I just finished my first week of rehearsal for a repertory company here in the Southland. Naturally, I'll be working on stage the next twenty seven weeks in the birthplace of film and television. Go figure. But, hey, acting is acting.
It's a strange sort of homecoming for me. Growing up in the "business" stage work was "real" acting. Film is where you made money. Heaven forbid. "I'm not a sell out," we all told each other from the comfort of acting school, secretly hoping to make a little of that celluloid cash. But, I digress. Back on the stage. It's a strange homecoming.
I've been doing film and television the past several years with only the occasional foray into live theater, usually at the behest of friends trying out new material. In the forward leaning back of my mind I always knew theater was there, and I was a theater guy. "What's that? Camera left?". Actually stepping onto the giant outdoor stage in Topanga Canyon was at once thrilling and stupefying. I hate to admit I found myself more than once thinking, "What am I missing being here?" I'm the first to tell anyone who asks, I always wanted to be a film actor. Even though my safe, secure educational monastery offered NO film training what so ever. I'll skip over the obvious question of why I went to SOU in the first place and just say, acting is acting.
For the first time in a long time I'm booked through the summer. That's not to say I have a show every day, but I have a lot. That's exciting for me. Oh, did I mention it's live theater in the home of film and television? Cue the money.
I did one day on a network television show and made almost eight times what I make in a week on stage. Here's the part where I say I don't do it for the money. But, I do. I do what I love for the money. The fact that I love it doesn't mean I favor indentured servitude. I'm grateful, don't get me wrong. I'll take the stage money. And I'll act. And I'll love it. These figures are for informational purposes only, said the fast talking voice over guy.
Getting cast gives a guy a real sense of accomplishment. Even though at my last agent interview I was told I, "...won't be cast - not right away," - I feel like getting cast pokes holes in that theory. Speaking of, sidebar.
In my last blog I detailed the unfortunate zoom I had with a certain talent agency here in LA. The next day I sent an email begging off, feeling we weren't a good fit. She wrote an abrasive rebuttal making it look like it was her idea. Fast forward to two days ago, she sends another missive asking if I still needed representation and "...we'd like to sign you." Don't that just beat all? Again, I politely begged off for the bad fit thing. Let's see if I hear from her in another month.
Back to live theater. I feel fortunate to exercise my thespian muscles on someone else's dime for the next few months and to hear the crowd again. Merry Wives of Windsor (Hugh Evans) and a new play called Trouble the Water (McGee) give me the chance to make new colleagues, friends and acquaintances and love every minute. Even the trip to the bank. Heck, maybe especially the trip to the bank.
Hey, acting is acting.