Wednesday, July 30, 2008

#15 Playing ANY Character in a Play or Skit

(A JAM C) Other than a generic "how are you," the question that I have most often gotten in my life is "what race/nationality are you?"  It never really bothered me, and sometimes it actually worked to my advantage.  For instance, when my 5th grade class had a skit, and they needed somebody to play my native American principal, guess who they asked?  Or, when they needed somebody to dress like a Middle Easterner?  You get the picture.  I have had some pretty sweet roles in my lifetime, and I can attribute it all to my being biracial.  My favorite roles from #5 to #1 are:

#5 - Rico Sanchez - During my senior year of high school, I got to play a Hispanic sports reporter who was fluent in Spanglish.  "Next Friday" had just hit the theatres, and I fell in love with it.  There was a particular character from that movie that I was trying to model myself after.  I don't remember his name, but he was young and he was trying too hard to act like a thug.  His basic look featured baggy pants, a wife-beater, and a skull cap pulled too far over his eyes.  He was hilarious and so I tried to reenact his performance.

#4 - Pharaoh - During my freshman year of college, I was in a skit that had to do with... actually, now that I think about it, I have no idea what the skit was about.  Whatever the case, I played pharaoh.  I loved how I got this role.  A friend of mine told me about this skit he was going to be in, and how his skit team was representing our dorm, so I was like "cool, I'll be in it."  Then, when they were doing the casting and they saw that they needed an Egyptian character, everybody just kinda looked at me.  Somebody finally had the guts to ask me, and then everybody else replied something like "oh yeah, that's a great idea," as if they weren't already thinking it themselves.  This was the first and last time that I was ever on stage in front of 2000 people with my shirt off.  In college, you put on weight.  When you put on weight, the shirt comes off less and less.

#3 - Shaggy - In another skit during my freshman year of college, I got to be the world famous reggae singer Shaggy.  I loved this role because I got so into it that I actually ended up teaching myself how to sound exactly like him, and it totally blew the crowd away.  This would be #1 except for the fact that they cut my singing in half and gave the other part to a white girl who didn't sound like a reggae singer at all, and ended up forgetting her lines even though we practiced about 100 times.  Oh well, I'm not even bitter about it or anything like that.

#2 - Morpheus/Billy Blanks - The reason why the two of these are together is because I played them both in the same skit.  My fraternity had a Matrix remake where I was (of course) Morpheus.  After fighting off the bad guys, Neo got a surprise visit from Master Yoda who was about to tell him that I killed his father, but before he could say anything, I took a gun and shot Yoda, who of course didn't have his light saber.  After confessing to Neo that I didn't kill his father, but that I actually was his father, I revealed my true identity as Billy Blanks, who's popular karate workout "Taebo" was actually his secret way of funding the "Dark Side."  The skit continued with a motivational speech from Matt Foley, and ended with Neo killing me.  He only killed me because I tried to kill him once I realized that he wasn't going to turn to the dark side.  That was probably my favorite skit of all time, but nothing could possibly top the number one role.

#1 - Mr. T - I totally got into this role!  During my senior year of college, I was in a Cinderella-like skit.  Instead of Cinderella, there was "Pledgerello," and his evil fraternity brothers.  And, instead of a Fairy Godmother, there was the Fairy Dance Brotha, played by yours truly.  Something weird happened with this skit.  As we were practicing, I noticed that I was beginning to sound less and less like a "brotha," and more and more like Mr. T.  Because of that, I just had fun with it.  I shaved my head into a mohawk, and I threw in a "Don't Do Drugs" to my lines because Mr. T was famous for saying random inspirational lines such as "Don't Do Drugs," "Stay in School," "Drink Milk," and "Love Yo Momma."  Not only did I get to play Mr. T in that skit, but I also got to end it by singing "Shout."  I sucked them in with my "Don't Do Drugs" line, and the evening just wasn't the same again after that.

So yeah, those were my favorite roles in various skits.  There were so many more, but if you're in the theatre business, and you have a biracial person, you should be thanking God, because with him or her, you rule the world.  Just think about the endless possibilities!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

#2 sounds like a whole confusing sort of funny mess.

"In college, you put on weight. When you put on weight, the shirt comes off less and less."

You better believe it.