Adventure Re-post!

Almost exactly a year ago I had just arrived back in Cincinnati after a 35 year hiatus. I was barely moved in when I had to pack up the Mini-Cooper (again) and take off for Lancaster, Pa. for a role in a show I’d never done before with a theater I had never worked at before. First off, it was a great experience with a really good, talented cast, and management that treated its performers well. And in my 40+ years of performing I’ve worked for plenty of groups that don’t. It’s amazing how many people of the outskirts of performing think that actors, dancers, musicians, well, artists in general, just roll out of bed in the morning, smoke a joint, lay around all day and then go create art. I’m sure some do (lucky bastards) but most artists have to study, practice & work a regular gig in addition to trying to create for a living. It’s not easy and the business can be very unkind. So a production team that does well by it’s “talent” is a cherished thing…

…but I digress…

So I packed up and left for the unknown. For a couple months in Pennsylvania and a couple months in Florida. All around it was a cool experience and sort of got my foot in the metaphorical door of some performing opportunities here on the right side of the U.S.

So, now, here I go again. Same theaters, same schedule, similar role. Kind of an older, repressed, “wet blanket” dude, but instead of trying to stamp out rock & roll, this time I’m trying to stamp out dancing. OK, in the theater world being type cast is not the worst thing in the world. Cause, see, there’s the word “cast” in there. Cool. And actually, this type of roll usually has a nice character arc to it, which appeals to my tiny actor’s heart. But enough actor talk. The cool thing is it’s another adventure. Another chance to work with really good people. another chance to discover new places and see new things. and it brings to mind my post from last year, in which I quote a poem from “The Lord of the Rings”. Not the movie, the book. The movies were fine, but didn’t even have time for Tom Bombadill, much less all of the poems. So, here’s a revisit to my Adventure post from last March.

I’m a LOTR nut.

If you don’t know what “LOTR” is, then you’re not an LOTR nut.

My friend Jenny is.

In fact we just found this out about each other. And it was related to running. Because we are both runners. Jenny will deny this. Because she is not a fast runner, and she doesn’t run all that often. But you run. So you’re a runner. End of story…..

….but I digress…

“LOTR” is Lord of the Rings. The series by J.R.R. Tolkien which is, in my experience, the best long version fantasy story ever written. This is a subjective thing, I know. That’s why I said “in my experience”. Jenny and I both signed up for a virtual race based on the LOTR series without knowing that the other had. It really was kinda ingenious of the folks who put the “Conqueror series” together. You pay to run where & whenever you want to, log the miles, pay the fee, and a medal shows up at your door. A LOTR themed medal. Actually I think there are 4 legs to this challenge, so you do that 4 times. And I will. Cause I’m gonna run anyway. And the medals will be cool.

BTW, what the heck was this blog about anyway?

OK, a new adventure. That’s right.

Tomorrow I head off to Pennsylvania to start rehearsals for a show. A musical called “Rock of Ages”, which is actually just a bunch of 80’s songs which they strung together with a very thin, predictable but kinda funny script. Don’t watch the movie. Really. Don’t.

We rehearse in Pa., do 4 weeks at a theater there, then take the production to another theater in Ft. Myers Florida and do 6 weeks there. I’m not getting rich but I’m getting paid. So there’s that.

I think one of the cool, valuable things about this is that I’m hopping in my car, driving to a theater I’ve never worked in before, with a bunch of people who know nothing about me. All they are going to know is what they see.

Can I sing? Can I act? Can I dance? BTW, the answer to the 3rd one is “no”.

I think this is a blessing. It’s the cool, challenging thing about live theater. You have to prove it every day, all the time. I have to stay in decent shape, physically and vocally. I have to study, practice, be bad, get notes, work to improve. And yes, there will be days, in the next 3 months, where I say ” why do I put myself through this? I don’t need to. I could make this money without the hassle”. But the hassle is good. The hassle gets me out of bed in the morning, gets me to the gym, to the vocal studio, away from the food and cocktails and the socializing that I love so much. Now, will I still find time for those things. If you know me, you know the answer to that question. But as much as I dislike the term “moderation”, I hate being bad on stage even more. So there’s that.

And yes, I still like the travel. I’ve never spent much time in Pa., in Amish country. Maybe I’ll love it. I KNOW I love south Florida. And when I get back I’ll resume my new affair with my old flame, Cincinnati. Until or unless the next adventure comes along.

Now what does this have to do with The Lord of the Rings?

There’s a song that Bilbo sings as he is leaving the Shire after giving the One ring to Frodo. It occurs several times in the story, and my new adventure brought it to mind.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

Before you ask, no. I have never worn elf ears or attended a Comicon, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Talk later,


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