One of the roles in The Effect Of Gamma Rays On Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds was a challenging role to fill: the role of Peter, the pet Rabbit. We auditioned several human actors, both union and non, but ultimately decided to go with a young newcomer who actually IS a rabbit.
Here are his thoughts on being in the show:
My name is Willie and I portray Peter in the Theatre’s current production of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds.
After an exhaustive search by the creative team on the show, I was discovered through a twist of fate when my family had to give me up to return to their native Korea. I considered several offers before taking the WT folks up on their offer to make me a star. Let me be perfectly frank, the life of the actor is not an easy one. There are endless rehearsals, so many lines to memorize and the personal sacrifices abound.
The WT folks got me hooked up with a great doctor, Dr. Wayne Beasley over at the Cedar Creek Veterinary Clinic. He is a terrific guy and gave it to me straight. “Willie,” he said, “you’re a little chubby. We need to tone you up so that it’s convincing to audiences that you are living with this crazy family in Staten Island in 1955.” He put me on a great diet of Timothy Hay. Seriously, Oprah should look into this stuff. In one short week I have slimmed down and I have more energy than I’ve had in years. Every morning, when the WT folks let me out of my cage, I run my laps around the office and do my drills behind the couches. I’m like a young bunny again.
Despite the sacrifices, this life is totally worth it. I get held several times in the show by three babelicious MSU students, Jenn, Kellyn and Stephanie. I make with the cute eyes and they hold me just a little closer. Then when the crazy one walks over to my cage in Act II, I take my cue and come to the edge of the cage and put my feet up and just look at her. You could cut the tension with a knife. It’s really a great moment. My favorite is the curtain call though. That applause is like music. I’m really going to miss it when we close on March 1.
It’s true, I am looking for a new home. Although the WT folks have been wonderful, I just don’t think I have another show in me. It’s always a good idea to retire when you’re at the top. I’m hoping for some new digs that allow me the same creative freedom I’ve had here. I’m thinking of taking up painting.
It’s been a great experience, working here at the Williamston Theatre. The staff is great and my Bunny Wrangler, Erin Snyder, is simply the best in the business. I encourage everyone to see the show. The cast is pretty good, but really, when can you get another chance to see this quality of bunny-acting?