By Jeff Walsh
I've already reviewed "Spring Awakening" back when I was on the east coast for the holidays. The Broadway show has really stuck with me, both the music, the story, the visuals, everything... so, I was pleased to find out that Gideon Glick, 18, whose character Ernst is seduced by another boy in the show, is openly gay and willing to chat with Oasis.
We spoke recently about the show, his thoughts on being an openly gay actor, and how his desire to see Queer as Folk brought him out of the closet in the seventh grade.
But, of course, we start off with Spring Awakening...
What a great show you ended up in there...
Yeah, it's quite fun!
Were you in it from the whole Off-Broadway production and everything?
Yeah, I got in on the Off-Broadway production. There were workshops and all beforehand, but I started Off-Broadway.
So, how long have you been in the role now?
We started rehearsing for Off-Broadway in, I think... April? Maybe March? So, almost a year now.
Did you audition for that role, or were you just auditioning in general?
I auditioned for another role and then I got far with that role but, in the end, I didn't get it. Then they did a workshop before they did Off-Broadway and they asked me to do that role, so I did and then I got it.
So what's it like doing eight shows a week? Are you having to do anything to make sure you can maintain the energy level for the show?
This is the first time I've done something where the schedule was so repetitive and stuff, and so it's quite the learning experience, actually. You just have to find something new and exciting every week, I feel like. It can get really monotonous if you... I think the trick is finding what's exciting about it and that's cool. It shifts every week, I feel. It's really a different experience.
Yeah, I stumbled on the show because I was coming back east for the holidays. My friend saw the write-up in the Advocate, and I sent an e-mail looking to review it just about a week or so before I ended up seeing it, so I feel I really lucked out. I really hit the lottery there, because some shows, well, you never know what you're in for...
I think that's why the show's exciting, given what's on Broadway right now... there's nothing really that spectacular, I feel like.
Plus, just the energy of it. I still listen to the CD now.
The music is so fun.
I tend to know more of the Moritz songs, because those tend to end up in my workout mix more than anything else. "I Believe" is great, but not as much for cardio.
Yeah, it's more the rock songs that are good for the cardio. What's cool about the show is just there are so many different elements. The direction is really good, and the lighting is absolutely spectacular. And the music is addictive.
And, as much as it's new to be connected to a role for so long, it's probably new to be connected to cast members for that long, as well. What's it like gelling with the cast for this journey?
We've got an array of different and interesting people, which I think they did purposefully. They wanted everyone to have their own identity, both with themselves and the role. So, it's a really interesting group of people. It's good. They casted it well, I think, performance-wise and personality-wise. I'm having a blast every night, you know?
And you're living in New York City with family, or are you on your own?
My brother is my roommate, but it's just me and him.
Is he an actor, as well?
He's starting out to be, I think.
I was surprised because, when I first talked to somebody regarding the show, they told me none of the young people in the show were openly gay, just Stephen Spinella and some of the behind the scenes people. But then it circled around with e-mails that I found out about you...
I don't know why they did that. Well, what happened was originally, they came up to me when we started and they asked me if I wanted to be a gay role model? You know, just talk to the press. And I felt like they wanted to capitalize on my sexuality as a way to get money, to sell tickets. And that just kind of made me uncomfortable. It's not that I'm uncomfortable with my sexuality, because I came out in the seventh grade. I've always been a very open person. It just didn't sit right with me. I felt like, had John Gallagher or Jon Groff, if they were openly gay, they wouldn't ask them to go talk about their sexuality, because that wouldn't sell... I just felt like they were trying to sell it, and that just made me uncomfortable. So, I guess, they thought I didn't want to talk about my sexuality, which I have no problem doing.
And seventh grade is when you came out, or accepted yourself?
Seventh grade is when I started telling people, when I told my family and such. But I've always known. It was never really a question. (laughs)
I mean, most of the people on our site are your age and just trying to find a boy to kiss, and you found a way to charge people $100 a seat and you get paid to be kissed by a boy.
(laughs) See, that's what happens when you come out early!
Yeah, I did it just for this...
Is that a concern at all, as an actor? Do you want to be known as an openly gay actor? Is that going to affect anything?
I want to be known for my work, and I want people to respect me as an actor, first and foremost. I don't think sexuality should matter, although it doesn't bother me if people know. I don't think it's what's important, you know? In an ideal world would be just having my coming out story just be bringing my boyfriend to an opening and being photographed with him. I just feel like it shouldn't matter, and I don't think it does matter. If it does affect my career, that sucks and that's life, but I don't care about anything so much as to not be who I am and be myself.