I used to do a fair number of plays, community or school theater productions (not to mention my sketch comedy efforts). Even met Mrs. Nat’s TV when we were both working backstage at a CalTech play (my rare example of working backstage; I’m more interested in acting than in other forms of stagecraft.) But having gotten married, time has flown by, and it’s been more than a decade since I took the stage in front of an audience.
That all fell by the wayside last night, opening night for the Conejo Players production of Heaven Can Wait. I’ve got a smaller but interesting role in it, Inspector Williams; he’s officially “minor”, as he doesn’t show up until Act 3, but he opens the act and is a significant player when he’s there. He’s a guy who is cursed by the fact that he’s actually paying attention to what’s going on.
This is the first time I’ve done a general community theater since moving to California, and being in the greater L.A. area makes it quite different from the community theater that I did in New Jersey, or my efforts with TACIT, which is for the CalTech community. Even though this is as far out as Thousand Oaks, this amateur theater draws some professional actors – not folks who are Big Time, of course, but the sort of regularly-trying-out, sometimes-working actors that make up the larger base of pro actors. So my untrained, haven’t-done-anything-in-a-decade self was competing for parts with folks who take this all seriously, and now I’m on stage with the gal who had to miss a few days of practice because she was shooting night scenes on the new Adam Sandler pic, and I’m dressing with this guy whose letting me know where ABC is having some tryouts for minorities and the disabled, and older folks like us just may qualify, and at the backstage opening night party I was chatting with this guy’s friend, who’s in Second City, and that guy’s wife, who’s a regular on a current prime time network series but is really excited about her upcoming Showtime series. This may be a very small part of the Big Game, but it’s part of the Big Game nonetheless. Not sure what I’m doing there, but I ain’t complaining!