Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Paul Stanley says that playing the "Phantom of the Opera" had a serious life changing impact on him

Everyone knows Paul Stanley as "The Starchild", the member of the band with the highest appeal to female fans, the "starry eyed lover/the hopeless romantic", the rhythm guitarist for KISS-, known for wearing black leather, spandex and makeup on his face consisting of bright red lips and a single black star over his right eye, singing songs about girls making him "rock hard" and songs about his "love gun". But who knew that in the late 1990s, he would undertake a different role, sing different music, a type of music that would require him to learn a whole new way of singing that would leave him physically worn out after practice? Well, that is indeed the case, for in 1999, while in Toronto, he auditioned for and won the title role in the famed musical the Phantom of the Opera

In 1989, he and a friend had gone to see the famed musical in London. That inspired him to audition for the role and he won. Rehearsals began at the Toronto Pantages Theatre on May 25, 1999. The run of the play would end on Halloween of that year. In his book Face the Music: A Life Exposed, he explains that "Things went so well that the theater bought out the contract of the actor poised to replace me and had me take the show to the finish line". He describes it as "a dream come true, an incredibly rewarding experience". When he won the audition, he told the director of the play he wanted to learn how to sing like an opera musician and that he did not want to turn it into something like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In addition to playing this role, his parents came to see him perform and they were incredibly proud of him, almost as if this is what they wanted their son to do. Gene Simmons came to see it and was blown away, telling Paul "Where did you learn to sing like that?" It also helped him come to terms with a birth defect that no one had known he even had, one he suffered with since childhood. When Paul was born, he was born with a defect called microtia, which affects the development of the ears. Depending on the level of severity, it can affect your hearing. And in his case, it was bad- Grade III- which meant that his right ear was nothing more than a crumpled lump of flesh, leaving him completely deaf on the right side. And the only way he could hear on his right side was through bone conduction.

While at the theatre, he received a letter from a woman from an organization called AboutFace, which is a charity organization dedicated to helping children with facial differences. According to his book, helping out there somehow helped him heal by helping kids with facial differences. He told them about his facial defect, about how he was bullied for it and that he didn't let it stop him. He looked at the Phantom play as a mountain to conquer. "I never want to be stuck in someone else’s idea of what I’m supposed to do, or can do. For me, the challenge is always to find something exciting. If you’re scared, it means that you’re doing something good, you’re pushing the envelope."

By the way, if you're a big fan of KISS or Paul Stanley (like yours truly, aka the author of this blog, lol) for that matter, Face the Music: A Life Exposed is a really good book. Inside the book he says that everyone will see themselves somewhere in this book. And when I read it and every time I read it, I see myself there. While I do not have any facial differences like him, I understand the bullying part for being different. It's a good book. Definitely recommend reading it, especially if you like KISS.

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