I was going to write this in 2024 or 2025 when I actually planned on leaving, however, things have changed, Raoul.

When I was seven years old, my father brought me to work with him one night. He worked as a part-time stagehand at Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Palace Theatre in the heart of Times Square. He brought me onto the stage because he had to do some thing up there, and I remember just staring out into the house of an empty Palace Theatre, thinking that it was the coolest thing I ever saw. That was the moment I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

My Broadway journey started on Rt. 17 in Paramus, NJ, while I was waiting for my car to be serviced at a Midas service center. I got a phone call out of nowhere saying that ‘Phantom’ scheduled me for a live audition two days from when I got the call. I thought they were joking. I wasn’t in the union at the time and I figured that they were just doing my voice teacher a favor. He was a Piangi for about 5 or 6 years and I had mentioned to him that Broadway was a dream of mine.

The day of the audition arrived and I remember taking the PATH into New York City thinking that I wasn’t going to get the part. I had nothing to lose and, frankly, I was just happy to be there. I thought it would be like all of the other auditions I had: arrive, sing for 5 minutes, and be on my merry way back to being an unemployed actor/singer. The audition lasted 30 minutes.

When I was chatting with the audition panel, I noticed that Kristen Blodgette (one of the music directors at Phantom) had drawn little hearts on my resume. I tried not to think anything of it, but when I left the audition room I knew I had done something right, or at the very least, made a good impression for them for future openings in the cast. The audition was on my 29th birthday and two days later, between Sections 13 and 14 at the Prudential Center, I got the best belated birthday present anyone could ask for.

The last five years at ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ have been a dream come true. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to be a part of the Longest Running Broadway Musical of All Time, and I will cherish what remaining time we have between now and 2023.

I have had the good fortune to work with some of the best people in the business and I have made friendships that will last beyond our final bows together.

I will be forever grateful to Kristen Blodgette, Seth Sklar-Hyen, David Caddick, and David Lai for giving me this opportunity. I also have to thank the incredible Polly Baird for teaching a guy with two left feet this incredible show. My father was a proud member of IATSE NY-1 for 25 years and without them, we’d have no show.

1267 performances. Over 100 PiangiMania performances. 35 years on Broadway. 1 Iconic Musical.

I haven’t written a blog post in a while, so here it is!

My favorite time of the year is just a few weeks away: THE FALL! I’ve got all my sweaters, hoodies, and jeans ready for when it is in the mid-60s and I can wear the same clothing combo for days on end.

It also means it’s also time for apple picking…and hockey season (Go Devils!)…and pumpkin/maple/apple everything!

Also, also, my favorite musical of all time, Sweeney Todd, is returning in 2023 just in time for my birthday! CAN’T. WAIT.

Finally, my wife and I are finally going on our honeymoon after waiting 13 months! We’ve been brushing up on our Italian and we plan on getting lost in the canals of Venice, taking in the wonderful art and architecture in birthplace of Renaissance (Florence), and exploring the beginnings of modern civilization as we know it in the eternal city, Rome. “The day before November is the best day of the Fall.” -Vance Gilbert.

Less than 3 weeks away from my 1,000th performance at ‘The Phantom of the Opera’!

In the NHL (National Hockey League), any player that reaches 1,000 games played, they get an engraved silver hockey stick, tribute videos, and other fancy goodies like cars and/or fancy Rolex watches. I’ll have to create something shiny (and inexpensive) to commemorate this milestone.

I hinted to my wife that I’d like her to bake me a cake in celebration of this feat very few performers get to achieve. Specifically: a two-layer sponge cake with chocolate frosting and ‘Piangi’ sprinkles (red, yellow, green). I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

The countdown to a thousand is on!

I’m quite enjoying these two-show-day musings that I’m sharing with y’all. I’m told that the general public goes nuts for this sort of thing…I think?

I saw Alfie Allen (aka Theon Greyjoy from Game of Thrones) in the alleyway between shows on a smoke break. I waved at him and he waved at me. It was pretty cool and I totally geeked out.

He’s not the first celebrity I’ve run into in the Majestic-Golden-Jacobs stage door area. John Lithgow and Denzel Washington said hi to me as they were entering the theaters for their respective plays at the time, and I had a funny moment with John Goodman when he was visiting Laurie Metcalf after a show.

I walked right by him as I was making my way out the stage door and it took me a minute to realize that it was him. I stopped and slowly turned around, and to my surprise he was also turning around to see if I noticed him. We stared at each other for a second before we both nodded at each other and went on with the rest of our evenings. His nod was definitely a, “thanks for not going OMG IT’S JOHN GOODMAN, kid. I appreciate it.”.

I bet you just read that in his voice too. You totally did.

Only 40 performances until I reach 1000 performances of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’! If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I would have well surpassed that number sometime in 2020.

121 Broadway productions have had 1000+ performances, and 9 of those shows are still running on Broadway. If I was a Broadway show, I’d be on this list along with hundreds of other actors who’ve done 1,000+ performances here on Broadway.

It’s a pretty cool club to be in…not going to lie.

I haven’t sung three Piangi’s in a row since I lost my voice doing the role back in February.

Not going to lie, I was a bit terrified when I got the call. I didn’t know what was going to come out of my mouth, even with the month of voice therapy and a new-ish singing technique. To my pleasant surprise, it went very well.

The High C was there and my larynx didn’t explode on stage like it did two months ago. Okay…it didn’t really explode, but you get the idea.

After the first scene (and the High C of Doom), I felt so relieved that my voice was actually working again. I’d say my voice is about 85% of where it usually is, and in all honesty, I didn’t think I’d be able to sing the role so soon considering the how messed up it was two months ago. These things do happen, I suppose.

PiangiMania has returned to the Majestic. WOOOOOO!

FACT: The name ‘PiangiMania’ is something I came up with. I love pro-wrestling and I figured that since I’m an understudy and what not, I’d have a little fun with it every time I get to on and be a ham.

It only took me 942 shows to start writing about my “glamorous” life on Broadway (among other things).

I don’t have Facebook anymore and I barely use my other social media platforms, so I guess this will have to suffice for the 5-6 people that will actually read these posts.

About two months ago, I lost my voice while performing as Piangi in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. I apparently had a sinus infection, which lead to the worst case of laryngitis I’ve ever experienced, which subsequently resulted in me getting a yeast infection because my body did not like all of the antibiotics and steroids I was feeding it.

Being out of work for nearly a month was not fun. It was kind of depressing actually. The one thing that defines my identity and provides me with my livelihood was suddenly gone, and I had no clue if I’d ever perform on stage again. Lucky for me, Phantom took care of me and my voice is pretty much back to normal.

Oh farts, there’s the 5 minute call. Gotta bounce!