Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Cell Phone Story

Today, I sent out a mass email to all my peeps letting them know I needed their phone numbers because I dropped my cell phone into a water puddle and it got fried. This, however, is not the full, complete, wholely- accurate story. The entire truth is a funny story, or at least, the telling of it is funny.

I have a habit of turning my cell phone to silent/vibration mode when I enter a bathroom for business purposes. My reasoning is that the last thing I want to hear when I'm droppin' some bass* is the theme to "Monty Pyton's Flying Circus" or "The Imperial March", or whichever song is my current ringtone, blaring out of my pants. True, what are the chances of someone calling my cell phone in the brief minutes I spend in the bathroom? Well, it happened once and I rather not be apart of that scene again, thank you.

So, I walk inside the bathroom at work and realize I didn't turn my phone to silent on the walk over. I had just entered the stall and reached into my pocket for it. Once I switched it to vibrate, time slowed down and all hell broke loose. As I tried to return the phone to my pocket, it got caught on the pocket's edge and slipped out of my hands. Like a scene out of a Keystone Cops flick, I flailed about to catch it before it hit the floor. But, it proved to be as slippery as soap in the shower.

Each time I was able to get a hand on the phone, it fumbled away from my grasp. I desparately thrashed and flapped for my phone, until It happened. I failed my dexerity check and rolled a one on the D20 of life. With a barely audible, "plop," my phone sunk like an anchor to the bottom of the toliet tank. My heart sunk like that, too. Thankfully, the person before me flushed.

I stood there heartbroken for what seemed like 30 minutes, though barely a second had passed. I knew what I had to do. And even a day later, ladies and gentlemen, I can't shake the feeling that my hand isn't clean. I've gone through nearly an entire bottle of hand sanitizer since. I've stopped typing this 10 times to bath my hand in anti-bacterical goodness. My mind continues to fool me into thinking there is still a faint odor on my hand.

Is there a moral to this story? Likely, not. But if there is,(*Battle Hymn of the Republic plays softly in the background*) perhaps it's that we all need to stop using cutesy songs and ringtones on our cell phones. Sure, it seems like a good idea at the time - to have that distinctive signal so you know it's YOUR phone annoying the movie patrons. But, in reality, it's just not worth the shit you have to deal with.

*Note: "Droppin' some bass" is indeed a euphamism for #2**.
**Note: #2 is a euphamism for what you think it is.

Friday, June 17, 2005

TomKat's Eiffel Engagement

Tom Cruise Proposes to Katie Holmes

Really, now? Well, any respect I might of had for Katie Holmes has flown out the window. Not so much for getting engaged to Tom Cruise (thereby helping him to continue his perpetrate lie about not being gay). But more so for the first sentence in the last paragraph in that article. She's embracing Scien-friggin'-tology?!?! Does she realize this is a faith that originated from a drunken bet?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Put On A Happy Face...

Ok, so, I think I'm finally ok with being cast as the lead in Bye Bye Birdie. Afterall, it WAS the part I wanted. Besides feeling like I only got the part by default, I was a little bit nervous because now I have to nut up. Well, boy, you asked for the challenge, time to jump.

Yesterday was the first readthrough of the script. And, I realized the part isn't on stage as much as I was thinking. Yes, he's there alot, but there's a fair amount of down time. In fact, I think Amy G, who is playing opposite of me as Rosie, will have more actual time on stage (and will no doubt steal the show). Albert has 3 solos and is one of the leads in a company song. That's not a lot out of about 20 songs. I am already quite familiar with them (been listenin' to the CD for months now).

The challenge will come in two parts. The first is the Happy Face dance, likely to be, at least partially, a tap number. I've never tapped in my life. Never had a dance lesson in my life. Reading through the stage notes describing the action, it seems to be a bit on the pratfally side of things. That's good for me. I can fall.

The second challenge I realized last night. The character has to come full circle and change his priorities. He's a weak, mamma's boy throughout the show. After realizing he's losing his true love, he changes into a strong-willed, charming kind of guy.

To recap, the singing I gots; time to start praying for the dancin' and the actin'.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Albert By Default

Well, I got the part I wanted in Birdie. The lead, no less. Yet, because of the circumstances that cropped up on the last day of callbacks, I can't help but feel like I only got the part because of the circumstances - I'm Albert by default. So, I'm not as happy about getting the role as I thought I would be.

Going into callbacks, it was rather obvious to everyone who was being looked at for what. As I stated before, three people were up for Albert. However, the casting committee had me and another Albert candidate learn and sing "Kids" as we were also possibilities for Mr. Macafee.

It was kind of funny 'cause we were sitting next to each other chitchatting about other local shows when they called him up to sing. He did a fantastic job as he is a very good actor. When he sat back down, he kinda of slapped my knee in a friendly way that said "Beat that!" It struck me funny 'cause I never thought it was a competetion like that. But, if he was gonna throw the gauntlet down, I was gonna accept the challenge.

And I delivered. If it was American Idol, this Bo Bice has just scored major points against his Carrie Underwood. The second challenge was the reading/acting challenge where we did cold readings from the script. Not that I was bad, but he was good. All tied up: Bo 1, Carrie 1. It was to come down to the final night of callbacks.

Then, circumstances changed. I cannot go into the rumors and gossip because I am not going to add to it all. I don't know facts, I only got hearsay and I do not want to play that game. The result of all of this was he had to drop out. And, now I think he would have won the part and I only got it by default.

True, there was a third person, but I don't think he auditioned well with the song. Which is sad because he's a really good singer. Probably what happened was he wasn't familiar with the song and the 10 minutes we had to learn it wasn't enough. I hope he still does the show.

