Kevin Greene ’06 is one of six finalists competing on the reality series, “Grease: You’re the One That I Want,” which airs at 7 p.m. Sunday on NBC. He is vying for a starring role in the upcoming Broadway revival of the musical. Contributing Writer Danielle Paccione spoke with Greene, a native of Greece, N.Y., about his background, the reality series and his future in musical theater.
Danielle Paccione: How did you first become interested in Broadway?
Kevin Greene: My father and grandfather both graduated from Ithaca College with music degrees. So it’s one of those things that just kind of got passed down. Once I started doing musical theater I got addicted to it.
DP: How did you get started?
KG: I was lucky enough to sign with an agent. I’ve been crashing on futons and sleeping on couches for about eight months now, and hopefully pretty soon I can get my own place.
DP: How have you changed since you began auditioning for the show?
KG: I’ve gained a great deal of confidence, and whenever you perform, the most important thing is you need to have confidence. If you don’t have confidence, people can read that. Regardless of your talent, you need to know, when I’m up on that stage, I’m owning this and it’s mine. If you have 8 million people watching and if you have 100 screaming little girls in the front row, that really does help with your confidence.
DP: How did it feel to perform in front of Olivia Newton John?
KG: It’s pressure, man, she’s so hot. She’s everything you think about when you think of “Grease.” It’s very flattering.
DP: How do you relate to Danny Zucco?
KG: I am the ultimate guy’s guy. I just kind of go with the flow. I have a good time.
DP: Do you own a black leather jacket?
KG: I do own [one]. It’s an old broken-down leather jacket, but it’s a black leather jacket nonetheless.
DP: Do you have any advice for Ithaca College students?
KG: Just to go after everything with 110 percent. In life there are some things that will come to you by just being determined and dedicated. Rely on hard work and passion and you will find success.
DP: What will you miss the most about the show, if you lose?
KG: I’d miss the people I’m working with. It’s a really a wonderful group of people. … Everyone is so supportive and so talented.
DP: Where do you hope to go from here?
KG: I’ve never wanted to be rich or famous. I just wanted to make a living doing what I love to do and not having to work a day job. Hopefully I won’t have to go back to the hotel, I won’t have to go back to being a bellhop. I can just act and perform and entertain people.