In the Season Finale of AMC’s Showville, the audience in Hugo, Oklahoma chose singer-guitarist Trey Rosenthal as the winning act. In this interview, Trey discusses how Alec helped him win and finding time to practice while being “Mr. Mom.”
Q: Were you surprised to be one of the finalists?
A: Oh, yeah. As soon as you walked out of the audition, they asked, “What did they think? Do you think they liked it?” And everyone was saying the exact same thing: “Yeah, they really liked it.” So it seemed to me that they really, really liked everyone. I didn’t know what to expect because I never saw any of the other acts. Maybe Alec and Lisette were just being nice to everyone.
Q: What’s it like to live in a circus town?
A: It’s so weird when people come from out of town and they drive past the headquarters and they see those elephants and they see those camels and they stop. I’m talking dead stop. Like, they hit those breaks! Windows roll down and they’re sticking their heads out. And we’ll be driving behind them, saying, “They’re just elephants. It’s no big deal.” It’s second nature to us: Doesn’t every town have elephants in their backyard? It’s something we’ve always grown up with. Like, they bring camels into kindergarten for kids to ride on. In elementary school, they’d bring tigers in and we’d get to take our pictures with them —
Q: Wait, they bring tigers into the school?
A: Well, like baby tigers. Not the big, could-eat-your-face-off tigers. That wouldn’t be cool. But that’s just the way it is here… I think we may be the only town in America, where Santa rides an elephant in the Christmas parade.
Video: Trey Rosenthal’s Performance from Episode 108: Showville
Q: What’s the music scene like in Hugo?
A: I’m about it. [Laughs]. But we’ve got Paris, Texas about thirty miles aways and there’s some really amazing musical talent there. I was surprised they didn’t pick one of the people who came down from there.
Q: Do you ever play gigs in Paris?
A: I’m actually with a new band now and we’ve been playing all over. Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Q: Which do you like more: playing in a band or playing solo?
A: Oh, band, absolutely. At the stage I’m at right now — where you’re playing the bar scene a lot… it could be a cool place with a lot of cool people. Or it could be one of those places with older folks and you’re not playing the kind of music they like. So then you’re dying. But at least with a band you’re not dying by yourself. You’ve got four other guys dying with you.
Q: How did Lisette help you during rehearsals?
A: When I’m with my band, I have much more of a stage presence because we feed off of each other. But when I’m solo, I tend to close my eyes and get into my own little world. I kind of forget where I am and I’m not paying attention to what the crowd is doing. That’s bad. Lisette really helped me to connect more with the audience when I’m up there by myself.
Q: What about Alec?
A: Alec probably won the show for me. I was having a huge issue remembering the lines. Luckily, Alec the actor came in and taught me a lot of tricks. If he hadn’t taught me those and I couldn’t get the words down, that would have been it. My performance would have been awful!
Q: What kind of tricks did he teach you?
A: These little mind tricks, like with trigger words. Like triggering something so you can remember the next sentence. For example, I was having a really hard time remembering the line “with every street you walk on there’s tear stains on the ground.” So Alec painted this whole picture in my head of tear-flooded streets that I instantly remembered.
Q: You said you’re Mr. Mom. When do you find time to practice while taking care of four kids?
A: I have the biggest supporter ever in Trista. She works so hard and I’m very proud of everything she does. There are times when she says, “Hey, I know you really need to work on this. I can take the kids for the next 45 minutes…” I’m so lucky. There’s also nap time. There are days when I don’t have the younger two. They might be hanging out at my grandparents. And the older two kind of entertain themselves. Not to say that I don’t spend as much time as I can with them, because I love spending time with my kids. It’s the most important thing I’ve ever done with my life — being a dad. I just love it. There’s nothing I’m more proud of than being a good dad to my kids… [Chokes up, then laughs] Yeah, but there’s no set schedule. There just can’t be with four kids.