I first met Austin Owen on a farm in New Jersey.
Some of you may be thinking “Farms? In New Jersey???” ‘Tis true.
We were both there to celebrate the birthday of MEMPHIS Producer, Francine Bizar, also known as the “Peanut Butter Square Fairy” to those in the MEMPHIS family.
This was before rehearsals for the National Tour had begun back in the summer of 2011, but Crystal Joy and Austin, who had been hired as “Felicia” and “Huey” covers, were invited to belt their faces off on a few Memphis songs…on a blazing hot July day..on a farm…in New Jersey…
I’m not sure that I ACTUALLY met Austin that day. It was so hot, it has affected my memory of the day. I’m certain the “heat” is to blame for this memory lapse…let’s go with that.
Now, almost two years later, I have very specific memories of Austin…in Dallas. In D.C. In Sacramento. In Boston. Those times I have been able to join the tour on the road, I love getting a little more Austin Owen time. Those all-too-quick but lovely interactions, combined with following him on social media, make me feel like I know him better than I probably do! So it made perfect sense for me to reach out to him for the Behind the Title series.
Austin is one of two “Huey” covers on the road; he has go on for Bryan Fenkart just a handful of times (Mostly because Bryan has been what we in the business call a “beast,” rarely calling out or taking personal days)-so I’ve never been able to catch Austin’s “Huey” performance. Which makes me glad I had that semi-private concert on that farm…in New Jersey…AND we’ve come full circle.
A long way from that farm in New Jersey and 46+ cities later, Austin is now with the cast at Tucson Music Hall in Arizona, hopefully enjoying some warm weather! Run Austin, run!
I am so delighted to bring you this Behind the Title interview with “everybody’s favorite…Misterrrr Perry Como”
Full given name:
Austin Taylor Owen – Yep, three first names, three last names…
Track in MEMPHIS:
The ever-so-dreamy Perry Como, or so I’ve been told… and the hick-iest Frank Dryer you ever did meet. I also understudy some guy named Huey Calhoun.
Born and raised Okie from Oklahoma City! Go Sooners! (I hate football)
the one that serves those biscotti cookies… I could eat my weight in those things…all 152 lbs…wait that wasn’t part of the question…
Though I hold frequent flyer accounts with the following airline(s):
Dang it! I could have flown to China (and back) with frequent flyer points if I’d have signed up for those rewards things…ugh
Coffee or tea:
COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE. #mighthaveaproblem
Are you OCD about anything?
No, but those cat ladies on Hoarders freak me out!
People say I remind them of:
Usually some guy I’ve never heard of.
Favorite line in the show:
“They came at us with bats.” Only because Christopher Gurr does an incredible sound effect of flying bats right after this… The visual is pretty great.
Moment in the show (onstage or off) that you look forward to every night:
The Finale, for a few reasons. 1. I get to ‘mash Potato’ like nobody (and everybody) is watching. And 2. It means I’m 20 minutes from a cocktail!
Favorite costume or look:
Felicia’s Stand Up dress. Hands down. Oh mine? I guess my Frank Dryer costume. Who doesn’t love a bloody apron?
What tour city has surprised you so far?
Actually, Ft. Worth. Who’d a thunk that little cowtown was so charmed?
Best food discovery since being on the road:
Lobster Roll! This land-locked Okie never knew the gloriousness of lobster, mayonnaise, and bread…
Favorite theatre so far:
This is so incredibly hard. I LOVED The Academy of Music in Philly. I still remember getting all emotional on opening night during the Finale looking out into that beautiful hall.
Favorite piece of Memphis swag:
First it was the Memphis pullover. Then it was the Memphis tattoos (you heard me) that I picked up during a press event I did in Las Vegas. Now, don’t you dare get between me and my Memphis tote!
I couldn’t live without this in my dressing room:
My signed headshot of Jermaine R. Rembert.
While on tour, I wish I had more time for:
Hmmmm… I’ll get back to you…I’m late for rehearsal!
While on tour, I wish I could pack [blank] in my suitcase:
My boyfriend! And my family! Heck, throw in all my friends back home too, please!
I think Memphis fans would be surprised to learn that I [fill in the blank]:
I used to be a magician. Okay it was in Elementary School, but I won a talent show one year!
So far on tour, I hold this moment close to my heart:
Sharing the stage every night with such skilled, devoted, and fearless performers! You rock Memphians!