The problem is that the two roles I played are the two biggest roles in the show, if you’re counting number of lines. With each passing month, it was getting more and more difficult to go away for a long while and come back with everything at the front of my brain and ready to go. It was starting to feel like work. So I picked a time when I didn’t have any shows upcoming, so I wouldn’t be screwing anybody over. I called the stage manager and told him that he should no longer call me when he needs someone to fill in. I did, however, let him know that he could call me if he ever needs someone to fill in on the wait staff.
That may seem like an unremarkable offer on my part, but if you were ever in TnT, you’d know that it’s actually kind of funny. Here’s why – Typically, when the stage manager is calling around trying to find people to fill in, he will get some variation on this response: “Well, I can come in, but only if I’m playing a character – I’m not interested if you just want me to be on the wait staff.” I pointed out to the stage manager that I was probably the first person who’d ever expressed the exact opposite sentiment – that I’d be happy to come in, but only if I was on the wait staff. Though he wasn’t happy to hear my overall message, he had to laugh at that.
Still, I know the truth of the matter – when they can’t find anyone else, they WILL call me and ask me to come in as Father Mark or Vinnie Black. And when that happens, I will have to be the bad guy and say no. That scenario may even have to happen a couple times before they get the message that I’m really, really done. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand. And then you have to come back with a shovel and DIG that line in the sand.
But all that aside, I will always regard my time with TnT as one of the singular and remarkable chapters in my life. I will close with this photo, in which I am dressed as Father Mark. This particular photo has appeared in literally hundreds of different places, from newspaper and magazine ads to posters to the IMAX screen at Navy Pier. I pulled it from the wedding album on the TnT web site. There are a bunch of lovely folks in the shot with me, including Brooklin G. on one side of me and Paul L. on the other side.