When life on the road begins winding down, Cammie Griffin will return to her pursuit of a pharmacy career.
But not yet, not while she’s still in step with the beat. And it’s all about the beat in the worldwide hit music-dance production, “STOMP.”
Griffin is a cast member in “STOMP’s” United States tour, which will make its way into Baton Rouge on Tuesday. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts, where its magic will flow from the stage to the audience.
“‘STOMP’ is the kind of show that everyone can relate to,” she says.
She spoke from her native Springfield, Massachusetts, where she’s spending her Easter vacation, but she makes her home in Las Vegas. That’s where she was a cast member in “STOMP Out Loud,” a version of the show especially designed for the Entertainment Capital of the World.
“The show has no language barriers, and everyone can relate to sound and movement,” Griffin continues. “I tell people that everyone is born with their own beat. Your heartbeat is your own personal beat, so everyone understands rhythm. We’ve even had deaf and blind people attend the show and get the same effect.”
Percussionist Luke Cresswell collaborated with composer Steve McNicholas in the creation of “STOMP” in 1991. The show previewed in London’s Bloomsbury Theatre, then premiered at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The show features an eight-member troupe who create physical theater by using unconventional percussion instruments, including matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and hubcaps.
“It’s 90 minutes of nonstop dancing,” Griffin says.
Which works fine for her stay in Baton Rouge.
“I’ve never been to Baton Rouge, but we did perform in New Orleans,” Griffin says. “And I remember how great the food is there. So, I’m really looking forward to coming to Baton Rouge. I can’t wait to eat the food.”
And afterward, she can burn off all the calories.
“Yes, we burn a lot calories,” Griffin says, laughing. “But I love dancing. It’s something that runs in my family. My little brother played Oliver in the musical ‘Oliver!,” and my mother sang opera.”
And Griffin? She began dancing at age 3, enrolling in Kim’s Danceland in Springfield. The school’s owner later took her students on road trips to studios in New York to introduce them to different genres.
Griffin even eventually would dance with the Albany Berkshire Ballet company in Albany, New York, but her career would take a different path.
“I was a chemistry major in college, and my plan was to become a pharmacist,” she says. “I auditioned for ‘STOMP’ while I was working as a pharmacy technician.”
She’s since become the only “STOMP” cast member to perform in the London and New York productions, the European and United States tours and the special show in Las Vegas. She’s seen the world while dancing to the beat of this show.
But now the beat is beginning to wind down.
“I’ve been looking into pharmacy school,” she says. “I plan to go back. It’s something I want to do — it’s my passion.”
Still, the beat hasn’t faded, its rhythm calling Griffin back to the stage, where she’ll perform “STOMP” yet another time in Baton Rouge.