Deaf West Theater’s production of “Spring Awakening” – Review

Deaf West Theater’s production of “Spring Awakening” – Review

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Last night I went and saw Deaf West Theater’s version of “Spring Awakening.” The idea of using a cast of actors, some of which are deaf, to perform a musical is one that takes a second to get used to. However, “Spring Awakening” is perhaps one of the best shows for it. The show focuses a lot on communication, or the lack thereof, between adults and children. As such, a deaf cast would certainly bring a new level/layer to understanding and being frustrated by a communication barrier. Thankfully, the show does not rely on this as a gimmick. Instead, it uses sign language, projected text, and vocalists who perform songs as a mirror/shadow of the deaf actor to enrich the story. As a major fan of the original Broadway production (which I attended four times) I was very familiar with the material, but this production tells the same story in new and interesting ways. Certain moments in the show that I’d glossed over before, felt much more important because of the performances given by the actors. When Wendla begs Melchior to hit her with switch because she has never felt “anything” (a scene I always found problematic in the original Broadway version) the entire cast signs the word “anything.” By punctuating this word, the scene certainly felt more justified than it had before. There were a thousand tiny moments like this in the show, and the actors all give a full out performance that is truly glorious to behold. This makes the quiet and dark moments in the show extra chilling, and the fun bombastic numbers even more engaging.

Ultimately, I wanted to see this show because I’m a huge fan of the musical, and I thought the idea of using a deaf cast was pitch perfect. The show runs till the end of January and I’m trying to figure out if there is a way for me to go again. I know that there are a ton of amazing shows on Broadway right now, but this gem is truly one that should be seen by all people who believe that theatre has power. The story the kids are telling on the stage, is one that deserves our full attention.

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“The Role” by Richard Taylor Pearson – Cover Reveal

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for my upcoming novel “The Role.” Ben Baldwin, the designer, worked closely with me, my editor, and the press, and I absolutely adore the result.

The idea that such a talented artist drew something based on what I wrote is truly amazing. Ben’s interpretations of my characters – some of which are exactly what I pictured, others wildly different – are perfect. As we get closer to the release date, I’ll reveal which actors I would choose to play each character. For now, I’m just happy to look at my cover and know I’m one step closer to publication Without further ado, here it is:

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Title: The Role

Genre: LGBT Fiction

Publisher: Lethe

Publication Date: Spring 2016.

Format: Paperback and E-book.

Preorder it: | Lethe | Amazon |

Author: Facebook | Twitter |

 

Synopsis: Mason Burroughs is an actor on the verge of giving up after being turned away at audition after audition. But his life changes when he bumps into Kevin Caldwell, an old crush from acting school. Kevin helps Mason land a role that could make him the next Broadway star. However, as rehearsals begin, Mason learns that there’s a lot more drama than just what’s on stage. With a personal trainer claiming he can mold his body to resemble a Greek statue, an underhanded understudy waiting in the wings to replace him, a megalomaniacal director, and Kevin hellbent on breaking up Mason and his boyfriend, Mason must choose how much he is willing to sacrifice to make his Broadway dream a reality.

 

 

 

 

China Doll – Broadway – Theatre Patrons be warned – avoid this play!


WARNING THEATRE PATRONS – Avoid “China Doll”

Last night I was given the incredible gift of two tickets to a preview performance of “China Doll” on Broadway. The show stars Al Pacino and is a new play written by David Mamet. For this reason, the tickets are exceptionally expensive. I am sad to report this, but the only thing to applaud about “China Doll” is their marketing. On paper, the play is an easy sell. One would think the combination of “A New David Mamet Play” starring “Al Pacino” would be a natural Broadway Smash, one that would justify the roughly $400.00 ticket price. However, the play is an utter bomb!

Honestly, if Pacino just read the phonebook he’d be more interesting. Instead we watch him yell at people on the phone while ignoring the only other actor on stage. This is made even more maddening by him constantly repeating the same 2 basic “plot points” (if one could even call it that) to these imaginary people while simultaneously speaking in a way to let us know what the theoretical person on the other side of the conversation is saying by constantly repeating it back to them. To make matters worse, the main thing he is talking about is complaining that his attempt to prevent paying $5 Million dollars in sales tax on his $50 million private jet her purchased has failed, and that he might, god forbid, have to pay it. So the play pretty much boils down to an exceptionally wealthy man yelling at the equivalent of customer service about a problem less than 1% of the population could find relatable.

