14 September 2005

Bon Chance, Sam

Most every Equity contracts (that is, contracts under which union stage actors work) have what's called a "more remunerative employment" clause. To you and me, that means if I'm working on a show and some other theater comes along and offers me a better paying gig, the theater for which I'm working is obligated to let me out of my contract without penalty so I can take the new gig.

As an actor, that's a priceless benefit, since having to buy ourselves out of time remaining on a contract with a producer could, easily, ruin most of us financially. Most of us are living from paycheck to paycheck and wondering where next month's rent is coming from. Or maybe I'm projecting.

The point of all this is that Sam Tsoutsouvas -- beloved member of the HENRY cast -- got a rather incredible offer to play the lead in an Off-Broadway play about Ezra Pound. Not surprisingly, he accepted the part. Had I been in his position, I'd have dropped us like a hot potato.

Sam left this past Sunday, so we've been having extra rehearsals to get his replacement up to speed. Thankfully, the replacement is Martin Giles, who's already in the cast, playing "Ordolf." Marty's a fine actor, so in that respect he's a great choice to replace Sam. But his moving to a new role of course necessitates finding a replacement for him, which means getting two actors up to speed instead of one. It's a logic, I must admit, that's lost on me.

The extra rehearsals haven't really helped with my sleep patterns. Actually, they've had no effect on my sleep patterns, other than that when I'm laying awake staring at the ceiling, I'm twice as tired as I was when I was just living my life and doing the show. For the last couple of days it's been like being back at the beginning of the summer -- doing one show while rehearsing another -- only without the overlap fee.

Replacing Marty is Bobby Zinsmeister, a local actor I don't know, but I'm certainly enjoying as he's fitting himself into the show. The poor guy did last night's rehearsal feeling like crap; apparently he's got some kind of flu-bug. It's a measure of his commitment that everyone else around him was phoning it in, and he was going full bore.

So congratulations to Marty, a hearty big welcome to Bobby, but mostly:

Break a leg, Sam!

PS: Here's what Patrick Jordan thinks of the whole thing:

PPS: Kidding.

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