Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Year of Goodspeed

"Lloyd always said in the theatre a lifetime was a season, and a season a lifetime..."
~"All About Eve"

As actors we all have our wish lists: lists of roles we want to play, lists of directors and prominent actors we'd love to work with, and then there's the list of theatres where we would love to tread the boards. It is part of an actor's ambition; ever reaching for better and better opportunities--desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, as it were. My career is increasingly split between my passion for classical acting and my love of musical theatre, and in each genre we have in the US our leading institutions. On the musical side, Goodspeed ranks at the top. To be asked to perform here twice in one season was a rare opportunity and it has been such a rewarding journey for me.

Eight months of near continuous work has afforded me the opportunity to work with two new directors, two new choreographers; it has put me in the mix with some of our finest Broadway performers, both seasoned veterans and rising young stars. Goodspeed's reverence for the classics they revive and their unflinching determination to present fresh and refined visions of those classics have give me the chance to experience the magic of Irving Berlin and Frank Loesser in two of their finest creations.
I was able to create my own take on a delicious character in Charlie Davenport, and then to join an amazing ensemble of triple threat performers in "How To Succeed...", rediscovering my love of dance and enjoying the process of creating the wacky 1960's world of that show. Throughout these many weeks of work I have also had the chance to get to know this beautiful part of Connecticut, to revel in the changing seasons, to taste of the art and fine food and history that make this area so unique. In short, my year at Goodspeed has enhanced my life and my career, and to be almost continuously employed in my craft during these challenging economic times is a gift that I am truly grateful for.
My deepest thanks to Michael Price, the fearless leader of Goodspeed, and to his entire producing team, the artistic staff, stage management team, and dedicated crew, and people both behind the scenes and in the front of house whom I have had the pleasure to get to know this season. I feel a part of your family.

Today we play our last performances of "How To Succeed..." and then the diaspora begins. Most of us will pack up and head back to New York City; a lucky few of us are slated to begin rehearsals for new Broadway shows; most of us will get back into the hustle of auditions, taking a stab at the next gig before settling in for the holidays. Tomorrow when I return to the city I have two auditions! No time to rest on my Goodspeed laurels--the next thing awaits. I will be back in East Haddam next weekend to lead the first ever Goodspeed Audition Intensive, introducing a new generation of young talents to the process that will become one of the fundamental components of their life in theatre. I discovered, or perhaps decided, at one point in my career that we must love ALL of what we do, the auditions as well as the performing, for truly they are all a part of the thrill ride that is an actor's career.

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