The last show Sam did in Phoenix before he left for the Addams Family tour, was the musical “How I Became A Pirate”, based on the popular children’s book. It was an Arizona premiere, a wonderful show with a small cast that included Sam, as the young boy Jeremy Jacob. Jeremy Jacob is playing on the beach with his parents and baby sister one day, when he spies a band of pirates who is looking for a place to bury treasure and runs away with them while his parents are distracted by the baby. The pirates were played by 7 very talented teenage boys. The Captain of the pirates was played with a lot of humor by the incredible Bobb Cooper, an actor who runs The Valley Youth Theatre, and has run it for almost 20 years.
The script also called for Jeremy Jacob’s parents to provide some off stage dialogue. During rehearsals, Bobb asked if Craig and I would like to provide those voices. If my overenthusiasm in accepting this role did not scare him off (“Yes!! I can’t wait!! Do I need to hire a voice teacher? How much rehearsal do we need? Should I memorize my lines?), I’m pretty sure my character analysis did.
Bobb always does a wonderful job of prepping his actors for their roles, and sometimes that includes having the actors write a brief character analysis of the part they are playing. Well, I decided, on my own, to write an analysis of my character. I named her Debbie, and decided she was Jewish (Jeremy Jacob, come on. Totally Jewish) I then went on to describe how Debbie is an exhausted soccer mom, who just wants to relax at the beach one day and read “50 Shades of Grey”, when her clueless husband and whiny baby ruin her day. She has to schlep everyone back to the house and tells Jeremy to come in for soccer practice in a bit. She sees he is playing with some strange men, but doesn’t care because he is happily occupied. I also threw in my psychological evaluation of Debbie, as a woman who looks in the mirror and does not recognize her old face, when she feels so young inside. I then wrote my complete bio for the program (again, no one wanted or asked for this), in which I highlight all the major theater roles in my life, including preschool and camp roles, and then I blame my parents for not letting me pursue theater in college and making me get a degree I could “use.”
Craig and I headed to the theatre to record our voice overs, and it requires several takes for me (Craig appears to have done just fine and needed only one take for each line) because my heavily Jewish Manhattan accent was not what Bobb had in mind for the mom. And it turns out I am not much of a voice over actress, even with my Camp Seagull training as the off stage voice of the drive in movie in Grease.
Opening night of the show arrives, and I open the program with anticipation. All the cast bios and headshots are there. But, sadly, not mine. Only the people who are, like, actually in the show are featured in the program. Somehow, I muster the courage to go on in life.
So, now I’m here in the big city and today we get the cast list, with their hometown info and bios. And I look, and my name is listed as part of the cast!!! Yay!!! And then I look closer, and there is no headshot (not that I ever took one) and no bio (not that anyone asked for one) My role? Most awesome supportive mom ever? Best wife/lawyer/blogger ever? Nope. It says “Primack Chaperone.” Yep, that pretty much sums up my life.
Tomorrow, January 12, is Craig’s 42nd birthday. Last year on my 40th birthday he was in NYC to film one of two episodes of Dr. Oz that he did on weight loss. And so now I’m here with an equally cool role on his birthday. As Primack Chaperone. The official schlepper. I’m sad I’m not there with him, but glad to be here with Sam. I just wanna get a headshot out of this one day.