About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A long-time Toronto-area Actor and Singer, Jeff Madden is now focusing on Teaching acting and singing in the GTA. Jeff starred as "Frankie Valli" in both the Toronto and Australian productions of JERSEY BOYS, winning the DORA award for outstanding performance in a musical by a male actor. Jeff is busy back at school, getting his MEd at U of T's OISE.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Autumn in New Jersey

Hello Everyone. So sorry to keep you waiting like this.

Man, there has been a lot of stuff going on lately. Between doing the show, doing the publicity events and extra rehearsals, and spending some time with my wife and kids, there's barely been time to sleep, let alone write about it all!

But, life is good these days. I'll try to catch you up with a quick recap of everything.

Most of October passed with a few interviews and a lot of fun, including our first fashion show! It's worth a look - FASHION SHOW

One awesome event of October was celebrating the actual one-year anniversary of my first day of work on Jersey Boys. Back on October 28, 2008 I was down in Nashville, meeting original Four Season Bob Gaudio in a glorious recording studio. Talk about culture shock. I just finished working at the Shaw Festival doing a couple of more traditional musicals, and had no idea what I was in for. Luckily I also met Katie Agresta, singing teacher to the stars, who was there to help me navigate the technical hills and valleys (no pun intended) in the score. Here I am one year later, singing better than ever, thanks in no small part to my weekly singing lessons with Katie. Makes me feel great thinking about how far I've come.

In early November the cast, musicians and crew all celebrated the first anniversary of our rehearsals in style atop the CN Tower. It was an awesome night. I remember our first day of rehearsal as a full cast - we had a meet and greet, a few brief introductions and speeches, then sat down to read through the script start to finish in the rehearsal hall. It was very exciting - and nerve wracking of course. I remember Jeremy Kushnier starting it off as 'Tommy Devito' giving a full volume performance at 10 in the morning, setting the bar mighty high. By leading by example, Jeremy and his wife Jenny Lee Stern, our original Mary, a lot of credit for making this Toronto as strong as it is. Man, I miss those two! Here's hoping I can tell you about our 2nd year anniversary!

A cool little project that kind of dropped into my lap was being asked to be a part of "Canadian Heroes", a single created to help celebrate the Canadian Forces. I was asked to sing on the song after the song writers came to see Jersey Boys and approached me afterwards. What a hoot. Normally it's my Mom and Dad meeting me at the stage door. All they offer me is dinner. And a place to crash. And unwavering love and support. OK - so maybe it's a trade-off.

Anyhoo, go to WWW.CANADIANHEROES.CA and check it out. Click on 'contacts' to see all the amazing Canadian rock and roll talent involved in the project. There's a video there, too, which is not to be missed. But the best place to get info is their Facebook group. There's over 3000 fans! If you feel so inclined, order a copy of the single. All the proceeds go directly to the troops.

The Fall held a few other surprising experiences for me up it's sleeve. I had the honour of singing the National Anthem at Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies. This years honourees included superstars Mark Messier and Warren Moon, who I watched excel in their sports on TV countless times as a kid. The event was first class all the way, with the who's who of Canadian Sports world - athletes, coaches, television and media personalities filled the huge room.

Aside from singing the anthem - which was way more nerve-wracking than I imagined, since I was standing about a foot to Messier's left - my brother Joel and I got to meet so many high achievers. It was so inspiring. OK - I'll drop some names: Aside from meeting Mark Messier and Warren Moon, I hung out with Paul Beeston and Alex Anthopoulos of the Toronto Blue Jays, met Olympic Gold Medalists Marnie McBean and Angela James, and several media members including Brian Williams and Dave Hodge. It was an awesome night.

In early November the four Jersey Boys - Michael, Dan, Quinn and I - were asked to be a part of a cute little TV spot for an important cause. Raising The Roof is a charity that raises awareness and funds for Youth Homelessness across Canada. It was nice to be asked to be a very small part of something bigger than just providing entertainment. I hope that we can team up with other charitable causes and do some real good, as we did raising over $20,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Go to WWW.RAISINGTHEROOF.ORG for more information. Here's the link to the 30-second clip: 30-sec AD

Finally, I want to say thanks to a brilliant actor who runs a top drawer theatre company in Toronto, my good friend Avery Saltzman. Avery asked me and the boys if we would perform at a fundraiser for his company, the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company. Of course we said yes, and put together a great couple songs - the Sinatra hit A Very Good Year and (of course) an Andrews Sisters hit, Bei Mir Bistu Shein, complete with a 'dance off' between Avery and I. It was, um... special, to say the least. The whole event was first class all the way, hosted by Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath, and featuring Brent Carver, Michael Burgess, Sharron Matthews and so many more, we were in really good company. Thanks again, Avery. (BTW, his company's website is WWW.HGJEWISHTHEATRE.COM).

More to come soon, readers. I promise.