So Jedadiah’s back.
A couple weeks ago, Jeff approached me about doing a show at Manbites next fall. Last weekend, we had a read-through at Manbites so Jeff and Ed could hear it aloud and decide whether or not they wanted to include it in the upcoming season. And yesterday, Jeff offered me the role of Kenny in the play “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them.” It’s not 100% certain yet–still waiting on other actors to agree to it and for the rights and so forth–but it looks like it’ll be a go. Which is really really really really great.
Thing is, though, Kenny is gay.
So Jedadiah’s back, full-throttle: a young straight college student who has recently undergone a change of heart about matters of this nature and will need to explain to his Protestant parents that he will be in a play with gay people in it, and that he will be in a play about gay issues, and that he will be playing a person who is gay.
The parallels are staggering. I almost feel that it’s worth trying to get in touch with Jedadiah himself just to let him know that I’ve been over here on the East Coast living his life.
When my parents came to see Laramie, I was nervous. I’m at a point now where I don’t really get nervous on stage, but with them in the audience–and dammit, Jeff, I could see them–I was scared to be Jedadiah. I dreaded putting that oversized flannel shirt on every time that evening. And after the performance, I made sure we kept around other people, talked about other aspects of the show, tried to keep the subject ever from turning to the fact that I may or may not have slightly disowned them on stage, even if it wasn’t really me and even if it wasn’t really them.
But now I can’t ignore it. I’m gonna have to have this conversation with them–terrifying as it still seems–if I want to do this show. I certainly won’t ask their permission; I’ll say, Look, I’m in a professional show, deal with it–but that kind of bravado only works so much. In the end, they’ll know I’m playing gay (which includes lots of kissing, pants-rubbing, and talking about fellatio, anal sex, &c.), and they’ll have to deal with it. And I’ll have to deal with them dealing with it.
But I’m ready. In one corner of my being, I’m still scared as shit, but I’m ready. And I could not have been ready without Laramie.
And if they decide they won’t come see their son do probably one of the most important things he’d done in his life, I’ll deal with that too.