Kinky Boots, the Broadway hit, featuring songs by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, is a hit with audiences—especially LGBT audiences—everywhere. This musical celebrates the power of friendship to change outlooks and fortunes. Inspired by true events, the show takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan.

Recently it was announced that local actor Geoff Davin will be joining the touring show, and he was kind enough to chat with O&AN before going on tour.

 

Grady:  Tell me a little bit about your theatre career? How did you get started, what are some the highlights for you?

Davin: I started acting professionally when I was 14. But when I was a young child I would rent any musical movie that I could get my hands on and record the entire thing, dialogue and all, on my little tape recorder. Then I’d steal my sister’s Barbies and match them up to my G.I. Joe dolls. The G.I. Joe dolls were much sexier than Ken and made for better leading men.

I would use the dolls and the recorded audio to stage full productions of these musicals on the small proscenium stage that my father built for us. My production of Hair (complete with naked dolls) was DEFINITELY one of my highlights.

photo courtesy of Geoff Davin

One of the highlights of my adult theatre career was writing and performing in my original musical The First Church of Mary the Repentant Prostitute’s Fifth Annual Benefit Concert, Revival, and Pot Luck Dinner, which I premiered here in Nashville before bringing it to New York as part of the New York Musical Festival.

I played a female southern evangelist preacher named Adamenses Huckster. I wore a pair of killer heels in that show. So between that and playing Frank-N-Furter in Boiler Room’s Rocky Horror Show, I have spent my fair share of time in heels. And I believe, by the end of Kinky Boots, everyone wears heels at one point. So I’ll feel right at home.

 

Grady: How long have you been in Nashville? What brought you here?

Davin:  have lived in Nashville for 9 years. I’m originally from the Boston area. I went to NYU for musical theatre and stayed in New York for fourteen years before moving here. I was needing a change from the grind of New York and had started singing and writing for an alt-country band. So the music scene drew me here. I thought I’d be here for maybe a few years then go back to New York, but I fell in love with this city. Plus, I don’t think my dog would like New York very much. She’s a sensitive girl.

 

Grady: How did your path lead you to Kinky boots? What are you most excited about?

Davin: Last year, I wasn’t doing a lot of performing. I was in a total rut and feeling seriously depressed. I felt like I was just marking time ,and I didn’t see a way forward for me if I maintained the status quo. So I knew I had to do something different and made a promise to myself that in 2018 I would do two things:  learn to be better at living a life of gratitude instead of a life of wanting, and no longer be willing to accept a life that was not fulfilling!

So, in early January of 2018, I saw an audition posting for the Kinky Boots tour. On a whim I decided to fly to New York and audition. Then I got a callback. And another. And another.

This was literally my first audition after deciding to make a change in my life. But then it became a waiting game for someone to leave the tour. I finally got the offer in October. But, in the meantime, I have (knock on wood) been working steadily this year.

I don’t say that to toot my horn at all. I say that to stress that I firmly believe that it took me reaching a boiling point where I knew I couldn’t accept my life in its current state. You get what you ask for. And if you’re always living in a state of “wanting”, then that’s what you’ll get.

The challenge is to learn to be grateful for the opportunities that haven’t yet materialized and trust that they are in the pipeline. Last year I couldn’t see any path to performing in a national tour like this. Yet here I am.

In Kinky Boots, I play Mr. Price, the original owner of the shoe factory, whose son takes over and starts making the “Kinky Boots.”

I’m most excited to perform in Boston on the stage of one of the theatres I grew up seeing shows in. I used to sit there as a child dreaming about being in one of those tours and performing in that theatre. So, at 42 years old, young Geoffrey’s dream is finally going to be realized.

For more on the tour, check out their website at kinkybootsthetour.com.

 

See also An interview with Cyndi Lauper related to Kinky Boots.