Monday, January 17, 2011


Now is the winter of our discontent—
Richard III, Act I, Scene I

Back in the OLDEN DAYS, when I was an actor wending my way around Hollywood, waiting for auditions, poring through mail for residual checks, and gathering with fellow thespians to gripe, the notion we had about winter went like this:

Starting two weeks before Thanksgiving, just forget your career. Everything will shut down audition, hiring-wise, until the new year; so you might as well bundle up, drink cheap wine around a skimpy Christmas tree, and party.

Our holidays were festive because we had no expectations for those off-months and nothing but high hopes for the new year. Because the NEW YEAR meant PILOT SEASON, a time of abundance audition-wise, and certainty that this was The Year. This would be the year when oil gushed and the casting wand touched the foreheads of the ready, talented and so damn able.

The trick was simple. Have a blast through November and December and then hit the gym and be ready for the phone to ring because January through April was PILOT SEASON, when the networks went on the hunt.

So, back in those olden days, Los Angeles filled up with actors arriving from Chicago, Toronto and New York. They booked into apartment hotels and bedded on their colleagues' couches because this was The Year it would all click into place and the world would finally make sense, tickety-poo.

I no longer live back in those days but, my God, does January still have her pull. My stomach lurches as we roll into week two of the month and I remember the hope, the belief and the hunger.

I'm so far removed from that scene that I don't even know if the infamous pilot season exists in this fashion or if new shows are cast throughout the year or why I should care, but I'm slightly sickened because I can't forget. I wish I could, but it's imprinted in my system like a bad tattoo.

Then I remember I have found an antidote to the malady:

January is when a new season of The Shakespeare Club begins and I'll face twenty-four shining faces filled with:


Because this is The Year. Their year. Oh yeah.

I got my wish! Ya. I did not think Shakespeare Club would not be how it was. Everyone overcame their shyness. My favorite part was doing the show. I also liked rehusing. What I will miss about Shakespeare club is that some of my friends will move. All my 5th grade friends will graduate. I will miss Ms. Ryane and Ms.Rachel.
Phoebe, 4th grade

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