Peter Nelson talks dancing through 60’s hits, science, and how art is the new passion of his life
Peter Nelson made his Broadway debut dancing with Velma and Roxy in Chicago. Then he spent time with some woodland creatures and stepsisters in Cinderella. Now, he’s dancing to hits like “Wipe Out,” “Born To Be Wild,” “California Dreamin’” and more in the new show Trip of Love.
What was it like to make your Broadway debut in such an established hit like Chicago?
It was really a dream come true and I couldn’t have anticipated it when I moved to the city four and a half years ago. I came with some money saved and an idea of what I hoped to do in theatre. You see, I studied neuroscience in my undergrad and after not getting into med school, I hopped on a cruise ship to perform. Miraculously, when I moved to New York, I was cast in Chicago. It was one of the few shows I’d seen that I could actually see myself in so that was huge for me.
How has Trip of Love challenged you as a performer?
I’m in the ensemble through all the 60’s dancing and I understudy the three male leads who sing all the songs in the show. The movement and choreography is intense, really fun to do and the technique is specific to a very specialized style so that’s a challenge. A good challenge.
What drives you as a performer?
I live for the audience. I live for the moment when an audience and production team come together and all of that energy becomes an evening of live theatre. It’s something you can’t replicate on TV or in a movie. It’s a magical experience. I live for those special moments on stage when something unique happens and someone in the audience reacts in a way that’s new. It adds new interest to what we’ve been doing.
What do you do to continue to better yourself and grow as a performer?
I take regular Alexander Technique classes. It’s a philosophy of bettering your own personal use. I’m working on my acting and working on voice movement technique. I always have something new to bring to my craft.
You’re obviously passionate about what you do on stage? What about off stage?
I really love the Alexander Technique. I still take a great interest in neuroscience, healthcare, personal health and well-being. My passions growing up were more centered around science and education so art and theatre are relatively new to me. They are the new passion in my life.
What’s coming up for you?
That remains to be seen. There are always auditions and I’m starting to write my own material, but ‘I don’t know’ is the short answer and it’s an exciting answer.
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