Monday, March 3, 2008

Split Focus

It was a weekend which included visits to Ireland, Italy, and Illyria. And Foggy Bottom, too.

It's a good thing when a lot of different things are going on in an actor's life. It beats the alternative: nothing going on in an actor's life. But it does lend itself to a bit of scattered thinking: where am I supposed to be, and when? And what should I have prepared?

The fun began Friday night, when I attended the first and only rehearsal for the Washington Stage Guild's reading of two short Irish one-act plays. The Stage Guild has been running a series of these readings in lieu of a full season of shows, as they await the completion of their swanky new digs. These readings are always fun, and there isn't much pressure, as the actor has the script in his hand during the performance. Still, one wants to give a good show, so, to prep for this event, I trotted out my old cassette recording of the original off-Broadway production of The Hostage, in order to brush up my Irish brogue.

Saturday, I visited Mickey the Hairdresser, in order to remove the gray from the topper. As I have already mentioned, I am rejoining the Madness of Shear this week, and I always take the initiative to remove those pesky reminders of age. The role I play in the show, Tony, just does not have gray hair. At least, not in my mind, so not on my watch. Later in the day on Saturday, I attended the "twilight matinee" of the show (6 PM curtain).

Sunday afternoon was our first performance of the Irish plays. There were lots of laughs (both playlets were comedies), and as always, it was great fun to work with the Guilders. I look forward to our second reading of these plays Tuesday night.

After the staged reading, I dashed home to change my clothes and head north to Baltimore, for my callback for Twelfth Night at the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. I appeared in the show waaaaaay back in my undergrad days, and would love the chance to tackle the piece again.

I read for Malvolio, the puritan servant who secretly loves his mistress, and for Feste, the clown.

I returned home Sunday night in time to get about 5 hours sleep before returning to the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival Monday morning. This time, the callback was for Taming of the Shrew, and I spent a couple of hours reading various servants and lovers.

The fun won't be stopping yet. Tomorrow, Tuesday, will be my first Shear rehearsal, a full day's worth, after which I will pop over to perform the Irish plays once more for the Stage Guild. The remainder of the week will be spent at the Kennedy Center, getting up to speed before our first performance of Shear Madness Monday night.

It's great to be busy as an actor. There are many, many periods when that is not the case. I just wish I had been a little more disciplined before all this activity started.

Maybe I would have completed my taxes...