I spoke to award- winning Ben Vereen about his show. With such enormous talent, it is not surprising that Ben has celebrated such success all of these years. He feels, “I am blessed to have people appreciate what I love to do and try to be attuned to what they want and please them.” Ben describes his show as having a “smorgasbord of music.” He wants to bring back music in all its glory paying tribute to his early years in Las Vegas with the music from that time. “I speak about those days when I first came to Las Vegas, it was a wonderful time.
Whenever Ben is offered a part to play, he asks, “How authentic can I be in the role? For me, it is a spiritual thing. I have to get deep into the core of what the author has to say and is trying to express. I take my time looking for the right project.” What are the qualities for success? Ben answered, “It is an inner drive, something that keeps pushing you on even when you do not feel you want to continue. This wakes you up in the middle of the night with a melody in your head and a vision in your mind. Those who act on the vision will win the prize. Blessings come to all of us. See who will act on it rather than saying no. I think the key to success is action, the pursuit of your dream.
Ben especially enjoyed performing at his friend Eartha Kit’s 80th Birthday Celebration at Carnegie Hall. On Broadway, Ben Vereen has appeared in Wicked, Fosse, the critically acclaimed I’m Not Rappaport, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, Grind, Jelly’s Last Jam, and A Christmas Carol. His role in Pippin garnered him both the prestigious Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for “Best Actor in a Musical”.
My song mix tries to satisfy everybody. Whoever is in the audience can identify with at least some of the numbers. It is wonderful to be back in Las Vegas at the South Point Hotel. He remembers when the area around the South Point was nothing but desert. “Had I known then, I would have bought some sand”. Multi-talented Ben Vereen is recognized for his roles as an actor, singer and dancer!
With such great talent, I asked Ben, “Which role do you enjoy the most”? He answered, “Being Employed”. Ben simply wants to be able to use his talents! He continued, “It is difficult to choose which I prefer because each day something new is blossoming for me. I have a new opportunity to grow, expand and learn things as an actor, singer and dancer. They call me an entertainer. I enjoy what I do and love working with people.”
Ben’s life changed in 1992, when he was accidentally struck by a car along the Pacific Coast Highway. This awakened him to appreciate life to the fullest. He spoke with sincerity, “I am happy to be able to do what I love today and share it with my audience and am thankful for my fan’s support.” Everyone should think about Ben Vereen’s message, “Appreciate every moment of your life. When I wake up, I think what an interesting day”!
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