Changing his mind over and over again and weighing all of the pros and cons, high school drama teacher Ken Lassen stressed over whether to cast Cameron or Matt C. in the Hamilton Preparatory High School production of Grease.
“Matt C. has an amazing singing voice, but Cameron has gone to dance camp at the local community college for three consecutive summers,” Lassen said, gazing at makeshift headshots of the boys that he took in the school’s cafeteria. “Cameron is clearly the safe pick, but Matt C. has this raw talent that you just can’t teach. I know Cameron could hit every note and perform the choreography impeccably, but I really think Matt C. could add a layer to Danny Zuko that audiences have never seen before.”
Sources report that the night of callbacks, Lassen didn’t get any sleep and instead sat up in his bed, worrying that whichever boy he didn’t cast would be getting picked up from school Friday with a broken heart.
“I still regret casting Michelle as Adelaide in Guys and Dolls last year,” said Lassen, pulling at his hair from the stress. “She had just moved here, and I thought the theater community could be her home. Let’s just say, calling it a ‘fiasco’ would be an understatement.”
Lassen also took pains to explain to all two of his acting classes that casting is the hardest part of a director’s job, conveniently leaving out the fact that he cast Danielle as Sandy immediately.
“It was just a no-brainer. Danielle has star power, no two ways about it,” Lassen added.
“I also need to consider the fact that Cameron is on the JV lacrosse team,” said Lassen, rewatching the Grease Lightening scene from Grease the movie for inspiration. “So he would have to miss some of our tech rehearsals for practice. At the same time, Matt C. is on mock trial and if they qualify for state that’s a week of choreo thrown out the window.”
At press time, Lassen announced that Cameron would be playing Danny Zuko, while Matt C. would be stuck with the part of the Angel who sings “Beauty School Dropout,” then flies away, and doesn’t appear again for the rest of the musical.