Home > Theater Buff > THEATER BUFF: Reed Kelly of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”

THEATER BUFF: Reed Kelly of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”

September 19th, 2012

Every third Wednesday of the month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer will fill out my nosey little questionnaire and offer a glimpse of what they look like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. For September, our buff is a real high flyer with a heart of gold…

Reed Kelly. Photo by Richard Gerst.

Name:  Reed Kelly@thereedkelly

Hometown:   Saint Paul, MN

Current Show/Role:  Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark as the debut Spider-man, the evil villain Swiss Miss, and the u/s for the Green Goblin flyer. Also, a dancer on the upcoming second season of Smash on NBC.

The best part of the show I’m in now is:  With Spider-Man I get to do such a wide variety of things every night; from playing a superhero and a villain, dancing, singing, to flying and puppeteering. It’s kind of like getting paid to just go out there and have fun every night doing crazy things, not to mention the amazing people I get to work with over there at the Foxwoods. Smash is a blast because what dancer wouldn’t love to dance great musical numbers with your friends, choreographed by Josh Bergasse and recorded to be broadcast to the nation?

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was:  Likely it would be the preparation and filming of the movie I Am Legend staring Will Smith. I was one of the actors hired to play the infected. They put us through a very rigorous month-long training camp to get us in shape for the movie, which included everything from yoga, pilates, calisthenics, stunt training, parkour and endurance training to dealing with live explosions. After we finished our training we shot for the next six months in all sorts of crazy conditions, like two weeks of night shoots in the middle of February down in Washington Square Park wearing essentially nothing. Physically it was probably one of the most demanding jobs I had ever had the opportunity to participate in … but it was so much fun.

Reed Kelly. Photo by Curtis Brown.

If I wasn’t an actor, I would be:  If I had another lifetime to live and it had to be without performing, I would most likely be in the field of Science. I’m kind of a big nerd and am simply captivated by nearly anything related to Earth/Cosmic Science, so I imagine I would be working in that field in some capacity.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?  I’m going to fudge this one a little bit and say 15-minute call. For those of you who don’t know, this is fifteen minutes before we get our places call to head to the stage. I love 15 because usually the camaraderie and community of the dressing room is in full swing by this point. Everyone is getting ready for the show, debriefing about their day and going about their little rituals to get them ready for performance. I find it’s a time where we, as performers in a show, get to connect before we really embark on the journey that is just ahead of us that we are going on together; well, us and usually a couple thousand people watching us make that journey — if we’re lucky.

Reed Kelly. Photo by Nathalie Delepine.

The best pre-show dinner and post-shot cocktail in town are at:  I’m a huge fan of Becco on 46th between 8th and 9th Ave. It’s a great Italian restaurant that is right in the heart of the theater district. They have really great food with delectable desserts, but the service there is what really tops it off for me. They have a wonderful waitstaff, from host to busboy, who are always so attentive and Becco even has an on-site sommelier to help you choose a wine to compliment every course. As far as a post-show cocktail goes, none of my friends will be surprised that I’m going to say Kodama Sushi for this one. I would go to the opening of an envelope if it was held at Kodama. It’s a great, family-owned restaurant on the corner of 45th and 8th. I love to swing by after a show for a cold Sapporo Draft. As I am always hungry after a show, I am also certain to get some of their excellent sushi and, my personal favorite, the Chicken Avocado Salad — no tomatoes, extra avocado.

After you’ve hit all the traditional sights of New York City, you should totally go to:  Chelsea Piers, located between 17th and 23rd streets on the West Side Highway. They have a ton of fun stuff to do for anyone who loves to be active.  Whether your interests be sports, gymnastics, boating, golf, indoor iceskating or circus arts, they’ve got something for everyone.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:  Someplace that is predominately sunny and warm all year. It would be on the beach next to a crystal blue ocean filled with flourishing marine life.

