Third place finisher at the 2013 American Association of Community Theatre National Festival with our production of Cradle and All

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First WRCT Blog...First Acting Gig

I am going to write a little something every couple of weeks or so about theater. Sometimes it will be about theater in general, many times it will be insights, reminders, personal stories and items of interest about WRCT.

Since it's my first go, I think it's appropriate to write about my first experience doing live theater.

St. Vincent de Paul grade school, 8th grade, I got the part as Marley in a Christmas Carol. My excitement to play the part must have been obvious to my parents, because my dad came up with a special effect; we would dip gauze in ultraviolet dye, wrap me in it, then wrap me in chains. We would set up a UV light front of stage, and I would look spooky. It took about an hour to wrap the gauze, and then the chains, which weighed quite a bit for a 13 year old to trudge around with.

The play opened, I waited backstage, barefoot, because we had wrapped my feet for effect, too. I went out, haunted Scrooge with the best 13-year-old Marley you can imagine, but felt a sting in my heel as I walked around  onstage. I must have been very focused, because the sting I felt was an upholstery tack, and after pulling out the tack, as I looked back on stage I could see where every step I took was, because I left a bloody footprint from the tack wound, lit up quite well by the black light.

This is a story I tell often enough to theater friends, both as my "first live role" story and also to illustrate how important focus is, you can get through a lot when prepared, motivated, and focused. The injury certainly didn't hamper my enthusiasm, from then on I have been wanting to get in front of my next live audience.

Thanks for reading, see you in the theater!

Mike Barrett

Michael Barrett is President of the WRCT Board of Directors