The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Taking Large Steps

Another piece of cool news has come down the pipes. This November I will be singing the role of Miles Gloriousus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Stephen Sondheim with Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre.

This particular production will be starring Robert Picardo who has an extensive resume with film and television acting and most notably known for his work as the hologram doctor in Star Trek: Voyager. That's right, ya boy will be rubbing elbows with some upper crust. Be Jealous.

A bit of character history for you, on the house:

Miles Gloriousus in Latin roughly translates to "The Swaggering Soldier" or more specifically the "vainglorious soldier."

Miles Gloriousus is a comedic play written my Titus Maccias Plautus around 254 - 184 BC. It's about a braggart soldier, the source material is a Greek play called Alazon.

Stephen Sondheim brilliantly borrows this character for his piece - elevating the humor with the introduction of an immediate threat to it's heroes.

...Shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia.

I've frequently heard that it's difficult to cast Miles. The demands are very particular. You need a person of significant size and who is at the very least athletic looking - ideally with some muscle mass. I'm glad I could be viewed to have these qualities. (I'm already getting into the bragging spirit.)

But in actuality I'm already preparing to look the part even more in the coming weeks. Lots of additional bodybuilding style training - I'm gonna try to put an inch on my arms and legs. Everything else will more than likely be covered by armor. I let out a bit of a shudder when putting together my training sessions. I'm gonna force myself to grow. It will coincide nicely with all of the "big eating" holidays coming up.

Along with the physical aspects, his song "bring me my bride" is actually a testy piece of music. It sits high but also features some basement notes, and needs to be presented by a powerful commanding voice. It can get shouty and lose it's regal nature (a tactic that I feel is generally used when an individual isn't very confident about hitting the real notes.) It reminds me quite a bit of the middle section of "Avant de Quitter" for all you opera nerds out there.

The issue is going to be balancing all of this with Curly. Miles is very much an extension of what I'm naturally good at. Anger, loud singing, big bold gestures. Curly is a smooth talker, he has a lot of intimate moments that are important to lock in. Curly is very much the "stretching role." The challenge with Miles will be more about the comedic aspects. BUT, the beauty of Miles is that he doesn't consider himself funny. In fact, the sincerity in which he preaches his self worth and delivers his puns is what makes his contribution funny. Just gotta do my job and everything should take care of itself...or so we'll see.

Scheduling is gonna be a big juggling act. I'll frequently be rehearsing for both shows at one time. It's going to take a great deal of focus to keep things in their own boxes. I'm looking forward to the crazy.

Until Next time...I'll be...

Lifting Big, Singing Big, and looking my Absolute Best Doing It.

The Opera Bro

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