The Show in Particular

The commute to the theater turned out to be a 71 mile round trip, which I began to make six days out of seven. One snag is that it was only 71 miles if I used a toll road, which totaled nine bucks per day in tolls. Texas Rep did provide a weekly travel stipend, which almost took care of the tolls.

But here’s the other thing which was amazing about the Texas Rep: in stark contrast to other small pro theaters I’ve worked with in the area, I was paid for the rehearsals, as well as for the performances. All told, with tolls and rising gasoline prices, I probably broke even – and when you’re playing Van Helsing, breaking even is certainly good enough.

Though grueling – leaving the Hated Job to go straight to rehearsal or performance for over a month – the overall experience of Dracula was so overwhelmingly positive, I would love to work there again as soon as possible… or at least once I was was feeling halfway rested again.

The professionalism on display at the Texas Rep was impressive. I was likely the oldest member of a young cast – I passed the half-century mark during final dress – and I never had the experience (which I’ve had so many times) of looking at one of my fellow actors and thinking, “What the hell is that person doing on stage?”

Actually, the actor playing Renfield, Jeff Lane, lags only a few years behind me. He, along with the director, Steven Fenley, were members with me in the Main Street Theater company back in the late 80s, early 90s. And Jeff was one of the ill-fated actors in a move called Forever Evil. And yet, with over 20 years of knowing each other, we had never acted in a show together.

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