Pick a “Fall”: Fall Foliage, The Fall Guy or Lola Falana?  Lola Falana for sure! Who doesn’t love a rags to riches story of a dancer who left home as a young girl with only $26 to her name, ends up conquering nearly every facet of our business, is the highest paid female performer of her time, then attributes all of her success, accolades and glory to God and becomes an evangelist?! Praise the Lord!

Reed Kelly. Photo by Curtis Brown.

My workout “secret” is: Do it as an act of love to yourself, not because you want someone else to love you. Keeping yourself in shape should be something that is internally motivated by a love and respect for yourself and your body. We’ve been given such a gift to be here on this Earth, why not try to take care of your body and spirit so you can truly make the most of your time here? I find that if you’re working out for the right reasons it easy for it to become a truly sustainable activity in your life that you enjoy rather than just a crash-and-burn frenzy that dies out before you truly begin to reap the rewards.

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:  Intellect, humor, kindness, drive and a strong sense of self. I don’t care how great your abs are or how chiseled your jawline is if you’re a vapid, unmotivated, gossipy queen with no ambition to do anything beyond go to the club and weekend at Fire Island. (Easy!!  I absolutely love it there, so please don’t clip my gay card.) I also do not adhere to the rampant belief that chivalry is dead. Guys, it’s time to pull up and start acting like men, not overgrown spoiled boys with entitlement issues. Oh, and a high FICO score never lost anyone any points in my book either. Yikes … did that come off a severe?? 😉

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:, lol.  It gets me just about anywhere I need to go on the internet and it can finally solve those debates you get into with your friends about who actually discovered what and when, how you get to Cartier by subway, how far is it to the center of our galaxy, what the hell is dub-step, and truly whatever happened to baby Jane. These are just a few examples of real queries that have come up in actual conversation in my life in past month.  Thank you, google.

Board Shorts, Speedo or Skinny Dip?  Duh, skinny dip … unless you’re at a family gathering; that changes this answer drastically.

Reed Kelly. Photo by Richard Gerst.

People would be surprised to learn that I: Hmmm, the examples given for possible answers to this question were as follows: knit, am a champion hula dancer, have climbed Everest, train show dogs, only wear purple, etc. I wouldn’t be shocked if a lot of those who follow me were surprised to learn that I hadn’t accomplished most of those things before lunch today. I say this because I think many may believe I have no down time in my life, which really is not the case. I love nothing better than spending some quality time cuddling on my couch, whilst eating a bowl of popcorn and watching a good movie. The fact that I may have actually scaled Mount Everest AFTER lunch dressed entirely in a purple sweater that I knit myself after brushing out my champion show dog whom I taught to hula — is entirely irrelevant.

Ten years from now I’d like to be:  Happy, healthy, and still continuing to grow, both as a person and in my craft of choice, while contributing something meaningful to our community, be it locally or world-wide.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:  My older brother Ryan. He has always been one of my biggest tormentors, but one of my fiercest protectors. He’s always had my back, because that’s what older brother’s do. He was and still is incredibly talented, smart, extremely likable, and good at anything he sets his mind to. Through trying to emulate his conquer-the-world attitude, I learned that if I really wanted something, and was willing to worked for it, I could make it happen. Thanks bro.

When I was a kid, my favorite thing about going back to school was:  School supplies!! I absolutely loved (and still do) freshly sharpened pencils; clean, crisp, lined paper and all of the endless possibilities the two of them combined present. And I can also make a mean book-cover too!

Do you have any charities or organizations that you support?  I am a huge fan of the work Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS does not only for our community here in New York, but across the country. They truly do help men, women, and children who are suffering daily from the life-ravaging effects of HIV/AIDS. Through their efforts and events, such as Gypsy of the Year, The Easter Bonnet, Broadway Bares, and the upcoming 26th Annual Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction on Sept. 23rd, they help promote awareness and education while raising funds for this real and still very relevant issue facing us today. For more info, check them out at:

Reed Kelly as Aladdin in "Broadway Bares 2012". Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia.

Reed Kelly for Diesel. Image via Reed Kelly.

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