In a 2 hour play, I was so bored and disappointed that about thirty minutes in I kept trying to find something entertaining. While Pacino reiterated his boring plan to avoid sales tax to the 4th theoretical person on the phone, I spent much of my time smirking by seeing that a good portion of the audience had fallen asleep.

Honestly, Pacino does his best, and I blame Mamet for the failure of this piece. Mamet’s terrible writing choices of having Pacino talk to people we never hear or see is bad enough, but he also forces Pacino to say about 90% of the text of the play. To do this Pacino relies on numerous prompts embedded in the set. He literally reads a good portion of the play off of laptops, iPads, and newspapers. In addition, it is painfully obvious that when he is “on the phone” he is being fed his lines remotely. This makes the portions when he is forced to actually speak to the other actor on stage even more painful, as he stumbles terribly, repeating himself and constantly searching for the next line. Pacino is able to play this off in his own way, but he mainly behaves like Jerry Stiller who famously delivered his lines in such an erratic way because he was unable to remember them properly.

The other actor on stage is to be pitied, however he takes his duties to basically be a prompt and prop to heart. His performance, what little of it the play provides, is wooden and he appears to be doing a lot of acting exercises to keep himself entertained while he waits Pacino drowns on stage. His attempts to interact with his co-star are ignored, so I can’t blame him.

Mamet should be ashamed of himself for this, and I feel sorry for Pacino, his co-star, and all the people backstage who are forced to watch this tragedy unfold night after night. The actors certainly try, but they know they are essentially in a zombie play that just needs to be put out of its misery.

My only hope is that, as the play is still in previews, that they fix this. However, to do this, the play would basically need to be completely rewritten.

Accountability for Phase 2

fully edited MS

Pictured above is my fully noted manuscript. It took 6 weeks for me to read and notate my novel (I didn’t spend each hour/day on it, but it took me that long to start the project and finish it) which is really too long. I’m allowing myself to feel less bad about this, as there was plenty of stuff going on in the past 6 weeks to keep me busy, but phase 2 of this editing/revising/rewriting process cannot be allowed to linger on. As a result, I realize I need to be accountable to someone/something about actually doing this. Therefore, I intend to blog everyday, regardless of progress made, to post before the world what what I did each day. This process will officially start on October 5th (a week from today) as I have a big commitment to perform for the NJVLA bi-annual fundraiser this week.

My goal this week is to get a head start, cleaning up the beginning, and just settling into the whole process. My main issues with this have been:

1. There is no good/satisfying way to chart progress in editing/revising/rewriting. It’s not like doing a first draft where word count can give you an idea. So instead of charting it out, I’m simply creating a goal. A minimum of 10 pages a day with a desire to do roughly 25 pages a day. My novel, when printed, is 339 pages long. So this would mean if I only did the minimum, I could get it done is just over a month. This brings me to my second issue/struggling point.

2. As I’ve not officially been offered a publication deal, I’ve got no deadline. I was encouraged to take as much time as I needed, which is the worst thing to say to someone like me. I need a deadline, I work best when there is something driving me. So I’m setting one for myself. Taking into account I’m likely to stumble a bit, I am giving myself 40 days (it worked for Noah right!) to do the edits on this thing. So that would mean I should be done with Phase 2 by November 12th, 2013. That seems OVERLY generous. However, I am trying to create achievable goals, so that’s my date!

3. A third, more elusive, problem I’ve been having is that no one has seemed to care if I get this thing done. Friends assumed, like me, that getting an agent meant that I was no longer alone in this. It’s true, I’m not, but my agent is a busy man. He’s got other clients, and he can’t do much more than tell me me work on my novel. I’m thankful for his infinite patience and belief in me. Whenever I feel like my career as a writer was a silly dream or a fluke, I remember my agent wouldn’t have signed me if I wasn’t doing something right. Also the 20+ people who read and loved THE ROLE, would have put it down if it wasn’t good. Editors wouldn’t have bothered to give feedback or offered to re-read a revised manuscript, if they didn’t see something in me/my writing/my story. So it’s silly of me to complain no one cared. They care, but they can’t do anything more with my novel, until I revise it. So I’ve decided to stop looking out for something to motivate me, and look within. As I finished the last few pages of my novel,  I was touched by how good it is. I was also mortified by the problems that exist with it. There are some balance problems, a few dialogue rough spots, and a section that is kind of a slog to get through. It’s a good story, but with a bit more work, it will be great. However, I can’t expect others to revise the book for me, much like every other step in this process, the bulk of the writing has to be done by me. I’m fortunate to now have editors, an agent, other writers, and friends who can help me when I need it, but I can’t ask for help until I begin.

