Monday, July 03, 2006

Meet the cast member: Michael Rhone

We will be introducing you to cast members, and here's another: Michael Rhone, most recently Officer Barrel in Foothill's production of Urinetown.

Annie Get Your Gun will be Michael's third Foothill show, and although it's too soon to judge with Annie, Urinetown was his favorite show to date.  He keeps coming back to Foothill for one pretty compelling reason:
There's a level of professionalism at Foothill that I just don't see at a lot of other theaters.  The casts are always talented, of course.  But the creative staff has such a consistent level of excellence - from Jay, Cathy, and Tyler, to the design work from Joe and Kurt, everything is high quality.  I was attending shows at Foothill for several years before I finally auditioned, and I kept coming back because I knew going in that the show was going to be very high quality - I keep auditioning for the same reason.

Michael has actually only recently started doing shows again after doing them in school and then never having "the confidence to pursue it beyond that." But he is making up for lost time!

I have literally been in rehearsals and/or performances for some project or another since January 2.  And the week we start Annie performances, I start rehearsals for Bye Bye Birdie at Saratoga Drama Group (I'll be playing Albert).  After that?  Hopefully a much-needed rest!

When asked what part of the "process" of putting on a show he really likes, Michael shows he's a  performer at heart:

I love performances.  I love working with the "finished" piece, and I love the immediate feedback you get from an audience.  Rehearsals, frankly, can get pretty tedious.  I do love the process, but I'm always itching to get the show in front of an audience.

There's nothing like having a great audience that's enjoying the show.  I have to admit I can get a little ticked off when I feel like the audience isn't enjoying themselves, but that's when I do my best to say "oh yeah?  Well, wait'll you see what's next" and then give the best performance I can give.  It's not always easy to do, but that's what you get with live theater.
Botttom line: Michael is living out a lifelong fantasy doing so much theatre now. When asked what keeps him addicted to doing Community? Career Path? Keeping out of trouble on weekend nights? He answers, basically, all of the above:
It's something I've always wanted to do, and when I was a kid I would fantasize about being on Broadway (OK, I still have that fantasy from time to time).  I'd see a lot of theater, all over the country, and every time I'd leave the show wishing I had been on stage too.  It was only a little over a year ago when I finally told myself that I was never going to be up there if I didn't get over myself and audition.  And now, although it's kind of taken over my life and I have friends that I don't get to spend nearly enough time with, I wouldn't have it any other way.  So yes... fun, community, keeps me out of trouble (and sometimes gets me into trouble, but those are stories for another time).
Um, OK, Michael...lay those stories on us!

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