Six Questions For ... Clay Aiken
The 2003 "American Idol" also-ran and author and Broadway star, etc., has a new album coming out on May 6. It's called "On My Way Here." It's also the name of Aiken's new single. The singer called during a visit to his hometown of Raleigh, N.C.
In your new single, you sing that your "address has changed almost every year." Why don't you settle down and anchor yourself somewhere? Or is that lyric just a metaphor?
I didn't write the song, so I have to interpret it metaphorically. I have moved a lot ... but it's more about changing scenery, changing things in your life and trying to grow personally and professionally.
So it's not that you keep moving because you're afraid that your loony fans might bother you at home?
(Laughs.) No, no, they found me already. They know where I live. You can't beat 'em.
Seriously, though: Some of your fans seem kinda crazy. Do any of them freak you out?
There are very few who do. Most of them are just enthusiastic. I'd say maybe less than a half-percent of them are just woah! But then again, I probably scare some people, too. (Laughs.)
You've been playing Sir Robin in "Monty Python's Spamalot." How does the theater stage compare to the concert stage?
When I'm on stage in concert, it's usually my show and I can do what I want to do. I can't do that in "Spamalot." You have to stick to the script. You have to stand in the right place. But the biggest challenge for me was really having the fourth wall and not being permitted to break it down. We break it and respond to the audience and acknowledge their presence once or twice in the show, but not consistently. It's strange. When I'm in concert, I talk to the audience a lot, I make eye contact with people, and you can't do that here.
When you read for the show and had to show off a British accent, did you just channel Simon Cowell?
Everyone with the show is British, and many of the people I work with are British, like my manager. So [he slips into a British accent] actually, I just talk like him. I didn't have much trouble at all, do you know what I mean?
Do you still watch "American Idol"?
I have not watched in three years now, since I saw Carrie Underwood win. I've been so busy, but the show is also a little different now. When Kelly was on, when Ruben and Fantasia and I were on, it was kids next door who didn't have a chance to get a contract. Maybe Kelly would have, but Ruben and I were kind of outcast-y. I was a special-ed teacher. Ruben sang in clubs in Birmingham. Kim Locke was a lawyer. Fantasia sang in church. It was more organic, I guess. Now, my understanding is that a lot of them are coming up from having contracts already. They're pretty successful people already. And hey, if you have the talent - do it. Great. But I think one of the special things about the show was that it gave a chance to people who wouldn't have had one. It's different now.
By J. Freedom du Lac |
April 23, 2008; 11:14 PM ET
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