This past Saturday night, I performed in a gig with a promotions company up in Allentown. A rehab hospital was having their 100th anniversary gala, and the company had set up the event in which five different era-themed tents would represent the last 100 years of culture. I was cast as a greaser in the 1950s, complete with slicked-back hair, cigarettes rolled into the sleeve of the white t-shirt, and used Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars. We learned trivia about the fifties, including what the hospital was doing around that time, and then we headed out into the event to entertain the guests. The first two hours was a lot of fun, once we got our jukebox working. (Up until then, we were singing various songs, offkey, with one delightfully drunk guest.) We spent time dancing, chatting, dishing out the trivia, and handing out Elvis stickers for the "passports" the guests were issued. While some people in my group were giving the stickers away, I required everyone to do their best Elvis Presley impression to get a sticker. People had a good time and we saw some really terrible impressions. I also started accepting impressions of women watching Elvis.
While they were serving dinner under the big tent, there was a torrential downpour. Lightening and thunder seemed to signal the end of the world, and all the actors were rushed away from their tents into the main building where a DJ and a dance floor would finish out the rest of the evening. From that point on, it was pretty much like "Tony and Tina" with a 50s flair. I got paid (in cash) at the end of the night, and I got paid really well for my amount of work. So much so, in fact, that I need to start doing some more promotional stuff with this Philly-based company.
I also met a lot of fun people while working on this, including a talented costume designer, the executives behind the company, as well as a couple of actors that I hope I get the chance to work with again. A few phone numbers and emails added to the list of actors available for Radio Hound Productions, as well as more people in Philly to have coffee and/or a beer with and see their shows. A few days ago I was wishing that I had all this time to myself. Now I'm really glad I went out to play.