LIGHTS! CAMERA! ODD JOBS? is a decent solo show from actor Andrew MacKinnon about his personal journey as an actor. It falls into the category of confessional storytelling and uses as its frame the number of odd jobs a young actor has to take while trying to kickstart their career. The show had a few flaws but was decent overall.
MacKinnon begins his journey in his childhood when he first gets the acting bug at a celebration for Shakespeare’s birthday. The young MacKinnon starts his acting career strong, becoming a regular teenage actor at the Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Mainstage. He’s living a good life as a teen, landing big roles and making good money, but once he reaches young adulthood the acting gigs start to dry up. That’s when the “odd jobs” portion of the show comes to the fore.
The rest of the solo show finds MacKinnon recounting his many odd jobs. He did a stint at theatre school but says the most he got of it were impressions. Admittedly, he does good impressions. He works, in no particular order, at several restaurants, as a cherry picker in the Okanagan, at a moving, a lawn care company, and a successful job at a call centre where he was offered a promotion to management, with a few acting stints tossed in between. Most surprisingly was his role in season 1 of the hit teen drama Riverdale, but his character didn’t make the cut for Season 2.
MacKinnon’s story isn’t bad, but the play suffers from abrupt cuts from job to job instead of segueing nicely from one scene to the next. MacKinnon also frequently took long drinks from his water bottle which did take away a bit from the suspension of disbelief we normally get in theatre. The storytelling solo show is a Fringe staple but as a style, it falls easily into a routine. MacKinnon sometimes forgot that there is still a degree of acting that must be done—it’s not stand-up. There are better solo shows at this year’s Fringe than LIGHTS! CAMERA! ODD JOBS?
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.