BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - 4th of July, Birthdays, and Backstage Life
Yes I know it's a pretty long title for this weeks blog, but a lot can happen in a few days when working away from home, lol. Such was the case this week as we got to celebrate the 4th; our Fiddler, Max Chucker's Birthday, as well as some much needed time off from the show.
Friday started off on a rather wet note, which was little bit disconcerting for our plans as we had wanted to do the show then head back to the Goodspeed Village for a bonfire, roast some marshmallows, and set off some fireworks to celebrate. As the day went on it was looking more and more that the festivities were going to be a bust as the rain continued on and on. However as we started up Act 2 the clouds started to part and it cleared up for us, woo-hoo. Sadly the bonfire had to be postponed, as the wood we had got was far too wet to burn, however that did not stop us from shooting off a large amount of fireworks. There is something about launching fireworks that brings out the kid in me. As a child growing up in Southern California we weren't allowed to do anything other than sparklers and watch the city fireworks show, as there were laws against them because we basically lived in the desert and things caught fire very easily.
Overall it was a successful night and no one got hurt (always good) and we managed to keep every firework from launching at anything of major significance. Honestly, if you don't believe me ask our Company Manager.
As for the rest of the weekend this was filled up with our dear friend Max's Birthday celebration. I have to say from experience and I know that Max can attest to it, there is no greater feeling than doing what you love on your birthday. Now I know it might seem like a downer to work on your birthday but for me and Max it just adds to the experience. Not only are you getting to celebrate your most special day, but you also get to do it while doing the thing you love the most, performing!!! So Max's big day was to celebrate his 24th birthday (cue the communal groan at how young he is, lol) and the best part is his mom and girlfriend got to be there to join him for the celebration. I have to say for someone his age; I have not met someone as put together and articulate as I have in him for a long while. Max and I met about 6 months ago doing what every actor loves to do on their down time, cater (note the sarcasm) and I was thrilled when I learned we would be living and working together. His presence on stage and off is extraordinary. You will never work with a more compassionate and present human, as you will with Max (yes he paid me to say all this).
Now with a long running show the ways to keep yourself entertained off stage become somewhat of a challenge. Some people find comfort in books, others in knitting, and then there is the group that just likes to be as silly as humanly possible. Such is the case with most of them men I work with in the men's ensemble room at Fiddler. This is a definite boys club and I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to share it with. Now don't think just because we act like fools backstage that we compromise what we do onstage. This is far from the truth. In fact sometimes it's the silliness and our constant attempt at making each other laugh that gives us a break from the dark material we are working with at times. For the most part our jokes come from things that happen to us on stage or what's been going on in our lives around East Haddam, Conn. Sometimes it's taking a line and twisting it to suit our needs for the joke. Other times it taking lines and turning them into new musical phrases. Overall it makes for a very fun night of theatre for us. There is a great outlet for a lot of the shows around the country in the format of the #SIP or #SIV. So far we have managed to do a couple ourselves so make sure you lookout for them from time to time. We have also as a company indulged in the fun of Dollar Friday. As you can see below it was a success for Matt Amira. Maybe if I actually put in a dollar I could win, lol. But above all it's the friendships that we have made throughout this whole experience that have made it as great as it has been. That's truly all anyone can really ask for during a run, to do quality work, make some new friends, and along the way share in the joy of life in the theatre. It definitely is going to be a great summer and I can't wait to share more of it with you all.