Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Follow-on to the Charlie Brown story

Especially for zyzyly

After You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, they held auditions for Camelot. Different director, and I was still not convinced I could sing. I had always wanted to play King Pellinore, an elderly knight who shows up at the start of Act II wearing full armor with the visor closed. He has a dog, the shaggier the better. His only singing is from the wings with the chorus in Act I and with the other knights as ensemble in Act II. He doesn't have a lot of lines, either.

I was 23, but had played old men in high school and college, and enjoyed it. And it was a low-impact part which wouldn't require a lot of rehearsal.

This time auditions were short, I sang a song, I think, and did cold reading from the script. I don't remember any callbacks, or reading against anyone.

A day or two later the director phones me, and he says he has some bad news. He reminds me that this is community theater, and unlike high school and college, there are a wealth of men who actually are old, and he has chosen one of them to play King Pellinore. "He even owns his own set of armor", I think he said. Or maybe just that the other guy fits into the suit of armor they will be using. Whatever. I am heartbroken, until he says he has some good news. Maybe. "

"Would you consider playing a different king?" he asks, timidly.

"I don't remember any other kings in the show."

"King Arthur."

"Oh. That other king."

Before I could answer he said how much he enjoyed my Charlie Brown, and he was looking for Arthur to start out as that kind of naive, innocent, victim type, but then grow up. And he said he liked my singing.

I said yes, and the rest is history. (the userpic is me and Guenevere dancing a fiery dance).

Except for two things:

Thing the First: At the start of Act II, King Pellinore leads his St. Bernard onstage, plants himself downstage center. Every night the dog peed on his leg. He waits for the laughter to subside, and does what it says in the script:

PELLINORE lifts his visor, and looks around.

PELLINORE: Oh! It's stopped raining!

Brought down the house every time.

Thing the Second:

The Monday after closing night I was fired, given 2 weeks' notice. We had changed bosses sometime during rehearsals, and new boss told me he wanted to fire me sooner and put in his own layout editor, but he and his wife were big boosters of the theater, and he didn't want to leave them in the lurch. 

What do the simple folk do?

Tags: drama, nostalgia, theater

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