Sunday, April 11, 2010

Life Less Sordid

Yesterday was a full day of theatre.

During the day, Uncle P presided over auditions for the JTMF production of Sordid Lives. Thank goodness I'm the kind of director who pre-casts as much as he can. Now, I can hear the screams of actors all over, decrying the practice, but every director worth his (or her) salt wants to use people he (or she) knows will give him (or her) the kind of performance he (or she) is looking for. (OK - enough of that. From now on, "he" will be the pronoun of choice, here. That's not meant to be sexist, but merely practical).

Anyway, a JTMF show is a rather unique animal, and we can afford to pick and choose most of our casts in advance. And truth be told, we look for shows which not only will appeal to our core audiences and reflect the values and sensibilities of what we are doing, but those that will also best utilize our core talent pool. And honestly, I don't know a director who reads a script without imagining actors he knows in roles. Thankfully, Sordid Lives is an almost perfect show for us. It has an LGBT theme; it's a comedy and it can be produced rather simply.

Personally, if I had my druthers, I would only do shows in which Dear D, K and Q have pivotal roles. In this case, all three were perfect, but only two were available. Still, as Meatloaf once crooned, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. So, I went to Plan B. What other actors did I know who were right? Thankfully, seven other talented folks were all available and actually excited to take part. So that left three roles left to fill. Sadly, of the several folks who made audition appointments, only three showed up. And of those three, only one was usable (and actually quite good). So, my producer and I and made a few phone calls, sent out a few emails and were able to fully cast the show by 5 PM. You can read the complete cast list by clicking on the link to the JTMF blog on the left hand side of your screen, should you be so interested. The bottom line is, I am thrilled with my cast and can't wait for our first read-thru on the 27th.

Feeling really good, K, Q, Dale and I met for dinner at a local favorite Italian place before heading off to see a most excellent student production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Q's and my alma mater. I knew very little about the show, but was pleasantly surprised by the production. Not only was the show hilarious, poignant and original; it was most excellently cast with a group of exceptionally talented students who pulled out all the stops and gave it their all.

Days like that tend to restore my faith in not only theatre, but the Arts in general.

Today, of course, was spent on more mundane matters like changing curtains, grocery shopping and doing laundry. But when the weather is as good as today's was, and the day before proves to be as fulfilling as yesterday was, it makes me think that perhaps the world isn't such a horrible place, after all.

I honestly hope all of you had as good a weekend as I did. I can only hope the rest of the week (month, year) will prove to be as satisfying.

More, anon.

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