Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Houston Gets Some Hed, Part 1: The Origin Of Love

Here is something a bit different. I usually post primarily about horror/Halloween/Monsters, etc., but I decided to focus on another important aspect of my personality: acting. This is the first part of a brief series I did a few years back, about the story of how Hedwig & the Angry Inch wound up coming to Houston. It's quite a bit different from my usual faire, but I hope that all three of you who read my blog will still enjoy it! I first heard about the play Hedwig & The Angry Inch in a review in Rolling Stone magazine, circa 1998. I was intrigued by the premise, and reviewer David Fricke gushed about how incredible both the songs and story were. I made a mental note to further investigate it, but soon forgot it amongst all the normal crap of day-to-day life. A few months later, I'm paid a visit from my friends, Lynda and Jef. Jef had made a trip to New York, and seen the play live in the flesh. He raved on and on about how incredible this show was, and proceeded to play me the soundtrack. I was an instant fan. The music was one of the greatest rock scores I'd ever heard for a musical, and the story was quite compelling.
Fast forward to 2001, and Hedwig has been adapted into a film. By this point, I was rabid for this show. It's themes of isolation, loneliness and the dual quests for identity and love struck a chord with me. It was, at this time, that I became determined to play Hedwig in a stage production. I was living in San Antonio, where the theater scene was rather...sparse, to say the least. My then-wife, Elaine, was quite active in SA's theater community, so I at least had a way of knowing if any productions were going to occur. Finally, in 2002, I heard about a casting call for Hedwig, but it was only for the part of Yitzak. Ironically, Elaine went out for the part, and was cast!
During the production, I sat in on the rehearsals, and actually became somewhat involved behind-the scenes. I discovered during a conversation with the show's Hedwig, Roy Thomas, that he was also the producer. This made me flash back to a conversation I'd had with B-movie king Bruce Campbell three years before, when he'd given me this bit of advice: "If you want to act, produce" (at the time I'd been working with my friend, Annie, to get an indie film produced. It never happened, but the idea of producing was still in my mind). I'd never considered actually putting on the show myself, but here Roy was, doing exactly that. Of course, he had brought the show to San Antonio, so I didn't want to step on his toes. I didn't really have any hope of playing Hedwig, unless I moved somewhere else. With no prospects in site of this, I resigned myself to not being able to play Hedwig for the forseeable future. By the end of the year, events would be set in motion that would take me away from San Antonio, and back to Houston. Suddenly, Hedwig would be attainable once more.
To be continued...

2 comments:

The Artful Gypsy said...

Hello Hello my dear friend! I have been away from here the last 6 months, busy with school, summer and house renovations...just now getting back here to blog land. I've pretty much quit FB altogether. But I wanted to be sure to stop by here and say hello, as I thought of you when I spied my first Autumn decor finds of the year at Michaels and Hobby Lobby! I hope you are doing well and looking forward to the upcoming Halloween season. I enjoyed reading about your acting ambitions, so I await 'the rest of the story' as Paul Harvey would say! Say hello to the fam from the A-clan! Talk to you soon! ~W

The Gill-Man said...

Hey Wens! Good to "hear" from you! I was actually just thinking about y'all the other day, as we were talking about the trip to Florida. If I'm not mistaken, I think I still need to get the pics from you! Ha!

I've been away from the blogosphere myself lately, other than to read a blog or two here and there. In fact, the last time I posted a blog was in February! Sheesh! Just too busy with work, kid's activities and what-not. It's been a busy year, to say the least.

Been meaning to get out and see which stores have started stocking their Halloween/Autumn wares, but haven't found the time as of yet. Hopefully, the Samhain Season will afford me more time to enjoy our favorite time of year!