Thursday, April 27, 2006

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love my Life

Gentle readers (or even the more forceful ones), I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to do about the situation that I am in, but I would like to have your feedback as well.

I have auditioned for three theatre groups in the area for a combined total of seven shows.

The first theatre had the show that I was most hoping to get into, Urinetown, as well as two other shows. However, as it has been over a week, and I have received no word from them, I am not exactly feeling the most positive about my chances. In fact, were you to take your mouth, and put it on an exposed piece of skin and blow, and thereby make a "raspberry" sound, that sound would be kind of how I feel about my chances. This would have been a paying job with a semi-prestigious theatre.

The second theatre group called me back for the part of Max in The Sound of Music, John the Baptist or Judas or some other featured soloist for Godspell, and as a chorus member in one other show. I have played Max before, and the part kind of fits me, but I'm not overly excited about the prospect given my other opportunities. I have never been in Godspell, but either of the named parts plays an important and exciting role in the show, as well as having at least one really great song. This theatre group is fairly well recognized in the area and they usually do pretty good work, but they don't seem to be as well respected in the theatre community here. A plus to doing a show here is that the theatre is huge, and so it would be a great opportunity to shine in front of a lot of people; a minus is that it is not paying.

The last theatre group is doing a production of SNOOPY!!! (yes, it has three exclamation marks after it, don't ask me why. It should be noted, however, that one of the scores had it listed with only two exclamation marks. Come on, people! Are we really, really excited about the dog, or just really excited?). I saw this audition a month ago, and I was excited, because after a couple of years of not getting the roles that you want due to typecasting, you become enthralled when you could be typecast for something. As I am somewhat overweight and have a bald head, I believe Charlie Brown is one of the few characters in musical theatre that I really fit the bill for. This theatre is small, but it is gorgeously brand spanking new, and I would receive a stipend for the show. The stipend is not very large, but I think everyone can agree that it is wonderful to get paid for what you love to do.

Now, this is my dilemma. The directors of both Godspell and The Sound of Music apparently love me for the parts that I mentioned above. I have not heard any definite offers from them, but from what one of the directors told me, they would rather offer me both the parts over the phone on Friday and then make me decide than to decide themselves. I am pretty confident that they will offer me Max, and about seventy percent confident that they will offer me either John or Judas. The big problem that would keep me from getting cast in Godspell is my aforementioned lack of dancing skill and the fact that I have to go to a more advanced dance call back tonight for this show. In my favor is that word is that certain of the lead singers don't necessarily have to dance.

As far as Snoopy!!!, I talked with the director last night at call backs about the possibility of the other shows, and he thanked me for my forthrightness. He then proceeded to email me within three hours of the end of call backs (aka 12:30 a.m.) and offer me the part of Snoopy, which is, in fact, an even better part than Charlie Brown because it has three or four terrific and fun songs. I would also be receiving the largest of the monetary stipends for the show.

My dilemma is compounded by the fact that if I did get cast in Urinetown, I'd have a hard time even turning chorus down because I love the show so much. You may refer to this as the wild card option.

My number one choice is Urinetown, but I don't think that it's likely I'll get cast. My number two choice is John in Godspell, but that is followed very closely by Snoopy because it's such a good part. I also really want to work with the director for The Sound of Music because I am interested in seeing her directing style.

It will be very difficult to do both Godspell and Snoopy!!! because performances of the latter overlap with rehearsals for the former. It is possible to do both, but only if I could skip or only go to rehearsals for part of the time and then run off to a performance. It would be impossible to do Sound of Music with either of them. It will also be impossible to do Godspell and Urinetown, although I could do Snoopy!!! or The Sound of Music and Urinetown quite easily.

A disclaimer: I really hope all of this doesn't come off as arrogant, because that's not my intent.

So, with all of that in mind, does anybody have any suggestions?


:: mandy :: said...


I offer this, which I will advertise as it is, simply my opinion. (let me warn you in the beginning that I will not come to any conclusions in the end that include titles of plays and your best option according to the lines in your hands)

This is what I would do: as I am an overachiever (which really is just sub-par-achievers' word for average achievers) I would try to do the most that I could with these shows, considering you really would like to do musical theater instead of catalyst analyzing. I would consider which roles would lend themselves towards the greatest oppportunity overall, including looking good on grad school apps, etc. And then I'd try to do the best two. For my personality, the thought of rushing from one show to the next is really appealing. Then again, I tend to be running late to just about everything on account of rushing in that way (if I could just start the entire bad cycle over, only 15 minutes earlier, then it seems I could then be on time to everything. Hmmm...).

What I'm really trying to say is, you have to decide what it is you want from these shows. What it sounds like to me is a tremendous amount of opportunity. Look at the theater companies and see if that's who you want to be (like the people who are there). That's why I decided to leave my job. I didn't want, in 5 or 10 or 20 years, to be those who are 5 or 10 or 20 years ahead of me here. So goodbye, semi-corporate America and hello little church that doesn't sit you across a big desk to tell you they're offering you a job but rather pulls you out of youth group and shouts over the praise band what your wage will be... life is good.

Now that I've just laid out my thinking for the world, why didn't I just write you an email???

Analyst Catalyst said...

I don't know, but I'm certainly glad that you replied!

The big problem is that I just want to do them all, but each for different reasons.

I'll just have to see what they are willing to swing with.

Anonymous said...

Go with your true heart my love...

Thinking in Ohio said...

Do them all AC!! Just kidding. I wish I had good advice to give. But you know much more about theater than I do. I think Mandy's advice sounds good... but I wouldn't over-extend yourself either. This doesn't come across as arrogant, just another complicated decision of life. Glad mine are this complicated though! If all else fails, talk to your girlfriend, she'll know what to do!