For the past few weeks I have felt like Tobias Fünke. Tobias, one of the dysfunctional family on Arrested Development, fancies himself an actor and is an understudy for the Blue Man group but he never gets called. He must, however, always be on the ready, just in case.
For my role as Juror #10 in Twelve Angry Men, our director wanted me to colour my hair.
Last time I did this for the role of Charlie in August Osage County, everyone thought I looked like a porn star. People were asking me if I was having a mid-life crisis or had a new girlfriend I was trying to impress. And despite my barber’s assurance that it would “wash out in a couple of weeks” it took more like three months before I was rid of it.
So for this one, I chose to plaster in colour every night and wash it out after the show. The colouring turned out a bit more orange than I had originally intended but it suited my character, an obnoxious, intolerant, racist, Trumpish fellow who said so many really nasty things about others that it sometimes made the audience squirm with uneasiness. When one of the other jurors threatened to “split my skull” after I made a bigoted tirade, the audience laughed with relief. They really didn’t like me.
Yesterday, after the show closed, I set out to clean up my bathroom which had red splatters on the walls, looking like someone had been shot in the room. The bathtub needed scrubbing, too, and I found orange fingerprints on my walls near light switches. I am throwing out one green shirt that has a collar embedded with orange. The show is over and this fellow, Juror 10, is being retired.
We had a great run with this production. It was a tight cast with fourteen fellows that all got along and brought different characters to the jury room. Our director, Claudia Wade, was a loving and guiding “Mom” to us all and drew out performances that seemed to impress the Domino Theatre audiences.
As usual, after a show closes, the next week or two will seem a bit hollow. I have been used to four rehearsals a week for the last couple of months and have grown to be great friends with the other 13 guys who made up the cast. We shall have to plan a reunion soon to yell at each other.