Up next in our artist profiles for SIDESHOW is Peter Abando! When Peter isn't playing for the Off Key Players, or other local theatre productions, he is teaching music to elementary school students. So, basically, he is improvising all the time, day and night.
What got you started improvising? I started improvising at the piano as a little kid, since I often got bored or tired of the music that got put in front of me.
What is your favourite part of improvising? I love the feeling of not knowing what's coming next, but knowing that it's probably going to be really fun.
How does musical improv actually work? Musical improv doesn't actually work. It's magic.
Who is your role model, when it comes to performing? UK jazz pianist/singer/songwriter Jamie Cullum.
If you were to get a Sharpie tattoo on your back, what would it be? An excerpt from the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. It's a different kind of awesome. Can you call a prayer "bad-ass"?
(Note: here are the first two lines of the prayer, judge for yourself: "St. Michael the Archangel, / defend us in battle. / Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.")
What is your favourite way to unwind at the end of a long week? Here's a good one - with gunpowder - at the rifle or pistol range, with my brother.
Five people you want to have for dinner? All at once? Stephen Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, Lin Manuel Miranda, Kristen Bell, and Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga). I'd have a composer/performer round table, for a week, and record every minute of it.
Are you afraid of ghosts? Ghosts? I ain't afraid of no ghosts. I've done Waiting for Ghostbusters with Genus Theatre.
Give me three “fun facts” about you.
1. I'm left-handed.
2. I originally went to Uni for computing science, not music composition or music education (that's how I finished).
3. Won $32 front row tickets to the Book of Mormon, on my second-last day in NYC in 2011, through their ticket lotto, saw the original cast, and took a photo with Andrew Rannells as proof.