Tracy K. Lorenz ...


My son Q just got his first part in a school play. He landed the role of “Darcy” in the Muskegon Catholic Central spring musical Newsies. 

He comes by his acting chops naturally as I starred in (no speaking parts) the horror film Offspring and the critically acclaimed Up From the Bottoms as well as the Muskegon Civic Theater production of The King and I. I played neither “The King” nor “I”.

One of the best parts of being in such productions is you get to wear costumes, well, it’s the best part if you’re not (as they referred to us on the set of Offspring) a “meat prop”. A “meat prop” basically means you’re a human. If you’re a lamp you’re a “prop” if you’re walking around you’re a “meat prop.”  My costumes befit my title.

The King and I - They brought in fabulous rented costumes from New York for this production and when I showed up for my fitting everyone looked spectacular. Huge gowns with hoops underneath, golden pants and a turban for the king, it was really something, I couldn’t wait to see what I got.

I played multiple roles, I was a guard, a priest, and a river (a bunch of us laid down, they covered us with a long, blue, piece of cloth and the King walked across us). But when I showed up I was just a guard, the costume lady walked over and handed me what I can best describe as black MC Hammer pants. I asked her where the rest of the costume was and she said: “That’s it.”

I’m 5’-11, I weigh 140 pounds, and I’m supposed to be guarding the king. MC Hammer pants and no shirt was not a convincing look. The makeup girl actually used dark blush to make it look like I had a chest.

Offspring - This was a kind-of big-budget film and I played Cop #4. They measured me up and, again, my cop uniform was flown in from New York and it fit perfectly.  The odd part was the other three cops got additional pieces, their uniforms came with a holster, gun, and a hat. I just got a belt and it wasn’t even a cop belt. The other cops were in four scenes, I was killed off somewhere mid-film. Not on camera, I just wasn’t there anymore which is understandable since I was chasing cannibals through the woods unarmed and hatless.

Up From the Bottoms - Another period piece set in the 1920’s and, again, the costumes were pretty cool. I actually had a pivotal scene and was on screen as the feature player in the scene for a good fifteen seconds (roughly one second for every take).

Immediately before showing up for costumes and rehearsal I was at Max McKee’s fabulous Kentucky Derby Party, I was wearing black pants and a white button-down Polo shirt, a real one, with the little horse on it.  So I get to the costume girl and she looks me up and down and says “You’re good” and I’m like “What do you mean I’m good” and she says “You look fine, just wear that.”  “Um, there’s a Ralph Lauren Polo player on it”, (her) “No one will notice.”  As I walked away she said, “Wait a minute,” and handed me a pair of wingtip shoes. 

So if you ever watch the movie disregard the shirt, either that or assume I was a time traveler sent back a hundred years to save the world, and if you ever ask me if I was the guy in the 1920’s movie wearing a shirt from 2010 I’ll say yes, S’iam.

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