Have you ever felt so compelled to do something that you take a deep breath and do it — even though you really don’t know how you’re going to pack it into your life? It’s just something you must do because you know it will be good for the soul?
Then you’ll understand this. I’ve been doing my talk show on WBLF for the past three weeks, and it takes a good deal of preparation. This week, the job will turn into a full-time position, as I also take on a sales role at the radio station. And, at the moment anyway, I’m still driving a taxi.
But last week, I got a note on Facebook from a friend who urged me to audition for Twelve Angry Men, the first play of the summer season at State College Community Theatre‘s Boal Barn Playhouse. I have no time to take on anything else. I need, more than anything else, a second job that will actually pay some money. But I just had to audition. I haven’t done theater since, I think, 1982, when I was in William Saroyan’s The Cave Dwellers at Central Florida Civic Theater in Orlando. So I went in and auditioned on Friday night.
Right away, I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew enough people there so I felt like it was old home week. Many were unaware I’d returned from Florida, so I was on the receiving end of a lot of nice bear hugs, and welcome backs!
And since I hadn’t done any acting in nearly 30 years, I was a bit apprehensive. Well, long story short, I was cast in not only Twelve Angry Men in the antagonist role played by Lee J. Cobb in the movie, but also snagged a nice role in Wonderful Town. That’s a musical with which I am completely unfamiliar (that, of course, will change) but it’s a really good part.
If you’ve ever participated in community theater, you know it’s like taking on a second (or third) full-time job. So some serious re-alignment is now necessary. To be perfectly honest, although I’ve been driving ten-hour taxi shifts four days a week — which is just killing me when it comes to lack of sleep — it’s going to have to go. And that’s okay, because, so far, I’m not making ANY money doing it.
Taxi drivers, as you may or may not know, are independent contractors, not employees. So we’re responsible for leasing the taxi, as well as paying for gas and other fees. After a shift, we get to keep whatever’s left over. And, whether it’s due to competition, lack of passengers or whatever, I’ve just about been breaking even. I’m not complaining; I knew going in how it all worked. But it has to go, because if I’m going to spend hours a day doing something that makes no money, I’d rather be in a play.
So I’ll have to make extra money doing freelance writing, finding voiceover work and whatever else I can do that allows me to set my own hours and work at home. And I’m making some good headway there.
Anyway, I can’t wait to get to work with State College Community Theater this summer. I just have the strongest feeling that something will come out of that experience that will change my life in a very positive way.
- This is a pretty interesting web site. The Straight Dope: Fighting Ignorance Since 1973. 1973? Must’ve been fighting ignorance offline at that point.
- The English language deteriorates even further: Texting Slang Invading Academic Work.
- Read and Discuss: Things They Don’t Tell You (but should)
- SNL’s Toyota with no brakes sketch: