This weeks Spin Cycle is about roles. I thought I would spin it up a bit and talk about a role I played in a musical and how that role was defined.
When I was a freshman in college I was involved in the spring musical "Showboat". Our director encouraged every one of us (no matter how small a part it was) to come up with a character history so that every character was more believable. In order for you to better appreciate my character, I think you need to know the parts I played so you can better appreciate the history (and future) of this role:
The only speaking role I had was Jeb the backwoodsman. Jeb was a sort of "Sidekick" to the other backwoodsman who intimidated a few of the main characters. All I was required to say was "I reckon"— but I had to say it about four different ways throughout the entire scene.
I later played a waiter at the Trocadero during the Chicago scenes. I also played a gambler who played poker with the lead character Gaylord Ravenal. With these three roles in mind, I chose to weave all of them together into one person. Here is what I came up with:
Well, you see Jud (he was originally named Jud) lived in Oklahoma as a hired hand until got into a fight with a curly haired jerk who swiftly pronounced him dead. So Jud changed his name to Jeb and moved east and hung around the Mississippi pestering Showboats up and down the river.
He then decided to go to Chicago for the worlds fair and landed a job as a waiter at the Trocadero. After work was where he took his earnings and gambled them and made his money grow.
Once he made enough money, he went to visit his cousins the Clampets. And then one day he was shootin' for some food when up from the ground came a bublin' crude… He then decided to change his last name from Fry to Clampet and move to California where he sold his story to some television writers and the rest is history.