MVLCT has had lots of people come and go and it is always a joy when those who have left for far off places come back to our corner of the world. Hence our focus being our 2005 production of Kiss Me, Kate. This Shakespearean romp was filled with all sorts of people who have gone off to other pursuits. Whether in the arts or other ventures, we love to see them take off, but we certainly don’t complain when they come home.
FROM BRADEN JP ROOD (GANGSTER #2)
Kiss Me, Kate was my first MVLCT show that I performed in since moving back from New York.
I was so excited to FINALLY get back up on the stage in my hometown!
My dreams of being in the show were (slightly) dashed when I found out I was pregnant. That was not an issue for MVLCT, but in my head it was impossible to play a character who was supposed to be in a Broadway show and be 5 months pregnant–just not realistic circumstances to me.
Sooo, I still wanted to be in the show and figured out the only role I could play. At auditions I asked the director, Mike Moran, if he believed in cross-gender casting. He said he did and that is how I became Gangster #2.
It was the first time I played a guy. I certainly played a slightly rounder one! Greg Applebee was my partner-in-crime and I am thankful for his dealing with the whale that was me.
I was hormonal and tired…and had a prop gun–thank goodness it was just a prop gun as I was down to my last nerve as I waddled back stage looking (as I observed) like a “knocked-up Jesus”.
Kiss Me, Kate was a real test as playing Gangster #2 opened a new door for me, not just working with MVLCT again but also expanded my repertoire in playing someone that I never had considered.
Playing people who are different from you–whether a different gender, a different lifestyle or a character who has a different point of view on life–is the whole point of acting.
I have actually played several characters that identified as male since and I am so happy that Kiss Me, Kate gave me the opportunity to explore that aspect of myself I didn’t know I possessed.