Gigging this week and in order…
Vienna, Budapest, Brighton and tonight, to top it all… no not Vegas, but Sevenoaks of course!
And what a small world it is. After the gig in Budapest a man approaches me. He looks a little sheepish and anxious. He is good looking and in suspiciously good shape for a man of his age. Naturally, I don’t like him.
He fumbles for his phone and somehow I know what he is about to show me. And sure enough, it is a photo of him and Tom.
Turns out he is an actor – Shaun Benson (@shaunbensonacts) – who played Tom’s step-dad in a movie called Back Country. Shaun in Budapest making a TV series and we recalled fondly that during the filming of Back Country, Tom was knee deep in the auditioning process for Spider-Man and look how that turned out.
And then on to Brighton last night, I am about to leave the gig and there is a young man waiting for me. Again, with a similar expression, that he is a little nervous.
Am I so intimidating?
Turns out he is Shaun Malone’s big brother, Lee. Shaun played Michael in the stage show, Billy Elliot. I have written about Shaun before on my blog and in Eclipsed also but to say that he’s a smashing young man who Tom enjoyed getting to know. Shaun was gravely ill some years ago with a brain swelling that almost killed him – and his big brother came home to care for his two younger siblings so that his parents could care for Shaun. They sound like a cracking family and it is no surprise that Lee should be so impressive when I chatted with him last night.
I recall that Shaun’s tremendous personality – he ad-libbed what became the funniest line in the whole of Billy Elliot The Musical – and with no credit nor writers fee I am certain – and so once he fully recovered from his illness, as irrepressible as he is, he found another outlet for his talents and is now a star of TV’s, Goggle Box – and good for him.
Great meeting both Shaun and Lee. Thanks for finding me lads and for saying hi.
Tonight in Sevenoaks, I am not expecting to meet anyone associated with my son/s but I am ready just in case.