(Continued from April 9, 2011) ........ A few months later, in the fall of Brady’s junior year of high school, he decided to try out for another play. He was given the part of a crazed and possessed mental patient, a role that he pulled off flawlessly and, again, used it to command the stage during his scenes.
The dad, again with no almost zero theatrical experience of his own, had some trepidation about Brady’s time on stage, as the dad was a tad worried that Brady might forget a line or two. But, it did not happen! Brady nailed the part and audience members gave tremendous kudos to him, even though it was not one of the main parts. Yep, ol’ Brady had found a way to capture the audience through a secondary part by nailing the character of a crazed mental patient!!
Jumping ahead to the spring of Brady’s junior year, he announced that he would be trying out for the next play, “Fiddler on the Roof”. He was hoping for a more prevalent role, but he also knew that there was a pecking order with regard to experience in the thespian troupe. Because of his demanding schedule away from the stage, Brady knew that he would not have time for a major role, but if he could get the part of Lazar Wolf, Mordcha, Rabbi, Avram, Motel, Perchik, or Mendel, he would be happy. But, in the true spirit of a thespian man, he would take whatever role he was assigned. The important part to Brady was just getting in the cast.
Well, on the day that the cast was announced, Brady called his dad to tell him that he did not get a part, but that he had been assigned to the chorus. The dad tried to comfort Brady, as he knew that the news was devastating to his son ………. Then Brady 'fessed up. Brady announced that he had been given the LEAD ROLE of TEVYE, a role that one program described as the following:
“Huge part - To dominate show - Big acting & singing role. To look mid 50’s. Larger than life character - strong character. Talks to audience, other characters and God. Village leader. Warmth and sincerity needed - also sadness. Resilient. Audience sees show through him”
The dad nearly jumped through the phone to hug his son. Brady was ecstatic and the dad could not have been more proud of his son. Incidentally, just for extra kicks, Brady also pulled the same stunt on his mom – always the comedic actor!
The dad, with his limited theatrical experience (although the dad had worked in the theater as a musician and he had performed for many years in other professional musical areas), tried to coach Brady on preparation and the techniques that the dad knew to be successful when preparing for something big! Brady listened intently; internalized the plan, and then set out to conquer the role of Tevye!
(Please come back next week for Part 3)
Paul W. Reeves