Thursday, August 22, 2013


In February, we did another reading of the Houdini musical. This, I guess, was a time of a lot more auditioning, without a lot to show for it. Sometimes, there are downtimes.

But on the upside: Laura and I got married! We planned the whole thing, and got married on her grandparents' farm in Perry, OK. Lots of friends came, and read or sang at the wedding. Honeymoon was at the Grand Canyon, where we camped out.

Then, back to New York. Through connections Laura made while waiting tables, Brian Maffitt and I got a neat little gig doing animations for the nationally-syndicated Jon Stewart Show. At this point, Brian was still doing almost all of the animation, and I contributed writing and also did all the audio. Very neat to see our work on TV!

My great friends at Seaside Music Theater offered me the part of Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden in the summer, and I leapt at the chance. This, along with Rutledge in 1776 the previous year, are probably my favorite roles I've ever done. A beautiful experience.

While down in Daytona Beach, I made overtures to the folks at Disney World that I might be interested in coming back. Laura and I had talked, and we both felt ready to leave the city. I believe Laura auditioned for The Voices of Liberty up in New York. We both got hired: she with that group, and me to sing Italian songs in Alfredo's restaurant at Epcot.

I have to say that if I have a regret in life, it is perhaps leaving New York at this point. I just got worn down by the grind. Laura did too. But I wish I had made it to Broadway, because that's the one thing everyone knows about stage acting in America: "Have you performed on Broadway?" And I have to say "No, I haven't." (Yet!)

And yet, much good came from this move. We packed up a truck, and left. Got an apartment pretty close to Disney territory. Berkeley and Camilla made the trip just fine.

I turned 32.

Singing in the Voices of Liberty is hard work. My job, however, was ridiculously easy. We sang four 30-minute sets an evening between the hours of 5:30-9:20pm, five nights a week. That was considered a full-time job at Disney. Afterwards, thanks to the generosity of the Alfredo's owners (not Disney), we were welcome to order anything off the menu — including wine — and eat there. Insane. Artistically, it wasn't doing a single thing for me. But the work was so easy, and the money quite good, and I'm ashamed to say I'd probably still be doing it today if it had been up to me.

And so, in this epic travelogue, we leave one era, The New York Years, and begin another.

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