My Life Upon the Wicked Stage
Thirty years as an actor have shown
That it takes more than talent to make a star,
Though I tried very hard, I didn't get very far.
When auditions were past
And I didn't get cast,
Here are some of the reasons I've known:
I was either too young or too old,
A little too ripe or else much too green,
Too over the line or too in between,
Too long in the tooth,
They were casting for youth,
That's what my agent said she'd been told.
I was either too short or too tall,
My navel an "outie" when they needed "in",
My hair was too thick and the script called for thin,
My skin tone would do
But my eyes were too blue,
And my dimples too large or too small.
I was either too shy or too bold,
Too over the top or too underplayed,
Too limber and loose or too stolid and staid,
My voice was too brassy
Or too upper classy,
And my love scenes too hot or too cold.
I had plenty of talent and heart.
With each failed audition I upped my game,
And though often rejected, some remembered my name.
But I never stopped trying,
I kept on applying,
And now and then I'd get the part.
That life seems a lifetime ago.
Three decades and longer I trod the boards,
No Tony's or Emmy's or other awards,
But I can say without guile
For me what made it worthwhile
Was the applause at the end of a show.
Now my acting career is on hold,
As a poet I'm making a brand new start,
Didn't have to audition to land the part.
I still can be entertaining,
And no agent's explaining
That I'm either too young or too old.
Copyright © Jim Slaughter | Year Posted 2019
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