabulous Fox Theatre on Tuesday, January 12, and runs through Sunday, January 24, 2016. Tickets can be purchased at the Fox Theatre Box Office (660 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Ga, 30308), by phone at 855-285-8499, or online at foxtheatre.org.
Article reprinted with permission from www.BroadwayWorld.com
10 reviews, average rating: (3.6 Stars)
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