I found out recently that I was indeed cast in Anything Goes at the Old Opera House. I will be one of the sailors.
To be truthful, this was the closest I have come to turning down a part in a long time. The reason being my lack of dancing skills.
The initial impression about the sailors that I got from the director was of a group that sang danced quite a bit in various numbers. Singing I have no problem with, never have. Dancing on the other hand... I wanted to learn more about the role. (As I mentioned previously I have not yet read the script. )
I have gotten away with some small amounts of dancing in some shows. In others I had small dance numbers removed from my responsibility two weeks before opening, because of a total lack of progress on my part. So I set out to discover just what kind of dancing sailor I was going to be.
I could not find specific mention of the sailors in any of the online summaries. So I took to looking for pictures and videos of the production on the internet. What I found in many cases was very intricate dances being performed by dozens of sailors in unison. This frightened me to no end.
You see, dear readers, my dancing has not ever been stellar. Honestly, my rhythm is usually quite good. It would be more accurate to say that my ability to follow choreographed routines has, thus far, not been proven to exist. When I saw those pictures and home videos of sailors galore on the stage in other productions of this play, my imagination went into overdrive. I suddenly had nightmarish flashes of elaborate show stopping dance routines by the entire company, with all attention focused on one sailor going the wrong way or possibly falling. I was, of course, said clumsy sailor.
I would be lying if I said a bit of cold sweat was not involved as I pondered the prospect.
I talked to the director though, and he seems to think that the dancing will not as bad as all of that. Read, it will not be as hopelessly complicated as all that. Those are the famous last words of many a people who have attempted to show me how "easy" a dance is to learn. Yet I opted for taking the role, in the end. I figure this can be a sort of do or die type of thing. I either learn, under the gun how to get dancing down properly, or I can let the entire experience serve as a warning to never again try out for a musical.
Either way, the theatre going public wins. Mostly.
First read through is in a few days. May there be mercy upon me as I undertake a whole different type of theatre adventure. Man, am I nervous about dancing.