I am not exactly the young engenue, leading lady type. I am more the quirky⁄weird⁄flat-out crazy type. Those are the roles I find most fun, no question. But, probably because I am not fat (which I am convinced is the only reason I was not cast as the nurse in my college production of Romeo and Juliet-three years later, still not over it), I occasionally do get cast as the Romantic Lead.
My very first semester of college I was cast as Catherine, the love interest, in Pippin. I was super excited, my first semester of college, my first lead in a musical. In my high school freshmen never got big parts, so to me this was a Big Deal. The (cute) guy that was supposed to play Pippin dropped out (hello college theatre) and it took the director (“director” I should say, he was the poorest excuse for a director I’ve ever worked with) a while to find a replacement. I waited in anticipation. Would this new guy be my love interest on and off stage? That’s the sort of thing that happens in college, right? As this was musical theatre, I figured if not a boyfriend, at the least I would get a gay boyfriend. I was in need of both after all. I vividly remember Pippin walking in the door. Slightly overweight, bad skin, and poorly dressed. Not My Type. Not Gay. Fuck. Ten minutes after introducing myself to him I added “boring” to the list. The next day after rehearsal, I added “mediocre singer, abysmal actor, AND he smells funny” to the list. (Knowing my luck, he probably reads my blog…)
Hey, I was a bitchy, judgemental, disappointed, sullenly single, freshman (I’ve grown up since, I swear). Could I make it more clear he was not a love interest off stage? And yet, every one thought otherwise. Rumors flew around the cast I had a huge crush on him, friends came to see the show and raised eyebrows. You act like you’re in love with someone on stage, people watching that don’t understand it’s acting. Freshman year I was upset, offended- “You think I like him!? GROSS.” By the end of the run of Pippin, I learned to take it in stride. Now it’s as a huge complement if I’m accused of being interested in my onstage love interest, if his girlfriend gives me a mega Stink Eye after seeing the show. Clearly I’m producing a convincing, believable performance. What more could I want?
So did I have a crush on the guy who played Sir Francis Drake this summer? No I did not. But thanks for asking.
I still haven’t gotten to melons…more on melons to come.