So this little production company is moving forward with a reading of a play I wrote a thousand years ago. I've heard it a read a couple times before in its earlier forms many moons ago, and there were even a few liars who were nice enough to express their interest in possibly mounting it. But I think it sucks. No, I know it sucks. There's only one well written scene. And the story line still needs serious tweaking. I need to find a real writer who knows what they're doing to fix it for me because I am totally sick of looking at this script. I haven't touched it in years.
Boy. I can't wait for the reading. I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it. I'm about to lose control. And I think I--- HATE IT!!
To my utter shock and amazement, one of my all time favorite comedic actresses actually agreed to read one of the roles, which really fits her like a glove. It's a great role. And there's a monologue in there for her that's really not bad. My mentor had actually asked me if he could give it to one of his students to use for her graduate school audition. But I think he agreed that the rest of it pretty much sucked. I could see it in his eyes. And yes, I could read his mind as I am reading some of yours right now as you read this. Oh, yes I am. No, you're stupid. Yes, it was funny. Well I don't care what you think. Fine, I'm sorry. Jesus, sensitive much?
I was very hesitant to even ask her, but the company had no one in their stable of actors who fit the character. Now I feel a great deal of pressure to make sure the rest of the casting can match her in talent so she doesn't think I'm a schmo for dragging her into this, and I fear this may not happen.
As with most little theater companies, there comes a certain amount of politics. And of course, any actor who gets involved with the actual operation of a company will expect and demand an opportunity to act in the company they've devoted so much time and energy into running behind the scenes. I guess that's only fair.
But you know what? LIFE ISN'T FAIR. And if you're not right for a role, then why should I give a donkey crap that you've invested your life into answering phones, making copies, folding programs, and loading in sets with the idea that in exchange for being a sucker, you get to play a role you're not suited for? Particularly if I've seen your work and I think you blow chunks? I know this is just a reading, but it's a reading of my own piece of crap. And I want it cast with the best possible actors I can find to make my crap not stink so bad. It's my damn name on that script and if I could read every role, well by golly gosh I would. But then I'd look like a real egotistical ass, now wouldn't I? And more importantly, there wouldn't be as many people in the audience.
It's a decent play. I've definitely seen and read worse. It's funny with fun characters. There are moments of drama and emoting. I tried to write roles that actors would love to play. And it does have sex appeal. I know I shouldn't be so down on it particularly given that this was my first time out of the writer's gate. But nobody gives a rat's ass about anyone's first time. Maybe I should take my own advice and just lower my standards. It's absurd to expect to write a masterpiece. Writing scripts just really drives me insane, which is why I avoid it like the clap even though I know I should continue pursuing it. Writing, that is. Not the clap.
So now having to participate in casting without having the authority of final say...if I can't cast it the way I believe it should be cast, then what's the point? This reading is supposed to be for the purpose of helping me fix this thing. If an actor sucks balls, then I can't get a realistic perspective on what's working and what isn't. Yes, I know, I am overreacting. She doesn't totally suck balls. And no, I am not just saying that because there's a chance she might be reading this. She's really a lovely human being...with great potential. But she's absolutely not right for this one particular role (that's supposed to be played by someone very youthful and innocent who is extremely ditsy, but actually extremely smart) and the director has made it clear to me that she really wants her best friend-- I mean, her company member to read. And I don't think she means reading stage directions.
So I am taking the mature approach. I told the director, "I am not going to put up a fight. Do whatever you want. Let me know what time I need to be at the rehearsal. And thank you for organizing this reading." And after I hung up I really let her have it and I screamed, "This obviously is NOT for the purpose of helping me write this thing, so let's stop pretending that it is. All I can say is WHAT-EVERRRR!!!"