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July 31, 2004

We Will Rehearse You

First off, a big hello to all the Queen fans who are reading the reprint of this entry (along with the May 2004 entry) on

Well, Iíve been in Vegas for just over a month now. Thank you all for your emails checking up on me. Yes, Iím still conscious, and no, I havenít gambled my life savings away, married a stripper, or picked up any STDsÖ YET!

The show is a blast. The music, obviously, is awesome. Several of the songs I knew but didnít know were Queenís. Itís been an education in rock and roll. And speaking of rock and roll, the leads in the show are unbelievable. I am in awe of them daily. The romantic leads are double cast, which means that two people alternate playing the roles, 5 shows a week each. Beforehand, I was really worried that I would like one pair better than the other, but that hasnít been the case at all. All 4 of them are so good and so well cast, itís like an embarrassment of riches. The supporting leads are just ridiculous. Ty Taylor and Carly Thomas, when I hear them sing, I go back and forth between jaw-dropped awe and uncontrollable joyous laughter. You know when sex is so good it makes you laugh? Yeah, thatís what listening to Ty and Carly is like. And the rest of the ensemble is pretty dope too. Really great singers and unbelievable dancers, with uniformly amazing bodies. This cast is just fantastic.

The role I mainly play, Puff Daddy, is not very large, but itís definitely memorable. Iím having a great time with it, and the creative team seems very pleased with my work thus far. Writer-Director Ben Elton and I have similar comedic sensibilities (sometimes, he and I are the only ones laughing at certain parts of the show), though obviously there is a slight experience gap, seeing as how heís a world-renowned (if not U.S.-recognized) comedian. Ben is so cool that he has welcomed suggestions on the script, especially when it comes to potential American pop culture references or accidental Britishisms. I come to him with something nearly once a day, and he always open-mindedly says, ďWhat do ya got for me today?Ē I always say, ďLet me know when Iím getting annoying,Ē but he never does. Most of my suggestions he respectfully dismisses, but a few of them heís actually incorporated into the script! So cool! The other day I came to him with one, and he looked at me with astonishment: ďThatís really good! Thatís REALLY good! How old are you again? 27? Are you writing? Youíre writing for yourself arenít you? Because you should be.Ē I feel truly honored by his praise. Oh! and then other day, I was hanging near him when he was speaking on his cell to Queenís Brian May, and he said, ďI want you to say hi to Amir. Heís our Puff and heís just fantastic.Ē It was awesome. Not that Ben and I agree on everything. One of my favorite bits in the show (and somehow, a particular cast favorite) has been (at least temporarily) cut. Ben says it messes with the rhythm of the moment and may be overkill for my character. I hope he changes his mind, but of course I trust him 100%, so Iím sure heís right (unless heís wrong). Another time, I made a suggestion, and he thought it was so bad that later in the day, as we passed each other in the rehearsal hall, he half-jokingly said, shaking his head in disgust, ďI still canít believe that suggestion! What were you thinking!?Ē Whatís great though is that whenever he doesnít like a suggestion, he explains why Ė itís like a comedy tutorial!

The show is enormous. Itís been designed by Mark Fisher, who literally designs rock tours for groups like Pink Floyd and U2, as well as multiple Superbowl halftime shows. There are crazy lights, videos, hydraulic lifts, pyrotechnics, itís really just amazing.

My costume is dope. Itís basically punky multicolored jeans and a leather jacket, with stuff written all over it. I asked if I could have "DADDY" somewhere on my costume, and they said theyíd put it down one leg. But the best part is that my fly is completely open, revealing bright red underwear. BING!

I had hoped for a cool cast, and I couldnít be happier. This is such an awesome group of people, all 40 of them. Itís like, when itís time for lunch in the Paris employee dining room, I really couldnít care less who I sit next to, because pretty much everyone is cool. Itís a very social cast as well. Even though (as I expected!) nearly everyone is attached, people still go out a fair amount. I especially like going to the clubs, because thatís something my LA friends donít seem to do very often. And the difference between LA and Vegas clubs is that in LA, there is a substantial ďThere to be seenĒ vibe, whereas in Vegas, everyone is on vacation / out for a party, and strangers are very open to conversation. Plus, because weíre in We Will Rock You, we occasionally get VIP treatment, something I donít get much of in LAÖ YET.

Everything here is really great, but I definitely get home-sick. I miss my condo, and I miss my brother and my LA friends, I miss screen work, and oddly enough, I miss auditioning every day. Plus itís killing me to know that Iím missing out on TV, movies, and even the occasional pilot while Iím here. But hey, I knew that would happen, and having a steady paycheck is a breath of fresh air. Plus it's not like I'm bored or without friends. I'm having a blast.

I really love Vegas. The vibe of the town is really cool, and the surrounding scenery is truly breathtaking. I havenít made it out of the city yet, but once rehearsals are over, Iím looking forward to getting my hike on. Today there was a huge thunderstorm, and the desert air makes for some awesome cloud formations and sunsets (and sunrises!).

Come visit!

Read the archives:
My advice for current and aspiring actors (Feb '11)
So long, Amiricans! (Jan '10)
Vancouver! (Nov '09)
Politically Act-ive (Jan '08)
Welcome to the Desert (Jun '07)
In Flux (May '07)
"Which Groundlings show(s) should I see?" (Feb '07)
BackStage Article (Nov '06)
just for the heck of it, Luke Chueh (Mar '06)
Season 2 to come (Feb '06)
Seriously? (Feb '06)
SF Chron: you should be watching Campus Ladies! (Feb '06)
CL news: Giant bra is strapped for a home (Jan '06)
NY Times calls Campus Ladies Hilarious (Jan '06)
LA Times calls CL original and infectious (Jan '06)
Cheryl Hines TV Guide interview (Jan '06)
Hollywood Reporter loves Campus Ladies (Jan '06)
NY Times Business article on Campus Ladies (Jan '06)
OK, it's setting in (Dec '05)
Best... Problem... Ever! (Nov '05)
Gilmo my god! (May '05)
Kicking Aspen (Feb '05)
Goodbye WWRY (Jan '05)
Republicans -- the ultimate in Domestic Abuse (Nov '04)
Special K (Nov '04)
We Will, We Will, ROCK! (Sep '04)
We Will Preview You (Aug '04)
We Will Rehearse You (Jul '04)
Room Raiders / Summertime (Jun '04)
ĎWe Will Rock Youí Casting (May '04)
Nevermind Nirvana (Mar '04)
The Untitled Onion Movie (Jan '04)
Year in Review (Dec '03)
Second Bombay Dreams callback (Oct '03)
Bombay Dreams callback (Oct '03)
You're Not My Type (Sep '03)
More Making an Ass of Myself (Jul '03)
Shedding (Jun '03)
The Luckiest Man on Earth (May '03)
Snoopy the Intern (Apr '03)
In Pursuit of a Pilot (Mar '03)
The Real Amir (Feb '03)
Legally Blonde 2 (Jan '03)
Osama Yo Mama (Dec '02)
US Army Shoot (Oct '02)
Pimpin' the Studio Lots (Sep '02)
Gambling (Aug '02)

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