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My name is Will Rogers, I'm (roughly) 25 years old, and I'm confused by mostly everything. All I do is write and talk.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sweeney Todd

I'm jumping right in.

So Allie found out that the local theater is putting on a production of Sweeney Todd. The only background you need for this, essentially, is that Allie and I were in plays together in high school. Once she found out that they were doing this, she immediately told me that I should audition.

That I NEED to audition.

It was said with that very specific urgency, that makes it clear that that this isn't a suggestion. But it's not an order, either. It's something else. It's a strongly encouraged opportunity that, if you don't take it, you're making a big fucking mistake.

I'm not auditioning.

Not out of some look-at-how-cool-I-am bullshit. I think. But I'm definitely not auditioning for the show. Why should I?

My viewpoint on the matter is that, yeah, I was in TWO WHOLE SHOWS in HIGH SCHOOL. Who cares? I enjoyed them, sure. They were a really big deal at the time, but now it's not something I'm interested in.

(Full disclosure: I'm pretty intensely interested in performance and storytelling and stuff. So I definitely understand the reasoning behind the strong suggestion. For example, I recently auditioned for an acting agency. I'm irrational, but nonetheless...)

Sweeney Todd is a really really entertaining play. I'm a fan. Not a huge fan, but I like that show. I've always thought it would be funny if I could produce a version of the play expressly based on the movie. From memory. For the sole purpose of having the audience think, "why are they adapting the movie into a play? Are they stupid?" That's what I want.

I bought the soundtrack to the movie on iTunes. It's not because I think it's superior to any play version, but just because the movie is my main exposure to the show and I like it. I sing the songs. Even when I'm not actually playing the songs from my iPod. I like this show.

Allie knows ALL of this. I still don't want to be in the damn show. But I have very specific, very valid reasons.

I'm 24 years old and fat. Those are the facts. The plot of this show revolves around a barber who was young and married a young beautiful woman, but the town's judge (the villain) cooked up a reason to have this barber exported so that he could steal the wife. The man returns at least 18 years later as Sweeney Todd, and along with woman who owns his old house, he plans to kill the judge. Sweeney Todd and the woman are insane, and now he'll pose a barber to practice killing people so he's ready for the judge, and she'll repurpose the bodies by making pies out of them to keep her business going. Win-win. Great show. But again. I'm a fat 24 year old.

This show is comprised almost exclusively of middle aged men. Who aren't fat. Specifically. Very specifically.

I brought this point up. It was waved away.

I enjoy singing. I personally think I'm a decent singer, but I'm also socially conscious. It doesn't happen much, but when it happens, I pay attention: if I happen to be singing, anybody nearby turns away, politely. It's no big deal, I don't care, I sing for no reason other than fun, but clearly other people aren't impressed. Sweeney Todd is a musical.

Again, this argument is nothing.

I can't do a British accent. Non-issue.

I don't want to do this fucking play. I'm perfectly happy to be on stage or talk in public, but I don't know how well I can act for a couple of hours. I'd LOVE to get up in front of people to say whatever I want, but acting? Being dramatic and singing? I'm not interested.

The way I see it, even if I audition for the experience, the best case scenario is that I have another story to tell. At best. The most likely, most boring scenario is that I audition, it's generally fine, but there's no place in the show for an "actor" of my caliber and age/physique.

What I would LOVE would be for them to watch me act and sing, and have to acknowledge amongst themselves (producer and director) that I have no place in the show, but to somehow really covet my talent and wish they could get me in somehow. They'd fruitlessly argue to each other that I look old...maybe I could be Sweeney Todd. Maybe Sweeney can be fat...no...no...Yeah, you're probably right, no good...The judge. Maybe...yeah! Maybe the town judge can be 24 years old....Right? Yeah! Ugh...no. No. Shit, where can we put this guy...?

Here's where you put me. This is what I want. I say this without a shred of comedy:

It's local theater. It's a local playhouse. Create a new character for me. But not a good character. What I want is for the producer to be so enchanted by me that they're willing to remodel the script to accept a new character. But oddly enough, the character they create to accommodate me is a village-idiot type.

Fatso the Village Asshole. That's my character. With a throwaway line of dialogue it's explained that I'm American. They write it so that I don't have to work for it at all. So I'm American and stupid and rude and fat. I barely have to act. They just want me in the show. I don't even sing. I'm just Sweeney Todd's idiot sidekick. And even though the role is written for me, because they love me, it's totally offensive. I'm constantly tripping over myself and farting and eating and shit. That's all I want. That's what I'm asking for.

Allie didn't seem interested. More than that, I'm pretty sure she stopped paying attention once I started laughing at my own jokes.

Doesn't she get it? Listen man, this blog has several readers from foreign countries. Several from Russia!

I'm a big shot.

So local theater? Not for me. Although I think the real reason is that I just don't like acting. I like writing or performing the crap I write.

Also, I can confirm that my Russian readers come here because of a weird mistake result on a Russian search engine.

C'est la vie.

I'm sorry.

EDIT:

I thought more about my created role. In addition to having to play a total slob, I also want to be some sort of sidekick to Sweeney Todd. I'm totally involved in the murder and involved in using the bodies for pies. But every now and then, my character will stupidly pick up one of the pies and take a bite as if oblivious to what's going on and mention to Sweeney how good the pies are. Sweeney rolls his eyes at me, and the play moves on.

3 comments:

  1. This is hilarious. Gary the computer nerd

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually that's dangerously close to larry the cable guy. And I really hate that guy.

    ReplyDelete