Discovering Dez

By Skeleton Crew cast member Sherrick Robinson

It’s just after 7pm on a Tuesday. My script sits in front of me, notes scribbled in the margins and blue and yellow highlighter covering eighty-nine percent of its pages (approx). Some of those notes are simple; when to move, and how to get there. But I find that our director (the illustrious Jake Penner) has brought me to a point that I’m writing more than just simple blocking directions. He’s both given, and allowed me, full keys to a character like I’ve never experienced. I’m working out motivations for this person beyond why he does what he does in the context of the play. I’m being asked about motivations, thoughts, and plans that the audiences may never see. With Jake, the cast is helping me along those same lines. I’m being allowed to insert nuances, thoughts, and “easter eggs” that may be nigh invisible to some of the patrons that will fill the playhouse to see the show in a few short weeks.

This cast and crew (and the playwright as well!) has given me the privilege to essentially create the most fully fleshed out character I’ve ever had the honor to play. Being able to do that, gives me a level of excitement I don’t get to experience often. But also, a bit of trepidation. Dez is a human being, with strengths, weaknesses, dreams, and flaws. He’s so much so that he probably has existed on this earth in some fashion. Having a background in children’s theater, it’s not often I am asked to delve into such a character. But this cast and crew have been amazing with their suggestions and challenges. Everyone involved with this show are true professionals, and I am extremely honored to be a part of it. From scribbled notes in a script margin, to standing on a stage, having become fully realized human beings; I think our audiences will have just as much fun exploring these characters and this experience on the stage as we have building them.