So those are my problems, and my potential solutions.

Time for me to once again put my fingers on the keyboard again, and get writing! Stay tuned for daily updates on the process!

The Return to the Stage

Not an actual photo of me

So, I’ve been writing a book about the life of the theatre, but I haven’t been in a show in a year. Whereas much of the work is utter fiction, it has been informed by my 20 years of stage experience. However, lately, the story has seemed to be less and less authoritative, as I get closer to the end. Still I was really hesitant to do another show.

I am unemployed, and for that reason, I consider writing selfish. BBE (well I guess now that we are married he is BHE) is working hard to support us, and I’m working hard on balancing an aggressive job hunt and finishing my novel. So the idea of doing a show has felt like it was more than I could handle. Especially since doing a show for free costs a lot of money for me. However, I also felt that doing it, might help me out in a lot of ways. It would give me a schedule, physical activity, and inspiration. It was also hard for me to acknowledge that 2011 would be the first year in 18 years that I had not performed on stage. So, when I saw a posting for a theatrical company looking for male actors, I decided I would audition. The phrase that caught my attention the most was

“We are always looking to form lasting relationships with our collaborators, and hope to find actors that interested in the same.”

While this kind of language can be found in many theatre companies, I was drawn to this statement for this ad. If they needed male actors, and were serious about this desire, I might find a place in NYC, that thinks of me once in a while for a show. As I turned 30 this year, it is undeniable that I am aging out of the roles I know how to play well. Many roles are now open to me, but it will require people to take a chance on me. That’s what every actor requires, but in the business, you know what have to understand what your own limitations are. Even if I did everything perfectly in an audition, there are some characters it would be laughable for me to play. While this is hard to face, I don’t really take it personally. I don’t do theatre to be THE STAR. I do it to tell a story, and the story is going to be told better, if the audience doesn’t have to suspend their disbelief unnecessarily.

I was particularly excited because it is a new work. My book involves people putting on a new show, which I have less experience with. I am hoping this will help fill in some details. In many ways this is research, but also something personally fulfilling. Since getting married, I’ve been lazy about exercise. Now that I am in a show, I am hoping I will be inspired to work out some more.

I hope doing this show is the right choice.

For those of whom would like to know more about the show itself, you can learn all about it by clicking the image below.

Actor – How did I not know this?

Today I had a small revelation. While watching the final season of Slings and Arrows, I decided to look up the plot to Troilus and Cressida. When doing so, I was reminded of the ambiguous relationship that Achilles is said to have with Patroclus. In looking up more about Patroclus, I found out that he is the grandson of someone named “Actor.” Wading through Wikipedia, I decided to learn more about that name and found the following information.

Actor (Greek: Ἄκτωρ; gen.: Ἄκτoρος) is a very common name in Greek mythology. Here is a selection of characters that share this name (which means ‘leader’, from the verb άγω: to lead or carry, to convey, bring):

