First of all, sorry everyone. I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been on social media so much, expressing my thoughts and opinions in brief lines or simple tweets. I’ll try to get back to doing what I like best. Writing.
Now on with the story.
Prior to last Saturday, my only time in the theatre was spent working as part of the production crew in high school working on sets for summer theatre. I had never performed on stage, but after covering Pittsburgh City Theatre on the South Side in my “Check It Out” segment, they asked me to be join them on-stage as a guest performer.
The play was called “Celebrity Autobiography”. It’s been done many times around the world, from Broadway to Baja, California. The story isn’t really an original tale at all. It’s performers reading the funniest and craziest parts of celebrity memoirs. Kenny Rogers, Kathie Lee Gifford, David Haselhoff and Zsa Zsa Gabor. The script is the actual portions o the book … and it seems in this case, truth is stranger than fiction.
The cast I worked with that night was an amazing collection of talent. George Wendt ( “Norm” from Cheers ) was the headliner, but not the only star with big-time experience. Annie Golden and Lenora Nemetz were Broadway veterans. Robin Abramson and Jeffrey Carpenter got their acting chops in Pittsburgh. And then … there was me. The only acting I had done was trying not to laugh when Wendy says something funny to me during the commercial break.For my moment, I read an excerpt from “It Was Only a Game” by that wordsmith, Terry Bradshaw. The only advice I was given was from George who said simply, “let the words breathe”. I tried to do just that.
Hoping on stage, the lights were brighter than in the studio here at WTAE and I couldn’t see the audience, but I tried to read the words as simply and deadpan as I could with lengthy pauses when I got a laugh from the crowd. Of course, the material sold itself. It was about Terry Bradshaw’s experience as the spokesperson for a toupee company.
It went so quickly, I didn’t have time to enjoy my moment on stage but when it was over the cast members who so complimentary. They even asked me to stay and perform in the late show. I enjoyed the moment … knowing that I would be much better sticking with my full-time job.
Thanks to everyone at City Theatre and the cast and crew of “Celebrity Autobiography”.