Today was our first preview of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. It’s a brilliant, classic script with Sondheim sounds that is as pure a farce as they come. Truly hilarious, witty stuff. And the next step in my grand dreams of becoming a working actor.
Right now, I am in the midst of Operation Infiltration, AKA: become a part of the Vancouver theatre community. After seven years in the Victorian wilderness, I know everyone on that side of the strait. In August, I agreed to stage manage a Fringe show there, and found I already knew six of the seven actors (from Sin City Improv, Impromaniacs, UVic, or other performances). This past Saturday, I attended a meeting of Victoria Murder Mysteries while in town for the weekend, and discovered I already knew all four of the other actors who were there. I’ve connected to that town.
But I haven’t connected to this city.
While performing The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Vancouver Fringe was a good stepping stone in building credibility for myself in the city, it didn’t give me that first chance to work with other actors in the city that might snowball into more opportunities. Enter Fighting Chance Productions.
One of my half-dozen or so summer auditions, they asked me in for a vocals/dance audition to be a Protean. Which intimidated me. I’m comfortable admitting that my strengths are more weighted toward acting and singing… than to dancing. I’m physically fit, but I’m still working on learning choreography quickly and effectively. I’m improving. So, I entered the audition room with Victor Dolhai’s advice in mind – to treat everyone there as though they were an old friend. And I had fun. A lot of fun. Perhaps too much fun. Even while stumbling over some of the fancy footwork. 🙂
A short while later, I was told it was a difficult decision, but they cast other actors in the roles. Which was fair. Internally, I’d put my chances at 50/50. They then asked if I’d be interested in being considered for Erronius, the befuddled old man played by Buster Keaton in the film version.
Brian Richmond once told me that I had the ability, if I kept at it, to become a great character actor when was 40. With fifteen years to go, playing a limber old man seems like a good – albeit silly – start.
This show is also a chance to connect with a large cast and crew in order to build a show together, to have fun together. To play! With this and a grand Christmas Panto at the Metro (taking on Ryan Mooney’s old role, no less) on my docket, I’m hoping to meet and work with a great many people in this city in relatively short order. (Which is not to say I’m earning my financial keep yet with these endeavors, but hey, that’s a step or two down the line.)
Hopefully I’ll soon enter Vancouver’s audition halls and know almost everyone there, as well.
A Funny Thing really is a marvelous show, and everyone in it is superb, from Matt Ramer’s grandiose Miles Gloriosus to Peter Stainton’s battered Senex to Elyse Maloway’s charming Philia to Cameron Dunster’s adorable Hero to Mike Wild’s neurotic Hysterium to the beauteous and gifted courtesans such as Ranae Miller, Kiki Lipsett and Rebecca Friesen, to Ryan Mooney’s ever hilarious improvised quips each night… as you can see, I’m finding it hard not to call out the entire cast. And Cathy Wilmot is such a nurturing director.
And wish me luck as I continue to burrow my way into the theatre communities of this city. 😀