  1. Actor, a king of Phthia, was said to be the son of King Deioneus of Phocis and Diomede, or of King Myrmidon and Peisidice, daughter of Aeolus. Some say that Actor died childless, but others say that he is the father of Eurytion, his successor.
  2. Actor, son of Deioneus and Diomede, daughter of Xuthus, thus a brother of Asterodeia, Aenetus, Phylacus, and Cephalus. This Actor married Aegina, daughter of the river godAsopus, and had several children, among them Menoetius. Menoetius was counted among the Argonauts, and was the father of Patroclus (Achilles’ best friend or lover).
  3. Actor, son of Azeus, descendant of Phrixus, was ruler of the Minyans of Orchomenus. He was father of Astyoche, who was seduced by the war-god Ares and bore him twin sons, named Ascalaphus and Ialmenus. These last two led the Minyan contingent to the Trojan War.
  4. Actor, son of Phorbas and Hyrmine, thus a brother of Augeas. He was king of Elis, and founded the city of Hyrmina, which he named after his mother. This Actor married Molione and became by her father of the twins known as the Molionides, Cteatus and Eurytus.
  5. Actor, son of Hippasus, one of the Argonauts.
  6. Actor, son of Oenops, brother of Hyperbius. He was among the defenders of the Borraean Gate at Thebes when the Seven Against Thebes attacked the city.
  7. Actor, father of Sthenelus. Sthenelus followed Heracles in his campaign against the Amazons and was killed by them.
  8. Actor, one of the companions of the exiled Aeneas. He is probably the same who in another passage is called an Auruncan, and of whose conquered lance Turnus made a boast. This story seems to have given rise to the proverbial saying “Actoris spolium” (“the spoil of Actor”), for any poor spoil in general.
  9. Actor, father of Echecles. His son married Polymele, mother of Eudorus by Hermes.
  10. Actor, a warrior in the army of the Seven Against Thebes. He saw a chasm open in the earth that swallowed Amphiaraus.
  11. Actor, a Lapith. He was killed by the CentaurClanis.
  12. Actor, son of Acastus, was accidentally killed by Peleus while hunting. As a retribution, Peleus sent to Acastus some cows and sheep that had been killed by a wolf sent byThetis.
  13. Actor and Eurythemis were in one source called parents of Ancaeus and grandparents of Agapenor.
This was shocking to me. I had never realized that so many people were named Actor. I am sure I read it in passing, but it never seemed to click with me until today. I did know that the term “actor” that we use today to mean performer, is not what the Greeks referred to them as. Our use of the term “actor” came into popular use around the 1600’s. (According to the dictionary it was 1580’s). Still, I thought this was interesting, and I wanted to share. 

Company – 2011

Since it has been a long time since I have reviewed anything, I figured I’d give my thoughts on the current broadcast of  the musical “Company” which was performed with a star studded cast at Lincoln Center, and can now be viewed for a limited time at a local movie theater near you.
I’ll be try to be short, but it is Company, and the movie is almost 3 hours long.
It’s a mixed bag. The opening is not great. Patti Lupone visibly, and, more importantly, audibly doesn’t sing in most of it. Leaving us to recognize that she was needed. So it gets off to a really rocky start. Thankfully Stephen Colbert and Martha Plimpton are amazing. I’ve never seen that scene done better.
Unfortunately it is a while before you get to something applause worthy again. “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” is kind of a mess vocally, and while Christina Hendricks looks great, but her performance is really uneven. Vocally she is fine, but she isn’t great. The woman who plays Kathy is really pretty, but she has a weak voice. More on her later.
 Marta (the crazy one) is also stunning, but she really can’t handle her “Another hundred people” song. All of her top notes are weak, and she is working so hard, that it just falls apart. I assume it was one of those “better live” moments (like in American Idol) because the audience went crazy, but for me it was excruciating. Normally, I’d think the fact she was less than pitch perfect was what annoyed me, but honestly…it wasn’t that she was flat vocally, it was that she was also flat dramatically, that did it. It was just boring. No one applauded that performance in the theatre.
The highlight of the entire performance has to be the scene leading up to “Not Getting Married”, as well as the song and the scene which follows it.  Again, it was the best I’d ever seen that scene. It really got me jazzed for Act 2.
The cast was a lot better in “Side by Side” at the Tony awards than they were at Lincoln Center. When the number was 1\2 done, I started checking my watch, and was amazed it just kept going and going. The big finish is good, but they go a little to far with it. I find nothing worth mentioning until that strange “Darling. I worry” song. This was really well done, and I felt the best/smartest bit of direction they ever had. the director actually lets us see Bobby seduce April, and it kind is a way to clearly demonstrate that Bobby isn’t quite as sad as they think. I always knew that, but I enjoyed having a side by side comparison.
Then something really strange happens. A big dance number happens while Bobby and April have sex. While this helps justify the casting of Kathy, who is  very pretty and an amazing dancer, it looks like it is out of a bond opener or Charlies Angels. I will say it is well danced, but I wanted it to end about 3 minutes sooner than it did. I also wasn’t sure that the additional lines that they added were alright. They felt a little too perfect, lending itself to be a bit too cliche for a Sondheim musical.
I may be wrong, but I think they added to the scene where Bobby shows up with Marta to hang out with the married couple with the Southern wife which are happily divorced but still together. There is this whole thing where the husband hits on Bobby. It was good, well written, and something I kind of always felt should be there. In fact, all the couples seem to hit on Bobby.
Patti Lupone really slays  “Ladies who Lunch.” Honestly, I’ve always found her interpretation of Sondheim a bit shallow, but she dug down for this one. She really gives Elaine Stritch a run for her money. I would have given her a standing ovation at Lincoln Center. It’s almost worth it to just see that. Everyone in the movie theatre applauded, and the Lincoln center people go nuts. It was nice to see someone really take an emotional song and interpret it. Having not seen that since Colbert early in act one.
Neil Patrick Harris also has a really rough first act. I’ve always been a bit critical of his vocal work, and while I was willing to give him a lot of room for error here, the sad truth is that  the role is too big for him. He does better in act two, but right when you think you love him again, “Being Alive” just doesn’t soar right.  He falters vocally in the beginning of the song, and he tries to get out of it, but the second he starts focusing on his vocals, the whole piece falls apart. With all his energy spent singing, he doesn’t really act, and so the show ends on a note that while technically accurate, is devoid of the real emotion and heart of the song.
What I found most intriguing about this show was that it was a lot darker than the Raul Esparza version. Some of it was that material had been added or modified. Other parts were just that the actors were willing to go there. I really liked that part. On the whole I found the show a lot better acted (with some exceptions) than the other versions I’ve seen. And that really went a long way with me. It is a good production, and definitely worth seeing. I just wanted it to be something more iconic, more perfect. If someone only was going to see it once. I’d say watch the recording of the production starring Raul Esparza. It is a better show. I think it is clear that a production of Company gets better with an ensemble that is heavily rehearsed. The weakest link in the Neil Patrick Harris version are the group numbers. They are really bad. The individual scenes are much better, but with the exception of the 3 scenes I praised, the Raul Esparza production is vastly superior.

