Sleeping Ugly--Identity Theatre
You want to be an actor. You get invited to an audition because you're that awesome. You get there and are invited into an apartment for the audition. You are acquainted with a doggie named, Pecan. Congrats, you're now an adult actor, or you're dead.
That's the general sense when going to an audition...they don't take place in apartment rooms. Well...I had an experience like this that didn't lead to the adult industry...but to the children industry.
Stop....Ok....I know that just sounded bad....here's what happened:
I received an invitation to an audition a few weeks ago. So I went. There were three other actors there and we were notified by the manager of the studio space that our Director was running late, that his "Access-A-Ride" had run two hours behind. After being informed of what Access-A-Ride was, I realized that our director was going to be in a wheelchair--groovy--I've got nothing against people in wheelchairs obviously--and more often than not they turn out to be extraordinary people, which happened to be the case. Back to the story though...
Arriving about 15 minutes later than planned, Nick our director shows up, highly apologetic for his delay. Visibly a little flustered from not having the time to prep his audition and overly concerned about delaying us further, Nick invited the 4 of us to come up to his apartment to do the quick audition there, otherwise we'd need to wait for him to go up and come back down which would've taken more time--as long as we weren't allergic to cats or dogs...because he has a doggie named Pecan...
We awkwardly looked at each other and then decided to go upstairs--my paranoid thoughts at this point resigned to believe this is either the most elaborate con of all time--or things are gonna be just fine. I try to be as easy going as possible.
Where I am in my journey now, I try and take into consideration how much I want to work with the other members of the team. The audition is a great place to get a first glimpse of the other side, just as it is their first glimpse of you. Nick had me read a couple different roles with the three other actors, and as this was going on, I kinda bluntly asked him: "so...what is this?...what is this show/company?" It was at that time that Nick began to explain to me his vision of Identity Theatre.
Identity Theatre Company
Identity Theatre Company is a group of differently abled artists devoted to exploring and challenging issues of the human condition. It strives to present work that cultivates understanding, promotes tolerance, and engages its participants in meaningful discussions.
In that audition there was something about Nick's honesty and vision that excited me to be apart of his project if invited. With the particular vision of including a range of disabled/abled actors really got me excited. As many know, my older brother Spencer has Down Syndrome. He is one of the most influential people in my life and has greatly shaped who I am today.
I was humbled and excited to be offered a role in Identity Theatre's upcoming production of "Sleeping Ugly." Our cast of 7 diverse actors are putting on a story that challenges the young audience to question: "where does beauty come from?"
The general plot exists in the world of Sleeping Beauty waking up to a world where everyone is covered in warts and blemishes, including herself. Remembering the way things used to be, Sleeping Ugly (as she calls herself) cannot accept the new standard of beauty defined by the rest of the world--which is "ugliness" as we know it now.
While Sleeping Ugly tries to figure out how to truly stand out in her beauty, she runs into the Ugly Duckling who just wants to fit it...and there are some other familiar characters thrown in as well ;)
Our hope is that this light-hearted story will challenge our family friendly audience to look beyond the exterior, to be brave enough to be yourself, and not worry about what other people say about you.
We begin our tour to some school productions this week and will have a public performance Sunday, June 11th at 7 pm at:
The Underground Theater
215 E. 99th St., NYC
Admission is $10
Truth be told, I have been inspired every day that I've gone to rehearsal by our director and writer, Nick. The amount of strength that he possess to do what he loves is incredible to me. Living in NYC, dealing with health issues related to his CP, pursuing a doctorate degree, meanwhile creating and running a theatre company he started 6 years ago...the dude is a stud and I'm thankful to have gotten this opportunity to work with him and the rest of the super talented cast.
And all of this started off with what could've been a murder scene in an apartment...with a doggie named Pecan.