The Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University
 

“My other life” meets “Who’s who?”

June 15, 2012 by JoLynne Lyon

We’re combining two features this week. We’re telling the story of a CPD employee’s performing alter ego… and we’ll let you guess who it is.

Daddy Warbucks and Annie, surrounded by servants

Here’s what he says about his other life:

My dad sang in a barbershop chorus when I was little. That started my love of music. I loved being around it.

In middle school the music teacher produced school musicals—that was my start and I was hooked. I always loved singing best. I grew up in southern California and had plenty of opportunities to be involved in community theater productions. In high school I even delivered “singing telegrams.” It was a GREAT way to make money by making a moderate fool of myself in front of lots of people (some of whom were drunk; they gave the best tips).

By the time I was 18, I’d done more than 20 shows. I played parts ranging from Fredric in Pirates of Penzance, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Courier in 1776, to Kenicke in Grease!. The part of Prince Charming in Cinderella is how I got to Utah. I moved to Utah County for a summer theater gig and never really left.

When I started college I had music and theater scholarships, but I quickly realized that I wouldn’t be able to make a good living as an actor, so I became a teacher (said with a smile on my face). Life took off and more than 25 years passed before I did another show. I’d wanted to play Daddy Warbucks in “Annie” since I was 12. I saw the traveling Broadway production and put Warbucks on my “want to do someday” list. I just had to wait until I was old and bald.

Daddy Warbucks and Annie

Music Theater West publicized auditions and I figured this was my chance. I auditioned and got the part. The show ran at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in September 2011. It was fun to be on that particular stage with a full orchestra underneath—kind of a bucket list thing.

I’m not sure how I fit it into my schedule. I traveled over 75K miles last year. But I made it work and my wife is tremendously patient. There is a certain thrill in being on stage with others who have as much fun as I do. It is great to live in a community where people are so willing to share their talent. It’s fun to be a part of.

I’m supposed to share the role (with Scott Hunsaker of the TEAL department in the College) of Mr. Brocklehurst in the October 11-16 production of Jane Eyre, but I’m not sure my schedule will allow it this time. It is a wonderful part. Brocklehurst is mean, nasty and self-righteous—all the things I try not to be. Who knows what I’ll do next, but I’m pretty certain that I’ll do another show.

So that’s his other life. Who is he?

“My Other Life” is a recurring feature detailing the exceptional things CPD people do away from their desks. It reinforces a suspicion we’ve held for a long time: Some people don’t watch much TV.

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  • Sharon Weston

    I saw it, Marty was a great Daddy Warbucks.  My other life is being an audience –someone has to do it.

  • Anonymous

     Sharon, I want your other life, it sounds wonderful!

  • Carol Massanari

    None other than our own Marty Blair.  I did not get to see it and so I very much appreciate the pictures.  You look great Marty!

  • Wendy Whipple

    Wow Marty I had no idea you had such a great theater history, although I did get a small sample of your singing in ABQ! If you are in another production I hope I might get an opportunity to see it!

  • Mark Innocenti

    Marty in musicals.  Bryce in operas.  Time for the CPD talent show!

  • Mary Ellen Heiner

    I saw Marty in this play and he was FABULOUS! He had Daddy Warbucks down to a science! Keep on singing and acting!

  • JC Vazquez

    Marty was amazing. He did such a great job as “Daddy Warbucks”. I have known Marty for many years and did not know that he had such a talent singing and acting. Way to go Marty!

  • Jeff Sheen

    A man of many talents indeed!

  • Charlee Nealy

    Awesome Marty~  Here I knew you as “Miss Piggy” from the CPD! haha  I’m sorry I missed seeing you as Daddy Warbucks, I’m sure you were great!  How fun for you!!  Maybe I’d better get your autograph now? :-)

  • Patti Bodine

    All these years of greetings and neighbors and small talk…who knew.  Loved seeing the pictures and reading about your history on stage.  Good for you for finding the time to do something you love.  I’d love to see you in a show, so let us know before the next one.  

  • Sherry Joy

    Hey Marty,
         I loved you in the musical.  Annie(Grace Mickelsen) is the daughter of friends of mine.  I went to see her and there you were.  You were great!  Keep doing the things you love to do.