Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's no Blessing, It's a Curse!

Wait, no. Strike that, and reverse.

Once every so often, an actor has the opportunity to play a role that seems to have been written specifically for him: Hugh Jackman and Wolverine, Robert Downey Jr and Iron Man, that guy who plays Thor... Nevermind that I only reference superhero movies here, the point is that there are roles out there that you were made for. Willy Wonka was one of those for me.

According to the world-renowned Fairbanks Daily News Miner:

"As Wonka, Skylar Petitt breathes fresh air into the title role, taking it in an entirely different direction than Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp offered in the film versions of the story. Petitt's Wonka is somewhere in between those, with a dash of Jim Carey added in. Petitt is a skilled actor and singer, and blah blah blah."

Now, I'm no superhero (and if I was I wouldn't tell you in order to protect those closest to me, of course), and I'm not saying that I'm the only one who could play Wonka (clearly). After all, both Michael Keaton and Christian Bale play a solid Batman. What I'm saying is that Wonka was one of those roles that Skylar Petitt was designed for. That came naturally to me. That just felt... Right.

And as I look back, I suddenly realize that I haven't played many "normal" humans at all in the shows I've been in. Ali Hakim the wandering "Persian" salesman, Agwe the Water God, the Scarecrow, Willy Wonka... Even Danny Zuko and Harold "The Music Man" Hill don't really qualify as normal humans. They're characters. What's that say about me?

So as I look towards the next show I will be in ("RENT," the feel-good show about life aka drugs and poverty in the 80's), I realize that it's full of normal people (with AIDS, to be fair), and I wonder... How do I play a normal human? What do normal humans think and feel? I'm not sure I'm a good enough actor to sell "normal."

Maybe I'll play up the AIDS part.

 And so, my friend, my fact'ry, 
Continue your routine... 
We'll say goodbye 
For to new worlds I fly! 
That I've not yet conceived, 
 And I've not yet achieved, 
 And it must be believed, to be seen. 


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