Monday, January 30, 2012

That's a ballgame of a different color, right?

I'm a theatre person, right?  I did my first show at the age of 5 (if I remember correctly). I lost count of the number of shows I have done, but my best estimate is in the high eighties/low nineties.  I feel that's pretty darn respectable, especially considering I took a few multi-year breaks over the span of my theatre "career".  So then doing another show should be a breeze.

Not really.

Honestly, straight plays scare the crap out of me.  I did a number of them years ago. I was... fair.  Pretty much what I did from the time I was 19 until I was 37 were musicals. Lots and lots of musicals. Some good, some great, a few that I will never mention again, and even a couple of small operas.... but all involved singing. I can sing. I know I can do that. Acting is a different matter.

Yes, I know, there is acting involved in musical theatre, but in truth there is a lot less expected from a musical theatre actor than there is from a "straight" actor. (Side note, unrelated: Why is it a "straight play"? Are musicals considered "bent" plays? Ok, digression over.) I have done many shows where the focus has been strictly on the singing. It was completely acceptable if the "actor" simply stood there are sung prettily. (This is not to say that this is ALWAYS the case. I know many musical theatre actors who  are amazing!) In this case, I am not meaning to discus other actors, merely myself.  I feel I can hold my own on stage and create an acceptable character, but I in no way hold any grandiose ideas that I am amazing or professional.

(refocus, back to topic)

Straight plays scare the crap out of me. Did I mention that already? Yep, there it is... two paragraphs up. And here I am embarking on a new one. It's a sizable role too. When I first looked it over I'm sure I blanched a little. Nobody was watching, so I was safe. My first thought? "Holy crap! That's a lot of me on stage." Then I skimmed for monologues. None. This should be a good thing, right?


I like monologues. They are good chunks of time where you are the only one talking. (Duh.) This means you can't really screw anyone else up. Oh, and you don't have to wait for someone else to cue your next line. I like this.  It's like memorizing a good little tale and then being the storyteller.

There are no monologues. Just lots of little lines. Some very interesting little lines. Many of them very important. Many of them numbers. Oh lord. Did I mention I'm a little nervous about it? Yeah, I am. Maybe I can convince them to throw a little song and dance number in there.

Ok, I can do this. Just bear with me. This may come up again later. In the meantime, if anyone feels like starting a petition to get me a quick little song tossed in feel free. Just make sure you get a decent amount of names and then address the petition to Soozie. Thanks! Wish me luck.

- B


  1. Ye gods, I'd never have said you had a comfort zone. Or an appropriate zone or anything else. I, dude. I don't know there wasn't anything you WOULDN'T do...

    Interesting read. Intriguing insights.

  2. You can do it! If I'm generous, I think I may have the acting talent you've got stuck under your pinkie fingernail. When I was in fourth grade, I was chosen for the role of the white rabbit in the school play -- in no small part because I had forgotten that I was auditioning, and had to be called in from recess. What I didn't realize until after I had the part was how HUGE it was -- I literally had to memorize the entire play to know my cues. O.o

    You've got this (and a bundle of nerves, but those will sort themselves out), my friend. :-)

  3. If all else fails, remember Spencer Tracy's famous rules:

    1. Show up early.
    2. Be the first off-book.
    3. Don't bump into the furniture.

    I would add a fourth rule to that list: stay the fuck out of the director's way.