When 25-year-old Carson Higgins graduated Malibu High School, he never imagined he would soon end up on “American Idol,” which would launch his career beyond his dreams.
Now, Higgins is touring the United States and United Kingdom as part of the international touring cast of “American Idiot,” a Broadway musical inspired by Green Day’s 2004 album of the same name.
“I used to drive around Malibu listening to that CD,” Higgins said. “And now I’m getting paid to sing it all the time!”
Higgins made it to the top 50 on Season 10 of “American Idol,” a reality television show that aims to discover the next best singer in the country.
Soon after he was contacted by many people for representation and auditioned for Green Day’s rock musical, “American Idiot,” but was not chosen the first time around.
He performed in other plays in the meantime and nine months later received a phone call from “American Idiot” executives telling him he’d been selected to join the cast.
“Because of ‘American Idol,’ I got to be in ‘American Idiot,’” Higgins said. “It’s the first tour I’ve ever been on and it’s been amazing.”
The play takes place in 2004 and tells the story of three lifelong friends who are forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia.
“It really speaks to the time period we are in,” Higgins said. “The anger and frustration about everything that happened during the post-9/11 Bush era.”
The show was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical. It is based on Green Day’s Grammy award-winning multiplatinum album “American Idiot.”
“Green Day’s album was the first album I’ve ever owned,” Higgins said. “When I first heard it I knew it could be a cool musical. And then it did turn into a Broadway play. And now I’m in it for a year!”
Higgins spent three months in the UK for the tour and is currently touring the United States. The show will then move on to Japan and Korea in August.
While in the UK, the show won the best regional production “Whatsonstage award,” an award where the audience is the judge.
“We are very grateful for it because not many American casts win that award,” Higgins said.
Higgins has had a memorable experience on the road and describes the whole experience as very surreal.
“Green Day fans come out with tattoos of them, excited, screaming and crying to see them,” Higgins said. “And to get to be a little piece of that is huge.”
Higgins posts his upcoming shows on his Twitter account and is building on his fan base.
“Some people follow me and come out to meet me,” Higgins said. “I have fans, not many, but the couple that I have is pretty cool.”
Higgins’ mother, Kathy, owns Polished nail salon in Malibu and says she is very proud of her son.
“The show is amazing,” Kathy said. “I saw it in London and wasn’t surprised because I knew that’s exactly what he would be doing.”
The final part of Higgins’ U.S. tour will be ending in Las Vegas, as did his days on American Idol, when he bowed out in that round of auditions. But Kathy knows he has a bright future ahead of him.
“He really loves theater,” Kathy said. “It’s his true love. But he also loves acting. I would like to see him happy and doing what he loves. He was born to do film, television and theater.”
Whether it’s millions of people watching him on American Idol, traveling the world on a Broadway musical tour or meeting fans, Higgins still remains a humble, grounded young man from Malibu.
“There’s really no place in the world like Malibu,” Higgins said. “It’s incredible to be back and there’s no place I’d rather be.”
“I would like to give credit back to the Malibu High School theater department,” Kathy said. “They really gave him the tools and experience he needed. And I’m grateful to the school and that program.”
“American Idiot” will be performing at the Civic Theater in San Diego through June 2.
To learn more about “American Idiot” and to buy tickets, visit americanidiotthemusical.com