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A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High senior stands on a hillside outside the school. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Dear Mr. Spencer,
First, I am SO excited to be cast in the spring production this year as a crisis actor, and I look forward to giving the role my all! Since I have previously starred as Courtney (“Legally Blonde”), Chorus (“Grease”) and Factory Worker 3/Third Alternate for Madame Thenardier (“Les Mis”) among other roles, you know you can expect 100 percent commitment from me, even though I am only a sophomore.
As an actor this gives me what I have always craved the most: total anonymity, no attention whatsoever and a guarantee that no one will ever learn my name. My mom is always like, “Why do I have to drive you to the theater three nights a week, and why can’t you go out for track this semester?” and I’m like, “Because NOTHING, Mom.” She’s supportive, though. I have hinted that I am making great connections. I know that you are connected globally to a large network that literally pulls all the strings of the world, so I was wondering if after this you could get me onto Broadway or at the very least off-Broadway.
My mom has not asked about the big bag of gold bullion that I have in my room, but she wants to know if I’m really being utilized to my fullest extent, and upon reflecting on it, I have some suggestions to make about my character.
I just think the role of Crying Girl with Sign is actually the heart of the production and we overlook this at our own risk. I am already off book (no big deal, I am very devoted to my craft), and I have some ideas about how to expand my part. Right now, I am instructed to cry while holding a sign, cry while not holding a sign and then, into a microphone, say, “I’m not a crisis actor.”
I was thinking I could say into the camera, “I’m NOT a crisis actor,” and then I could wink, add, “Courtney, take your break!” and then do a split. I can do a full split. I didn’t do it in auditions but usually I can.
I could also say, “I’m not a crisis … I’m an actor” in a voice. I can do a number of voices: old woman, Lucille Ball, something that sounds like an old-timey newsman and sort of a Grover-Yoda-hybrid. My voice is my instrument! It is just one of the many arrows in my acting arsenal.
Another thought that came to me was that I could rap the line. “I’m not/a crisis/or a member of ISIS/I’m an ACTOR!” but obviously I’m not Lin-Manuel Miranda (I WISH! Once he favorited a tweet that I did where I sent him a drawing of himself as a crab and it was honestly the best day of my life, not to boast). But if you like the idea, I can write a longer verse. I am a triple threat! Not in the sense that anyone is in danger from me, just in the sense that I act, sing and dance. Obviously no one is in danger.
Damien Tucker is going to be amazing in his lead role as Articulate Person the Internet Will Become Very Suspicious Of. If you want us to be in any scenes together I AM VERY READY. In my mind, Articulate Person the Internet Will Become Very Suspicious Of and Crying Girl Holding a Sign have a long history together, and I can act with my face and body — or do a dream ballet! — if you do not think this merits another line. We could even KISS right before he says his line (do not tell him I suggested this).
I also want to know if you plan to do anything about the fact that Laura Jenkins never says her line right. I am not confident in her ability to cry on cue (when I was Factory Worker 3 and she was Fantine, I noticed that she brought a damp sponge with her backstage right before “I Dreamed A Dream”) whereas I can cry at the drop of a pin; I’m literally crying right now as I type this.
I cry easily just by imagining — what if this weren’t a play? What if this were real? What if there actually were 17 dead kids and teachers, but some people were so in denial that they decided it would be easier to imagine a whole cast of children being paid to be crisis actors than have to confront the world we live in? Maybe I’d never stop crying.
P.S. I could also sing the line.
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Source : https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2018/02/22/excuse-me-director-i-have-some-questions-about-my-role-in-the-spring-play-as-crisis-actor/