by Jeremy Geller
Why would I sooner get cast as Morrible than Fiyero? We all know I would look
amazing in those pants. Why is the fat guy always the punch line, yet lacks the motor
skills to get the girl? What will it take for The Phantom to be 250 lbs? I’m talking to you,
Sir Andrew. Welcome to my life as a character actor. Welcome to the thoughts running
through my head.
It’s July 30, I’m sitting in my car, staring at my phone. Reading an email telling
me I’ve just lost the first Musical Theater gig I’ve had in 6 months due to budget. Well,
f*#%. Wait. 6 Months?! That’s a long time in between gigs. Nope. That’s pretty typical
for a 26-year-old character actor who can’t tap or bring his knees to his earlobes. My
belly simply wont allow it. Here comes the fork in the road. Do I wait another 6 months
for a gig? Sure. I could do that. Or I can take the advice of my friend/mentor/sensei,
Steve Rosen. “To get work. Create it.” But what?
This brings us to one of my insomnia fueled evenings (bleeding into mornings)
YouTube spirals. A video of an Australian production of Little Shop Of Horrors where
the guy cast as Seymour is also the voice of Audrey II. That got me thinking. How can I
do Little Shop as a one-man show? Will I sell a ticket to anyone other than my mother?
No. The answer is no. I can’t be the only one in this situation. A character actor out of
work. So how can I include my equally as talented friends into this show? Well, I won’t
give everything away, but I will tell you the show opens with the three of us as Urchins.
And we may or may not be wearing wigs. (We are) We play every character. And switch
almost every scene! You're gonna have to buy tickets to see the rest.
I often think "why not me?" when I see a casting notice for a “charming leading
man who gets the girl”. There have been shows recently that I’ve thought “Wow! Look
at all those shapes supporting the story!” Baby steps, right? But I have yet to see any
show make it where big people are the story. I hope this concert is a small step in that
direction. Opening peoples eyes to seeing that big people, I promise, can do it all!
Jeremy makes his dreams come true in his Three Man "Little Shop of Horrors" at Feinstein's/54 Below on January 31. Featuring Michael Buchanan (1st National Tour Book of Mormon, Cry-Baby), Jeremy Geller (The Voice of The Pillsbury Doughboy, The Great Blueness), and Max Wilcox (Glee, Gigantic). This time around Howard McGillin is our special guest for one number. Michael Buchanan is also directing the evening.