Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sebastian Pigott jumps from 'Idol' fame to acting stint on 'Being Erica'

By Cassandra Szklarski (CP)


TORONTO — To hear Sebastian Pigott tell it, there's nothing like a singing competition to launch an acting career.
Since being voted off "Canadian Idol" last year, the young crooner has enjoyed a steady stream of television gigs with stints on "The Listener," "Heartland," "The Border," and most significantly, "Being Erica."

Pigott popped up in the season premiere of the time-travelling series as an intriguing barista at Erica's favoured cafe but, on Tuesday, his storyline takes off as his character reveals a musical side, and a charming ability to get under Erica's skin.
"It's been a great year since Idol," says Pigott, who had a modest acting resume before reaching the Top 8 on "Idol."

"Doing a show like 'Canadian Idol,' it's a wonderful boost - exposure-wise and promotion-wise. Since then, I've been booked solid acting and working. I consider myself an artist above all and any chance I get to make art and get paid for it is golden for me."

Pigott certainly makes the most of his screen time Tuesday as he performs a song he wrote with his brother Oliver, who also auditioned for "Idol" but fell short of the Top 10.

Later, he strips down to his underwear for a comical time-travelling sequence with star Erin Karpluk, whose neurotic character revisits past regrets each week with the help of her therapist.

When Pigott read the script and saw the extent of his bold character's exposure, he says he immediately took drastic action to prepare.

"I went out and got protein powder and hit the gym, religiously," he says.

"If you're going to get naked on TV you want to look good, you know. And then I got all these people coming up to me afterwards going, 'You know we've got to get you into a tanning bed.' I play a barista! At what point do you think you should be hitting the tanning salon?"

Adding to the spectacle was the fact that the sequence was shot in the middle of the day on a Toronto bridge. Police closed off access to passersby, but an apartment building overlooking the scene gave some residents a birds-eye view, and that nearly brought proceedings to a halt, he says.

"Apparently somebody came down from the apartment just beside and they thought I was about to jump," says Pigott.

"They thought that's what all the police were there for - some naked guy in a cowboy hat was about to hurl himself off the bridge."

Nothing so dire is in store this week, with Pigott's character Kaj proving he's just quirky enough to keep up with Erica's off-kilter dalliances from reality.

Pigott says he's especially thrilled to be able to meld his musical side with his acting passion, noting that he'll get to sing again on the show.

"There's a lot of stuff in the works with the music side of 'Being Erica' and I've been talking with Temple Street about doing some more stuff with them," he says.

All this coincidentally dovetails with an album release in November of music from the Pigott Brothers. Pigott says he and his brother Oliver recorded a raw rootsy-rock disc for less than $1,000 and plan to release a single by the end of the month.
In the new year, he's also set to play a sociopath on the upcoming cop series "The Bridge," and will star in a western he wrote called, "The Two Deaths of Henry Baker."

Pigott says he always hoped "Idol" would help him land a diverse career.

"I went in with the plan to not win and I wanted to capitalize on it and get myself out there and get more work for myself as an artist," he says.

"It's all I ever wanted. Right now my m.o. is just to keep the momentum going and not shoot myself in the foot."

Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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