Jersey Boys: Interview with Glaston Toft

 When Glaston Toft describes Nick Massi, his character in Jersey Boys, I am left with the distinct impression that he was simply born to play this role. 

 Glaston ToftWhen Glaston Toft describes Nick Massi, his character in Jersey Boys, I am left with the distinct impression that he was simply born to play this role.  Glaston comes across with the kind of calm, thoughtful modesty and slight mystique that seem to be central to Nick Massi’s character; it’s like a match made in heaven. 
“When they came to writing each of the Four Seasons, the other three guys were living, but Nick had passed away,” Glaston says. “So to research him they had to interview all the people around him, all the people involved in his life to find out what he was like.”
“They got kind of conflicting stories about him, so they wrote this enigmatic role in the show. When his family came and saw the show when it opened on Broadway they said that it’s exactly what he was like.”
I guess you could say that Glaston is a little enigmatic. It’s not a deliberate thing, he just doesn’t seem to throw around a loud personality like many performers do.
Glaston started out studying voice at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music after leaving school before coming to the realisation that he wanted to be in musical theatre. So Glaston picked up his dance shoes, went to classes and got into WAAPA.
Glaston Toft as Nick MassiAfter completing his course, like many graduates, Glaston moved to Melbourne and started the hard slog of auditioning for shows. He says that being persistent is the key to succeeding.
After performing in shows such as Shout and Opera Australia’s My Fair Lady, Glaston won the role of Nick Massi. He has played the role since the show opened in Melbourne in 2009.
“I’ve never done a show for a run this long. It’s certainly an experience to be with a show for this long,” Glaston says. “I think the reason that it’s still running and people keep coming back is that it’s a great show.”
Glaston says the response has been great throughout the whole season, but in every show, each audience has a its own character. 
“Sometimes they can be very quiet at the start, then over the course of the show they get into it and get really, really vocal. Then there are others where they’re quiet the whole way through then at the end just go berserk. Then you get the ones who are just great the whole way through,” he says.
But unlike many performers who find their performances hugely affected by the audience response each night, Glaston just concentrates on delivering a consistent performance each night.
“I think a lot of people say that you’ve got to play with what you get from the audience, but I just trust in the show and what it does,” he says.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons really weren’t on Glaston’s radar before Jersey Boys. He says that the fact that a lot of people aren’t familiar with their story, despite knowing a great deal of their music, is one of the secrets to the success of the show.
“Their music is embedded in culture through TV shows, through commercials, through movies, but a lot of people don’t know much about them. People know the story of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but these guys weren’t talked about that much. They were just four blue collar guys from New Jersey who really had nothing to their name but made their way in pop culture,” he says.
Glaston says that a lot of elements need to come together at the right time in the right way to ensure that a show is as successful as Jersey Boys. “There’s numerous things that go into making a show a success, including the music, the writing,” he says. “In any successful musical, the stars have to align.” 
Perhaps there’s even an element of that in Glaston’s performance as Nick Massi.

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