Rumors are spreading that West End performer (and Ugly Bug Ball favorite) Hadley Fraser will play Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, joining his good friend Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom. There has been no official confirmation. Fraser seems to be avoiding twitter, and Karimloo is teasing his followers without revealing anything. Fraser has been hinting at a big announcement coming up, so perhaps this is what he meant. Where did the rumor begin? I don’t know, but Amazon’s UK site lists Fraser as Raoul on the pre-order page for the CD. Maybe this is an error, hardly the first one at Amazon, but I hope it’s not. I’m very impatient to know either way, because the tickets at my local cinema go on sale in a day or two. If Fraser plays Raoul, I will definitely go to the live broadcast, since I would pay to see this guy read (or sing) the phone book.
Fraser is talented and funny, and I’ve enjoyed following his career this year. It’s given me plenty to blog about. Wordpress gives me really detailed stats on my visitors, and I have Fraser to thank for much of my traffic. Sometimes it feels kind of voyeuristic to know exactly what folks have typed into a search engine when they click over to my blog. It gets pretty bizarre! Because I have “ugly” in my blog title, people will land here because they are using the search term “ugly” with another name or word. When I blogged about the royal wedding, I had a lot of visitors who were searching for ugly hats and ugly princesses. Nobody has searched for “Hadley Fraser ugly” (I’d punch them if they did), but it’s obvious that a lot of people want to know more about his personal life and his relationship status. Well, that information isn’t here, since I prefer to discuss his work, but this interview will be of interest.
I like to think that blogging about performers like Fraser and Karimloo benefit their careers in some small way. It may be boasting, but some of the news and links here are more current than on Fraser’s own website. He’s got a great site, but I suspect he’s too busy to update it often. Anyway, I’m happy to help spread the word about my favorites. Do casting directors and producers take note when a performer they’re considering for a role has thousands of followers on twitter and facebook, not to mention blogs devoted to their every move? Since I blog mostly for my own enjoyment, it doesn’t make a big difference to me personally, but I’d still love to know.
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I was at an improv show recently where the audience was asked, what’s your personal motto? I have a few. One is “Sit when you can, stand when you must.” This comes from years of working on my feet. Another one is “I get there in the end.” This one is really just a rationalization for how much I procrastinate, especially when it comes to doing laundry. Here is the motto I have the most difficulty following: “You’re more likely to find happiness in the center of your own life than around the edges of somebody else’s.”
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I’ve been re-watching due South, one of my favorite series, and I’m sure a longer post about the show is coming soon. I noticed in the pilot that a stuntman driving a dog sled was a poor match for lead actor Paul Gross. It made me think about dangerous stunts and the many times I’ve read or heard “the actors do most of their own stunts.” I have nothing against using stuntmen. In fact, I’m all for them. I never want an actor or anybody else to take terrible risks just for my entertainment. The safety of those involved is the best reason for using for digital special effects.
Speaking of digital effects, I have started to hate how artificially heightened everything looks in films lately. Even the grass and trees look unreal in I Am Number Four. When I watched Unstoppable on DVD, the yellow and red trains were so intensely colored, it was like a cartoon. It was jarring in an otherwise gritty, realistic movie based on a true incident.
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The websites that I visit frequently are really getting annoying. IMDb has so many ads and unnecessary videos to load, I can’t get quickly to the pages I need. Zap2it has so many pop-ups, videos and ads, I feel dread in the pit of my stomach when I visit the site. My earthlink email was freezing up every time a sidebar ad refreshed, so now I’m actually paying an extra dollar a month to NOT SEE ads in my inbox. How insane is that?