Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Hey, I got a part! I guess I'll be wearing a blue-green coat and driving off-road to all my auditions from now on. The role is Dogberry. I'll admit I'm not too familiar with the play, but from that noble surname I'm guessing he's the dashing young hero who saves the day and wins the fair lady.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
"Hi, it's a pleasure to meet you; my name's Keith," I said, confidently extending my hand and flashing a big, friendly grin, while my car idled two feet behind me, with its front bumper hanging over a precipice and its rear wheel a foot off the ground. OK, let me do something I couldn't do then and back up a bit. I was feeling pretty confident as I drove to my audition on Topanga Canyon Blvd., a twisting road through wooded hills that seem hundreds of miles from L.A. I had a secret weapon to set me apart from the crowd: a blue-green sport coat I picked up for $5 at a thrift store. He won't forget the guy in the blue-green sport coat, I thought. I found the address, saw a sign that said something about parking, turned into what looked like a driveway, and suddenly found myself staring down into a ravine and experiencing a serious loss of traction. I shifted into park, set the hand brake and jumped out, not bothering to take my keys with me. The wide-eyed director arrived on the scene looking more shaken than I felt, and I cheerfully introduced myself. I'm sure I made an impression, and not with my wardrobe. After that, things went pretty smoothly. I showed my AAA card to a towtruck driver who was finishing up with some other poor sap across the street, and a CHP officer diverted traffic for a few minutes while we got the car back on solid ground. So I did a couple of monologues and a cold reading, and what I want to know is, why did my heart start racing and my mouth dry up when I stepped on stage for the umpteenth time but nearly driving into oblivion scarcely phased me?
Saturday, January 28, 2006
My parents were at last night show, along with a couple of Holidaze cast members and a few people from the improv workshop, and they didn't run away in horror. In fact, they stuck around after the show talking, smiling, and laughing. I'd call that a smashing success! In fact, we got some huge laughs, and a couple of them were intentional. I have to say this isn't quite the thought-provoking, heart-rending kind of drama I had envisioned doing when I began this actor's journey. I certainly didn't envision the costume. But this kind of whacky, knockabout comedy is a lot of fun to perform, and, when things work like they're supposed to, to watch. And the bruises barely show.
Friday, January 27, 2006
It's a truism that wherever you go, there you are. But where you are also in part shapes you who are by determining the people you will meet, the things you will see, and the opportunities and obstacles you will encounter. This is not idle philosophical rambling. Well it sort of is, but it's prompted by the fact that my rent's about to go up over 100 percent, so I've got to find a new home. Now, I'm probably not going to go more than 30 miles from my current location. My roots are pretty deep, I've got friends and family here, and I need to be close by when Spielberg calls. ("Mr. Bush, we're looking for some one to play Loser No. 3." "Count me in, Stevarino!" "Never call me Stevarino again.") But 30 miles encompasses a lot of territory in L.A., and I need to think seriously about what it is I'm doing with my life and how much I want to keep doing whatever it is. I hate thinking seriously.
Friday, January 20, 2006
I haven't gone on as many auditions as usual in the past few weeks, partly because of my schedule but also because my headshots don't reflect my current hirsute appearance. Anyone who called me in expecting clean-cut, conservative guy would be disappointed. So, just for the heck of it, I submitted to two or three CDs with an outlandish picture of myself that a fellow cast member took at a recent rehearsal. It's pretty much everything a headshot isn't supposed to be. Yet, within an hour, someone called me to set up an audition. That's a higher success rate than the ones I paid specialists hundreds of dollars for! Maybe I had discovered a secret tool for success. So, after a two-hour drive and a two-minute audition, the director says, "That was great, but the client may be looking for someone more conservative-looking." So, I ask you: What is a headshot for, anyway?
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Monday, January 16, 2006
OK, for the last four Friday's I've been this shockingly over-the-top, in-your-face party guy on stage. So why am I the one at the cast party standing there like a stiff in the background? Oh, well, I had a great time, really. I just internalized it. This Friday I get to try to be even loonier than last week in a brand-new production. I hope there are witnesses. Click on the link to get a sneak preview, right after the cast party pictures. (If you're reading this in the archives, the link may no longer work as advertised.)
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Tomorrow night is the last chance to see me (and some other people) in Holidaze, the show that made the critics say, "A hell of a lot better than A Christmas Carol" (my father) and "Where did we go wrong?" (my mother). Really. Friday night, 8 p.m., 431 N. Brookhurst, a measly $10.