Marlon Washington '10 Getting Down to the Business of Acting

January 6, 2011

By Marlon Washington '10

Before I start telling of my post-grad journeys, I want to say that college is a fantasy world, and I was fully caught up in the magic. The moment I walked across the stage at graduation, the real world took control and ate the magic for breakfast.

I was fortunate to have landed an acting job in Pocatello, Idaho, before I graduated. On May 15, 2010, I left Bradley for the last time as a student. I had a month before leaving for Idaho, so I planned to just sit around the house for two weeks. Then I realized, as an actor, I started my job the second I walked across the stage at commencement. That's when I got down to business.

The next day, I used the information from my theatre seminar class at Bradley and started researching where I was going to find my next acting job.  After a few auditions, I landed my second acting job before I even started my first!

I left the flatlands of the Midwest for the mountains of Idaho on June 21.  I moved into a six-bedroom apartment with five other guys and we started rehearsals for "Hairspray" the next morning. I was pumped to be doing one of my dream shows. The director also served as choreographer, and he wore us out.  I lost ten pounds during the run of the show as a result of the intense dancing.  I played the characters of Duane, camera man, and hooked. "Hairspray" was a blast, and the cast was awesome on and off-stage.  I was definitely not ready to "stop the beat."

After "Hairspray" closed, we sent a few cast members home and started work on "Peter Pan." I took on the role of Smee. This meant a lot less dancing, less rehearsal, many more acting challenges, and much pain for me. Playing Captain Hook's right-hand man meant I was pushed, pulled, and thrown all over the stage. It was so much fun! Smee was a great character to discover, and the run of the show went smoothly.

Overall, journeying to Idaho was an awesome experience and I would go back in a heartbeat. I formed some really strong bonds and leaving was extremely difficult, but my life was about to take another turn.

My next journey was doing a tour of "Robin Hood" for elementary schools in the Midwest and on the east coast. I took on the role of Robin Hood and Prince John. I was on the road for two and a half months with two other actors and we played eight different characters. Being on tour was quite an experience with tons of stress and tons of laughs that I will never forget. My favorite state was Pennsylvania.

Now, I am doing live, in-store, infomercials all over the Chicago area, and acting in a play for my religious denomination that will be performed in Mississippi.  My life is constantly changing.