Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

October 17, 2012

The acting comeback that never was

By Keith Kappes - Publisher
Journal-Times

Oct. 17, 2012 —  

Acting is happy agony. 

So said the French philosopher, Jean Paul- Sartre.

He must have been talking about community theatre where you work just as hard as professional actors but you don’t get paid or have a fancy dressing room or have your meals catered to the set.

Also, old Jean Paul could have been referring to a play based on actual historical events like “Bloody Rowan!” which played to sold out audiences this month in Morehead.

If you don’t believe action can be depicted on a small, indoor stage, here’s what happened in the span of just over two hours:

The players managed to kill off a dozen folks, burn down a house, shoot up several saloons, have rowdy courtroom trials, visit jail cells in two counties, hijack a train, drink lots of make-believe whiskey, flirt with another man’s wife, fire off more ammunition than World War I, and utter more screams than a zombie movie. 

Strangely, it was the same Jean Paul-Sartre who said that words are loaded pistols.

Or, in the case of this well-written and well-directed play, words also were loaded rifles and shotguns and an occasional sharp knife.

One might have suspected the production was sponsored by a funeral home with a “bury one, get one free” discount.

So, you might be wondering, how do I know so much about this new play which folks raved about and clamored for tickets to see?

It’s because the esteemed special prosecutor from Louisville who illuminated the stage with his brief but powerful role in Scene 6 of Act Two was none other than yours truly.

Actually, the illumination was done by a spotlight. I just got carried away with that line.

I also admit that I initially was so pleased to be in the first curtain call, only to realize later that those with the smallest parts come out first and the audience saves its real applause for those with the important roles.

Amid the seemingly endless rehearsals and hours of waiting backstage for my three minutes of nightly fame, I realized that my acting career was not really coming back.

It was fun, sort of, but I’ve checked it off of my bucket list and moved on.  

The other 35 cast members, including a gifted balladeer, did a great job and are a credit to community theatre. 

As for me, the words of Shakespeare’s Macbeth perfectly describe my acting career:
“Out, out, brief candle.”