I find it great that the performers in MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET are musicians as well as actors. There is so much talent.
It's a live band. Everything you hear is exactly what you're seeing onstage. There's no hidden musicians. There's no trickery. It is a few guys up there with instruments. If that's lacking, the whole thing falls apart. Audiences are smart and know if you're not really playing. They know if you're faking it. These are iconic songs. If that lick isn't right or if that style's not right it sticks out. That show is about the music. We're paying reverence and hopefully educating about these luminaries. If it's not perfect, the whole thing doesn't work. They have to go after high level, high quality musicians and not that the rest of it's secondary. You also have to be an actor. You have to look right for it. Again, we all know what these guys look like so there is a lot that goes into casting the show.
If you hadn't become a singer, what would you have done?
I don't know. I've never been one for back-up plans. I don't think I ever had one. When I was younger it was great. My family said, "You can go to school for music or theatre." But I wanted to find another major too. But from the time I was about 15 or 16, I didn't want to because so frequently if you have a back-up plan, it's so easy to fall back on it. These are all hard careers, hard professions. I thought for myself swinging without a net would be more beneficial for me. Hopefully it continues to work out that way.
Do you have any advice for anyone who is pursuing a career in singing?
Make the hard decisions. If you have two paths and one of them seems easier and maybe the sure bet and the other one is scary or is intimidating; usually that's the side with the bigger pay-off. I don't think you get anywhere by playing it safe.
To find out more about John Michael Presney, you can check out his website at: http://johnmichaelpresney.com/ You can go to iTunes and get a copy of his new EP also.
PHOTO CREDIT: Rosie Cohe