Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Dance Party: Those Were The Good Old Days

You may not know this is a very special day. July 2nd is the exact middle of the calendar year. (I guess it's the exact middle of the solar year, too, depending on when you start counting.) 182 days of 2010 are now behind us; beginning tomorrow, we have 182 days ahead. How can I avoid taking a bit of stock in how the year has gone, thus far?

It certainly has not been the worst year on record, for me, but not the finest either. Started the year with a swell gig with the Washington Stage Guild, a fine group of players who have taken me under their wing in recent times. They throw the best BBQs around.

Also had a grand time for a week at Fords Theatre, trying to keep up with the best voices in town, in their staged reading / concert of Parade. It's a good thing that experience was so artistically satisfying, as my wage for that gig was $3.44 per hour. So was everyone else's. Welcome to the Theatre!

Otherwise, professionally, it's been slow going. Back in March, I gave a terrific callback for a summer stock show, one of the best all-around auditions I've offered in years, only to lose the gig because I have male genitalia.

I'm still waiting to hear on a thing or two for the future, but have given up on the audition promised to me, twice, by the artistic director of a local house for their show which begins rehearsal within the month, an audition he himself offered out of the blue. After all these years, I'm still not sure why directors lie to actors about such things, instead of dealing with us in a professional manner ("Thanks for your interest, but as it turns out, we are going another way" is never fun to hear, but at least it's honest, and treats us as the professionals we are.)

It's a good thing I've had such fun traveling lately; my trips to North Carolina and to California have kept the personal spirits way up. Professionally, though, I'm feeling a bit wistful for last year. Exactly 365 days ago, I wrote about the great Pat Carroll, who introduced me to the privilege of performing two shows on your birthday. I was that lucky last year.

This week's Dance Party, coinciding with my birthday (in case you haven't picked up on that), should be all about me, don't you agree? Here's a rinky-dink clip of one of my favorite roles way back when. The show is Damn Yankees, and I was thrilled to land one of my dream roles in it, just a year before I left Los Angeles for good. As you can see, the show was performed in the round, at Glendale Centre Theatre. Musicals in the round are pretty challenging, but the group there seemed to know what they were doing. My director

was Ellen Wheeler (above), an Emmy-winning actress who went on to become an executive producer of daytime soaps. The choreographer, Lee Martino, continues a high-profile career on the West Coast. Not quite sure what happened to the gal playing Lola (left), but I know

what happened to me. I left L.A., thankful that I had accomplished one of my dream roles. Wouldn't mind tackling that devil again...

I'm sure you'll forgive the poor quality of the video itself; tapes of live performances are never much good in these situations. Happy Dance Party!