Back in July when I wrote the script for Bloody Mary, I never figured on the problems I would face in presenting this play. I mean, last year on the two coldest nights of the winter, 400 folks showed up at the Joyo Theater to watch Scratchin’ on the Eight Ball. My five-member cast and I had rehearsed for three months prior to this engagement, and they were awesome in their performance. Dodging Bullets were great as they opened and closed the show, and in between the two scenes, I told stories and performed a few songs myself. In the end, I sold over $900 worth of books.
This September when I began rehearsals for both Scratchin’ on the Eight Ball and Bloody Mary, I knew I had a diverse cast for both productions. And then the trouble started. My lead character for 8-Ball, who had done so well last year, had a different agenda and I had to actually let him go. My replacement for him worked hard to take up the slack, but it’s taken us four months of two rehearsals per week, and we’re still not ready. So after cancelling out a December show at the Joyo, I nearly lost my chance to perform there.
But after talking things over with Dwight, he graciously booked us in for the 18th and 19th of February. So once again, I was stoked and we were on for two nights of great entertainment.
And then . . . all three of my kid actors for the Bloody Mary play quit on me! I understand they have other agendas, but I felt like they sold this show short. Two of them are into the performing arts, so they have other shows to devote their time to. I have no hard feelings about this, but as a director I was pretty low-key, not rushing things, certainly not pushing things. I even heard horror stories from one actor’s mom about one youth director throwing a walkie-talkie through a wall, and another who had to write apology letters to all his cast for throwing a fit. So, rather than be a hard-ass like that, I guess I took too long preparing them. So here I am, a month and two weeks away from Opening Night, and I lost all three of my main actors for the play!
I’ve put out requests to other kids, but still no response, so I am not even sure where I go from here.