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I hadn’t heard for a couple of weeks from Jeff Skowron, the actor playing the Grinch at The Old Globe, who’s been penning a backstage blog for us.
When I finally heard from him yesterday, I learned he’d been battling an abscessed tooth! (Lending, I thought, new importance to the lyric You’re a vile one, Mr. Grinch!/You have termites in your smile.)
Here’s the latest from Skowron:
It’s been two weeks; how does the first third bit feel? How is this year’s audience different so far?
We’re having a great time so far. The audiences have been great. I love San Diego audiences, they’re very supportive and responsive. We had our first student matinee [Monday] morning. Those are always fun because the kids will yell right back at me. There was one girl who wasn’t having me today, though. She happened to be sitting in a spot where I often interact directly with the audience. She was waving me away with her hands and scolding me at length. I tried not to take it personally. I think she was eight or nine.
And tell us about this horrendous dental issue. When did you realize this? Did you have an especially painful performance? Your schedule is so packed in — how did you get time to recover?
Opening night my tooth started really hurting. Saturday and Sunday we had three shows each day and the pain was tremendous. My face swelled up. It was the weekend after Thanksgiving so dental offices were closed. I finally got to see a dentist on Monday and it turns out I had a bad infection in a root canal.
I’m recovering now, but the weekend was one of the toughest I’ve ever experienced. But the Globe has such a positive, supportive working atmosphere which made it all bearable. Plus, my dresser Beth carried around a bottle of Advil for me and I was eating those things like they were candy.
Any mishaps or stories that have been the butt of jokes among the cast and crew?
Not sure I can get into any detail about our running jokes. But as far as mishaps, so far I knocked over the conductor’s music stand and all his music with a prop that I threw, I fell off a scooter, and I accidentally kicked a present into the audience and heard a woman scream.
Jeff Skowron writes occasional posts from backstage while he plays the Grinch at The Old Globe. Have a question of your own for him? You can leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.325.0531. You can follow me on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.