INTERVIEW: Thomas Blake from “Point Break Live”

If you haven’t seen the Kathryn Bigelow 1991 classic ‘Point Break’ then turn away now, get watching it any way you can – then come back! For fans of the movie, welcome, you are our friends!

Back when I (Mr Minnis2Society) was a kid I managed to wangle getting my parents to buy me the VHS of Point Break – being a Patrick Swayze fan (having manged to watch the whole of Roadhouse from outside in the garden whilst my older bother watched it in the living room), I had become a firm fan of him. It was to be the first movie I had ever finished and then immediately hit rewind, and watched all over again (although my parent’s dispute this fact by pointing out I did this with E.T. claiming ‘ET Come home’ and watched it back on multiple occasions!)

Point Break had everything; epic action sequences, cool dudes, swearing, partying, a naked woman beating up men, and even Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hotel Chilli Peppers (a favourite band of mine back then) – what more could you ask for as 13 year old boy? 27 years later and nothing has changed – I still love this movie, can quote it all day long, and am still a huge Kathryn Bigelow fan.

Despite being such a huge fan of the film, I had never heard about the live show that was happening over in LA, so imagine my excitement when finding out about this! Despite being over a decade late to the party, we managed to talk to Director/Producer Thomas Blake to find out more…

Haven’t watched Point Break? Life sure has a sick sense of humour doesn’t it?

For those that aren’t aware, tell us who you are and what you do?

We do the live action, interactive, punk- theatre spoof of the classic surfing/ bank robbing film Point Break which starred Patrick Swayze as Bodhi and Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah. The big kicker with Point Break LIVE is that at each performance, audience members come up and audition for the lead role of Johnny Utah and then the crowd picks who they want to see as the star of the show based off of the volunteers’ auditions. CAN YOU KEANU?

Point Break isn’t the easiest movie to decide to translate across to stage – how did the birth of this idea come about?

The concept was written by Jamie Keeling many years ago in Seattle. Over the years it has morphed and grown through many different cast members and creative ideas from a bunch of folks. The show is best when everyone involved is adding their own spin on characters and unique ideas about how to accomplish the spectacle that has become Point Break LIVE. It is, at its essence, a true collaboration of everyone who has ever been a part of the journey.

Thomas Blake – Goddamn you are one radical son of a bitch!

How did it feel hearing Keanu talk about the show on the DNA Lounge? Mission accomplished?

Keanu has known about the show for years. I actually met him and Alex Winters (Bill from Bill and Ted’s) at a bar one night and we chatted about the show. Keanu was super cool about it, and even made a joke about how funny it would be if he came and auditioned for the role of Johnny Utah and didn’t get picked. At the end of the day, we love Keanu and LOVE the film, so when anyone that was involved with the film recognises the show it always make us super stoked!

You have even had a day declared to the show by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson back in 2008 – how did this all happen?

We have a really good publicist! Haha! We’ve actually been recognized in LA and SF as “Entertainment Institutions” because we have been consistently playing those cities for so many years. We have a special bond with the fans of LA and SF, so it feels pretty cool to be recognized by the mayors!

Little hand says it’s time to rock and roll

Obviously with everything going on in the world right now, the show is paused at the moment but when we settle back into a ordinary life again will you be looking to get back on stage – and have you ever considered coming to the UK and Europe?

As soon as this is all over we are coming back immediately! Everyone is going to need a place to laugh, and party, and forget about their worries when this is all over, and there is no better place to do that than Point Break LIVE! We’d love to come to the UK and Europe. Find us a good venue and we are there!

What have you been listening to, watching, and reading recently? What recommendations have you got?

Like everyone I binged the Tiger King. How crazy was that! Watching and reading A LOT of news trying to figure out when we can get back to putting on shows.

If I was going to recommend anything, if you haven’t seen Eastbound and Down and/ or Party Down you should definitely check those out.

Finally, what is your tip of the day?

Remember to keep laughing. It will always make things better!

With Covid-19 being a massive ballache and stopping everything fun from happening right now, sadly the show is on pause, BUT get following and supporting the show so when it does get back up and running you can get watching it – maybe in the meantime practise your KEANU!

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