The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

Time: March 10, 2003
Place: Douglas Morrisson Theatre
Role: Sammy Goldenbaum
Director: Sue Ellen Nelsen
My Reflections
So I’m at a show and I run into a director. The director says, “I really need you for a part.” Well, I pretty much guess the rest. She’s auditioning for Gypsy a week later and I thought she wanted me to audition for one of the roles.

Okay, I was mistaken.

Turns out she was already directing another show that was to open in two weeks. They had lost an actor and needed the role filled right away. She was hoping I could fill the role. Hmmm…not an easy choice. I had just finished a 5-week run of Oklahoma!, and was looking forward to some down time. Plus, it was at the Douglas Morrisson theatre and would involve Thursday night and Sunday afternoon performances. Ack! So much performing, so little pay (technically no pay).

I was hesitant to take on such a task, but the director called and had a compromise. They had another actor that could split the role. Okay, now I’d only have to be there half the time. That was a better deal, and it would look the same on my résumé. Why not. I accepted the role and learned the part in a week.

It wasn’t a huge role. I played Sammy, the depressed military school student. The character was about 17, which was a little bit of a stretch but somehow I guess I pulled it off. It was nice only having to rehearse a little over a week. Alas, if only more shows could be that way.

Performing the role meant sitting around backstage for most of the show. I had to arrive before the show opened since they begin to fret and worry if one doesn’t appear before the curtain opens. I also had to stay until the end of the show since they like everyone there for the curtain call. Trouble is, my part was in the middle. Oh well. I was able to get a lot of studying done and a small amount of writing.

Well, not much studying was done, but I was able to get some reading accomplished. The role was okay, and only once did I manage to show up on a night that I wasn’t performing. Yeah, THAT was fun. Let me tell ya.

So was the experience worth it? Well, yes and no. Well, just plain no. Sure, it had a few moments, but overall, I probably should have just passed on that one. I will note that the set was very nice.

Oh, and I did get to carry a sword. Gar!

Oh, and another thing—I wasn’t even cast in Gypsy!

Next: I’m in SET HEAVEN!