|Jen Beitzel as Lucy is no match for Rick Mickley as Dracula|
Rick Mickley is no stranger to pain. As a former athlete, he has had two knee surgeries, a hip replacement, a screwed together shoulder, a triple hernia, ankylosing spondylitis (a painful spinal condition) and various broken bones. And yet as a track coach at West Bloomfield High School, he has to demonstrate proper technique to his student athletes and overcome his own pain and physical limitations to help them imagine what is possible.
By playing through the pain, Rick has tapped into a source of strength that will serve him well in the title role of Dracula. As Rick explains, “I have to show my students how to put the shot, throw the discus, and pass the baton. And to teach them that while they are standing still, life is going on and will pass them by, so enjoy each hard-working, sweat-pouring, funny, happy moment, even every minute experience, because life is pressure, and a ‘Dracula’ could come at any second and take it all away. I'm grasping Dracula and encouraging all my athletes to come, because it's about me overcoming my physical obstacles to make it the most enjoyable experience for the audience that I can.”
Rick is no stranger to the Farmington Players stage, having most recently played the admirable Sheriff Heck Tate in To Kill A Mockingbird. But this time he seems to relish playing the bad guy – and being the one inflicting pain – saying, “Dracula is about power and control and good versus evil. Life is about striving to do your best to overcome obstacles and to not let the bad guy get in your way or get you down. Very few people want to be controlled and told what to do. Dracula is like ‘Big Brother’ and is always watching you and knowing what you're doing at all times.” Plus, there’s the whole immortality thing that’s appealing: “This guy is immortal and he has haunted and preyed upon millions of people for centuries. The challenge is going to be making Dracula my own, after he has been played by some of the greatest actors of all time. Vampires are still huge, and Dracula is the greatest of them all!”
The Farmington Players' production of Dracula is proudly sponsored by Weinstein Jewelers. The show runs October 11 through November 2. Tickets can be purchased online at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.