A bit much?

So I am writing a section in my novel. I’m wondering if it is a bit too much/over the top on romantic imagery. Everyone complains about how in Twilight the character Bella always talks about how hot Edward is. I’m wondering if I am doing the same.

I might have opened the door, but it is Caleb that walks through. Through his eyes the room is a medieval throne room. I can hear the flicker of the candles in the chandelier above. I smell the strange scent of cold stones and spice in the air. I feel my heart beat fast, when I see Ezio for the first time. As Caleb, I ignore my general routine of doing the opposite of my instincts, and let myself drink in Ezio’s image. Bare chested, it is easy to see how perfectly symmetrical his muscle tone is, a product of exercising for vanity, instead of working. Regardless how he got it, it is beautiful, and I am drawn to him like a magnet. I tell myself I need to stop moving so fast, that I should focus on how Caleb is feeling about every single step, but I cannot find the will to slow down.

As I get closer I finally manage to take my eyes off of Ezio’s chiseled frame, and once I see his face my pace seems to naturally come to a crawl. Only gods would have the knowledge on how to construct a face so perfectly, for even if I were allowed to choose every aspect of my own visage, I would never have come close to this. If I could wear a mask, it would have his features. Full red lips, dark and long eyelashes, but it is really his eyes that make everything work, two apatite gems sparkling behind the most flawless of faces.

Thoughts?

Work

So my last post was a little negative. I thought I’d share that I found an outlet for my fiction and am currently working on it. Here is a snippet of what I am working on:

Chapter 4

“Mr. Boroughs, thank you for staying with us. Have you familiarized yourself with the material?” the goateed man asked.

“Yes, I have. It’s practically memorized.” I said trying to sound confident without being boastful.

“Excellent. Before we begin I’d like to talk to you for a few moments. For starters, I’m David Stein, I’m in charge of casting, and I’m a co-producer with our author, Colin Shapiro, who is this man to my right.” Stein says.

“A pleasure to meet you. I love what I’ve read so far.” I say to them as I smile and nod.

“And I am James Merchant, the director.” Declares the short bearded man on the left. The second I hear his name my heart skips a beat. James Merchant is one of the biggest directors in New York now. I’d seen his work, and even read about him, but I always assumed he would look different. Taller, and more…refined.

