Friday, March 2, 2012

Tween sensation Big Time Rush blows up

Big Time Rush is a case of life imitating art. Well, it is if you consider touring stadiums in a boy band life and a Nickelodeon show art.
What began as a tween TV program about an aspiring boy band has spawned an actual boy band now on its first national tour. Big Time Rush plays a sold-out Aggan-is Arena tomorrow and will be back to play the Comcast Center in Mansfield on Aug. 12.
“What’s funny is that I think our real band is bigger than the (fictional) band on the TV show,” member Kendall Schmidt said from Chicago. “Our stage show is huge. It’s an extravaganza with a three-story stage, pyro, confetti, fire poles we slide down, a big (hydraulic) lift in the middle.”
“Big Time Rush” was big from the beginning — 6.8 million viewers watched the debut episode in January 2010. Since then, the show about four hockey players turned singers has become a phenomenon, with a third season planned. Now, at the height of its popularity, the network and partner Columbia Records is pushing the guys as the next Jonas Brothers.
For Schmidt — who always pictured himself in a rock band — the adjustment to perfectly coiffed hair and synchronized dance moves wasn’t easy.
“I wasn’t a dancer, I was never superstoked to do that, so that part came harder than singing or acting,” he said.
Schmidt says he “sneaked in” to the role after the network opted to replace an actor.
“They started casting two years before the show got made, but someone didn’t work out,” he said. “I went to what was probably my hundredth audition in that (Nickelodeon) building, played a couple songs on guitar and somehow got it. It’s been a pretty shocking transition since graduating high school. If I didn’t get this, I’m sure I’d be working at Jamba Juice today.”
Since nailing the part, Schmidt has embraced his inner Jordan Knight. He even digs the dancing these days.
Without a hint of sarcasm, he says Big Time Rush “won’t end until we’re the biggest group in the world.” A lofty goal, but the group is off to a good start — two hit albums in two years — and Schmidt is committed.
“It trips me out that I know what I’m doing every day, almost every hour, until 2013,” he said. “I think we have a week off somewhere in there, but the rest is touring, rehearsing, filming. But I’m OK with it. I love doing it.”


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