Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sometimes You Just Have to Sit Around

I'll be opening a new show this week. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a difficult process for me. I don't mean the show is bad, or the people were assholes. Not at all, in fact the truth is quite the opposite. Great company, professional, friendly cast, good script and a good director.

It's just that I don't have much to do. I have a....Honestly, I think "miniscule" isn't a strong enough word...part. It's "blink and you'll miss it" stuff, and it's been a very, very long time since I've had a role like that. I have to go back to college, I think, where the general consensus was that those kind of roles were all I would ever be good for.

It's pretty clear to me, with my 20/20 hindsight, that I let that situation get the better of me. I believed it, then, and it weighed on me. It made me depressed, and question my own value. Almost 20 years later, I've risen to a certain level of my craft, I am respected in certain circles, and I am still working in theatre, which is not true for most of the people I was in school with. So, I've exceeded the expectations of my instructors. Yay for endurance.

Now, the purpose of this blog isn't to bitch about the size of my part. It's just to explore the fact of life in roles like this, you have a lot of down time. It's a two-hour show (approximately), and I spend 117 minutes (approximately) of that time waiting backstage. I do wish I had more to do in the show, if I said anything other than that, I'd be lying, but I don't feel bitter about it.

OK, maybe a little..but that's just my weakness on display.

You, you...
Still, what the hell am I supposed to do with all this time? On Saturday, we had a 12 hour tech call, and I worked for about an hour and a half. I brought my guitar, restrung it, then wrote some songs, drew a bit, tried to read. Sunday, same deal. This time I brought my laptop, tried to work on a script (epic fail, there), and ended up playing Starcraft and watching Netflix most of the day.

I try to read, and sometimes I just can't. My brain just stops wanting to deal with trying to focus in a green room full of people. I keep trying to find dark corners, but the cast is so large it's hard to find private space. Putting on my headphones just gets me distracted by the music.

...Thank God for you
Now, I'm more than aware that these are meager complaints, and that most of them come right back to me being vaguely ADD. I just can't help it, man. I find myself trying to fill time, and getting bored far too quickly.

The other thing this brings up is...how truly lucky I've been with casting in Chicago. I've played a lot of great roles, and a lot of lead roles in my times here. I'm proud of that, especially when I think back to college. I was kicked out of the BFA track, for God's sake! In your FACE, University of Nebraska at Kearney Theatre faculty!!!

(Not you, Jeff...you were great)

Yes, I have issues about my college experience.

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