Gov. Bobby Jindal Offered Role in Local Production of “Bus Stop”

After viewing Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s response to President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress on Tuesday evening, the members of the Baton Rouge Community Theatre (BRCT, for short) found themselves floored. Last week, the group held auditions over two evenings to fill the roles in the William Inge masterpiece Bus Stop, but they failed to find just the right actor to play Bo Decker. Most members of the play group thought it was impossible to fill a role usually reserved for grossly untrained actors who have no idea how to work a crowd or a camera. But all of that changed with Jindal’s stilted and forced speech admonishing big government and the end of the temporary tax cuts put in place by former President George W. Bush.

“He’s an absolute star,” said Barbara Toyleston, president and 27-year veteran of the theater group. “His charisma and youthfulness just blew me away.” Citing his clean-cut look and off-putting folksiness dominant throughout his speech, Toyleston said he had everything the part required, and she could not help but imagine Gov. Jindal in the role of Bus Stop‘s Bo Decker. “Usually with the important roles, we’ll just cast [local high school senior] Dan Longsmith nearly sight-unseen, but Bobby just outshone Dan in every way. I mean, just watch the first two minutes of his speech, and you will see just how well he fits in with the rest of the terribly unprepared performers in our little community.”

Dan Longsmith, local actor

Dan Longsmith, local actor, does not hold a candle to Jindal in horrible regional theater acting ability

Toyleston and director Johan Colczyski wasted no time in composing and sending out a formal offer letter to the Governor’s office, and they hope to hear a confirmation within the next week. But time is of the essence; rehearsals start March 2nd, and the first of six weekend performances begin April 17th.

Colczyski is confident that author William Inge, dead for well over 25 years, would undoubtedly praise the Baton Rouge Community Theatre group for offering a part to Jindal. The Indian-American governor’s style harkens back to the raw community theater of old, where completely untalented teenagers and local citizens, who had no stake in art’s progress in a disaffected republic, could take on a role to express commentary on the state of local affairs. Jindal, without any effective media training for national-level speeches, clearly relied on the oratory techniques he picked up giving oral reports in middle school, and Colczyski says that’s what makes him perfect for their production of Bus Stop. The Governor attempted to undercut President Obama’s message of hope and change and American perseverance, which was validated by 9 million more votes than Senator John McCain, but he aptly demonstrated he was ready to take the community theater scene by storm. His artificial intonations of particular phrases as he talked about family life, tax cuts, and the welfare of all Americans mirrored the performance director Colczyski would expect of a local actor portraying Bo Decker. “If the lead doesn’t sound phony in a sing-songy delivery of his lines, then he’s not really doing his job,” Colczyski said. “But Bobby could pull that off in a hot second.”

Witness Jindal’s vocal inflections that bounce up and down to relate to the average American’s confusion with and condemnation of government’s role in everyday life. Just like fellow Republican Governor Sarah Palin, his flagrant rural American accent demonstrates that he could be tremendously out of touch with the rest of the United States’ populace and be a perfect addition to community theater. “He gave a performance just like a poorly prepared high school outcast who never delivered a monologue on a stage,” said Colczyski, “He is exactly who we want as our Bo Decker.”

Without a doubt, it is the folksiness that has attracted the attention of regional theater groups across the state. Baton Rouge Community Theatre hopes to recruit Jindal first, since they are a local entity with strong ties to the immediate theater scene, but they admit it will not be easy. “The big problem is the some of the larger theater groups offer greater incentives for the raw talent to perform with them,” admitted Toyleston. “It’s difficult to compete with an extra $15 per performance and free street parking before 9pm during rehearsals. And you know those better-financed theater companies who can offer such lavish riders in their contracts will be after him.” But BRCT skews to a younger audience and it generally appeals to the young, talentless, would-be actors in town who couldn’t land a Pizza Hut commercial if their lives depended on it, so Toyleston isn’t terribly worried.

“I feel like I’m watching a kids’ show on Nickelodeon when I watch this speech,” said Jan Hackett, a sophomore at Baton Rouge Univeristy. “But I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t watch Governor Jindal in Bus Stop! He’s perfect for Bo Decker!!”

