Playing the Role of Pippin Dramatically Altered the Direction of My Life

I have to say I was really drifting through life missing a little purpose (at least in the matter I had become accustomed) when I joined Franklin Footlight Theatre in the summer of 2007.  My friends Kathy, Lee, and Jody all dragged me off to auditions for Footlight’s production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music.  I had a blast doing that show and took part in the annual end of summer camping trip with the group.  While there the group suggested I audition for Pippin, a show about which I knew nothing.

The Challenge of Being Cast in the Title Role of Pippin

I had the blessing (tho I hardly called it such at the time) of being cast as Pippin.  I don’t have all that much experience in theatre but I can’t imagine there are too many roles out there that are similar. The character Pippin experiences just about every possible kind of personal failure designed to destroy the will and spirit of a young man, only to be saved in the end by his love for his newly adopted family – and their love for him.

I think Pippin maybe is that rare bit of musical theatre which both has the element of Broadway production pizzazz while also carrying the more heavy tone of drama. On the one hand you can’t get enough of the glittering costumes, choral music and beautiful dancing girls but on the other hand you can’t help but be pulled at the heart by the world machinations trying to undo at a whole the very fabric of the spirit of a young man. I think many an ambitious young man could see Pippin’s struggles and empathize with his plight and how some people are so willing and eager to abuse such young men of ambition.

Becoming Immersed in a Character Role Stays with You for Life

I will always carry a piece of Pippin with me wherever I go, whatever roles I play.  Thank you to Jule Finley and the production team for casting me as Pippin.  You changed my life in much the same way Pippin’s new family changed his. Committing to performing a lead role live on stage demands that you truly step into the shoes of the character you are playing and (for that time in the limelight) being that other person. It is through this media that I experienced what it felt like to carry the joys and woes of this character in a way only others who have had to make the same commitment can understand.

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