Friday, February 15, 2013

A Fly On The Wall, February 15, 2013

Back in the Thick
by Jim Murchison 

I have never stepped too far away from the theatre. There have been times when my kids were young that I didn’t miss it that much. As they have grown older and require me less my hunger to return has grown. I have worked the box office, subscription campaigns, directed, stage managed, run the lights and acted. This does not make me unusual in the theatre world. 

When you’re a theatre critic, you really get a chance to see a wide breadth of talent. Sometimes, if you’re like me, it gives you the itch to go out and do it again. When I was at a launch for the Gladstone Theatre, I found out the final play had not been cast and that director Eleanor Crowder wanted any man that had ever played a Shakespearean woman to audition, as it was being performed with an all male cast. My interest was peaked and I thought, “Why not audition?" By the way, I had played Lady Capulet in a production of Romeo and Juliet, as well as Mercutio.

So, there I was with a piece from The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream and an Irish war ballad, O'Donnel Aboo. Some of the pieces I auditioned with I had actually performed as recently as 30 years ago. The wonderful thing about nerves, when properly harnessed, is that they infuse you with an exciting energy. The cold reading and the speeches went well, but when I messed up a little on the second verse and belted out with bravado, "I screwed the second verse, O'Donnell Aboo!" that may have been what got me cast.

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