Casting a show is, as I said in a private email some time ago, like casting a fishing pole. You just whip that baby as far out as you can, hope it’s got something on the end that a really big fish might find tasty, and then once you reel them in, you gut ’em and eat ’em and throw away whatever’s left.

We’re casting Fleet Week, and we’ve had an embarrasment of riches. For every single role, when we’ve decided on an actor, I sit and look at the people we’re *not* offering roles to, and I can’t believe it. I can’t believe the quality of the people we’ve turned down, some of them purely because they didn’t fit right with the rest of the cast.

And it’s just amazing to be on this side of the table. I’m not sure what my reputation is among the people I’ve worked with, it’s entirely possible that I’ve come across as difficult or self-absorbed. Mostly, I want everyone to work as fast as I do, and I hate wasting time in rehearsal waiting for other actors or, even worse, the director to figure out what the best course of action is. But I can tell you, when I go in for an audition, I’m always surprised when I don’t get cast.

But, JESUS CHRIST. We didn’t cast people in this show that have twice the talent I do. I’m amazed I ever get work when I compare myself to the sleek professional auditioners these guys are. I definitely learned something from being on this side, that every single person in that room is hoping beyond hope that you will be the right person, they are all praying that you are gonna walk in and be the guy they are looking for.

For every single role, we have had two options. And when the director decided what the first option was, the roles were offered and accepted. And I sit and think, if the entire cast was the *second* option, the show would still be better than my wildest imagination. In fact, in many instances, I think the show would be almost better. But that’s why you have a director, so they can create the show based on what you wrote.

Our ideas for our next musical are already starting to percolate. A musical based on Lucretia Jones. A musical based on a group of desperate crappy actors trying to musicalize Atlas Shrugged. A musical based on professional wrestling… Once we get this script done and the rehearsals go into full swing, it will be a relief to back off just a little bit and, y’know, go back to rebuilding my house and re-introduce myself to my friends.