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Back on the Boards: Part One

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A lot has happened for me in the last 20 years – I got married, moved (from England) to Sacramento, had three (count-em!) kids and changed jobs. Enough to make my life interesting and full. One thing I left behind in ‘Blighty’ was my love of acting. Before coming to America, I had trod the boards in various roles, none of them remunerative sadly but all of them stimulating and fun.

Fast Forward 20 years and things seem to have settled down a little. The kids are all at school, my commute is three miles each way and my circle of acquaintances has never been larger. Time then, to branch out again…..

My two oldest children have been in several ‘pay to play’ theatrical shows, mainly at the eternally popular Runaway Stage on 24th Street, close tto our home in Curtis Park. They have done various ‘Jr.’ shows – ‘Aladdin’, ‘Seusical’, ‘Guys and Dolls’ etc, all wih a huge cast and a commitment to help sell tickets AND work behind the scenes AND supply the costumes…..

The kids all love doing the plays of course, but one problem with this system is that, unless your child shows unusual talent at an early age, the chance of them getting any significant role beyond ‘#3 Squirrel’ is nill (although it increases exponentially the more plays they attend and the older they get). I don’t have a problem with this, it’s just the way things are.

Recently though, they attended a couple of workshop plays run by Michael Peters at the Studio Theater on 10th/R St. Again, ‘pay-to-play’ but thankfully with no neccessity to sell a bunch of tickets to our long-suffering friends. In addition, the cast size was small enough that all the kids involved had lines, real lines – not just the 14 year old veterans. We discovered that not only did our daughter have a voice, it was a loud and confident one too!

So, back to me….

After the last play, a play that combined ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, I wanted my son to audition for the next production at the theater. This play was ‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’ – not a children’s workshop, a ‘proper’ play. My wife thought it would be nice if I could also get a part so that we could do it together.  The fact that the Director wanted the actors to use English Accents gave me some confidence, I have to admit.

So, I prepared two resumes and took ‘actorly’ headshots and signed up for the audition.

Well, the auditions came and went and sadly, my son did not get offered a part. By comparison, I did – they gave me the part of ‘Aslan’, the Great Lion of the story.

(Read part two to find out how it went).



The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe performs for three weekends from December 2nd until December 18th, with performances at 8pm on Fridays, 2pm & 8pm on Saturdays, and 2pm on Sundays.
Box Office at (877) 532-7171,              The Studio Theatre, 1028 R St., Sacramento, CA 95811.

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