Interview with Levi Kreis by Earle Dutton
Tony Award winning actor and singer-songwriter, Levi Kreis, is performing this weekend with the Seattle Men’s Chorus. His music has been featured in The Vampire Diaries and Sons of Anarchy. Don’t miss out! Get your tickets here.
Are you excited about coming back to Seattle?
Yes, I remember my first trip to Seattle with another LGBT artist, Eric Himan. It wasn’t my first time touring nationally but certainly the first time as an out LGBT artist and doing it at that scale with so much support from radio and such. I also worked with the Village Theater for a while. It was the first venue for The Million Dollar Quartet which was the musical that I ended up following to Chicago then to Broadway. Seattle has been a very good place for me. I have such a good fan base there. I love the place so much that I nearly moved there a few years ago.
What was it like winning the Tony Award so soon after starting in New York?
Different from what people would assume. I know as someone that was born into this world as a singer-songwriter and discovered my love for acting later on, I never would have considered the fact that I would perform and Broadway and be so well received by the community. It has it’s element of absolute shock and surprise. It meant most to mean to know that a group of people were so embracing after such a short introduction to me. It was only about an 8 month period. I discovered acting later on in life. I am so comfortable as a singer-songwriter and musician but I still battle my insecurities as an actor. It was a very life affirming moment. It was very life changing. I know that it would not have happened if I didn’t have such a great group of people surrounding and supporting me on stage. Best Featured Actor Award is for a supporting role. It is really dependent on the people you are creating with every night on stage. To me it is every bit as much as an ensemble award as it is to any individual actor. I really did work with some amazing guys.
How does it feel to have so much of your work in different venues? What has been your biggest wow moment so far?
Absolutely, the most recent experience I have had with TV licensing was with the Season 2 Finale of the Vampire Diaries which happened in 2011. Believe it or not, it changed my business and my career in a way that was more impactful than even the Tony Award. It is because of the degree of people all over this world that watch the Vampire Diaries. Granted, I had never watched the show before. It has an entire demographic of teenagers and college students that live for that show. I had no idea that my fan base would explode once that was used for such a featured moment in the season finale. It was an absolute game changer for me. I wish I had been ready for it. I didn’t even have a YouTube video for my song. Before I knew it I turned around and there were over a million YouTube hits on the song and it wasn’t even my video. I thought, crap I should have capitalized on this. I just didn’t realize what it was going to do. I never realized that buzz about that show. For me it invited a new fan base to the table. It invited a younger and maybe more mainstream audience to the table. Now they are discovering me like I just came out with this song. That was a really fun experience for me.
Are there some surprises planned for your show with the Seattle Men’s Chorus?
Oh, I am not giving that away. But I will say that there are some pretty fun moments. I was giggling at some of them earlier while getting ready for my trip to Seattle. It is going to be lots of fun but I am not giving any of it away. Everyone is just going to have to come see it for themselves. They are such an amazing group of guys. I can’t believe how many of them have reached out to me individually and expressed their excitement about me performing with them. I kind of expect it will be one big holiday love fest.
Do you have a message for LGBTQ youth?
Oh, know your power. I believe that this campaign about It Gets Better is not necessarily the truth. It gets better when we decide it gets better. Life never gets better when we are waiting for external circumstances to support what we call quote better. It gets better when we realize that we are so powerful right here and now that we can change our perspective. We can change our reaction. We can change the way we walk into this world and we can change the way we interact with people. We can change our world together altogether. I would want every LGBTQ youth to know how powerful they are right here and right now. In your fear and your uncertainty, even in the middle of a physical, emotional and verbal attack you have no idea how powerful you are. It gets better right now, once you decide to know your power and know who you are. As an individualized expression of God who has all of the qualities right here and right now available to you to live a fulfilled and fully expressed life as a LGBTQ youth. All here right now.
Tony Award winning actor and singer-songwriter, Levi Kreis, is performing this weekend with the Seattle Men’s Chorus. Don’t miss out! Get your tickets here.