Monday, July 21, 2008

Can't stop won't stop!!

The last few weeks have been really fun and interesting. The run of Guys and Dolls at Barksdale is running really smoothly and we've had great houses for every show. We're running through August 17th, so don't miss your opportunity to check it out!!

Last weekend was particularly cool-- I went ahead and bought a Roughhouse 50cc Scooter from the fine folks at Scoot Richmond. Let me just tell you, I absolutely love it. The little guy gets me almost 100 Miles Per Gallon, and so far I've only had to fill it up once, that trip costing me a whopping $2.80. I can get wherever I need to go in town and have fun doing it. I don't need a motorcycle license for a 50cc scooter, but I plan on taking the 3-day Class M motorcycle course at DMV anyway, since I can definitely see myself upgrading to a Rattler 110 someday.

I ride the little guy to my SEAL Team workouts in the morning, and the other day I parked it next to Instructor Maguire's Hummer just for giggles. I also park it outside the theatre during the run of the show (With the giant chain on it) and the on-duty cops keep an eye on it.

Meanwhile, last Sunday, Mark Pershinger and I hosted our own Sports Radio Talk show on Sports Radio 910 here in Richmond as part of 'Walk-on-Week' to to benefit diabetes research. Mark and I had a blast as we talked about the ongoing Brett Favre drama and greatest Yankee Stadium Moments. Sports Radio 910 is currently asking their listeners to Vote for their favorite 'Walk on Week' hosts, and the winners will be asked to substitute for drive-time host Wes McElroy in late August. You can listen to an audio segment and vote for Mark and I by going Here.

On the athletic front, I have decided to postpone my 50-mile Ultramarathon because the hectic nature of my current schedule prevents me from training properly for such a huge undertaking. The last thing I want to do is attempt something so brutal without having done all the proper preparation. I'm a bit disappointed, but I just have to be realistic and accept that the time isn't right. So, instead, I will be running the Patrick Henry Half-Marathon on August 23rd, then assorted 5ks and community races, and then concentrate on improving my PR in the Richmond Marathon in November, a race which I hope to use as a fund raiser for the Theatre Artists Fund. I plan to shave at least 20 minutes to a half an hour off of my time and keep inching closer to a Boston Qualifier.

I have had a blast with races this summer, running the XDuro 21k Trail Run in June and the Camp Hilbert 'Six in the Sticks' race two weeks ago. The SEAL Team workouts are really paying strong dividends in the endurance department. The competitive nature of each workout makes you feel like you're running a race every day, and we all push each other to be faster, stronger and mentally tougher. I can't wait to do the workout tonight at 6pm at Dogwood Dell.

I'm also gearing up for the shooting days for Richard III, when we begin to shoot all of the 'Paid Political Advertisements' for the York Family which will be part of the audience experience during the presentation of the play. I was fitted for my 'Hump' recently, and I started to get really excited. This is actually going to happen, and I cannot wait.

And a quick reminder before I close, Theatre IV Softball will be held this coming Saturday, July 26th at 9:30 am at Thomas Jefferson High School at the corner of Grace and Malvern. We had eighteen people our first week, and we were able to field two teams and had a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!!


Scott Wichmann

Monday, July 07, 2008

Thank you, Liz Marks.

We lost another great one this weekend.

My friend, agent, and casting director, Liz Marks lost her valiant battle with cancer this past Sunday morning.

The last time I saw Liz was at a matinee of The Firehouse Cabaret, where she was just gushing over the performances of Jude Fageas and Alia Bisharat. I made the introductions, and Liz jumped right in, eager to get them both in front of the camera to audition for a Virginia Lottery spot.

Liz was so complementary and so encouraging to both of them that Jude and Alia left the Firehouse Theatre that day feeling like a million bucks. That's the power Liz had. She made you feel great about the human potential you possess-- She made you see that the sky is the limit, and believe me, she lived that mantra.

Liz took care of her actors, ever mindful of their needs and concerns. After talking to Jude and Alia that day, she apologized to me for not asking me to audition for the spot as well, worried that I'd be hurt or professionally offended. I certainly wasn't offended at all, seeing as how I probably wasn't right for the spot-- (I'm not in my teens anymore, after all)-- and having already done the Texas Hold 'Em Lottery spots a few years back, I knew that they probably needed fresh faces. Yet the fact that Liz cared enough to mention it speaks volumes about the way in which she went about her business.

Last year, Liz invited me to audition for the national Old Spice spot featuring Tony Stewart. I kept saying, "Liz, I have a show on one of the shoot dates!!" She said, "Just come!! Come audition!! It's a huge job!!" So, I auditioned. She kept saying "They love you-- they want to use you, they're just not sure in what role." Then, when I finally landed the spot, I found out by opening an email from Liz with the subject heading reading: "U DA MAN!!!" The message read simply: "WOOHOO!! BOOKED!! CALL ME!!" We high-fived one another when we saw each other again.

That Old Spice job allowed me to go home for my cousin's wedding last year, and it really helped us out over the lean times. I have only Liz to thank for the unforgettable time I shared with my family last august.

Her enthusiasm was infectious. Her tenacity and lust for life I will never, ever forget. For years, Jennie and I would run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and one year as we crossed the finish line, we could both hear Liz singing, in her brassiest, most inimitably inspiring way "I'M STILL HERE!!" under the pavilion... That's one of my favorite memories of Liz.

Liz Marks is an inspiration to many, and the toughness she displayed throughout her back-and-forth bout with cancer is beyond measure. I hope that if I ever have to face such circumstances, I will be able to reflect the same amazing combination of "Will and Grace."

Thank you, Liz Marks, for all you did for my career and my family. We miss you dearly as we honor your amazing life.


Scott Wichmann and Jennifer Meharg.

Funeral arrangements can be viewed HERE.