The role of Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest has been a bucket role for me for several years, and I'll tell you why.
When Sam Bass last did the show, Lynn Beaver and I were running head to head at auditions. We both wanted Lady Bracknell. We read over and over on the first day of auditions, digging for our best upper class Brit accents. We went home, exhausted but exhilarated; ready to hit it again the next day.
On the second day of auditions, a stranger approached. Someone who had never worked at Sam Bass, but had been attracted by the audition notice in the Austin newspapers. Dearly Beloved, I have to tell you that the character of Lady Bracknell, that Lynn and I had been working for and digging for, flowed out of this actress effortlessly. It was like in Amadeus, when Mozart takes Salieri's welcome march and turns it into the catchy little thing he did. Lynn and I could really relate to Salieri.
I had written on my audition form that I was interested only in Lady Bracknell. As I was leaving, the director asked me if I really meant it. Kyle Evans, the director, had been a friend for a while. I took a chance and stuck to my guns.
It was the biggest theatre mistake I ever made.
I could have played Prism to Lynn's Bracknell; indeed, that was the way I thought it would go, and,if he had cast her, I could have played Prism then. I just couldn't take the disappointment of losing my bucket role to a stranger. Talk about thin-skinned!
A couple of years ago, I shared one of those "describe me in one word" things on Facebook, and Kyle answered, "Bracknell." Seeing that was somehow liberating, and I suddenly realized that I really would like to play Prism. I'm pretty sure I'm too old for Lady Brack at this point, so here I am.
Fate and the theatre gods have given me another chance.
I still don't know how to water ski, but I am playing Prism!