DU Alum Reflects on Experience Performing on West End
George Arvidson was drawn to acting after performing at Lamont
Not many people can say they have achieved their life’s dream by the time they are in their mid-20s. Typically it takes years of hard work, and even then, the dream might not be achievable. DU alumnus George Arvidson says realizing his dream came with a little luck and being in the right place at the right time.
Arvidson, a 2014 graduate of the Lamont School of Music, was in the 2017 tour of “Evita” that performed in the United Kingdom and Ireland. One day he received some very unexpected news.
“I went to my mother and I was like, ‘What is my biggest dream in the world?’ And she was like, ‘to be on the West End.’ [I told her I was] going to the West End [to perform in Evita], and it was the most surreal experience.”
The West End of London, along with New York City’s Broadway, is considered the highest level of commercial theater in the English-speaking world. Arvidson was drawn to London theater because he enjoyed the way shows are done there and the overall diversity of the shows. However, it was while Arvidson was at the University of Denver that he discovered his love for acting. In 2014, he was cast to play the role of Curly in “Oklahoma!”
“That was the role where I went, ‘This is what I want to do,’” Arvidson says. “I love singing and I love classical music, but I want to be an actor. This is what’s fun, is telling the story.”
That was one of a handful of roles Arvidson played while studying at Lamont. He believes the size of the school afforded him the opportunity to experiment with several different roles.
“I got to play some amazing roles that had I gone to a bigger music school, I would have never had the opportunity to play,” he says. “[At DU], with the program being small, you get a lot of individual attention and you can play roles and sing things that really push you and help you grow.”
Arvidson jokes when he talks about accomplishing his life’s dream only three years after graduating from DU. “I was a like, ‘Oh man, I need a different goal.’” He says life is now about doing what he loves.
“I just want to keep having different experiences and continue doing different things that push me and help me to grow and help my love to grow,” he says. “I never want to be in a place where I dislike what I do.”