The BRCT hopes to use examples like Jan Hackett’s excitement to attract Jindal to this Spring’s production, as he is trying to appeal a new generation of young voters. “It’s a win-win for everyone if he agrees to play Bo,” admitted producer Toyleston. “He will learn how affect his speech and applause lines like a proper individual in front a large crowd, and we will bring in new potential theater-goers for the up-coming season. In June we are putting on Our Town and The Lion in Winter; we do hope Bobby and everyone else can make it to auditions.”

Sarah Palin – MAXIM Cover

Good luck, Barack Obama. The race for President just took an interesting turn. I don’t have to remind people of McCain’s stunning Veep pick today. It was out of left field, but then again John McCain has been known to defy conventional wisdom and buck the system. That reflects well with his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin, who has also often played by her own set of rules in fighting corruption and running the state of Alaska. Even during her campaign for governor in 2006, she decided to appeal to the young voters by giving an exclusive interview and pictorial with MAXIM Magazine. See the cover below. I’m sure McCain’s people took this into consideration when they vetted her.

Sarah Palin in Maxim

Sarah Palin in MAXIM

We need American Gladiators now, more than ever

Hot off the success of my terribly conceived and poorly writen Hayden Panettiere post the other day, I thought I’d try to stick with another NBC show for my latest. Of course, all fans of this blog know that NBC shows have shown up quite often in my first thirty posts. I believe I mentioned Cheers, Frasier, Friends, The Cosby Show, Ed, and Scrubs, and probably all in the same post.American Gladiators!

ANYWAY, I believe now is a time for Americans to take a moment to reflect the current state of our country. With increasing gas prices, bridges collapsing, a supposed “global warming” scare, the rise of secularism, and a black man running for President, most Americans don’t know where to turn for answers or comfort. This post-9/11 world reminds us every day that Everything’s Changed. Stars are dancing, idols are singing, and sub sandwiches can be purchased for an even five dollars. Last year CNN dedicated an unbelievable amount of hours to the death and funeral of Anna Nicole Smith, whose contribution to society was, what, exactly? Of course, there are no more easy answers.

That is why, now more than ever, we need American Gladiators. The hit show grabs somewhere around 113 million viewers every week, dazzling the citizens of this great country with feats of athletic Americans squaring off against unbelievably large and/or attractive Gladiators. Normal, everyday people, who mostly hail from upper middle class backgrounds, are the contenders who face off against the Gladiator powerhouses. Those contenders are there to tell us that everything is going to be okay. Your dreams of being on television do not have to submit to the disgusting standards of Tila Tequila or The Littlest Groom. You too can one day be upper middle class, or athletic, or a Gladiator. Maybe all three.

When the liberal mainstream media shows us a world where people are dying on the street and babies are having babies, where politicians want to tax you just for living, where suicide bombers blow up dozens of innocent people and our young men and women fight for our freedom in some mystical far-off desert wasteland, where it’s alternately in vogue and out of style to crack jokes about Starbucks, this country will always have American Gladiators to show us that things can be simple. Nothing is more straightforward than Joust, where contenders must hit or be hit with sticks. Survive for 30 seconds or knock a Gladiator into the water to score points. Fall in the water yourself, you get nothing. If only life could be so black and white.

American Gladiators?But that’s the point. Most often, life is not like going head to head against Justice on Pyramid, racing up The Wall hoping that Venom does not pull you off, or wrestling Wolf on Earthquake. But for those brief thirty seconds, those contenders represent what is great about America. They represent perseverance, optimism and surmounting great challenges. In short, those contenders represent the American Way of Life. The battles in the Gladiator Arena are not battles of good versus evil, they are more like battles of man versus self than man versus man. We are idealized through those contenders.

The battle inside is not whether or not you will pinch the occasional office supply. The battle is deciding whether or not pinching those binder clips is unethical to you. We must answer the bigger challenges inside of ourselves. Every day we must battle the Titan or Crush inside to help us choose to help our fellow man, use manners and be polite, make someone smile, or tip over 15%.  The world is full of too many gray areas, the Gladiators must show us who we are really made of and if we will accept the losses along with the victories. We need them now, more than ever, to reach self-actualization.

Thank you, Gladiators. Show us the way.