The Mr. Boban Experience

Saturday night I saw the closing performance of Live Action Set’s Please Don’t Blow Up Mr. Boban, a 90-minute wartime romp through the joy and grit of humanity re-mounted post-Fringe Festival at The Loring Playhouse. Overall, a beautiful, moving piece of performance-dance-theater that certainly deserved all the praise it received. There were a few places where I recognized modified improvisation warm-up games which could have certainly been left out of the piece and rendered it just as, if not more, effective, but they also helped establish a supportive group dynamic that was palpable. The story centered around a bistro owner, Mr. Boban, whose shop is bombed, his brother a casualty of that bombing, yet continued on as the townspeople’s safe-haven on both literal and figurative levels. Between a rebel that took up residence in Boban’s refrigerator and the soul of a dead little girl who stuck around until her photograph-plastered mother found her, it was at once surprisingly funny and heartbreaking. The most touching part of the evening, however, was when an audience member on the other side of the stage (the performance played in the round) began to silently cry during a particularly moving scene. The young boy that he was with, perhaps 11, noticed, scooted closer to his friend and extended his little arm up to try and embrace the grown-up's shoulders. His arm couldn’t quite reach all the way around, but the sentiment was clear. Sadly, children are often far more empathetic than we tend to notice when we’re wading in our own moments.

So since this is my website and I’m an actress and therefore have an obligation of self-servitude to fulfill, I have to interpret the Mr. Boban experience in a way that speaks directly to my personal dramas of the moment. Ready? O-KAY!:

I walked away from the theater feeling a bit melancholy and realized that being a part of that audience made me miss the stage even more than I already have been missing it. Voice-over work is certainly gratifying, but rather lonely at the same time; I want to work in an ensemble again, I want to feel the energy of a room and dance with it. Well, dance with it in an actor way, not a dancer way (although the two forms are being integrated more and more in the work I see lately).

Over the past month or two, I’ve been checking out for audition listings, but not every company/venue lists there. And the old stand-by, the Star Tribune 550’s, is something that I don’t go out and buy on Sundays because I already get the New York Times – I think that I should be able to get the same info through the Star Tribune online, but no such luck. The STrib online classifieds are really quite terrible, actually – more so since they changed their search engine preventing one from viewing all submissions under the 550 header. So there we have it: half-assed searching for stage work, and nothing to show for it. Surprising? Nope. Disappointing? Yep.

Alas, (alack?) it’s time to stop screwing around. I’ve officially hit a plateau in the Twin Cities, and plateaus are sad and scary and lame; so here is my stage-acting agenda for the next two weeks:

  1. Get a new headshot (thank you, photographer monkey) and 100 laser prints;
  2. Decide on three new audition monologues (contemporary, classic, Shakespeare) and MEMORIZE them;
  3. Start actively seeking out stage auditions, and specifically request auditions for the Children’s Theater Company and The Guthrie. It’s time.

Donations accepted. Wish me luck.