“It’s an honor sir. I saw your production of Much Ado about Nothing three times last year. It was incredible.” I gush sounding more like a fan boy than I mean to. The second the words leave my lips I regret them, and am trying to remember everything I said to him before I knew who he was.

“Did you now? That’s good to hear. However, Masque is a different animal despite the similarity in language.” He says.

“I understand. Is there anything I should know before we begin?” I ask hoping to a little direction.

“I’m sure there are a great number of things you should know, but right now I’m only interested in one thing. Chemistry. We’ve seen a lot of people for this role, seasoned professionals, even a celebrity, but they lacked the ability to connect to our leading man. The role requires an actor to not simply keep up with him, but to challenge him, and for some reason this has been difficult to find. So chemistry, Mr. Boroughs, is was I am looking for.” Says Merchant as he orbits me, evaluating every inch of me.

“He must be quite an actor.” Is all I can think of saying to reply.

“Well you would know wouldn’t you? I thought you two were friends.” Says Merchant extending his right hand toward Kevin, and placing his left at the small of my back. His hands are rough and cold, and my body spasms at the touch. Normally I would be so concerned with the fact that his fingers touched my bare flesh, meaning my vest has ridden up to exposing my holiday weight, but I am too confused to care.

“Kevin is the lead?” I ask for confirmation.

“Yes. Didn’t you know?” Asks Shapiro.

“He said he was the reader.” I reply.

“Well I am. It was the only way I could be part of the casting process without suspicion.” Kevin explains.

“I see someone is already getting into character. Practicing deception before we even begin rehearsals.” Shapiro says with a nod of approval.

“It would seem so Colin. Well that should make this somewhat interesting, so while the moment is still fresh, let us begin.” Says merchant returning his seat, and locking his eyes on me.

In this moment I am flooded with so many emotions. My brain feels foggy from the confusion of Kevin’s little e trick, I am nervous to have for a scene partner, especially with a director like James Merchant staring at me with such scrutiny. Chemistry. He wants chemistry. I’m not even sure what that means, and I feel myself shrinking in the room. This is why I play lackeys, my job is to make the lead look good. Challenge him. Challenge Kevin. The idea turns my stomach, as if to physically manifest a rejection of the very nature of the idea. I realize that time is going by, and that I’ve been staring at nothing for at least a minute. I have to snap out of it, so I tell myself to take another moment, to breathe, and then I force myself to look at Kevin and begin.

“Your Lordship has been most kind in inviting me to dine here, but soldiers are not used to supping on delicacies such as these. Surely you waste your finery on a man such as I.” I say to Kevin, my Count Ezio, and the line mirror my mind. I’m out of my class pretending to be Caleb.

“All men appreciate the pleasantries I provide. So worry not, my dear Caleb, what kind of man you are, not how refined a palate you may have. I devote my time to perfecting the guest list, your nutrition I leave to the masters of the kitchen.” Replies Kevin in a velvety tone locking his eyes on me and extending his hand toward mine.

My first impulse is to deliver my line as someone who ahs been bewitched by Kevin’s charms, but my brain keeps hearing James Merchant’s request to challenge him, and so I fight my lackey nature, and leave Kevin’s hand in the air.

“Yet I see your lordship has failed to invite anyone else tonight. Surely your judgment is something queer If I am your only guest.” I say demanding Kevin work harder if he wants to seduce this Caleb.

“Perhaps my judgment of you is somewhat affected. It was my thought that a private supper would be best for us. I am told soldiers prefer more intimate affairs.” Says Kevin redoubling his efforts to have Ezio ooze charm.

“Some do. Many find the constant company of their platoon tiresome.” I say with detached indifference.

“My thoughts exactly. Are you such a solder? Do you hold dear evening such as these, where one may relax behind closed doors?” Ken asks taking my hand in the same swift elegant gesture he had used this morning.

“Sometimes my lord. I have always felt that it depends on the company I keep. But I assure you that, as I’ve never dined with nobility before, this is a night I shall never forget.” I say, and although I once thought this was an indication of Caleb’s giving in to Ezio’s advance, my intonation is as intentionally evasive as the words Caleb speaks. I see now that Caleb is a mystery, and this is what causes Ezio to try so hard. Realizing this I drop Kevin’s hand, and walk toward the chair that Kevin sat in at the corner of the room.

