Nagambie’s Joe Kosky is set to take over the role of Don in Kinky Boots, the hit stage musical which opened at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre in October.
Mr Kosky has been the understudy for the role since the show opened, but he will make his official debut as the character in Tuesday’s performance.
The role was made famous by British comedian Nick Frost in the original 2005 film and Mr Kosky said he had to make sure his body was ready when he hit the stage.
‘‘It is a peculiar role in that it requires you to be a bigger guy to have that level of physical intimidation,’’ Mr Kosky said.
Mr Kosky’s weight usually hovers around 100kg, but he said he was strongly encouraged to add a few extra kilos to look the part and is now closer to 130kg.
But booze and cigarette smoke are two things he needs to stay away from, as his vocal cords need to be in tip-top shape for the eight performances each week.
‘‘It is being very stringent in your routine,’’ Mr Kosky said.
‘‘You are just like an athlete in that you have to warm down after you finish a big game, and hydration is the huge one.
‘‘We have to drink water all the time.’’
Mr Kosky originally fell in love with theatre while he was a student at Goulburn Valley Grammar School.
He credits teacher Helen Janke with helping him develop his singing voice.
‘‘I was not really confident in my ability of singing,’’ he said.
‘‘She pushed me into that world and I fell in love with doing it.’’
After a few productions with Shepparton Theatre Arts Group, he was prepared to give up his love of the arts after high school and study engineering.
‘‘But my parents encouraged me to do something that I love,’’ he said.
After graduating from the University of Ballarat Arts Academy, he made his professional debut in the 2012 production of Jersey Boys as Hank Majewski.
Away from the stage, Mr Kosky is also part of popular electronic music duo GodWolf and he was a founding member of comedic troupe Aunty Donna.
‘‘I feel a lot more at home in the theatre industry than anywhere else,’’ he said.
Mr Kosky could be in the role of Don for hundreds of performances, as he and the rest of the Kinky Boots cast will be travelling to Sydney’s Capitol Theatre in 2017.
‘‘You always find a way to make it fresh and exciting for yourself,’’ he said.
‘‘If you’re not loving it, it’s probably not worth it.’’