I have a feeling.
A feeling that suggests I need to do something.
I've had this feeling before.
Once, back in May of 1999, when the opportunity to audition for the play "Beauty and The Beast" came around, for example. Through a friend I discovered that this play, one of my favorite fairy tales, was being produced at The Midland Center For The Arts, and that the director still hadn't found her Beast. Now here was a character I'd always identified with; a monster, misunderstood at that, with a mysterious lineage and a prediliction toward the ferocious. It was like playing myself. Now, I hadn't performed on stage in a good six years at this point, since my grand ol' days in high school drama playing ghosts, murderers and supervillains. My kinda people. Now, circa 1999, as I found myself in the enviable position of filling a dream role that no one else obviously wanted, I froze. Do I try out? Do I bail out? I was scared to death and unsure of my ability to perform. But a nagging feeling deep inside was puling me towards giving it a shot. Still, I wasn't sold. Deciding to let fate determine the outcome, I pulled up to a gas pump, proceeded to fill my tank, and declared that if the pump shut off at $10.00, I'd audition. If not, I wouldn't, easy as that. So I squeezed, moved back and waited.
And with a click of the pump, a ten dollar price tag was waiting for me at the cresting levy of my gas tank.
Did this mean that the Bush family not only controlled the free world via its oil stock holdings, but also held dominion over the realm of fate? Whose to say? All I knew was, I didn't need a burning bush to beat me over the head. I knew a sign when I saw one, however ecologically corrupt it may have presented itself.
So audition I did. And the coveted role of the Beast (from the original dark fairy tale rather than the almost as good candy-colored Disney animated musical) was mine. Such was borne one of my fondest experiences on stage, and an event which, as I can trace it back now, set into motion a domino-spilling of occurances which culminated in my meeting the love of my life and eventual wife, Laura Tanner, in Central Michigan University's theater department three years later.
How's that for a story? True, I assure you. And very important in my faith and perception of life. So now here I am today, the dawn of 2008, and that old familiar feeling is washing over me like a ginger ale tide, very sweet, with bubbles of anticipation filling up around me from all sides. And what, you gotta be asking yourself by now, is the source for this feeling?
Why, another play of course. Jay Fosgitt, blue collar cartoonist and occasional participant in the performing arts (I have a minor in theater after all) is dusting off his acting chops and preparing to audition for a play at The Bay City Players, a hallowed venue where many great memories have been made, not the least of which being the marriage to my wife on their very stage.
The play is called "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel" by "Tuesdays With Morrie" author Mitch Albom. When I first heard many months back that they were putting on the play, the title alone piqued my curiosity and made me consider auditioning. Then just today, I borrowed a copy of the script from the Players, just to see if it's something I'd really want to try and be a part of.
I read it cover to cover in two hours, and immediately found THE character I wanted to play. He gets to be funny and dramatic, plus he holds a connection to the type of role I so relished in my old days on stage. I find myself VERY excited, and I don't excite easily. That feeling is kicking a hole in my chest and looking to spill out in enthusiastic gushes all over the place. Now, does this feeling assure that I'll get the role? Not in the slightest. There's a lot of talented guys in Bay City with far more pull at The Players than I have who could probably play this role as well or better. I'm not arrogant about my talent or chances. But I know what I want, and I'm willing to give it my all to get it. If it doesn't come to be, well, it won't be due to a shortfall of effort and determination.
So this is my latest news. If you're looking for a connection to my usual artistic medium (i.e. cartooning), then how about this: "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel." I write and draw a comic book called Dead Duck, about a dead DUCK who works for the ANGEL of Death. Now if that isn't a burning bush, I don't know what is. Auditions aren't until the end of the month, so it's a while off until I try out and anything can be determined. But rest assured that, as always, I'll be here to share the results, as well as any and all news that comes of my various and kooky artistic endeavors. Nothing but love, muh peeps. Hey, baby ducks peep, don't they? Another sign!