Broadway West (Blogisode Two)

This is how dumb I am. I wrote all that stuff yesterday thinking I was writing on Monday. Did anyone catch that? I

This guy could be a brain surgeon compared to me.

This guy could be a brain surgeon compared to me.

think I even listed the date wrong at the end and said I would publish the next blogisode on Wednesday, January 5th……which is wrong because the 5th is on Thursday. Which means the “Daily Dose” I’ve been preparing to write for today (thinking today was Tuesday) is actually for tomorrow, and you guys are all expecting a blogisode today.

Did anyone else get this screwed up about the day of the week because Monday was a holiday? I can’t seem to adjust. The holidays seems like an endless stream of Saturdays and Sundays, and now that we’ve actually hit a business week I can’t adjust back. I am still laughing that I wrote all those “rules”about what day I would publish what, and then unknowingly broke my own rule by publishing a blogisode on a Tuesday.

Since I kicked off today with my own stupidity, let’s just keep going.

It has been pointed out to me on more than one (or one hundred) occasions that my blog could stand a bit more proof reading. In fact, I have had people offer to proof read for me if I care to send them the post in advance. I find this all very cute. As if I could send these posts to ANYONE ahead of time; I mean, you do all realize that I barely get them done in time to publish, right? I don’t ever write ahead (even over the luxurious winter break full of Saturdays and Sundays), I still wait until 9:30pm the night before and rush to get it done. Every night. Without exception.

It’s part of the charm.

Or, it’s really annoying depending on how you feel about typos.

Now, that said, because we run a very “Mom and Pop” organization over here at My Own Space, I will confess that

Rob plays the piano for me and proof reads for me.  (Hey Mark Motz, who do I give photo credit to?  Do you know?)

Rob plays the piano for me and proof reads for me. (Hey Mark Motz, who do I give photo credit to? Do you know?)

Rob enjoys being my very first reader and always reads my posts and “proofreads” before I hit “publish”.

So if there are a lot of typos, blame Rob.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how you throw your saintly husband under the bus. (Cue applause. I’m here all week. How’s your steak?)

Okay, now for all you sticklers out there, please feel free to publicly correct my numerous typos in the comments section, because I can–and will–go back and correct them, as my self-appointed editor Nick Wyman (who gets more shout outs than anyone on this blog) can attest. I will try to be better. I will try to proof read. I will tell Rob that “we” (and by we I mean “he”) needs to aggressively proof read. And we will do that at 2am when we are exhausted and just want to fall into bed.

Maybe I will try to write ahead of time.

Maybe pigs will fly.

I think you’re stuck with the typos.

For a full refund, please bring your receipt to the register in the front.

For the 6 of you who’ve remained, thank you.

Let’s grab our hound dog and head back to Vegas. But first, let me explain a bit about how I got there.

I suppose I should start with a confession. Back in 2004 I was very seriously thinking I was done with show business.

It's so common to say you're quitting show business, Little Richard even named an album about it.

It's so common to say you're quitting show business, Little Richard even made an album about it.

Those of you who are not in show business might find that shocking–that I would seriously consider leaving the very business I’d spent my life seeking–but those of you who are actually IN show business know exactly what I mean. We say we are quitting the business all the time. Right? I mean, I’m not the only one am I? Crickets. Okay, maybe I am, but this was more than just a diva fit after not getting some job I was certain I was right for. This time, I was for real, I was QUITTING the business. In fact, I went so far as to write a letter to a major casting director who had cast me in three out of the three Broadway shows I’d done at that point, and I told HER I was leaving the business. In fact, I wrote that letter FROM THE DRESSING ROOM of one of the Broadway shows I was doing. A show she’d cast me in. And then I had the audacity to ask her for a job in her casting office because my brilliant grand plan was to conquer the world as a casting director and treat all those poor actor saps with the respect they deserved.

I never heard back from her. Not about a casting job, or about any auditions. This story has now become “how to ruin your career by Sharon Wheatley.”

But wait! I didn’t ruin my career and I will tell you why.

