Interview of Britt Quentin for BBC Radio Cornwall with David White

Thriller Live touring cast promoting the show
© BH live tickets – Thriller Live touring cast promoting the show – From left to right: Eddy Lima, Adriana Louise, Britt Quentin

BBC Radio Cornwall received Britt Quentin and Adriana Louise from Thriller Live touring cast in June. David White reviews with them a lot of topics from the creation of the show, the necessity of training and warming for all performers but also the importance of the crowd and how he reacts.

Additionally to the usual questions regarding Thriller Live and its production, the journalist introduces 2 main topics linked to the current news: to what kind of happiness they’re sensible to and addiction to all digital gadgets. And with no surprise, cast members are normal human beings addicted to their phones. This post is the writing version of the radio interview that was done on the 11 of June 2018.

Introduction to the show

David White: Titled track to his best album, in my humble opinion: it’s “Off the wall”. I’m playing it because we have Britt and Adriana from Thriller Live with us this morning. Which song did you think was chosen to introduce the show?

Britt Quentin: “Thriller”…

Adriana Louise: or “Bad”!

David White: I just love “Off the wall”. I think it’s his best album.

Britt Quentin: That’s one of my favorite album too. Actually my favorite album.

David White: Are you doing it in the show?

Britt Quentin: We do, a bit of it.

David White: Can you describe what this is? Is this essentially a Michael Jackson concert?

Britt Quentin: It is essentially a concert. It’s not really a musical that you might think. It’s more of a concert format. It’s just song after song, celebrating his music. There’s no real story line or anything like that. It feels like a concert that Michael Jackson would do, or like a tribute concert.

David White: It would take too much way if it had a story line, we just want the hits! Do you get to moonwalk?

Adriana Louise: We leave that to the dancers! There are some great dancers. We do not. But there is a lot of moonwalking in the show. But thankfully you don’t have to see us doing it because it would be a bit of a disaster!

The creation of Thriller Live

David White: So what are the parts that you two play? You are singers in the show. And Britt it’s said you’re a resident director. What does that mean exactly?

Britt Quentin: The show was created by Gary Llyod, who is the man who directed the show. Once the show was up and running he disappeared for a bit and leaded to someone else to run it on a daily basis to keep his vision alive. That person is me. I’m sort of his inhouse eyes and ears to keep the show the way that he has directed it.

David White: This show was put together by Adrian Grant. The actual Jackson family were involved in the creation of the show.

Britt Quentin: Not really to be honest. They’ve seen it quite a few times but they don’t really have much to do with the actual creation of the show. That strictly comes from Adrian Grant, really.

David White: OK, because I’ve heard they’ve been partly concerned in the beginning but maybe they just said yes.

Adriana Louise: They definitely approved it.

Performing in a long running show

David White: It’s a big thing! You cover loads and loads of hits from the Jacksons 5 all the way through to the latest stuff.

Adriana Louise: It’s quite a chronological order, so it starts with the Jacksons 5 numbers to get people really excited, it tends to get people on their feet straight away. Then we chronologically keep going and end up with “Bad”, “Thriller” and all his later things. It’s one of those feel good shows because every single song is a hit. Hopefully everyone is on his feet clapping along by the time we get to the end. And if they’re not standing, we make them standing! You can’t go wrong with the catalogue of songs that we get to work with so we’re pretty lucky!

David White: Do you not get fed up with singing the same songs?

Britt Quentin: I don’t.

Adriana Louise: I honestly don’t. There is times of course when everyone is tired but it’s MJ songs! I’m young: I was born after “Thriller” came out and everything but my mother was a huge Michael Jackson fan so I grew up listening to them. So for me it’s such an honor to be able to sing his songs.

David White: I don’t sing his songs but I listen to lot and lot of songs including Michael Jackson over and over and over. When you sing it’s the same: you just never get sick of a great song!

The crowd as a main actor of the show

Britt Quentin: No and I think because every night it’s a different crowd and we get to see how they react to it. That gives you a bit of new life. People react to different songs too, depending on where we are in the world. Sometimes they’re singing along, sometimes it’s the next one they’re singing along too and sometimes it’s the next one before that they’re standing up and dancing to. So that fills you and gives you the energy. We try to give them what they want and what they need.

David White: I don’t understand how the show works in theaters because you have to sit down!

Britt Quentin: People do sit for most of it but we did a lot of arenas too.

Adriana Louise: Sometimes I ask myself the same question: “we’re in a theater: come on people get up!”. But for the most part, people stand up if they’re feeling it. We’re OK with that.

