"Oh, Gastronomy!": The Apprentices

April 10, 2012

Re-posted with permission from the author. Read the original blog post here.

It has been a week since I was at the Actors Theatre of Louisville for the Humana Festival and the presentation of our own show, Oh, Gastronomy! This has given me time to process the experience, carefully study the pictures I took of all the food I ate while I was there (check out this pic of a Hot Brown — I made it the wallpaper on my phone), and reflect on how the show came together.

The entire thing has given me a new sense of admiration for the craft of acting: Doing that stuff is hard — plus in order to really make a go of it, you have to give it your entire life; a hundred percent effort, and there’s no going back.

So I wanted to devote this blog post to the Actors Theatre Apprentices: The young actors who made up the company for Oh, Gastronomy! — the folks that we wrote the show for and who so utterly impressed me with their skill and talent. I have no doubt that many of them will go on to achieve great things, so it’s pretty darned cool to have met them at this particular moment, close to the beginning.

Who are the Apprentices? According to Actors Theatre’s Amy Attaway, they are 22 actors selected from auditioning over 2,000 nationwide; they are often in between undergrad and graduate acting programs from across the country. During Actors Theatre’s regular season, they are the foot soldiers doing a lot of the backstage work (moving props into place, set elements, etc..) in the theater’s shows. Sometimes they are also cast in the shows and work alongside the theater’s regular actors. So this program is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to be part of a working theater with a big debut at the Humana Festival for the industry at large.

I spend a lot of my time working with actors. Here in LA, a lot of my friends are actors. I started as an actor in college, quickly giving it up because 1) I hate memorizing lines, and 2) I hate repetition, and 3) I was a terrible actor. And like I said at the top of this post, it’s a hard business.

So it’s incredibly awesome to know that there are still highly talented young people jumping into this industry to make it as actors — and it’s even more awesome still to know that they are such great, talented people.

It’s early April now, so the Apprentices have one more month before they leave Louisville and go on graduate MFA programs, or straight to New York or LA. I know that it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing these folks on great stages and on our movie/tv/ipad screens. So Actors Apprentices 2011/2012: I’ll be watching for you. And if you need anything, you know where to find me.

* * *
So my time at Actors Theatre is done — for now. Oh, Gastronomy! is in the books (and will be in the actual Humana 36 book once it’s published!), and the reviews are out online if you want to Google for them. I am back here in LA now, back to my usual shenanigans and getting my work done.

Humana and Oh, Gastronomy! gave me a chance to re-connect with old friends and meet new ones; and the strange thing is that people don’t seem to really say “goodbye” anymore. We’re all so deeply connected through Facebook and Twitter and email and all that, so after I leave someone behind I can still know what they’re up to. So I feel like I’m still connected with all those folks through my computer screen. So it’s more like, “Yeah, see you later -”

And I think I’ll be back in Louisville eventually — for the Hot Browns, for Hillbilly Tea, for another Humana… And definitely for Garage Bar’s Ham Tasting Platter.

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