After I dropped that “I hate show biz” bomb to one of the biggest casting directors in New York, I bought a ticket to see a show on a total whim. I was standing on 45th Street looking at the marquee for a show I’d heard through was funny, AVENUE Q, and I’d also heard it was totally sold out. I made a call at 7:59pm to my friend Evan who was the stage manager of the show and asked if he thought I could get a seat. He made a call, called me back, and in I went with a $100 house seat (which I paid for) and took a seat right behind Kaye Ballard and her giant fur, which was occupying about 40% of my seat space because she did that drape it over the back of your seat thing.  Please note–everyone hates a coat that hangs over the back of a seat.  Oh, and please stop talking during the show.  End rant.

Kaye Ballard has history with puppets, she was on The Muppet Show.  I was with puppet royalty.

Kaye Ballard has history with puppets, she was on The Muppet Show. I was with puppet royalty.

I was seeing a show all by myself. I’d never in my life made an impulse buy of a full price ticket to a show; FYI generally speaking us show people are pretty cheap and don’t want to spend that much money on a ticket, especially if there is a chance that you might be able to score a free ticket in some way. It’s kinda like working at McDonalds and paying full price for a Big Mac. I mean….you just don’t want to have to do it. Especially when the Big Mac costs $100. But my Big Mac came with musical comedy and Hollywood Squares legend Kaye Ballard and her giant coat, so at least I got a perk.

And with that, the show started.

And two hours and twenty five minutes later, I was back in show business again because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if I didn’t play Kate Monster I might die.

Let me give you a one paragraph soap box explanation about “types”.  “Type” is a word used to describe the kinds of

The original Broadway cast of AVENUE Q.  Beautifully different than your typical musical theater stars.

The original Broadway cast of AVENUE Q. Beautifully different than your typical musical theater stars.

roles you are most likely to be cast as, given your body shape, your vocal quality and your overall disposition.  For example, if Taylor Swift were a musical theater star, she would be an ingenue because she’s cute and sweet and wholesome.  If John Goodman were a musical comedy star he would be the comedic side kick.  Right?  I mean, this is all really obvious.  You are all like, get a move on, Sharon, we aren’t idiots.  But the thing is, in movies and even in TV there is some crossover.  You can be weird looking and still be a romantic lead.  Not so true in musical theater, my friends.  It’s pretty old school.  So you can bet, when I saw that cast walk out on a Broadway stage–my brain exploded.  Not that they aren’t all beautiful people–they are–it was just immediately obvious that this show valued people who could play the parts more than they valued people who could look the parts.  And why?  Because the characters are puppets.  FANTASTIC!!!

Um.  (raising my hand).  I’ll do it.  I’ll learn to be a puppeteer.  No problem.

So the moral of this story comes in two parts.

1) It wasn’t the BUSINESS I needed to quit, it was the long running show I was doing.
2) All successful actors have a terminal disease given to them at birth that causes them to be an actor forever. It’s an illness. It’s uncurable. If you hear me say I’m “quitting the business” you have my full permission to say, “Oh Sharon, you are so full of shit. You’ll be doing this until the day you drop dead, and you know it.”

I know it, I know it. I can’t help it.

I went right home and ordered a “rod puppet” online and called my agent.

And finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID BENOIT!!!

(For the next post in this series, go here.)

 

About Sharon Wheatley

Mother of Charlotte and Beatrix. Sometimes an actress. Sometimes a writer. I'm glad you're here.
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4 Responses to Broadway West (Blogisode Two)

  1. Mark Motz says:

    I got a caption shout out? Moving up in the world. That looks like Jeff Bryant's photo.

  2. Peg says:

    And happy birthday Peg Schuler Armstrong, who is me. And happy birthday Telly Leung who I am not friends with but is pretty terrific, can we not all agree?

  3. Nick says:

    January 13th better be a special blogisode… You have been given 8 days advance notice! And Happy Belated Birthday to David, Peg and Telly (one of the few former RENT cast members I don't know personally).

    There will be cake… jus'sayin.

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