So we’re ALMOST done with auditions. This is the longest it’s ever taken me to nail down a cast for any of my projects. A lot of people I wanted to call in can’t do the play because they’re traveling over the summer, others can’t take the time off from work. One actor turned down the role we cast him in, that was fun. Not.
I try to stay calm by reminding myself You want the drama in the beginning, not at the end. The beginning, not the end.
But we’re almost there, we’re just missing one Munchkin. Not surprisingly, our calls to Come Audition For A Munchkin Role! Have gone largely ignored by the greater Los Angeles Acting Population.
The problem is that these aren’t your average Munchkins. This isn’t a By The Letter retelling of The Wizard Of Oz, where the Munchkins show up in the first twenty minutes, sing a Lollypop Guild song, and disappear for the rest of the play.
There’s a line that the Wizard says in the second act that’s supposed to sum up anything you’d need to know about Munchkins: “Come ON, you know Munchkins! Completely capricious, they’ll worship anything new!”
We’ve taken to joking behind the scenes at auditions, “C’mon, they’re Munchkins!” almost in a “Forget it, Jake, It’s Chinatown” kind of way.
One of the themes behind Say Goodbye Toto is “What is the true meaning of love?” Because most of the characters have wrong ideas about what love is.
The Munchkins think love is utter devotion in the form of blind worship. And they think anything new is worthy of their praise. So whenever anything new shows up in Oz – a mild mannered guy in a hot air balloon, a house falling from the sky, a dog – they instantly pledge their utmost devotion to it.
But since they’re two of them (or there will be, after this last round of auditions) they’ve got a ragingly competitive streak to them. They want to be the BEST worshipper, which results in hopefully amusing ways as they constantly seek to outworship the other one.
But we’re not stopping there. Jamie, our fabulous director, has tons of ideas about how the Munchkins will be creating the environment for the other scenes. In the first act alone, we move from a ravine to a river to a poppy field. A standard set in a 45 seat theater isn’t gonna work for us.
But Oz is a fantastical place, and we’re going to have a fantastical set, most likely supplied through movement and improv, courtesy of our Munchkins.
It’s going to be wonderfully imaginative, fun, and not what people would expect a Munchkin to do.
Don’t underestimate these Munchkins. They’re not gonna be what you think.
And there will be no singing anywhere. ☺