Actor Kirt Bateman Rambles About Shifting Gears from EXPOSED to GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL!

I don’t blog. I don’t write. Let’s face it, I can barely speak. But here goes: It’s been an exhausting and terrifying three weeks since the opening of EXPOSED. The Monday after we opened Mary’s play about the appalling plight of Downwinders we started rehearsals for GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! about the desperate plight of Johann Gutenberg (well, at least as envisioned by two musical theatre geeks, Bud and Doug). The similarities in the material are astounding. Both are called “theatre.” That’s about it.

EXPOSED was vital. GUTENBERG is ridiculous fun.

Going from rehearsals of GUTENBERG to performances of EXPOSED in the same day felt like what I imagine it would feel like to quarterback a championship football game (yeah, like I know what THAT feels like) and do a synchronized water ballet (that, I do know how to do) all at the same time. Throw in a day-job and you have the recipe for an extremely tired, fat, bald man in his 30s wondering what the hell he was thinking when he agreed to this schedule.

Well, I’ll tell you what I was thinking: these were two amazing shows – for different reasons, of course – for an amazing company, with amazing casts, and I would be the biggest fool not to do everything in my power to work it out! So, I did.

Between rehearsals for G and performances of E it would take me nearly one-and-a-half hours to transition. Part of my transition ritual (I’m a fairly ritualistic actor and also one of those superstitious actors that you always read about and laugh at, because… um…how ridiculous!) was to go into the ladies dressing room and let the medicinal energy of Joyce Cohen, Teresa Sanderson and Teri Cowan help me remember what we were there to do…plus Joyce had amazing herbal remedies for my sore voice and body. I couldn’t do this in the gent’s dressing room because all I do in there is laugh…and get dressed.

Jason Tatom and Mark Fossen are funny peoples. The ladies of EXPOSED were funny too…just, in a not-so-funny way. Anyway, after “the switch” was made (other rites, rituals, and passages assisted in making the change-over occur), I was good-to-go for EXPOSED and didn’t even think about GUTENBERG for the rest of the evening (mostly).

Now, we are nearing hell week for GUTENBERG and EXPOSED closed last Sunday (in a way, it seems like it closed ages ago).

Now that EXPOSED is closed, I miss my peeps. Joyce, Teresa, Teri, Jason and Mark were the most amazing, drama-free, professional cast. I felt incredibly honored to be with them. On the other hand, Jay Perry is a mess. It’s all drama, tantrums and drunkenness for every rehearsal! Okay, that was a joke. Jay – as anyone who has ever worked with him, talked to him, or seen him walking down the street will tell you – is an utter delight (also a comic master and brilliant actor).

By now, I should be feeling very comfortable with lines, blocking, music, everything. However, one week from opening G…I’m terrified. I don’t know if I know what I think I know about what I’m supposed to know about GUTENBERG. Yet, I can do that list of names from the final scene of EXPOSED in my sleep. I’m confident it will all come together for our little musical by Friday’s opening though. It always does…especially when Jerry is at the helm.

Jay and I held a secret private rehearsal the other night night and bonded some more. He’s good peeps. I miss my EXPOSED experience; but am ready to make some people laugh (I hope)! Making people laugh is like a narcotic (or what I imagine a narcotic would feel like).

Now, I’m done with this long blog. Do I have to do some weird thing to end it like: semi-colon, dash, close parenthesis?

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