I'm quite conflicted about it all. I mean, yeah for me, I got the part I wanted. But, I really did not want it this way. In truth, I hope I get to work with him someday. He is extremely talented when it comes to theatre. I hope that whatever is happening in his life, he is able to put it behind him. I hope that despite what happened with the show, he would see us as friends. I think that's what JC would want me to do. Not to shun him, but to help him. In truth, I've only met him about a month or two ago and only started getting to know him in the past 2 weeks. But, we were easily getting along, in spite of being up for the same role.

In the mean time, I'll be Conrad Birdie's manager. And learn how the fuck to dance. Now, I am freaking out a little...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Gotta Dance... unless ye be judged...

I’ve never been judged on my looks, at least not so blatently. Surely, someone has taken a look at me and said to themselves, “Um, no.” But I didn’t know about it. No harm, no foul.

For the last few days, I have been auditioning for the lead role of Albert in Bye, Bye Birdie. There are two other persons I’m competing against. All three of us are good to great performers and could work in the role. One of the gents would also be wonderful as Mr. Macafee, while me and the other guy would settle nicely into the chorus if we didn’t get the lead. In other words, the director and her casting crew don’t quite know what to do with us. In all honestly, who plays what will come down to our looks. More specifically, who looks better paired with other parts. So, it’s all about our looks (and I’m not particularly confident that my look is so winning).

Being the tallest, I thought that I might have an inside track. But then, I realized what if the person they cast opposite of Albert was really short. Then, I definitely wouldn’t work. That makes me wonder how tall is too tall. I’m 6’0” (ok, 5’11 ¾” but who is counting?) and I don’t think that’s too tall. Considering the person I’m paired with in marriage is 5’6” or 5’7,”and the ladies auditioning for Rosie, Albert’s girlfriend, are between 5’6” and 5’9,” then why not? Hey, if it works in real life, then it should work on the stage, no? Of course, it doesn’t help matters that Albert is kind of a meek guy. Short works quite well for him, too. I don’t envy the folks that are casting the show.

Why do I want this part? Well, with this body and with this face, there are not many leading type roles out there for me. And, I’m ok with that. Just once though, I’d like to be the leading man, as opposed to the character actor stuff I have done. And why do I want to be the lead once? Quite simply, for the challenge. It’s a goal of mind to be the singing and dancing romantic lead just once.

Believe it or not, I have a great fondness for dancing. How I long have the graceful poise of Gene Kelly. I’m a little too old to start now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try. If I could land the role, dance it half as well, and make my movements seem effortless… well, that’s a challenge I am dying to take on. I have not had any formal dancing training, but I have the dedication it takes to learn any choreography thrown my way (flips with this body, however, ain’t gonna happen). I truly enjoy learning the dance steps to a number. Though all the early frustration, the exhaustion of running it over and over, muscles aching and soaked in sweat, I love it all because the final result is worth it.

That’s why I want this part. Albert has a fun dance number (Put On A Happy Face) and I am dying for the chance to prove to myself that I can do it. I am anxious for the challenge. Honestly, I don’t know if I can do it. But, that’s what it’s about – taking that risk. Yeah, I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get the role, but only because I won’t have the chance (in this show) to attempt the challenge.

Maybe I should sleep with the director? No, I do that already. In the interest of full disclosure, the director is my wife and we’re both taking great pains to ensure that it doesn’t look like I’m being cast because of that relationship. And, in fact, if you know my wife, you know that she doesn’t play games like that. We’re both entirely too professional and all we both want is the best cast for the show.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Hello, Hi, Heya, Hi there...

How do you say hello to someone? Not like when you call someone on the phone or going up to someone you're attracted to an introducing yourself. I mean like on a daily basis saying hello to someone at work as your passing by in the hall. Someone you don't have any other interaction with.

It's kind of rude, isn't it, to just pass by with out acknowledging someone's existence. But, is it worse than meaningless small talk, "Hi," "What's up?" "Nothing, you?" "The same." Both are uncomfortable moments for me.

There's a moment of panic when I see someone coming the opposite way. Do I make eye contact? If I do, then it's really bad not to say hello. If I don't, that's rude, too. Then, once you make eye contact, how do you not have the same, polite small talk everytime you run into this person? Can you really mix it up from "What's up?" to "Howyadoin'?"

Have you ever played the "eye contact" game? That's where you notice someone walking towards you and you have a limited amount of time to decide if you should say hello. To play, you look at the person briefly to see if they are looking at you. Then, at the moment their eyes dart towards you, you look away and pretend you weren't looking at them. This eye tennis goes back and forth until one of three things happen when you meet: someone says hello and the other says hello back, someone says hello and is completely ignored, or neither acknowledge the other. What happens tells you a lot about the other person and yourself.

Yeah for you and the other person if you both acknowledge each other. May you both establish a happy friendship.

Boo to the person doesn't say hello back to another. Expect the same courtesy to be extended the next time you both meet. Maybe even with a slight sour expression to go along with it.

And double boo to you boo for not acknowledging the other. That subtle rejection hurts you both.

*TANGENT* - Make sure if you say hello, you say it LOUD. I tend to make a soft, breathy sound come out of my mouth and all that garners is silence. Then, the other person thinks I'm at least as rude as them for not acknowledging them. With the lack of reaction, I am starting to wonder if I'm just not loud enough for the person to hear my salutations.

The problem with the hallway hello is when you go out of your way to make eye contact, you go out of your way to say hello, and then no response. That's worse than a knife in your back because the other person is basically saying "I'd rather be rude than speak to you." It is especially painful when a hot co-worker does it to you.