TRAINSPOTTING-Learning To Be Scottish

8 Apr

Back in January a friend of mine, Jonathan Roumie, posted on his Facebook page that the play he was working on, “Trainspotting” (yes, as in the cult film “Trainspotting” directed by Danny Boyle and starring Ewan McGregor, but the play is closer to the book by Irvine Welsh), was looking for a replacement actress for the role of Diane. It warned about vulgarity, nudity and the use of Scottish accents. You know what scared me the most? The Scottish accent. I had never done that accent before and it’s a difficult one. I was fine with the language, the content and could even come to terms with the nudity. But I knew I would have to learn a difficult accent and that’s what scared me the most. But I auditioned anyway. I had about 36 hours to prepare and, after going back and forth for the first 24 hours, I chose not to focus on the accent and instead I focused on the character of Diane and the words on the page. I auditioned with the lead, Justin Zachary, and for the director Roger Mathey and one of the other actors/producers David Agranov. My plan of attack worked, Roger liked the choices I made and he asked me to come back in a few days after working on the accent. I called up Jonathan (who had posted about the audition) and asked if he could help me with the accent. We met and worked through the scenes. I wrote out words phonetically and repeated them so many times they stopped sounding like words. For the next few days I repeated everything I learned in every spare moment of the day-in the car, as I fell asleep, in the shower. That Sunday I went to my callback and on Tuesday Roger called to offer me the role to double as Diane and I said yes (duh!).

trainspotting poster

We have two casts: one for Fridays and Saturdays and the second one for Sundays. A few cast members go up all weekend and some switch roles between the two casts, except for Justin (who rocks the entire weekend as Mark Renton). It is a true ensemble cast though, and we all work together, cover each other and make each other laugh and smile. Even though I and Katy Townsend (the other Diane)

Michael Lutheran as Skag Merchant

Michael Lutheran as Skag Merchant

came into the cast late, we were welcomed with open arms and a good bevvy. It’s definitely one of the most supportive casts I’ve ever been a part of. They are all amazing actors and amazing people and they’re all getting a shout out! In alphabetical order: Katie Aquino, whom I double with as well to play various characters-Gail Houston and Sister In Law Sharon among them, Sam Bangs who takes a beating and then fights back, Martin Berishaj who doubles as Sick Boy, AJ Jones the other Tommy, Elizabeth Knowelden as fabulous Lizzie Macintosh who is Tommy’s downfall, Libby Letlow (also from the original cast) and doubles as Allison on Sundays with me, Michael Lutheran who plays my dad and a very fat

Jonathan Roumie as Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson

Jonathan Roumie as Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson

Workie, Francesca Manzi who plays my mum and a kick-arse Wifie, Travis McHenry a man of many hairstyles and unfortunately gets splattered with some shite at the beginning, Martin Riddell our Mother Superior on Fridays and Saturdays and the bastard Franco on Sundays, Matthew Tully another member of the original cast and plays the bastard Franco, Karl Wade who dons various outfits throughout including a guy at the bar I get to dismiss and also part of the cast 10 years ago, Alison Walter as the druggie Alison, and finally Ben Wilson the man who thought it would be brilliant for Diane’s dad to come out in his skivvies-he was right. And I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to our FABULOUS stage manager Danielle Korman and her assistant stage manager who keeps us on time backstage, Joshua Hensley.

During rehearsal, Tommy and Mark before Tommy tries heroin

During rehearsal, Tommy (David Agranov) and Mark (Justin Zachary) before Tommy tries heroin

Karl Wade and Francesca Manzi post splatter

Karl Wade (Mr. Houston) and Francesca Manzi (Mrs. Houston) post splatter

Travis McHenry and Ben Wilson at the Opening Night Party

Travis McHenry and Ben Wilson at the Opening Night Party

Our set!

Our set!

Backstage with Katie Aquino and Elizabeth Knowelden.

Backstage with Katie Aquino and Elizabeth Knowelden.

Ben Wilson and Michael Lutheran as Diane's Dad.

Ben Wilson and Michael Lutheran as Diane’s Dad.

Lassie On The Bus (Katie Aquino), Old Lady on the Bus (Francesca Manzi) and Lizzie Macintosh (Elizabeth Knowelden) getting their sexy on backstage.

Lassie On The Bus (Katie Aquino), Old Lady on the Bus (Francesca Manzi) and Lizzie Macintosh (Elizabeth Knowelden) getting their sexy on backstage.

We had a fantastic opening night, remember the cookies I made? And the show has been getting great reviews and we received word that we were extending to June 2nd only a couple weeks after we opened! It’s a gritty play that holds nothing back. The play doesn’t apologize for the material either. It shows the real truth of drug addicts, and while some can escape it, not all do. We don’t sugar coat any of it so be prepared if you come out to see us, we are in your face and show you the ups and the downs, but everyone who comes to see it have all said how amazing the play is. If you’re in the Los Angeles area I hope you can come out (leave the kiddies at home though, lol). We perform at The Elephant Theatre in the heart of Hollywood and you can buy tickets here. I’m having a blast with my cast, and yes, even my Scottish accent.

In my club dress

In my club dress

In my school girl outfit

In my school girl outfit

11 Responses to “TRAINSPOTTING-Learning To Be Scottish”

  1. Libby Letlow April 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    You’re amazing!!!

  2. Mary Ann Williams April 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Yay!! Congrats to you! This topic is difficult for me to stomach, but I *know* you are ah-mazing and can’t wait to see more of what you do! And of course you’d nail the accent… you work hard & you’re talented. Simple as that. 🙂

  3. tchistorygal April 24, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Good luck with your adventure. You didn’t mention when it is going to show in the post. :

  4. Mimi May 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Congratulations! I was in Scotland last year and never understood a thing! Especially further north…

    • actinglikeachef May 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      Thank you!!! Yes, the accent can be very difficult to understand. Our program includes a glossary just in case 🙂


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