THE LEADING MEN: Pop Singer and Fantasticks Star Aaron Carter

By Michael Gioia
29 Feb 2012

Carter and Juliette Trafton in The Fantasticks.
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

You're very charismatic in the show. How do you breathe new air into The Fantasticks — a show that's been with us for so long?
AC: Well, I watched the show about 12 times to study it before I came in. [My predecessor and understudy and the character of The Mute is] Matt Leisy. We do the role differently. I like to be funny. I like to be stupid. I like to be obnoxious. [Laughs.] It's what I like to do as an actor. I like to make people laugh. I kind of search for that. I guess that's what would be new. I'm just bringing me. [Laughs.]

Did you do research? The musical is suggested by Edmond Rostand's Les Romanesques.
AC: No. The only research that I did was studying the show when I came to it. I didn't really want to know too much about it. And, I didn't know anything about it at all. I'd never even heard of it. Honestly, when I heard The Fantasticks, I thought of The Fantastic Four! [Laughs.]

Between TV, theatre, pop music and "Dancing With the Stars," you're a crossover. How do you seamlessly slip through all of these worlds?
AC: You know, it's not as easy as it might seem. [Laughs.] I love to do all kinds of different things. I can do stuff like Broadway, "Dancing With the Stars," judging TV shows, guest-appearing on cook-off shows and my singing career. They're different entities. I've been able to bounce back and fourth. Now I've got to do the same thing with being a singer. I've got to make a change. I can't just stay the same.


Aaron Carter
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

What styles of music will we hear on your upcoming album?
AC: More pop-rock-type. More mature music. Big ballads. Meaningful songs…like Coldplay. That's generally where I'm going with me as a person. It's going to change, though. Sometimes there's things that happen in your life that change who you are as a person. Just recently, something happened that changed me as a person, and I'm not going to be afraid to be who I am. That's what's important to me now.

What do you enjoy most working on in all of these worlds? What excites you as a performer?
AC: What excites me now — what livens me up — is being an actor and sitting in audition rooms and being in a weird, uncomfortable environment that I'm not used to. [Laughs.] I like that. It's enjoyable, and it gives me a rush. [Laughs.] You can look at being nervous in a bad way or you can look at it like, "This is life. I'm really living."

(Michael Gioia's work frequently appears in the news, feature and video sections of Write to him at