Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jason Smith

Next in the Jim Series: When Jim fake auditioned for the school play

It was my sophomore year, so Jim was a brand new Freshman, and he and I decided to audition for the fall play. Ok, well, I decided to audition to be in the fall play...Jim had other plans. You see, Sarah and I were both not fans of our high school theatre teacher, and we had spent quite a bit of time talking about her inadequacy before Jim had gotten to Hylton. One of the greatest/worst things about Jim was his complete willingness to get on board without any research of his own. Jim trusted our opinions, so if we thought the teacher was crap, she was CRAP. An unlike me (and to his credit, it was a way better decision), he decided he was not going to suffer through crap just to be able to be in the school play.

But that didn't mean he wasn't going to audition anyway.

When we tell people that Jim always lived for the story...this is actually a PERFECT example of that. He was simply going to do something so that later, he (and I!) could tell a story about it. And what a story it was...

The drama teacher, we'll call her Ms. D, decided that instead of a full play she was going to do two one acts. All we had to prepare for the audition was a one minute monologue. I performed the Sally monologue from "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown."

Jim performed this (start at 1:50):

No, but seriously.

The Ezekiel monologue from Pulp Fiction.

He told us what he was planning to do, so Sarah and I decided to sneak into the auditorium because we knew we had to witness this MADNESS. As we crawled in behind the seats so we wouldn't be seen, Jim walked into the auditorium with our friend Pogo (Patrick) in tow. He told Ms. D that Pogo was there because he needed a human prop to perform his monologue, and he also asked for a chair (for non-theatre people...the chair is typical in an audition...the human prop...not so much).

And then Jim...PERFORMED. I was crying through tears of laughter, not because he was bad, but because he was BRILLIANT. He had this monologue down pat. And the monologue did not end with the last word, oh no. He and Pogo followed through to the bitter end, fake convulsions and everything. It to this day is one of the most outlandish things I have ever seen. Again, for those of you who don't audition...this just...does not happen. Sarah and I were beside ourselves.

Jim then politely thanked Ms. D (who was speechless), and he and Pogo silently walked out of the auditorium. We spent the rest of the day recounting the story to everyone and laughing about how Jim had just screwed himself out of being in anything for the next four years, and that it was totally worth it.


Jim decided why not see if there were any more opportunities to live for the story, so he decided to come with me to the first rehearsal. It was pretty basic, just a read through, except that Ms. D kept calling Jim "Jason" and he just never corrected her. He had absolutely no intention of coming to another rehearsal, so why make the effort?

After the next few rehearsals, when Jim didn't show up, Ms. D asked me to tell him he really needed to start coming because he was very important to the show. A few days later, she saw Jim in the hallway, ran up to him, and said:

"Jim!! Please, if you see Jason, tell him we really need him to come to rehearsal!"


She thought Jim had a twin brother named Jason.

We STILL laugh about this. The next year when he was cast as Billus in South Pacific, she figured out that there was in fact just one person with that set of DNA at Hylton High School and that Jason Smith was just a figment of her imagination...let's just say she wasn't pleased.