“Oh, my little Caleb, think not of me as your lord tonight. Call me Ezio, I would like us to be friends. Will you embrace me as you do your fellow soldiers?” Asks Kevin, as he approaches me in my corner, leaving me nowhere to run.

“Ezio, I will gladly embrace you, but do not ask it as a comrade. If we are to be friends, I hope you never know the life of a soldier. The horrors there are not for a man as refined and fragile as yourself.” I say, and choose to give him a stiff hug instead of a tender one. I wait for Kevin to let go, but instead he pulls me forward into a tight embrace. My head rests on his chest, due to our height different, and I look up at him with a pleading look on my face, this causes him to smile ever so slightly, cup his hand to my jaw, and then kiss me ever so gently. For a brief moment I feel elated, Kevin’s soft full lips are so different from Eric’s that I feel compelled to linger to explore the sensation, but as my guard drops further, Kevin begins to press harder, and I jerk away from him once I feel his tongue attempt to invade my mouth. Furious that he would try this in the middle of an audition I shoot him a look of anger and betrayal. My mind goes blank, I cannot remember Caleb’s next line, and when I look down to find my place in the script I see that I must have dropped the pages during the kiss.

“Let’s stop there shall we?” Merchant says as I am about to bend over and collect the script.

“Sorry, I lost my place for a moment.” I say.

“Oh, don’t apologize Mr. Boroughs. I rather appreciated your interesting interpretation with those lines.” Says Merchant as he is looking at the papers on the table.

“Yes, well it would be hard not to lose your place when Mr. Connor’s decides to embellish the script. I don’t recall adding a kiss there James.” Says Shapiro.

“Sorry, it just felt right. I felt like I was running out of options.” Kevin apologizes.

“Yes, it surely seemed you were. Though I am not sure Ezio would be so brash. This play is all about seduction, it needs to be slow, to really rev up the tension. Though Colin, I think a kiss in that scene might help. We all know what sells.” Says Merchant to Shapiro who shakes his head in disapproval.

“Mr. Boroughs, thank you so much. I believe we’ve seen enough to make our decision.” Says Stein.

“Oh, alright. Well thank you. Thank you so much. It’s been an honor.” I say, and quickly make my exit before I have a chance to embarrass myself further.

“Hold up! I’ll walk with you.” Says Kevin as he chases after me.

“We are not through with you Mr. Connors. We still need to discuss some matters with you.” Stein says like a teacher telling a kid he cannot go out and play.

“ Oh…right. Well I’ll see you then.” Says Kevin with a short wave that feels so inconsequential compared to the intimacy of the scene that happened moments before. Taken aback by how quickly he returned to being so professional I simply nod to him and close the door.

The entire experience has left me light headed, and before I know it I’ve boarded the subway home. I don’t recall speaking to Jerry, and for a moment on the train I feel guilty for failing to say good-bye. The train is crowded, and though I wish I could sit down, I don’t get to do so until I flop down onto the couch inside the apartment. Before I know it, I close my eyes and fall asleep.

Actor Dreams

So a general dream I have when I am doing a show is that I show up to perform something, but learn that we have completely changed the show, and I am expected to go on in a few moments to perform a show I’ve not learned. It generally leads to me doing all sorts of things backstage to learn the lines and blocking for the next scene.

I don’t normally have this dream when I am not in a show, but last night I did. In my dream I was supposed to be performing “The Scarlet Pimpernel” but the music director was angry. She had booked us to perform at this opera house, but they wanted to use their conductor and orchestra. So she decided that instead of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” we would be performing something by Shakespeare. Apparently everyone got this memo, except for me. So I showed up, and learned I had a lead role, and immediately started memorizing lines. One of my fellow cast mates was apparently a bit off that day, because she was distracting me by telling me she had picked out her wedding dress. Unfortunately, it was not a dress at all! It was a Heidi-esque jumper. I ended up leaving the room to study my lines, and the room I entered was a big swimming pool. I learned my lines, and thankfully I woke up before I got pushed out onto stage.

Normally my dreams are a lot like that, except I get pushed out onto stage and kind of stumble through the scene. Sometimes I change a line, since I don’t remember one, and it completely screws up the plot. So then we have to find a way to resolve the additional problem I added.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I posted, and this was on my mind. Anyone else have any particular dream like this? Other actors? Do you dream something like this about a different profession?

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