Colin Hodgkin, a well-known local performer with Fenton Village Players, didn’t miss a beat after graduating in May from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
Armed with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre, Hodgkin spent his summer working as a dueling piano player at Carowinds Amusement Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, owned by Holland America Cruise Line.
“It was a blast playing piano in a theme park setting,” said Hodgkin, 22, a 2015 graduate of Fenton High School. “I had to learn about 100 songs by artists like Queen, Billy Joel and Jerry Lee Lewis.”
He played his way over the summer to a contract position this fall with Holland America, beginning Sept. 27 after pulling into port in Rome, Italy on Sept. 26. He left Wednesday, Sept. 11 for two weeks of rehearsals in Westchester, Pennsylvania.
He will play a full repertoire of 250 songs with a dueling piano partner, in various musical genres from ’70s music to top billboard hits. Hodgkin will perform three one-hour sets six evenings a week, while the cruise ship travels to Italy, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Monte Carlo and other ports of call. “We’ll do different shows every evening,” Hodgkin said.
The ship will cross the Atlantic Ocean in November, cruising to the Bahamas and Jamaica. His family, including parents John and Holly Hodgkin of Fenton, are hoping to join him on the ship over the Christmas holidays.
Hodgkin’s contract will end in January, at which time he may renew his contract for other travel options. “Holland America also cruises to Alaska, China, Europe — there are lots of different places I could travel,” Hodgkin said. “I’ve only been to Canada, outside the U.S. It’s great to get to go places, perform and get paid to travel.”
Hodgkin hopes to move to New York City at some point in his career and work on Broadway, television or as a touring performer in the future. “That’s always been a dream and an aspiration,” he said. “I’m an entertainer first. I’m not ever just singing or playing piano.”