Britt Quentin: Yes, we’re definitely OK!

David White: How do you two react if you’re at a show like this and you’re in the audience in a seat. Would you be on your feet?

Adriana Louise: One thousand percent yes! I would be dancing in the audience.

Britt Quentin: Definitely! Because it’s designed to feel like a concert.

Happy times off stage

David White: Apparently today is the happiest day of the year according to psychologists. So Britt and Adriana: a little thing that makes you happy?

Adriana Louise: Probably because I’m on the road right now, I’m thinking about a home cooked meal from my mother. Just like food in general! This is pure joy!

David White: What does she do? What is her speciality?

Adriana Louise: My Mom is from Salvador in Central America, so we really like beef stews, tamales… We have a food called pupusas which are cheese and pork tortillas that are so good and really healthy (laughs)!

David White: And Britt?

Britt Quentin: I would say roller coasters! I love roller coasters! I mean the parks in general but roller coasters for sure!

David White: What is the best that you’ve been on?

Britt Quentin: I’m from Los Angeles, and there is one at Six Flags that goes backwards. It just gives me everything I need!

David White: I’ve you ever been on the Rock’n’roller coaster at Disney Studios in Florida?

Adriana Louise: Yes! I just went in April! We had a little break and I went to Orlando! I went on that one and I loved it!

Britt Quentin: I’m very jealous!

David White: The one in Animal Kingdom which is the Everest: that one goes backwards.

Britt Quentin: I’ve heard about that one! I YouTube roller coasters all the time, honestly!

Addicted to digital technologies

The radio releases a news about digital detox as people spend too much time watching screens – phones, tablets,…

David White: Come on you two: could you do a digital detox?

Adriana Louise: Maybe for a few hours. We’re not going the whole summer without.

David White: You can’t put your phone down! And when you say a few hours, you’re talking about the only time you don’t use your phone is while you’re on stage! Do you feel sometimes that you can get tied to your phone too much?

Britt Quentin: Definitely! They run our lives right now.

David White: But the problem is that actually! I have my calendar on my phone and everything so I need to keep looking at it. But the trouble is when you look your calendar for an appointment then you also have a quick look at Twitter, post something on Instagram, check your emails…

Britt Quentin: It’s the lurks to those.

Training and warming programme for the show

David White: Let’s get back to Michael Jackson. How long did it take you and do you have to do the Michael Jackson’s squeal?

Britt Quentin: It’s the sort of thing either you can naturally do it and it doesn’t hurt you or you just stay away from it. Lot of our singers in the show do it but some of them don’t because they’re like “How do you do that?”. That sounds like it hurts. But if it’s one of those things you can do naturally, like I can do it naturally, but one of the other singers can’t do it at all. We don’t force things like that on people.

David White: You can do it naturally?

Britt Quentin: Yes but I’m not going to do it now! No warm up for me right now!

David White: I guess it must strain a little bit because it’s quite high.

Britt Quentin: It is! We warm up everyday for the show. You have to be warmed up to do that so you don’t hurt yourself. Every singer warms up, but to do that in particular: it takes a nice warm throat… Which Britt does not have at the moment!

Michael Jackson’s most iconic costumes

David White: Do we have some whiskey?!… What are the costumes like? I’m assuming they’re very spectacular?

Britt Quentin: A lot of the costumes are what you expect to see in a Michael Jackson show. They’re some of his more iconic looks, some of his more popular videos and things like that: The way you make me feel, Billie Jean,…

Adriana Louise: The red leather jacket. There is a lot of sparkle, gold, flashy things, military blazers,… There are some fun costumes!

David White: Do you dancers do the Smooth Criminal lean?

Britt Quentin: Oh yeah! Definitely!

Adriana Louise: Every night!

David White: Did you see that there is a video that came out about some professors who worked out how Michael did it.

Britt Quentin: No, I haven’t seen that.

The key to get the energy to perform everyday

David White: I don’t know if I should give it away! You can see that in the show. All the great stuff is in the show during 2 and a half hours. You must be vocally exhausted, seriously!

Britt Quentin: Luckily there is 4 singers so we can share a little bit. And Adriana gets to sing all the ridiculously high ones. We share the load so it’s not focused on one particular person.

David White: And all the dancers are behind you.

Adriana Louise: They’re incredible. A lot of our dancers definitely should get a lot more credit!

© Source photo: BH Live Tickets Instagram page

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