Oct 02 2015

You’ve been a good man for sixty-five years, Charlie Brown






The first Peanuts cartoon was published on this day in 1950.

When I was a child, I had no idea that the comic strip was already 15 years old.  I had a book with a collection of Peanuts cartoons.

Every year, Halloween was not complete without The Great Pumpkin, and Christmas had truly arrived when Linus recited the passage from The Gospel of Luke.

My family recognizes my fondness for all things Peanuts related.

I have a stuffed Snoopy toy that I got somewhere in my 40s.

My favorite Christmas music is the Vince Guaraldi Trio and the soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

My favorite mug is yellow and black, just like Charlie Brown’s shirt.

And I loved working at Kings Dominion when the Peanuts characters arrived (the source of said mug).

There’s a simply beauty in the way the Peanuts comic strip was drawn.  And there’s great wisdom in the speech of those small children.

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong’.

Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.”

- Charles M. Schulz

See what I mean?

Peanuts and Charlie Brown bring me back to my childhood.

A time when things seemed simpler, even if they weren’t.

A time when the smallest of things, like a book of Peanuts cartoons, could mean so much.

Thank you, Charlie Brown.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

- Charles M. Schulz

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Oct 01 2015

Attend the Tale


“Sometimes opportunities float right past your nose. Work hard, apply yourself, and be ready. When an opportunity comes you can grab it.”

- English actress and singer Julie Andrews was born on this day in 1935.

Julie Andrews had more than one chance to grab opportunity.  She has talked about how fortunate she was to have been selected to play both the title role in Mary Poppins and Maria in The Sound of Music.

I will never get the chance to play the leading lady in a major Hollywood blockbuster.

For many reasons.  But I will have my opportunities.

I am in the midst of one such opportunity.  Three weeks from tomorrow, Sweeney Todd opens with Panglossian Productions in Williamsburg.

I’m playing Judge Turpin.


He really is that creepy.

I have told many people that this is a “Bucket List” show.  Of course for years I dreamed of playing the lead, but I’m no fool, I’ve aged out of that one.  And I’m not sure I ever really had the vocal strength for that role.

I’m not being modest. If I’m to have any success at all as an actor I have to know and understand my limitations.

Face it, the fact that I’m playing a judge for the third time in a year and a half, AND the fact that I had to turn down the opportunity to play a judge in a different show in November, pretty much tells me that I fit a certain character type.

Still.  I’d like a haircut.

I digress.

The opportunity for Sweeney Todd came completely out of the blue.  I was on my way to a meeting in the Shenandoah Valley.  No, I was not driving.

Checking Facebook I “liked” that a friend was auditioning for the show. I got an immediate message from him saying that I should come audition because they needed…wait for it…a judge.

I had nothing with me.  No resume.  No head shot.  No music.

And I was driving three hours in the wrong direction.

But I made it work.  And we open on October 23.

The thing about opportunity is that you never know when it’s going to come knocking.

So, you’d better be ready.

And keep your music and head shot in your car.

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