Actor, Puppeteer, and Teaching Artist

The Road Goes Ever Ever On

I am a sentimentalist.

I cry at everything. Not just first two seasons of West Wing or Lil Sebastian like… commercials.
Even when I know the manipulation is happening… even when I have notes for how the thing can manipulate better…

I’m soft.

You have obviously been planning to go and saying farewell to all your haunts all this year since April. We have constantly heard you muttering: “Shall I ever look down into that valley again, I wonder”, and things like that. And pretending that you had come to the end of your money, and actually selling your beloved Bag End to those Sackville-Bagginses! And all those close talks with Gandalf.’

It’s a passage of the Fellowship of the Ring I reference often because lord above am I that guy. Since Megan announced our move to the Twin Cities in August I’ve already begun counting down the “lasts”. Stupid stuff really… I’ll never audition for another Austin show. We’ve already had the last Cookie Party…

But this weekend is the true start of the end. This weekend is the last time I get to work with Trouble Puppet.

I hunted down Connor Hopkins as part of my “we’re leaving Austin” bucket list. Megan had begun the process of interviewing for positions, I wanted to start crossing things off the list, and after seeing Riddley Walker Hopkins and Trouble Puppet were high on that list. I wanted badly to work with him and the workshops that had previously been the front door hadn’t been offered in a while. So I approached him at an Exchange Artists’ Hot Night and then talked with Kathryn Rogers at the Payne awards and  got myself on the list… and when they ran out of folks while recruiting for Cruel Circus I got the call.

Two short years later and this weekend I will close my fifth show and I can say that I’m going to miss these folks as much as I’m going to miss any part of Austin. I am so grateful that they let me come play with them. Aside from the skills learned in manipulation it’s aa rigorous a collaborative environment as I’ve had an opportunity to work in; if a bit is good enough it stays, if not it goes. I love it.

But mostly, I remembered to have fun again. I am a chronically serious person and it can be a problem when a schedule grinds on you – you end up piling serious on serious and that way lies burnout. Being in the room with these folks and their decade of in-jokes and war stories and fart jokes in the middle of a very class-conscious take on a mass murdering misogynist makes it hard to ever get too lost in my own pomposity. There was always a shot of laughter in the anarchy.

I love these folks as much as my own companies. I’m sorry I’m not going to be around to get tenure. I never get to do Frankenstein or the eventual Jungle remount or the second and third parts of the Wars in Heaven (I’ll find a way to be here for Connor’s one-man Moby Dick – I wouldn’t miss it).

I would love it if you can join us for Wars of Heaven (Part 1) this weekend and help me say goodbye.

Yes, I am going to cry – you shuddup.

Cruel Circus Archive (41)the-head-featured-700x450Crapstall PromoJekyll testing

Two scenes from the Trouble Puppet preview

Coverage of Wars of Heaven (Part One):

American Theatre :

The Austin Chronicle :

The Austin American-Statesman

Central Texas Live Theatre : Michael Meigs  and Dr. Dave

Austin Examiner

Broadway World – Austin

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