A life of alarm clocks, naps and acting like a nerd

Friday, June 28, 2002

HURON, Ohio -- Two weeks and the work never stops.

This last week has consisted of adapting to the real routine of the Huron Playhouse: that is, learning to function on five to six hours of sleep and a few power naps a day with a couple of 15-minute meals in the interim. On average, I spend about six hours in rehearsal a day; sometimes nine.

Everyone has really adapted to their surroundings here; in just two weeks it has begun to feel like home. I'm used to waking up to five alarm clocks going off within ten minutes; used to seeing the huge wooden flats and sheets that serve as our walls. Unconsciously, I feel like I'm a member of the Huron community already -- we work with so many local residents that you begin to think of yourself as a townie.

We do still get a few blessed hours of free time, though, that keep us refreshed and as sane as one can be here. This weekend, Marcus, Janel and I had the opportunity to have an afternoon sailing with some loyal Playhouse patrons, the Kochs. We spent Sunday afternoon basking on the Kochs' boat on Lake Erie.

This weekend, with our last free Saturday night off, we're going to go to Cedar Point -- America's largest amusement park, with some of the world's best roller coasters. Cedar Point is just 7 miles away from us, so we can't help but take advantage.

We're less than a week away from opening our first show, "The Sound of Music." I play a monk with a few of my fellow company comedians. We are having far too much fun. We move scenery in between scenes, and we've come up with ridiculous sub-context for each of our monks.

My friend, John, calls himself "Monkety Monk: The Monk from the Hood."

"The Nerd" rehearsals are a huge learning experience. I've never been challenged so much as an actor in my life. The past two days, we had to have over 20 pages of dialogue memorized each day, which isn't the easiest of tasks for a six-person cast. We already have the entire show blocked -- that is, knowing where to move and when. It's like a three-hour-long choreographed dance that we have to memorize in addition to the lines because there is so much business on stage at any given time.

This evening we took publicity photos for "The Nerd" and had our first opportunity to walk around in our costumes. Mine are absolutely repulsive: a white rainbow-striped shirt with plaid pants, a white belt and suspenders, not to mention my hideous glasses. It's a beautiful thing, because I truly look like the epitome of a nerd -- one of those unfortunate fellows on an '80s high-school sitcom that got picked on by the popular kids. I'm relishing it for every second I've got.

So, we have less than five days to have "The Sound of Music" ready to go and less than two weeks for "The Nerd." I know I get to be challenged like never before, and I can't wait to see what happens.

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