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George Arvidson Lamont Alumni Profile

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Ian Wisekal

by Ian Wisekal

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Photo: Courtesy of Millennium Films through the actor.

George Arvidson (BM ’14) was initiated early into theater. As he was learning to speak, he also learned, thanks to a cassette tape recording of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, to sing the colors of Joseph’s coat. By the time Arvidson was three, “far, far too young,” the Denver native allowed, his mother took him to see Phantom of the Opera at the Buell Theater. Not only did the young fan sit through the whole show, he became, in his words, “just obsessed with it.” After that, each week Arvidson, whose mother is English, would alternate playing Christina and the Phantom at home. He reflected, “My mum did it to herself, really, poor lady.”

Now a veteran of regional, touring and West End theatrical productions, the London-based Lamont alumnus credits his voice professor, Catherine Kasch, with his vocal training. “She is an incredible teacher,” Arvidson related, and Kasch’s legacy is very present. “I still think about her teaching all the time,” he said, “and I still use her [vocal] warm-ups. She is a massive part of what made my technique; she built my voice up.”

Arvidson’s career took an unexpected turn in 2019 when, in between auditions for Les Misérables and Phantom, he landed a part in a feature film about the war in Afghanistan called The Outpost. Uncertain whether he should abandon his Les Mis audition, for which he had already reached the finals, Arvidson took the advice of his agent and booked the film. “It was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had. It completely blew my mind,” he said.

Filming in Bulgaria over the course of three months, Arvidson left with more friends, more creative stimulation, and, on his first movie set, a deep appreciation for the dedication and care he saw among the crew, director, and other actors. “Everyone had a stake in wanting the film to be really good,” Arvidson recalled, “and the crew take care of you. They pick you up from your house, they feed you, they even offer to drive you 100 yards from place to place on set.”

In the end, Arvidson ended up booking Les Mis, too, and was on tour with the show when COVID-19 struck. “What defines you as an actor isn’t just what you do when you work, but what you do when you don’t,” he said. Not only did Arvidson earn diplomas in personal training and yoga, he also landed a role with a show called The World Goes Round, one of only a few live productions in the UK in the summer of 2020.

The Lamont grad counts himself as very lucky and is excited to get back into the theater this fall, rejoining a 14-month tour with Les Mis in the UK and Ireland. Thanks to the deep theater culture of the British, there are many large venues across the country that, according to Arvidson, “are even bigger than the West End theaters. You’re actually getting more people seeing the show [on tour] than you would doing it in London.” But if traveling to the UK for one of those performances is a bit out of reach, you can catch Arvidson’s work in The Outpost, which is available streaming on Netflix.