It's so funny that you mention The Music Man, because I CANNOT COUNT the number of times friends of mine have told me exactly that: that they hate The Music Man because of their experience being in it. It's gotten to the point where actor friends of mine say to me "I hate The Music Man" and I say "Wait let me guess: you were in it, right?" and I usually am right. I've had similar conversations about other shows, but for some reason The Music Man keeps popping up in this context. It's so funny and bizarre to me that you've had the exact same experience. In my experience, my appreciation for shows increases when I perform in them. It allows me to notice little details in the score and script, and I become intimately familiar with how it's built. But I've been lucky enough to perform in some really great musicals, and for the most part the rehearsal/performance experiences have been positive enough that the show becomes closer to my heart because of the positive memories I attach to it.
JBroadway said: "It's so funny that you mention The Music Man, because I CANNOT COUNT the number of times friends of mine have told me exactly that: that they hate The Music Man because of their experience being in it. It's gotten to the point where actor friends of minesay to me "I hate The Music Man" and I say "Wait let me guess: you were in it, right?" and I usually am right. I've had similar conversations about other shows, but for some reason The Music Man keeps popping up in this context. It's so funny and bizarreto me that you've had the exact same experience.”LOL, honestly now I’m kinda scared to do this show haha! What’s wrong with it? Why do many not have a good experience? That seems so bizarre!
I played Applegate in "Damn Yankees" my senior year of high school. Great role, terrible experience. To this day, if I hear the song "Heart", I go ballistic.
Meet Me in St. Louis
Legally Blonde. I did the lights for it sophomore year of high school. Though, I can't tell you if it was hearing a bunch of passable singers do "Omigod You Guys" 400 times or the 400 light cues that did me in, to be honest.
So I have quite a long store but stay with me...I went to drama school in London and during my second year we did a production of RENT. The director was Scottish and I was the only Scottish participant on the course so I thought we'd get on like a house on fire. Not the case at all.She double cast the show and gave me the part of Angel and spent the next four weeks giving me little to no actual direction and what direction she did give always ended up conflicting with what she'd previously said however she made me feel like I was the idiot. She constantly put me down, sometimes in the middle of the stage in front of the entire cast, technical crew and orchestra, for tiny little things. Forever telling me my characterisation was bad, cheesy, not realistic, too bold, boring, flat, etc. She never gave me any sort on encouragement except on the dress rehearsal she said "That's the best you've done it so you should be commended for that. However...." but then began listing off every single breath that was out of place during the run.This was made worse by the fact the alternate Angel was constantly showered with praise, love and respect. I always counted myself as fairly confident in my ability and talent however by the time opening night rolled up she'd battered me down to the point where I was so anxious about going on stage and I was convinced I was going to make an absolute spectacle of myself. I genuinely wanted to be anywhere else but that stage which is completely out of character for me. The day after opening night I bumped into her backstage and she said "did you have many people in the audience?" to which I said that I didn't as my family and friends always come on the closing night. She said "sounds like you had your fan club in the audience..." which was her way of assuming I couldn't possibly have been good enough for the general audience to actually like me, the laughter and applause I earned MUST have come from my loved ones. We finished for the Summer and I was honestly exhausted. I wanted to cry constantly and was completely put off going back for my third and final year. I did go back but after a week I couldn't face being in the same room as her and knowing the power she had over me and my education I dropped out. Just never went back, didn't tell anyone I was leaving, didn't let my tutors know - I just packed and left. To this day I can't listen to RENT, I can't watch it, I can't have anyone talk about how good it is around me. I used to be OBSESSED with the show like every young gay guy is. But after the experience of doing it with Hitler herself I can't stand it. The experience has actually left me with some emotional scars as I haven't done a musical since! I've performed in one concert in Sydney but that's as far as my professional career has ever gone. Last year I tried to do an amateur production of Hairspray where I was cast as Link Larkin but half way through I realised I was practically panicking about singing my solo or performing my scenes in front of the rest of the cast so I dropped out. She ruined not only RENT for me but my confidence and my enthusiasm and, by extension, my career. I'm currently playing Seymour in a production of Little Shop or Horrors which seems to be going pretty well. The show is double cast as well but the entire cast are so lovely as is the director so I think it'll end up being a great confidence boost once I finish the show.
RENT. Mark and Roger choosing to be homeless and all the while avoiding calls from their parents asking what they want for xmas. No thanks. I'll take Harold Hill any day. He may be a liar, but he admits it.
Not as a performer, but as part of the design team, I lived most of the 1980's involved in some production or other of the original LA CAGE AUX FOLLES-- Boston tryout, OBC, 1st Nat Tour, 2nd Nat Tour, Bus & Truck. Can't count the number of performances I watched. Act I always held my interest no matter who was in the cast or how many bells and whistles the production could afford. But Act II was always relentlessly god-awful to sit through-- everyone forgets the parade of terrible numbers that litter that act: "Masculinity", "Look Over There", "Cocktail Counterpoint", and most painful of all-- "The Best of Times" which is basically ONE VERSE sung over and over again ever louder and shriller as it modulates up the scale. Sure the show was a history maker at the time, but actually sitting through the whole show is sheer agony to my ears.
Elf the Musical. I was in the ensemble of this show about 2 years ago, and since the directors made really questionable casting choices, and the show did not end up as good as I thought it probably could have been, I really can't stand listening to the cast album or hearing about it anymore. The movie is bad enough to have to endure during the Christmas season without reminding me of this show in which I was a part of.
I've done MUSIC MAN several times and have loved it every time. Did SHOWBOAT twice and grew tired of the plodding plot. Also, I played Frank Schultz both time. Thankless role.
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