- CHARITY BENEFIT
The roles of Matt and El Gallo are iconic. Aaron Carter is a pop singer whose album, Aaron’s Party (Come Get It) sold more than 1.5 million copies. Aaron starred on Broadway in Seussical the Musical and wrote the single, and starred in the film Popstar. Carter joined season 9’s primetime reality series, Dancing with the Stars and is now playing ‘Matt’ in The Snapple Theatre production of The Fantasticks. Edward Watts was seen on Broadway in Finian’s Rainbow. He plays the role of ‘El Gallo’ opposite Carter. Watts is a theatre baby playing ‘Joe’ in The Most Happy Fella (New York City Opera), ‘Enjolras’ in Les Miserables in the national tour as well as several other leading roles in national and regional theatres. Television audiences have seen Watts in Rescue Me and One Life to Live.
What is it like working together?
AARON CARTER: Working with Ed Watts is amazing. He is an extremely talented person and such a nice guy. He really has helped me a lot throughout this experience. Everybody should be watching out for him. I have a feeling he’s going to do really great things with his career.
EDWARD WATTS: Aaron and I hit it off pretty fast so it’s been very enjoyable from the start. We feed off of each other in different ways. He brings a fresh, youthful energy and perspective to the cast and to the show, and since I’m older and have been doing this a lot longer than he has, he’ll come to me for advice about the crazy musical theater world. We’re kind of big brother – little brother at this point and there’s always some sort of antics or intense conversation going on in our dressing room.
What strengths do you each bring to your character?
AC: My character Matt and I both have similar personalities. We’re both hopeless romantics and young at heart. I think the fact that I relate so much to him makes it easier for me to play his character.
EW: El Gallo is such a multifaceted and intense character. He not only narrates the play, but also interacts with all the other characters in different ways. He’s a rogue, a lover, a fighter, a teacher and a sage all wrapped up in one. My strengths vary in portraying each of these aspects, but mostly I think I bring a lot of life experience and a grounded, intelligent sense to him. I love the physicality of the performance and commanding the stage. Of course being a big guy with a big voice in such an intimate space helps a lot.
What have you learned from your characters?
AC: Matt is very young and carefree. He likes to explore every possibility and go after what he wants. I do think we’re very similar in that sense, but playing his character has definitely re-instilled those attributes in me.
EW: The biggest thing for me has been that I should never regret anything that I do or anything that happens to me in life. Every decision, every little bit of experience – good or bad – makes us who we are and we can learn and grow from each one of them. El Gallo gets to put into words what I consider is the central theme of the show. He says it a few times and in a few different ways: “Without a hurt, the heart is hollow,” and “…we all must die a bit before we grow again.”
Aaron what is it like working on Broadway as compared to concerts and TV?
AC: Broadway is a wonderful and unique experience, especially with The Fantasticks, because our stage is basically part of the audience. It gives a very intimate feeling. I love doing concerts, the difference between concerts and Broadway is that when I am on stage performing, that’s me expressing myself through my own music; music I’ve put my heart and soul into to create and not playing a character someone else created. Regarding TV, it’s also me playing a role, and it is usually taped, not live like theater, and concerts so there’s not as much pressure compared to a live show where anything could happen.
What was underneath your Christmas Tree?
AC: My brother actually sent me an Xbox which I love and I play it all the time. I really wasn’t expecting it so it was a great surprise! My twin sister flew out from California with her boyfriend to spend Christmas with me, which was a present within itself. I loved being able to spend the holidays with them and show them around the city.
EW: The best thing was actually having a Christmas tree! My parents came to NYC for the holidays and I had my first real tree in my apartment. I’m usually out-of-town or at someone else’s place for the holiday so it was wonderful to just be home. We don’t really exchange gifts but I got a few little things to make the day fun and my Mom and I baked cookies. And my secret Santa at the theatre got me some candles, candy and a new book of guitar songs! Thanks Addi!!
How do you celebrate the holidays?
AC: Being with my family is very important to me, so when my schedule allows, I love to spend every holiday possible with them. Having my sister in NYC with me this year was the best! We also had a show on Christmas Eve, which was a lot of fun to do.
EW: Doing lots of shows for the masses of people who come here on vacation.
What shows would you like to do?
AC: Right now, I have been really focusing on my role in The Fantasticks so I haven’t really thought about it. However, I’m definitely interested in the possibility of doing other shows, there are so many great ones out there right now offering some great roles, and I would like to explore all the opportunities that arise.
EW: I really enjoy doing the classics – ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, MUSIC MAN, SEVEN BRIDES, etc., but I would love to tackle a new, original role in a show. That’s something I would like to get more of a chance to do. I got the opportunity last year in a show called SAVING AIMEE, and I’m hoping it moves here to Broadway this year.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you?
AC: I would like people to know that I really put my all into everything I do. I’ve been through a lot in my 24 years in which I have really grown and matured. I can’t wait to show people everything that I’ve been working on for so long.
EW: I’m available to sing for concerts, parties and Bar Mitzvahs. Contact me for fee requirements.
What are your wishes for 2012
AC: My wish for 2012 is just to keep doing what I love! I want to stay healthy, happy, and for everyone that I care about to do the same. I also hope to get some new music out within the next year, so be on the look out for that.
EW: For me, I like to be more proactive than wishing. I try to only wish things for other people. But I can control what I do so I try to spend very little time wishing for things and far more time actively doing something to achieve what I want. That being said, I would like a happy, healthy heart this year and continued growth and success in my career.