Dean 'Deankerstrap' Maynard
'He’s the only one in the production who actually looks like his headshot. It’s what they liked about him from the start; his smile and his honesty.'
- from 'Dean' in At The Stage Door.
Offstage, Dean was one of the first people Liz and I ever spoke to - he was one of the only people we managed to recognise from their headshot for a start! But he was also so good to us and so kind - though always teasing too, of course, and he often used to greet us by going "Oh no, not you again!" or crossing his eyes at us - and of course that memorable time he leaned down from the stage steps at the end of the show and went "Was that you making all that noise?" after our cheering in the Finale. Dean always kept track of how we were doing at school and told us off for being at the theatre instead of revising for exams, he looked out for us and he learnt our favourite cast members and he put up with running into us outside the theatre before and after the show. In Bristol he knew us so well he was able to teasingly say to me "You know who's playing Mistoffelees tonight, don't you?" as he was heading off down the street as we were pre-show-stage-dooring. It took me a moment or two to process what was even happening but when I realised I went into a right tizzy - Kevin McGuire, my favourite member of the cast as he played Carbucketty, would be going on as Mistoffelees and Dean knew the craziness he was unleashing by giving away that titbit. In the time since Cats, I feel like Dean has got to know me even more, and these days I get greeted with a bear hug which I know for a fact he doesn't dish out often!. In South Pacific he was particularly good to me and very grateful towards me, especially when I came all the way up to Edinburgh to see him, and he always made sure to give me a smile during the show. By the time he was in Billy Elliot, he was still teasing me mercilessly but he was also more than happy to take the time out to chat and catch up on me and my family and I loved the way he would just call "MALINDA!" out of the stage door by way of a greeting before hugging me!
"Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss...." He turned to me. "But every once in a while, you find someone who's iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare."
― Wendelin Van Draanen, Flipped.