A few months ago I was approached by a friend for a favor. I declined. Then, my friend and his mother approached me and once again I declined. Then they both approached me a third time, this time, they didn’t take no for an answer. All of my reasons for not doing this favor were tossed aside and they assured me that my work schedule would not be infringed upon too much and they would make considerations for not being able to commit to being at the designated place and time every week. (That sounds almost clandestine, but it really is not.)
They favor they asked? Oh, sorry, they wanted me to be in a play and not just as a filler role but as one of the main characters. The play in question is called “Judgment House” and the best way that I can describe it is that it is a Christian Horror House. Sort of. You see, there are four scenes and each scene has a set of actors in it, I’m in scene three and my characters name is Sean. I have a wife, Katie and we are sitting in an airport waiting to get on a plane. Now, in the other three scenes there are a Sean and a Katie played by different actors. The attendees of the play actually move between scenes instead of sitting in comfortable chairs and having the scenes change behind curtains.
This is the first time I’ve been in a play since High School. Upon my arrival for the first table reading I asked the director about my character and motives. He proceeded to give me line readings. I waited patiently for him to finish and then asked him, “What sort of emotions do you want from me? What is the motivation for my character?” he promptly replied “Frustrated, angry atheist.”
That was all I needed to hear. I can tap into my frustration and anger probably too easy. Which is why I think my buddy and his mom wanted me for the play, not that I can’t tap into my other emotions readily but I seem to have developed a reputation for being frustrated and angry. Which keeps most people at arm’s length from me, I’m comfortable with that. But I digress.
The first few practices I kept my mouth shut with the exception of the lines I needed to read. After all, I only knew three people out of a cast of over thirty not to mention all the support staff. Eventually, I opened up to a few people, made some friends and now, as I sit here on my porch writing this after our last dress rehearsal and preview attendees I think that my buddy and his mother knew what they were doing. Everyone seems happy with my performance and I’ve been complimented on how I play my character.
Now, if you are in the Greater Tidewater area and want to come see me act like a total buffoon in front of hundreds of people you are more than welcome to come out and see the play. The best part, it’s free. It won’t cost you a dime but it will cost you some time. The play is located at Pinecrest Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. The church is on the corner of Felton Road and Pinecrest Drive. The play will have multiple showings Friday the 18th of October, Saturday the 19th of October and Sunday the 20th of October. Show times start at six pm on Friday and Saturday and five pm on Sundays. Now, if you can’t make it this weekend they also have shows on Friday the 25th of October, Saturday the 26th of October and Sunday the 27th of October. The times are the same for that weekend as they are for this weekend. However, if you do come out on Saturday the 19th, I won’t be there. That is the one night I have off. So if you do come out that night, you won’t get to see me make a fool of myself.
Now, and I have to say this, if you do come out, I probably won’t see you in the audience. Simply because I don’t look at the audience, it is not because I don’t want to, it is because that is not what I would feel comfortable doing. I don’t like being the center of attention or even a member of a party that is the center of attention. So instead, I live in my head and that of the character I am portraying. However if you do come out and see me, drop me a line on facebook, or text me that you did come out. It would be really cool to hear from you.
As for the entire play and my feelings towards it, I can’t really say. I have not read the whole thing, just my part. And as far as me seeing the whole thing, meaning the other scenes, I have not done that either. I don’t want to. Simply because I don’t want the other actors who are portraying my character to influence the way I play my character. But I do know from what I’ve overheard that everyone has done an amazing job. From the set builders to the make-up artist to the security guards that keep people moving from one scene to the next.
So, now I have another feather to put into my already overflowing hat. Actor.
Have a great week.