Aaron Cash, a judge alongside Jason Gilkison, Paula Abdul and Shannon Holtzapffel on “So You Think You Can Dance” in Australia, recently performed his solo show, “Last Dance,” at Theatre Row on 42nd Street in New York City. Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Mr. Cash is a classically trained multi-talented performer and one of the original Tap Dogs. Aaron’s innovative and creative skills as an artistic consultant, choreographer and performer are highly sought after the world over. He has consulted in a variety of mediums to include work with Wet Design (the company responsible for the Belagio fountain in Las Vegas) on their fountain at Steven Wynn’s luxury hotel in Macao, China. He also created MODS (Masters of Dance Seminar) held at the prestigious Pyramid at California State University, Long Beach and danced as a soloist in the role of the Matador for the Los Angeles Opera’s production of La Traviata starring world-renowned soprano Rene Fleming. Below, he discussed his solo show, “Last Dance,”and the ups and downs involved in life.
Pat McAndrew: I know you started as a dancer, but how did you discover theater and, more specifically, solo performance? Aaron Cash: I’ve been dancing since the age of 8. It sounds cliché, but from the first time I stepped on stage I knew I’d be performing for the rest of my life. From about the age of 19 I wanted to do a solo show, but people laughed at me and told me I had nothing to say, I hadn’t lived enough. I’m 49 years old now and I finally got there.
What inspired you to create “Last Dance”? It’s a love song to dance and to several people who believed in me. Dancing has been the one relationship in my life that has always been faithful to me.
Why is “a love song to dance” important for today’s audience? It’s relevant on so many levels, but mainly because it touches on the ups and downs of life , the brevity of it all. Told against the backdrop of dance. Universal themes.
What is your favorite part about performing this show? Being able to be spontaneous and play with the audience. Every night is different. Without an audience there’s no show, it doesn’t exist. Live theatre is a living, breathing thing. And the agreement between the performer and audience only exists in the moment, and every moment is alive and different, constantly evolving.
What were some challenges that you faced in developing “Last Dance”? My own self doubt and laziness. I created a team to hold me accountable, to keep me on schedule to get the work done, and to give me feed back. It’s so important to put a support system in place.
How does “Last Dance” speak to your years of experience and other work you have done? It is the combination of all my talents: acting, singing , dancing, writing, choreographing and directing. I wanted to stretch and challenge myself, to get out of my fear and comfort zone.
What do you hope the audience walks away with after seeing your show? Joy more than anything. A sense of fun that everything is going to be alright.
“Last Dance” Written and Performed by Aaron Cash Music: Andrew Furze Producer : Regina Cash Co-Producer: Mike Murray Costume Design: Hilde Byrne Photo cred: Johnny Banez United Solo 2018 Theatre Row 410 West 42nd Street New York City
Pat McAndrew is a NYC-based actor, writer, and consultant . As an actor, he has performed Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, and in various locations throughout New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. His one-man show, REEL, was performed in the 2017 United Solo Theatre Festival and featured in the new documentary, Electronic Crack. Using his background as an actor as his foundation, Pat consults with individuals and organizations on how to communicate effectively and build deep, meaningful relationships in the digital age. He is the Founder of The Low Tech Trek, an organization devoted to discovering a better balance between human interaction and how we use technology. He is a member of Village Playback Theatre, Endless River Arts, and Svaha Theatre Collective. Pat holds an MA in Theatre from Villanova University. Check out patmcandrew.com for more information.