Wrong for the Part: The Dancing Cowboy Story

 

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The cutest Johns you ever did see, Wrong for the Part 2016

Last weekend I had the great opportunity to get out a perform again. It’s been a while. I haven’t performed in a real show since I was in An Evening’s Affair last August. This one was a small affair, just two performances with only a handful of rehearsals beforehand, but it was tremendous fun, and I got to play a part I was “wrong” for all over again.

The Kathy Rasmussen Women’s Theatre (KRASS)’s show Wrong for the Part allows people to stretch their skills, taking on roles that they could never dream of being cast in, usually for demographic reasons. Women play men, old play young, black play white. And while most of the show was centered on scenes and monologues from straight theater, I was given the chance along with seven companions to play around with a very lively musical number.

Together eight people, seven women and one man, dressed up like cowboys and danced the Aggie Stomp from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. While that’s usually dWFTP16-FINAL-FINALposter.jpgone by a football team of young men, we doffed that prerequisite and clogged along anyway. It was fantastic fun. I had the chance to perform at the Bartell Theatre for two sold-out nights, something I hope I’ll be able to say again someday.

I was invited to participate because of my involvement in a dance class with Cindy, our dear choreographer. I and three other students from her class came together with others to rehearse and perform our little number, which was the only musical number of the night. Getting to know everyone in that class, along with the newcomers and the many, many other performers in Wrong for the Part, was a great bonus.

Another bonus was that one of our cowboys, Julie, gave everyone little American Girl dolls on closing night. I was never as attached to the brand as my little sister was, but the incredibly thoughtful gesture was truly felt, and the doll will serve as a keepsake of this experience until I need to get a present for a child’s birthday party, in which case the doll will have the chance to be used for its true and rightful purpose.

Another gift we received, this one on opening night, was handkerchiefs from Cindy. All eight of us got our own special color to complete our cowboy getup. Nick, a friend of mine performing in one of the other scenes, revealed his knowledge of the Gay Hanky Code, prompting us to interrogate him about the special meaning of our Hanky Codecolors. I got orange, which in the left back pocket means ‘anything goes’ and in the right means ‘not now, just looking.’ I can’t think of two signals more appropriate to my general inclinations, and Nick agreed.

Getting to perform again, even in a little 3-4 minute dance number, was blissful. I’ve missed getting to dress up and put on a character for people, and being reminded of why I love it is important. I don’t want to disappear completely into the more rational worlds of stage management and writing, enjoyable though they are. I need a little flair and performance in my life too.

Coming up, I’ve got a new show I’m stage managing (more on that in a future post), and an audition to hear back from. I’m also interviewing for a summer internship at a theater I’ll be happy to boast about if I get to work for. It’s hush-hush now, but I’ll spread my news all over the interwebz if all turns out well.

Lucky me, I seem to find something to keep me occupied in the world of theater at all times, whether it be a YSP outreach (I’ll talk about that sometime too) or dancing cowboy two-night dance. Hopefully the trend continues, and I’ll be able to find more and varied work to get excited about.

 

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