🎭Iggy Veracruz in Easter

Iggy Veracruz, Green SEAL special ops commander (20th Special Forces Group, Baltimore)[description:= Latino/Hispanic male, 40-45 years, Central American heritage /// character:= a Texas-bred, tough-as-nails/'hard ass'/commando field general]
In my opera, Easter, Philly has descended into utter chaos, mainly due to the presence of one man (Pascha). No surprise there. The scale of the script has events unfolding into a full-blown guerilla war in and around the City. Things have escalated so quickly that the Pentagon has sent in measures to counter the growing conflict, essentially waging internecine against its own citizens and military - a big no-no. Notice how I said 'counter', not 'de-escalate'. Again, this all gets traced back to a single individual, his reputation, and a huge misunderstanding.

So what gives? One of the big questions here is who or what kills Pascha? (Is this a spoiler alert? Not sure.) That answer is written as the penultimate mystery in the story. It's probably got to be somebody who wants or has wanted him dead. At every turn, we're reminded that he's got a great many enemies dating back to 1978; now he can add a plus-one to that list, courtesy orders of none other than the Secretary of Defense himself.

The opera's genre is classified as mystery, and not action. Still, reaction becomes a subset of the former precisely because of who our protagonist/antagonist is. We're reminded that people who have nothing to lose, well, have something to gain, and Pascha has been cornered into extreme conditions. He will be forced to rely on his past military training and experience, which in this case makes him forfeit any semblance of protagony, thereby relegating him to antagony. That side of his character is what is causing paramilitary-like city-wide destruction, and drawing the response of the United States armed forces led by special ops commander, Iggy Veracruz.

Iggy is an asshole, who revels in being an asshole. Through the years, he's been lauded, commemorated, decorated, and honored by his country for being an asshole as such. This imposing figure relishes his role. He lives for his next assignment. And even scarier is that he's entirely ready to die in combat, just as long as he can take others to the 'other side' with him. In his mind, no one is innocent (and never was). His orders are absolute. He leaves everything out on the battlefield, and expects those with whom he works to do the same. And now, that energy and his squadron have come searching for old man Pascha, the face of insurrection.

This role needs someone in excellent physical shape to play it because we're running around at night, swimming in a non-shallow dive, and carrying lots of weapons. Filming the war scenes is undoubtedly the most demanding. I had to learn a great deal of military science that went into the writing. Military brats want their hypothetical exercises to seem as realistic as possible, even though they never expect them to actually occur. I got into a few fist-clenching arguments with these types because I thought a bomb-dropping would take care of most warfare, but was challenged on the tactics that leads up to munition acquisition and post-usage, to my chagrin. But they're called consultants for a good reason.

My aunt suggested Eddie George for the part (she and his mom have the occassional friendly run-in around town). {That's 🏈Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George.}

I actually made this casting years ago, when things were first being pieced together. George brings a few things to the table that I am looking for for this role: he's a big guy (6'3''), fit, his look is believable for someone whose heritage is from the Mexican state of Veracruz (those people arrived via the TransAtlantic slave trade, hence the surname), and he has satisfactory acting + military (training) experience. It helps that he's a native of Philadelphia like myself, we both went to Thee Ohio State University, and we're both fans of SWV.😉

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