Back in a previous life I was a very struggling actor in Chicago. One summer I was working with a small troupe that, among other things, did children’s plays outdoors and in various venues. This particular show we were doing was called Wiley and the Hairy Man, based upon a children’s book. I played the Hairy Man – a swamp-man/boogeyman – and, while I kept getting chased offstage by the Wiley in the title, my character kept sneaking back in. It was not a part of particular subtlety but it did require some finesse. I was the monster in a children’s play which meant I couldn’t be too scary; just enough to produce the tinglies and a lot of laughs.
To be honest, I loved the role. In every venue, after Wiley would chase me away I would look for different places to come back at the required time through the audience. Even my fellow cast members were never quite sure where I would be coming from which kept it fresh for all of us. Sometimes I would pick up a child from where they were sitting in one part of the audience and deposit them somewhere else in the audience. My make-up was absurd, my costume had tatty fur glued on a work shirt, and it was a "Brian Blessed" roaring over the top performance – all in all, it may have been my finest role.