Five decades is a long time to stand on stage. For Oakdale’s own Mike Moon, however, it’s what he describes as “living the dream.” This week, Moon will stand on the stage for the Linden Community Theatre playing Mr. Applegate in the production of Damn Yankees.
Show times are scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, July 25 through 28 and Friday through Sunday, Aug. 2 through 4. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sundays. The show is staged at Linden High School.
Damn Yankees marks Moon’s 10th performance since retiring from his “day job” two years ago.
“It’s in Linden, it’s not that far,” the actor said. “It’s a beautiful theater at the Linden high school. I’m living the life. I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do. I’m a house husband and spend all the rest of my time acting.”
The local actor shared he stays busy with productions in Murphys, Stockton, and now Linden. He is always looking to each theater’s upcoming season and planning out productions he’s interested in seeking out.
“It’s just like a job interview, you may not get selected,” he said of auditions. “Sometimes I get a call and they say are you available, but I also audition.”
Moon shared that he first became bit by the acting bug during his early high school years. He’s stayed active in community theater ever since. His most recent part as Mr. Applegate is that of the devil who makes a deal with an aging Washington Senators fan to beat the New York Yankees.
“It’s just a wonderful musical. I did the same role 12 years ago,” Moon shared. “It’s family entertainment. The other great thing about it is, if you don’t know if you like musicals but you love baseball this is a good fit for you.”
Since his retirement, Moon shared there has been little downtime as his community theater has remained full and abundant. In addition to his “house husband” responsibilities, Moon shared he rehearses approximately four to six hours a day on any given production.
He describes pacing and walking around his backyard reciting lines with his script in hand.
“You don’t sit down, they don’t stick as well. I’m such a stickler to be word perfect. It’s the repetition,” the actor said.
As Moon recalls his many years of theater he shared variety is indeed the spice of an actor’s life. He has performed in comedies, musicals and admits to a special affection for farces, which he fancied the most until being cast in a drama.
“Then I started getting into dramas and I really excelled at that,” he said. “I had no idea.”
It is also being able to move the audience is another favorite byproduct of the acting life.
“To be able to make someone laugh is great,” he continued. “To actually make someone cry, to get their emotions actually overwhelms me and then I just give that back to the audience.”
As a seasoned actor and veteran of the stage, Moon was asked for wisdom to share with actors new to the stage and theater. Advice which may help a novice find their way to veteran status, such as himself.
“Listen to the director and take any part you can get because if you’re good, eventually you’re going to get pulled up,” he said. “Look at the older people, follow them, study them, learn by example.”
Tickets for the show are available at www.lindentheatre.com or at the door. The show will be at the Linden High School Performing Arts Center at 18527 E. Front St. Linden.
“I just love theater, whether I’m going to it or performing,” Moon said of his passion for the arts. “I feel great. It’s a great show. I feel everyone is really going to have a good time.”