Introducing Justin Spurgeon–who will be playing the role of Amos Hart in our upcoming production of Chicago! His blog for the run of Chicago will be titled “Wrapped Up with Mr. Cellophane,” so look forward to more blog posts from him coming soon!
When I found out that Act Two was producing Chicago as the first show of their upcoming season, I knew I had to audition. To add to that, when I found that Andrew was directing, I definitely had to be there. I had heard nothing but wonderful things about Andrew as a director and I was able to see first-hand how wonderful of a director he was when I went to see The Curious Savage produced by Act Two as part of their 2014 season.
Next step, auditioning.
One of my dream roles has always been Amos Hart. Ever since I received the revival cast recording of Chicago my freshman year of high school, roughly 20 years ago.
What song should I choose to showcase my “Amos-esque” qualities? I chose “I’d Rather Be Sailing” from A New Brain. It’s a sweet, funny, heartfelt ballad about hope and change (something Amos craves from his spouse), and the point that we would all love to do what we want (I’d rather be golfing/sailing/singing/etc…) but then “come home to you” (as the song lyrics go). Amos loves Roxie, even when he is blindsided by her infidelity and the fact that she murdered a man in their apartment. He even goes as far as to incriminate himself for the murder before his wife takes the blame. Much like my audition song, Amos would rather work/drink/gamble/etc…but still come home to Roxie. Perfect choice, I feel.
Callbacks. Ugh. I don’t know any sane person that likes callbacks. It’s the period of the audition process where you stand toe to toe with your competition and give it your all, knowing full well that all but one will be heartbroken. I got a callback for Billy Flynn, a part that I placed on my audition form, but didn’t have my heart and mind set on. I was up against four very talented men, who thankfully all got cast in the end, so I sang my piece, and that was that.
What about Amos? No callbacks for Amos. You want to talk about nervous. That was the part I wanted, but it looked like Andrew already had someone in mind. Keep your focus. Amos. Amos. Keep your energy toward Amos.
Days later, my phone rings. It’s Andrew. He’s offered me the role of Amos Hart. (cue the screaming) I must have been the person he had in mind for the role of Amos all along. I was beside myself. This is a dream role coming true for me. I cannot put into words all the excitement bottled up (pffft…let’s be real, it poured out of me) when I sat in our read through room with all these wonderful people that I get to work with, especially Lindsay Gingrich, who was cast as Roxie Hart, my troubled wife. I have known Lindsay for about two years now, and she is so talented and I have the honor of sharing a lot of my scenes with her.
And now we gear up for the rehearsal process, and it’s onto the show!!