Acting Chops Or Chopping Block?

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently decided to try out for a play. 

The play: The Wizard of Oz

The part: The Wizard

The reason: my brother tried out and said they haven’t found the Wizard they were looking for yet (he auditioned for the Cowardly Lion and got the Tin Man), and he told me to give it a go. 

The real reason: I wanted to say the play was all about me.

I am by not even by the slightest degree a thespian.  My sibs, fam, friends, and I used to make all kinds of stupid skit videos (which I’ve planned on putting up on YouTube for awhile now… I’ll keep you posted), but I rarely made appearances in them.  I let everyone else do all the bad-acting heavy lifting. 

In college, when my sister Becky was an assistant director for I Hate Hamlet, I skipped out of French 3 early to audition for the role of the greasy agent.  My reason at that time was that I looked like a greasy agent with my bushy goatee and a pony tail down to the middle of my back.  Gross.  (That’s the result of twelve years of Catholic education, I guess.)  I never tried it before or since – the pony tail OR the acting.

So anywiz, back the recent attempt.  I was 100% on the fence about whether I wanted to be in the play or not (or is that 50/50?).  It would interrupt my drinking plans, but it would also have given me (hopefully) great blogging stories.  (This one kind of sucks so far, so maybe it wouldn’t have.  But then again, it is community theater.)

Here’s the rundown of the night’s highlights:

  • When I received the pages I was supposed to read right off the bat, I didn’t see the Wizard’s lines anywhere.  “Who am I reading?” I asked someone else.  Apparently, the Wizard’s real-life version is Professor Marvel.
  • I realized I should have watched the movie, since I’ve never seen it in its entirety.  Oops!
  • I’m a competitive person when it comes to certain things, which is possibly everything, because I sure didn’t expect it to happen at an audition.  I was out for blood against the other old, wizardy dude going for my part.  Where are flying monkeys when you need them?
  • I learned you should try to act when you’re trying out for a part, instead of just reading lines.  No one told me that.
  • They also had me try out for Dorothy’s uncle, Henry Gale.  I didn’t really want the part, but I justified it because that was Ben Linus’ original alias on “Lost.”  Nerd!
  • I discovered that improv kills.  When I had my second shot at the Wizard, it was the part of the movie play that I knew.  The line reading went something like: “I am the Great and Powerful Oz!  Who are you?  Who are you?  Who are you?  Who are you?”  The first time I read it, I thought the repetition was lame, so during my second attempt, I turned the third one into a quick, “Srsly, who r u?”  Everyone lost it.  I just hoped the old dude who was playing the Wizard as scary lost his chance (I opted for a booming voice).

I felt confident upon leaving, and then later realized I was planning on being in Seattle during the show’s opening weekend.  They asked for conflicts prior to the auditions, but I was trying out on a lark so I hadn’t remembered.  Luckily, I was only offered the role of the Oz Doorman, which I politely turned down (after thanking them for the shot).  My brother was hoping I would have taken the part since that was his very first role in any play, but Seattle La Vie!

SIDENOTE: I probably would have cancelled the trip for Henry Gale.

Me trying out for the role of the agent in "I Hate Hamlet."

Me trying out for the role of the agent in "I Hate Hamlet."