I am tall. I am 6’3″. That’s huge. I am significantly taller than all my friends. I am significantly taller than most breathing humans. Here are a few examples:
Now this last one is a PRIME example; I am so tall that my head is cut off in the picture. Fellow Freaks, I want you to know that I have not cropped this picture. I am legitimately that tall. Being Goliath is no joking matter. Clearly, none of this is a joke. If you have cracked a smile, flog yourself (in the way that doesn’t feel good).
If I led a normal life working at a desk or being a doctor or teaching, my height would not be a problem. Who cares if you’re a tall teacher? That just means all the basketball jocks will love you! Who cares if you’re a tall doctor? You will just make lots of little kids cry. And who cares if you’re a tall person who sits at a desk? You’ll just need some super-cool chair with backsupports and feets supports and wrists supports, and you’ll be able to spy more readily on your cubicle neighbors.
Alas, I have chosen to dress up like a cowboy and scream while people pay to watch me to do it. I talk in weird accents and yell at people while they feel things. I. Am. *dramatic lighting change perhaps with some climactic bongo-banging*. AN ACTOR.
So here’s the problem: for some reason people in the theatre world have some strict preconceptions about characters, ESPECIALLY in musical theatre. For example: you will be hard-pressed to find a casting director who would cast a 6’3″ male lead with a 5’3″ female lead as a couple. For some reason, the theatre world believes that an audience would find this pairing preposterous. “THUMBELLINA WITH GOLIATH?!?!? HOW?!?!?!?” Perhaps the audience is full of idiots who will not be able to focus on the show because they will have only the recurring thought, “He’ssotall. He’ssotall. He’ssotall. What’shappening Ican’tfocuscuzhe’ssotall.” Or maybe they truly think that a man would NEVER date a woman who is a foot shorter than her (which is truly a silly notion as most girls want to date tall men because they want to feel dainty and petite). Yes, there will be a drastic height difference. But if all the audience can think about is the height difference, than the actors/director/ensemble are not doing their job right.
I think audiences need to be given more credit. Yes, I’m huge. But there are tall girls out there, too! And some of us tall girls are talented! So give us a chance! This is some height discrimination, y’all.
I have been told more than once that I am too tall to be anything more than ensemble. There’s nothing wrong with being in the ensemble. I’ve done it a SHIT TON. It’s awesome. But don’t limit me. Don’t tell me there are things I can’t do. Yes, I have to work ten times harder than normal-sized people, but that’s ok cuz I am prepared to do that hard work.
Someone once asked if I had any dream roles. I said, “I really wanna be Emmett in Legally Blonde.” They responded, “Well you’ll have to have a really tall Elle.” And I said, “Well if I ever act opposite someone they’ll have to be really tall.” And they said, “True.” And I said, “Well what am I supposed to do?” And they said, “I don’t know. Film?”
I disagree. Especially for Legally Blonde. Emmett is kinda quirky, and hisrelationship with Elle isn’t traditional. Plus, I bet you $1,000,000 that Elle will be in heels for most of the show. So Emmett is totally doable for me. And I won’t give up. And any time someone tells me I can’t do something or have something it’s just a chip on my shoulder and it makes me work harder.
I am too nothing for musical theatre. I am not too tall. Yes, I am taller than average. But “too tall” implies that there’s something wrong with me. The only thing I am too tall for is one of the dwarves in Snow White. Everything else is fair game. Unless it implicitly states in the script that this character is a certain height or under a certain height, I’m gonna go for it. And anyone who tells me I’m too tall is just too narrow-minded.
You are too nothing. You can have whatever you want. I’ve been told I’m too tall for ensemble and I have played “Corny Collins” in Hairspray and “Brad” in Rocky Horror Show, because two directors decided to take a chance on me. And I’m not giving up. And neither should you.
I won’t be limited. And people can have their opinions. But saying, “You’re too tall,” is NOT a fact; it’s an opinion. If you would like a brief lesson in facts, here you go:
- I am 6’3″.
- I am male.
- I have brown hair.
- I’m a tenor.
- I’m a dancer, specifically tap.
- I have a BFA in musical theatre.
- I will work myself to death to do a good job.
- When I was 18 I could not touch my toes. Now I am 22, and I can reach my toes and then some.
- I have boundless amounts of optimism, hope and energy.
- I reject limits.
- I will one day kick my face.
“THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST!”