Sometime around October of 2001 I got a phone call from my friend “ranney.” He was directing a musical with a young theater company in Tampa and he was having a hard time casting one of the characters. He had directed me in a musical adaptation of The Birds that he wrote while I was a student at the Polk Community College and he felt I was a good match for the part. I came in and auditioned for him, and a few days later I got the call offering me the role.
The show was Maxwell: A New Rock Musical By Joe Popp, and it was the first paid acting gig I ever got. It was also the beginning of my year relationship with The Jobsite Theater. I was very much an unknown factor in this production, and I had the extra baggage of being recently divorced with the need to occasionally bring my five year old son with me to rehearsal. “ranney” put his full support behind me, though, and he managed to convince the Powers That Be to give me a shot.
Ten years later and I’m still working with them.
The other day I got an email from Kari Goetz on behalf of Joe Popp. He’s working on another musical based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and he wanted me to be one of the actors that he worked with to make it happen. He’s specifically writing the songs around the voices and musical abilities of a small group of people, and the impression I made on him ten years ago made him ask me to join the group.
Talk about an honor.
The show is going to go up in front of an audience in a “staged reading” type of format in December, which is right around the time we put Maxwell on back in 2001.
Thus, everything comes full circle. My first show with Jobsite was a new work by Joe Popp, and the show I’ll be doing at the time of my tenth anniversary is another new show by Joe.
This is going to be the first time I’ve ever been involved in a new work to this extent and I am extremely excited about it. I sent Joe a huge list of songs this morning that I feel are in my range (and that I love to sing). We’re getting together in a few weeks to do some preliminary recording, but unfortunately I won’t be able to share those recordings with you all. Trust me, I’d love to, but that’s not how this particular process is going to work.
Who knows, though? At some point in the next year or so you might be able to buy a cast recording that I’m a part of through iTunes (something that I am still sad that we never did with Maxwell).
This is going to be awesome.