Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Well, I was already in Memphis, regional auditions wouldn't be until Spring...why not do a couple of shows? And so I did. First up was Quartermaine's Terms, featuring a subset of the Nicholas Nickleby company. And then Baby.  I went from the nerdly Derek Meadle to the macho Nick Sakarian, proving perhaps that I am neither entirely nerdly nor entirely macho. Both shows were at Theatre Memphis, a community theatre with resources many professional theatres would have killed for.

It was tempting to stay around Memphis; I had an offer of a show to do there. It was tempting. But I was determined to be a professional actor, which was something you basically couldn't be in Memphis at that time. So I left, and went back to Galveston for the summer. That was some kind of turning point for me. We did the same two shows as in 1984, The Lone Star and Hello, Dolly! The best part was that we did a pre-show barbershop quartet before Dolly, which was a blast and started a trend. This year we were "The 7:50 Special". Or, "The $7.50 Special".

In Tin Can Alley, our show-after-the-show tradition, we did Trouble in Tahiti, and I was Sam. Another great experience.

At some point, I started understudying Equity actors and earning Equity candidacy points in Galveston. If it wasn't this year, it was certainly the next. But that's what kept me returning to Galveston, summer after summer. And it did come in handy.

Then, I guess I went to SETCs, turned 23, and got a gig at Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, playing Ito in Mame. I always thought Jonathan Pryce should have been allowed to play the Engineer in Miss Saigon on Broadway, but only if he had to do equal time as Ito in Mame at a dinner theatre in Illinois.

According to Wikipedia, this is the year Pixar was founded, although The Adventures of André and Wally B. came in 1984. But clearly, big changes were taking place in the world of animation. Also, I remember seeing The Great Mouse Detective, and thinking it was a big improvement over the last few Disney animated features. Big changes were happening there, too. But animation was not much on my mind. I was a Professional Actor.

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