I started rehearsal at the DC Arts Center Saturday for High Fidelity. While I am totally psyched for this show, yesterday morning was in a way a small reunion for me.
In 1996, I performed in what would be my first ever performance as an actor in DC at the DCAC with Cherry Red Production's Christmas Spectacular. I was a freshman in college at Shenandoah University, and saw the audition notice in the paper. I went, not expecting to get in, and did, which led me to wonder how the hell I was going to pull off the rehearsal schedule and performance schedule while balancing my class schedule, which was bringing me to mid term exam time.
My experience with Cherry Red on that particular show is one that I will never forget. The plays, true to Cherry Red style, were ridiculously bizarre and funny. My favorite of the three sketches offered in the evening was "The Birth of Christ, and farts", in which a Christmas Pageant depicting the Nativity scene was reenacted (and we were directed to yawn, scratch, and other wise look totally uninvested and bored) as a recording of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sung in the background, except every once in awhile the soundtrack would cut off and a fart sound effect would play. These farts became more frequent as the sketch went on. The audience was tentative with laughter at first, but by the end was scream laughing with each toot. I will never forget that as long as I live. One of the most juvenile, yet hysterical things that I have ever been involved with on a stage. I played a sheep, with gym socks over my ears as a costume.
Fast forward 14 years, and I was walking down the alley behind the DCAC, approaching the stage door. Greeted by a dead rat that was frozen into the alley, I had a rush of memories back to those old days there at the DCAC. The rats used to be so bad out tin that alley that I would name them as they ran by. They were as big as my dog.
I walked into the back stage dressing room area and again, not having been in there for 14 years, remembered all of the actors stuffed into the small dressing areas, laughing and shooting the breeze while being as tight as sardines in a can at their various dressing stations. I walked through to the stage, and it was even smaller than I remembered it. I laughed as I looked around, taking it all in and drudging up those bygone memories of the last time I was there.
So strange. It was like walking into a random memory that I had not thought of in forever.
So much has changed since the last time I was on that stage. I was an 18 year old boy then. I am now a 31 year old, almost 32 year old man. Wow. Chew on that for a second.
Total time warp.
The day started with a meet and greet with the lovely cast and a read through. It went very well, and the script is hysterical and poignant. The actors were ideally cast in their roles. It looks to be a fantastic of a show that never really got a fair shake. The show ran on Broadway for about a week, and then closed. After doing a read of the script, I think that it was never meant to be a huge Broadway show. It was meant to be an Off-Broadway show, or to be done in a small intimate house. And well, it doesn't get much more intimate than the DCAC. I think that it seats about 45 total, so anyone who wants to come and see it will see a totally intimate production, where none of the actors will ever be more than 10 feet from you.
I will continually give you updates on the rehearsal process, and pass along any further information as the show rehearses, techs and opens. I am excited about this show, and excited to spend some time in Adams Morgan, a truly unique and diverse DC neighborhood.
More to come!