PHIL IN THE BLANK: Back on stage

I’ve been busy lately with the Clarkston Village Players at Depot Theater down by the train tracks.
I took a bit role for their last show, “Laura,” in January, playing a police officer who shows up just to perp walk the suspects off the stage.
Two appearances on stage with four lines total and I didn’t show up for rehearsals until the last few weeks or so, but the cast, crew, and director still treated me as one of them, which was nice.
I’m cast in a bigger role in the upcoming show in May, “Out of Order.”
This one is a British farce, like the naughtier comedies on BBC. People running around in their knickers, and all that. I’ll be the hotel manager, trying to manage the various rambunctious carryings-on of the rest of the cast.
We’re all working on our British accents, except actor Steve Sanger, who was born with one. So we’ll have one decent English speaker up there, at least.
Actually, most of the cast have excellent elocution. Director Sara Sanger sent how-to-speak-Britishey books home with us (except Steve), but I’ll probably rely mostly on my decades of watching Monty Python.
Before all that, though, I’ll be in the theater sound-and-lights booth for the show opening this weekend, “Something to Hide.”
It’s my first time in the tech booth.
So if the phone rings and an actor answers the door, or the stage goes dark in the middle of a scene, that would be my fault.
I’m starting to get the hang of it, pressing a series of buttons in the proper sequence at the right time.
It’s like a video game from when I was still playing them, back when the Playstation II was the latest thing.
Success here, though, means instead of Lara Croft jumping across a whirlpool, grabbing a branch, and somersaulting up onto a cliff ledge, Stella the maid hears the phone ring as the lights come up, turns off the radio, has a phone conversation, then turns the music back on after she hangs up.
Hopefully everything will happen as it should, but I’ll have to be careful. Lara ended up at the bottom of the whirlpool lots of times.

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