Guest blogger Josh Greenfield is a junior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He plays Snug in the Dallas Theater Center’s upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
After seeing the character description for Snug on the audition flyer for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I knew that I had to audition. The depiction of Snug was that he was “young,” “very quiet and shy,” “sweet” and that he “rises to the occasion of playing a majestic lion.” Well, gosh, my type piece is Sammy Goldenbaum from The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, and I happen to have an affinity towards the feline species. It seemed like a perfect fit on paper. On top of all this, I knew that Midsummer was going to be the first show at the Wyly, and that Kevin Moriarty was directing it, both of which are huge deals to me. In my mind, I was going to audition; end of story.
Long story short, my parents said no. I couldn’t audition for a multitude of reasons, but I begged. Lee Trull, casting director, told me that the Dallas Theater Center could work out scheduling and specifics later with my parents and that I should come in and audition just to see what happens. So I auditioned, and I got the part. After fierce negotiation, my parents and I agreed on the terms for me being in the show, and I accepted the part.
The first rehearsal for Midsummer definitely ranks as one of the high points of my life. I know that, as I stepped into the space and realized that, yes, this was actually happening to me, my face was probably beaming like those fancy, super-bright headlights on luxury cars these days. Walking into the Wyly Theatre and actually seeing the space made all of the preview illustrations and articles about the building pale. It is one of those buildings that I could try to explain to someone for an hour, but it wouldn’t really click until you’ve walked into the space. At the meet and greet, Kevin delivered an inspiring speech about his vision for Midsummer, complete with jumping, hand waving and references to the Jonas Brothers. Later, the cast got to explore the space; we got to climb the stairways, hang on the pipes, run around the balconies, basically we treated the theater like a jungle gym.
One of the coolest things about the rehearsal process for Midsummer has been working with truly professional actors, stage managers and directors. Everyone involved with the production is about as good as they come. I’m working with an extremely high caliber of theater professional. I’m incredibly lucky to get to share the stage with every single one of them.
But right now, I’m sick. I lost my voice from using the wrong technique when I roared in Act V, Scene 1. One thing led to another, and now I think I have an ear infection (yuck). Hopefully, once I get some antibiotics in me, I will be all better. We are in the last week of rehearsal before we start tech, and I am kind of nervous. What if I’m not good enough? What if I mess up? What if my voice cracks in one of the musical numbers? What if I look stupid in one of the dances? I could worry all day. But what I really need to do is focus on the immediate tasks in front of me: get healthy and do my best in rehearsal. I can trust Kevin to let me know if I’m not doing something well enough; so if he doesn’t say anything, then I guess I’m on the right track. And anyway, we still have two full weeks of rehearsal before we perform for a paying audience.
Everything will be just fine.