What happens when an actor grabs that brass ring at last, the long-running contract? It could be a tour, or a Broadway show, even some regional theatres that operate continuous schedules, producing the same show(s) for years on end? You’ve finally been rewarded for all your efforts, and that reward is…to do the same thing 6 nights a week for the next 6 months, even a year, maybe even longer? How can you manage it?
As a standby in the off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks, I’m often in a Starbucks during most performances, so when it was time to go on for a short time, my initial response was, “Damn, there goes all my free time.” As a parent of two small children, time is at a premium. But you may think I’ve completely missed the boat, that I should be elated at having a performing opportunity—and you’d be right, it just took me a couple of days to get here.
So, the 70th Annual Tony Awards are in the books, and it was a great night! I spent the evening with about a dozen friends, and we had a viewing party. It was awesome! It was like we were in the Beacon Theatre, well, except that we had snacks and weren’t quite as dressed up as the Tony-goers were. And our ballots weren’t quite official.
So, there’s this little show happening on Sunday night. Most of America could care less, but for those of us who LOVE Broadway – it’s our Super Bowl! It’s almost Tony time!!! As a kid growing up in California, I looked forward to this every year. (I know you’re nodding your head right now if you grew up anywhere other than New York thinking, “Me, too!”) It was my only chance to see the people who were on the records (yes, RECORDS) of the Original Broadway Cast recordings that I listened to and memorized religiously.
Art is awesome. I love making art. All I’ve ever wanted to do was tell stories, the kind that help us examine the human experience. That’s what I believe acting to be, particularly in the theatre. Now from a working actor’s perspective, reality has to come into play. You want to do stage work, it’s your passion, but do you remember all the times someone in your past told you that “there’s no money in theatre”? I hate to break it to you, but that person was right. But there’s a way to survive. You can act for a living. But to me, the only way to do it, is by using ALL of the mediums that are out there beyond the stage.