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  • Writer's pictureMichael Doppe

End of 2013

It's getting to be near the end of the 2013. And I recently looked back and realized I have been so busy with work I haven't had any time to even "realize how busy I've been". Between rehearsing, directing, dancing, acting, having shows cancelled on me, auditioning for new shows, I haven't had any time for reflection during the last couple of months. Get ready folks this might get deep.

I'm house sitting for my sister in El Cerrito. Watching her cat, Sebastian. I'm here for about a week. And this place, this small apartment, only a stones throw from where I usually rest my head at night, has proven to be a haven of peace and quiet. It is this peace that has allowed me to think on all that I've done, am doing, and will do. Perhaps I'm being an unintentional method actor and "Young Scrooge is being prematurely haunted' by such thoughts. But I feel that my recent busyness needs some explaining.

Updating my resume I noticed something.

I've acted in 7 productions this year.

Last year, 5.

The year before, 3.

I'm not sure what it means that I allow myself to get so busy. But I feel it is unavoidable. My life has been onstage. As is my extended family. An ever-changing, ever-growing panel of communities that have grown around a central purpose.

After Directing "The Rats in the Alley - Go Bananas!", a show for my old improv family, I began work with "Superman" at 42nd Street Moon. And with our Man of Steel from LA and our "Lois" coming from New York, no one could have foreseen how quickly we would unify. We sent each other jokes, went out for drinks, posed for pictures, went to the same auditions, gossiped, all while singing, dancing and sweating. Just the normal Musical Theatre stuff. But while rehearsing Superman I was also being welcomed into another family. That of Missouri Street Theatre in Fairfield.

I grew up and went to school in Fairfield, and had always been aware of MST. Just before starting "Superman" rehearsals I was offered TULSA in their production of GYPSY. A great role. that would test my abilities as a dancer as well as a performer. As well as testing my scheduling abilities; I oly had one rehearsal a week before tech. I owe MST a great deal, they gave me a chance to play like "Fred Astaire" for a while. They brought me back to Solano county (it will always be home to me). And they broadened my family yet again, with Proms, "Mic Check" contests, and with a wonderful story... about strippers.

I jumped again back to 42nd Street Moon as a Directing Intern for "SNOOPY!" Learning and laughing with a cast and crew that let me exercise my Directing Muscle (*insert joke here).

And now I start work on "A Christmas Carol" at Center Rep. A production with a very long pedigree of performers, in a production that has been around for over a decade. And I am one of the newest faces. We have rehearsed for only 2 days and I feel not only accepted but honored and humbled to be let into a production that feels so magical!

My immediate past is strewn with these stories such as this. Accounts of families that have been left, but never forgotten. I don't know what the future will bring. As a performer I have nothing scheduled in 2014. But I am more than happy and pleased with that uncertainty. Because I don't work in this industry for the certainty. I do it for the people, the friends, and the family that happens by "collaborative storytelling".

I mentioned before that I found myself too busy to truly reflect. Well, to tell you the truth...

I'm pretty okay with that.

2014, BRING IT ON!

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