During his freshman year of high school, in California,
Ernest was a member of the water polo team. The
drama coach was in desperate need of a male chorus
for the school's production of West Side Story
and so the polo team was recruited. That was the
beginning of Ernest's theatrical career. At curtain
call that first night, the cast had to pull
him off the stage. The bug had bit and he has been
actively employed as an actor since finishing college.
Ernest's acting jobs have taken him all over the world
in various productions, including cruise ships, and
even Disneyland. He has sung 50's a' cappela, a little
Brahms and Bach and of course, Broadway tunes. Several
seasons back he toured Germany as a featured soloist
in a musical production company singing works from
Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Joseph and Phantom.
He has even sung the National Anthem for the Orlando Magic!
His talents include acting, dance, and voice. He is also
one helluva rollerskater; having mastered that skill on
Friday nights at the rollerdrome during high school. In
college he was one of the top rated divers in the
state of California for three meter springboard.
V.J. "Hey Ernest, welcome to Talkin' Broadway."
E.M. "Thanks, nice to be here."
V.J. "So, how do you like living in Las Vegas
E.M. "I really do love Las Vegas. Aside from theatre, my
life is GOLF, and there is plenty here."
V.J. "How old are you?....the truth"
E.M. "I just happen to have just turned thirty in January."
V.J. "I watched you in Starlight, and I know you
have choreographed a few industrials. Did you study
E.M. "I could always "move" well. It wasn't until I got out
of high school that I took a few classes with Rikki Lugo.
And I trained a bit with John Vaughn as well. I was never
a pretty dancer, but if you were looking for someone
athletic, or a tumbler, I was your man. In junior high,
Friday nights were always rollerskating at the Fiesta roller
rink in San Gabriel. Love it then, and I love it now!"
V.J. "Can we talk about Starlight?"
E.M. "Whatcha wanna know?"
V.J. "Someone told me those costumes are super heavy. True?"
E.M. "Contrary to popular belief, the costumes are not one hundred
pounds! But, twenty-five to thirty pounds is heavy
enough, then add an extra five pounds of sweat by the
end of the show!"
V.J. "Sometimes, the cast if flying around that stage, ever
any train wrecks?"
E.M. "Yes, there are an occasional "train wreck". Let's face
it. we're on wheels."
V.J. "The show is received differently in different parts of
the world. It's still running in London after, what,
thirteen years, but when it went to Broadway, it was
a big bomb, and yet it's doing well in Vegas. Can you
explain any of that?"
E.M. "I'm not sure audiences in Vegas love Starlight
as much as in Germany. That theatre is sold out eight
shows a week, six months in advance! It's crazy. They
are in, I think, their seventh year and still have sold-
out houses. I think that if you go into our theatre
expecting a Les Mis or Saigon, you're going
to be disappointed. If you come in with an open mind and
let the kid come out in you, you're in for a great time.
Let's face it, there ain't much plot or depth to this
show, but that's what makes it fun.
V.J. "Has Sir Andrew seen the show in Vegas? And where in Germany
is the show playing?"
E.M. "Lord Lloyd Webber has seen our show once. Maybe Vegas
isn't his favorite city! Hahaha...Starlight, in Germany,
is in the city of Bochum, just outside Dusseldorf.
V.J. "So, where to next? After Starlight?"
E.M. "New York, New York....gotta go for it there next.
V.J. "You've acted all over the world, does Broadway mean
that much to an actor? I mean, whatcha gonna do when
you make it there?"
E.M. "When I get my first Broadway show, there is going to be
some partying goin' on!"
V.J. "Thanks for the chat, Ernest. One final question, I know
your time is pressed, what advice would you give high
schoolers and college kids thinking about entering the
theatre today as a profession?"
E.M. "Study hard and never let anyone tell you that it is a
nowhere business. There are those people out there who
think that our profession is a joke. They think that we
are waiters or bartenders who happen to sing or dance. I
love to see their faces though when I tell them that I'm
on stage fifteen hours a week and earn six figures a year!
Then they change their tune, no pun intended. I guess the
most important thing is to learn your craft, stick to it
and keep at it."
V.J. "Thanks Ernest...where ya headed, rehearsal?"
E.M. "Hahaha, I've got eighteen holes to get in before curtain...
see ya around!"