The Ludlow, Ky., native has been skating since he was 5, when he played hockey. At 8, he became a figure skater. He competed for 10 years, ranking among the top 15 in North America and the top 10 in the U.S. He stars as Troy in “Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour,” which plays at Oracle Arena in Oakland today through Saturday and at HP Pavilion Wednesday through Oct. 28.
What are the differences between skating in competition and performing? Both are equally difficult. The physical demands of this show are amazing. There’s always something going on — jumping, spinning, acting — it’s high energy, a sight to see.
Is there less pressure performing compared with competing? I never felt a lot of pressure either way.
What’s your background as a performer? This is my first time touring. I’ve done little ice shows, but this my first big-entertainment type thing. There’s a lot more acting in this type of thing.
What’s it like playing the lead in a show that’s become a pop-culture phenomenon? Honestly, it’s wonderful; the show has really become a staple. I’m trying to make sure its message comes across every night.
Do you personally have anything in common with your character, Troy? There are similarities. In some ways, it hits close to home, like feelings about being popular. I feellike I wouldn’t have been popular if I hadn’t been a skater.
What will you do after this tour? My contract runs through May. I may stay with the company. I’m having a great time right now. I’m living a dream. I get paid to have good times with my friends.
Is there anything you don’t like about being in the show? The bus rides, and all the getting up really early in the morning.
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