I’m changing into someone I never thought I’d be. When I look into the mirror, it’s beginning to be hard to recognize the man staring back at me. This new me is becoming exotic; a word I don’t think would have ever been used to describe any of my attributes. And to others, it probably still wouldn’t. But I see it coming. It’s right there in my mindand I like it. This new me will be debonair and dark and, well … Hispanic.
I am slowly turning myself into Gomez Addams for my role in The Addams Family – The Musical, and I must say I think it’s gonna be pretty dang awesome!
I have to admit that when I first heard that this show was going to be the musical for our local theatre’s 2016 season, I was quite bummed out about it. I had never heard the soundtrack and knew nothing of the story. All I knew was that I had tired of Broadway’s
leaning toward making musicals from TV shows and movies. None of it really impressed me and most felt forced; like an attempt to capitalize on something that had already been
mostly created by somebody else. After all, it hasn’t been that long since Spiderman danced his way across my television screen during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, effectively ruining the holiday season for me. Like a nightmare clown zombie that haunts your sleep, I was unable to banish the sight from my mind for quite a while. At night, I would attempt to wipe the imagery of a man dressed as one of my favorite super heroes doing a box step. Super heroes and box steps are both wonderful things
separately. Put them together, however, and you get something you threaten children with if they won’t eat their broccoli. So you might imagine my astonishment upon falling head over heels in love with the show once I did a little investigation. I was thrilled that the storyline was interesting, that the characters were treated with depth and charisma, that Fester was still Fester, even though he sings now and is involved in an impossible love
My thoughts on the show turned completely around and I was one of the first at the auditions. Now I have been cast as Gomez and my beautiful wife has been cast alongside me as Morticia. Here’s the kicker … Neither of us look anything even close to Gomez or Morticia. As I said before, Gomez is Hispanic. I know that in the old TV show, he wasn’t as Hispanic as the later adaptations of the character, but the dialogue in the script is written true to the original idea, which is VERY Hispanic. I am about as albino as you can get. Kayla is too, but Morticia is known for having that pale look. I have blue eyes, alarmingly white skin, and hair so light that you can’t tell I have eyebrows unless you
It can be intensely awkward when people you are talking to start leaning in close like they're making their move for a little sugar. (Unfortunately for those who are confused easily, “sugar” is also a southern term of endearment, a description for Diabetes, a popular name for a dog, and a way of cursing that replaces the other word that starts with the “SH” sound.)
“What in the world?! Step off, Uncle Mort!” I might say with a fist tight and ready to tangle.
“I’s jist lookin’ t’see iff’n you had eyebrows er not.” (That’s how everybody’s Uncle Mort talks below the Mason-Dixon line.)
“Well, stay outta my face. I can smell your snuff!”
But I digress.
Once I was cast as the charming Gomez Addams, I realized that changes had to be made to my appearance if I were to pull this role off properly. I had the accent down. I can handle that with no problem as I have been perfecting accents since I was a small
child. I had the singing down too. But I’m not happy unless I’m going full out Rambo into a role. I’m no method actor, but I want to be as convincing as I possibly can.
I decided that I would not use “Theatre hair color” to darken my mane. I would actually dye it in stages so that the transition would be gradual, yet by the time the curtain opened, I would have the hair of a matador. I hope to obtain dark brown contacts for my eyes. And I will grow a thin mustache and soul patch that will be colored for the show to match my head.
As I look into the mirror now, I see a man who has gone through stage one. The mid-tone brown my wife applied for me made my hair a nice deep auburn. We also did my eyebrows with the same color.
“STOP IT, COUSIN JO-NELL!” (Cousin Jo-Nell doesn’t care if I have eyebrows or not. She just always wants some sugar. I tell her she’s doing nothing to help our southern stereotype.)
The problem is that now that the process has officially begun, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop. Surely there is a line I need to draw and refuse to cross. Right now I have the head of a highlands stud who gallantly travels the land in his kilt while skillfully bleating out Celtic love songs on his bagpipes. I’m totally at ease with that visual, even if you are not.
But I see a future closing in where I’m sporting a head of jet black hair, brown eyes, and leathery tanned skin. Yes, my tan will have to come from a spray, but nonetheless, I don’t think being a runner up for a George Hamilton contest ought to be in my plans.
Well GREAT! Now I want a face mole.
I need to be stopped. I need an intervention. I’m thinking of buying a red cape and changing from “Go Dawgs” to “Arriba!”
Question: Would it be distasteful to address people as “Meester” and “Meesis”?
I think it would, but that’s exactly what I want to do.
I know I go too far in these things. I played the killer in an Agatha Christie mystery and felt like I had to twist everything around for a while. “Hey, honey, I love this chicken parmesan you made for dinner … OR DO I?!”
All I know is that I will play the part with passion and when I kiss Morticia, I can give it all I’ve got because my wife won’t mind.
And when I’ve finally gotten back to my normal look and she moves in close to see if I still have my eyebrows, I’ll surprise her with a little sugar. Then it’s on to the next character.
Hmmm. I’ve always wanted to play Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street!
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