Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Free at last, free at last…

This afternoon, I gave my final performance as a regular cast member of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. I phrased that last sentence very carefully, because today was almost certainly NOT my final performance in the show – I’ve told them that they can feel free to call me when they need someone to fill in. I did, however, stipulate that they shouldn’t even bother calling me this coming weekend, as I have quite intentionally filled up my weekend schedule so as to put a roadblock between the show and myself in the near term (e.g., this Friday, I’ll be at a casino in New Buffalo, Michigan while TnT is struggling on without me).

My brain is still sputtering with the assorted emotions I’m feeling about this transition. Let’s see now… a partial list would have to include such terms as joy, relief, love, sadness, nostalgia, disgust, giddiness, and righteous indignation. And they’re all mixed together right now, so I can’t even offer a coherent summation at this point. I may compose a more eloquent manifesto at a later time, but for now, suffice it to say that these five years in TnT have been one of the great experiences of my life. I’ve learned a lot, met some lovely and talented people, increased my networking in the Chicago theater community a hundred-fold, and entertained thousands upon thousands of people on an up-close-and-personal level.

I have been paid, these past five years, to walk up to people, make myself the center of attention, bullshit with them, and entertain them. In other words, I’ve been paid to do what I’ve been doing for free all my life!

Having said all of that, there were aspects of the TnT experience that were profoundly frustrating. I’m not prepared to get fully into that discussion right here and now, but those frustrations centered around two things: 1) The policies and attitudes of certain components of management; and 2) The attitudes, approaches, and lack of discipline or professionalism on the part of certain fellow performers.

Of course, that’s another indication that it was time for me to move on – those elements have always been a part of the TnT experience. But it was really starting to get to me; really starting to wear on me. I was losing my ability to insulate myself from such concerns. But that’s really OK. The fact is, as an actor, I’ve pretty much gotten all that I’m ever going to get out of Father Mark and Vinnie Black, so it really is time to find new characters in new shows. More broadly, it’s time to find new creative opportunities, so I’m giving myself a little boost in that direction by kicking myself out onto the street.

By the way, I took some (I believe) wonderful photos today at TnT, but due to technical issues, I will not be able to share them in this space for another day or two.

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