Arts & Culture

A Day In The Life Of An Artist: Jeffrey Bean

The Alley Theatre actor describes a day filled with “A Christmas Carol,” two lovable dogs, doughnuts, and preparing to say goodbye to Houston – plus, a video of him putting on his Scrooge make-up

What do artists do in their free time? What inspires them in their everyday life? How do they start their day, tackle their creative processes, balance work-life, and then unwind – all within 24 hours?

In this series, A Day in the Life of an Artist, we invite artists to answer those questions by pulling back the curtain on one day in their lives.

Actor Jeffrey Bean is celebrating his 10th season performing the role of “Scrooge” in the Alley Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas.  Since 1989, he has appeared in over 125 Alley productions.  Now after 24 seasons as an Alley Company Artist, Jeffrey Bean is preparing to move with his family to Philadelphia in 2018.

“We look forward to him returning to the Alley stages in the near future.  His many seasons have been marked by a host of superb portrayals including Scrooge, Cyrano, Salieri in Amadeus, Francis in One Man, Two Guvnors, and his recent brilliant work in the world premiere of Describe the Night,” said Artistic Director Gregory Boyd about Jeffrey.

Here is how Jeffrey Bean spent a day during his week of December 4, 2017:

 

6:30 am – I have a student matinee today at 10:00.  So I get up at this hour to give myself a bit of time to have coffee, check messages, and read the news.  At 7:00 I will get my son up to get ready for school.  At the moment, I am single parenting.  My wife Christa, who had been the Production Stage Manager / Artistic Coordinator for the Alley, has recently taken a position as a producer for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.  She is there now, as I pack up our house and put it on the market in preparation for moving there after the new year.

 

7:15 am – Time to walk the Basenjis, Olive and Orbit.  Kingwood has wonderful green belts that go all through the woods that surround the neighborhoods. 

 

8:15 am – I drop my son off at school.

 

9:00 am – I sign in on the call board at the theatre.  This lets Stage Management know who is here.  I like to be here a half-hour before the half-hour call to dress.

 

9:05 am – It is actor Melissa Pritchett’s birthday.  She plays The Ghost of Christmas Past.  Someone has brought doughnuts.  Well, OK.  Twist my arm why don’t ya.

 

9:10 am – Scrooge awaits.  And so does my messy dressing table.

 

9:15 am – The older I get the less time it takes me to turn into a wrinkly old curmudgeon. [Video courtesy of Jeffrey Bean]

 

9:30-ish am – At half-hour, the time when full company is called to dress for the show, I like to go to places.  Actually, I don’t go to places, I go to bed.  It is on this bed that Scrooge makes his first appearance in our play.  It is VERY comfortable.  Also, I just like the quiet time away from the noise and bustle of the dressing rooms before the show.

 

10:00 am – We’re about to begin.  This is my view from my bed as the “ghostly apparitions,” as they are called, begin the play.

 

1:30 pm – The matinee is over, and now I must run some errands.  My son needs a new pair of black pants for his Christmas band concert.  His mother would normally be doing this but, as she is in Philly, it falls to me, so I have been texting her pictures of different options to make sure I get the right thing.  This pair got the go-ahead.  I couldn’t find his size in the Boys Department.  This pair, which fit him, were from the Men’s Department.  This fact has made me quite wistful. 

 

2:00 pm – Then to HEB in Atascocita for groceries.  The HEB in Kingwood was flooded and has yet to reopen.  Kingwood was hit particularly hard by flooding from the San Jacinto and will be a long time in recovering.  The Whataburger Spicy Ketchup is for my son.  He has instructed me to buy a “case or two” to take with us to Philadelphia.  I stick with a single bottle for now.

 

5:45 pm – I am headed back downtown for our second show of the day. 

 

7:00 pm – Back in bed

 

9:30-ish pm – The show is done, and we are taking our call.  As I reflect on ten years of playing Scrooge, working on the Alley stage since 1989, the many people I have had the pleasure of working with over the years, the many productions I have done on that stage of which many I am extremely proud, I am mindful that a theatre is not a building.  Harvey could have swept that entire building away and The Alley would continue because The Alley is not its building.  It is its people.  And that includes our audience, who have always been gracious, kind, good for a laugh, intrepid, and daring.  Theatre is a thing we do together, the building is just where we choose to do it.  At the moment, we have a beautifully renovated building in which to come together and be a theatre.  Soon, with gracious help from the community, the repairs to those sections damaged by Harvey will have everything operating at full steam.  The people of the Alley, acting company, crew, staff, and patrons will always be my artistic home.

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Catherine Lu

Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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