AMERICAN PSYCHO The Musical: Plus Exclusive Interview With Producer, Jesse Singer!

Knife Ax Chainsaw composite with white border

With 32 hours (at the time of writing this) to go, the time is ticking down on Act4s Kickstarter non-profit project American Psycho The Musical.

Now, if you know nothing about this project and are a fan of Bret Easton Ellis’ book, American Psycho and the film adaptation of the same name, starring the awesomely talented Christian Bale, you are probably experiencing a little internal pause at the thought of it being turned into a muscial. I know I did! In fact mine was a bit like this…

American Psycho…the musical…the musical? Really…and then…Actually that is a pretty inspired idea and will, due to the source material, work like a dream…Followed by…hmmm when can I see it?

As I say above, I think the idea is a pretty great one and I think it will translate brilliantly into that medium, plus the thought of a serial killer musical is so different and creative I get little goosebumps all over. I am a big fan of the book and the film and I love the character of Patrick Bateman and the crazy journey he goes on. What excites me most is that with this medium you can literally do anything and the fact that the show will get to delve into Bateman’s deepest psychology means that it has the makings to be something truly unique and great.

Kickstarter campaigns are a great way for raising serious cash for a fantastic project, but what I like even more about them is the fact that you get to be a part of that project. Plus, knowing that your contribution has helped make someones dream become a reality is never bad. Along with these reasons, another thing that sweetens the Kickstarter deal is that along with feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, for your support, there are usually some pretty great incentives – and The American Psycho Kickstarter has these incentives in spades.

American Psycho kickstarter incentives

From USB Patrick Bateman business cards, vintage copies of the book American Psycho that have been personalised and signed by Bret Easton Ellis, T-shirts and prints, as well as (if you can afford it) getting to attend the world premier with a guest and getting to attend the invite only after-party (along with a ton of other perks that are listed throughout the various other stages).

Now, if those above incentives, aren’t incentive enough – check out what Bret Easton Ellis and the creative team behind American Psycho (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Bookwriter), Duncan Sheik (Composer/Lyricist) and Rupert Goold (Director)) have to say about it.

You can show your support and contribute to the Kickstarter project here.

If you are intrigued and want to find out even more, you are in luck – because last night I got to interview via Skype, one of the commercial producers of American Psycho The Musical, Jesse Singer.

 

Jesse Singer, The Interview

american psycho jesse singer interview

NLY: 

What inspired you to turn Bret Easton Ellis’s book, American Psycho into a musical?

JS:

Creatively I really respond to satire and dark humour and I remember the first time I read this book and watched this film there was an immediate recognition for me – at first it struck me as really funny and then I found that the more you live with the material your view shifts .

As a company Act4 only gets involved in projects that have a strong current social or political relevance and the more you read the book or watch the film – this was written about  late 80s New York, the Ronald Reagan era of excess and wealth on Wall Street and that was the beginning of when we stopped having an equal society, and it was the beginning of the disappearance of the middle class and now it seems we’re more in that position than ever before.

This feels even closer to home, as you have seen in the last few years movements like Occupy Wall Street have popped up as we have become so economically divided in a way that is not really sustainable and you know Bret’s writing is very ahead of its time. It has a lot to say in all these areas   about who we are as a society and a country, and what we value and what we kind of dismiss. It is not just excess materialism,  it is misogyny , its rights for the poor, rights for minorities it’s gay rights – it really covers a lot of issues.

And at first there was a lot of controversy over this book and I can certainly see why, because it certainly doesn’t pull any punches, but the further we kind of get away from the sensationalism, the more you kind of realise that it this a satire, this is who we are as a society. There is a class of people that have every means at their disposal. They have the right backgrounds, the right jobs, the right wardrobes , the right looks – everything that  you think is perfect and they are really in a position where they can impact change. Yet by looking the other  away and by paying attention to the things that don’t really matter, like what you are wearing, what restaurant you are going to, things continue to be the same. Bret has said on a number of occasions that he wrote this really at a time when he saw himself trying to fit into a world that he didn’t believe in and that is basically what this story is really about. Patrick Bateman trying to fit into a world that he doesn’t believe in.

 

NLY:

What is the best thing about this whole experience so far? 

JS:

This is our first time as a company producing anything for the stage. I come from a background where I did a lot of acting in both high school and college and then  a lot of directing in college and since then I have been working almost exclusively in film and television. We have produced a few documentaries as well, but I would say that a return to Theatre for me has been very rewarding, and not only that, getting to work with a team of such high calibre and getting to know Bret over the last 5 years has really been a rewarding experience.

In terms of the Kickstarter campaign, the best thing about that is the messages I get from fans, like yourself that just love the project, love the page, and that to me, and to all of us, is far more valuable then all the money we are raising. It is the community that we are building with this production that is going to stay with us. I love getting messages from people whether they love the project as a whole, or if they just like the idea of an original copy of the book getting a book signed by Bret  – all of these things combined make it worth it for us.

Susie McBeth

Susie McBeth is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Nerd Like You.   Susie is a comic book reading, anime loving, superhero obsessed, writer, editor, artist, gamer, occasional supervillain and all round very nerdy girl.   When not working on content for NLY and sneakily fitting in the odd zombie kill, she can be found writing entertainment posts for national news entertainment site The Metro as well as writing guest posts for Bit Rebels and a plethora of other sites (Google will tell you all).   She also writes books - including the recent How to become a Supervillain in 10 easy steps.

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