From Marine to murder suspect, an insider’s opinion of acting in murder mysteries
Murder Mystery Dinners are interactive guessing games in which the audience participates in solving a murder.
Until I was 16, I never knew these types of events existed. It wasn’t until Nov. 20, 2012, when I actually participated in one.
The Single Marine Program, which hosted the Murder Mystery Dinner, needed volunteer actors and actresses for their murder mystery. Originally, I went to cover the story for the Iwakuni Approach. But when a few of the actors were unable to make it, SMP asked if I would take one of the female roles. I am glad I did.
There were eight of us in a 1928 speakeasy type setting: a flapper, a gambler, a U.S. district attorney, a baseball player, a golfer, a night club singer, a club owner and myself, a reporter.
A woman gathered us to find the murderer of Hal Cappone, his body riddled with bullets when they found him.
Each of us had our own reasons for wanting Cappone dead. It was up to us, and the audience, to figure out who killed him.
None of us knew anything about the clues, facts or who killed Cappone. We improvised.
As we read the clues off, the audience and the suspects gained new information.
As the audience pieced together all the information we provided them, so did we.
Never before had I been subjected to cluelessness while acting.
It was definitely a new experience. Generally, in the plays and musicals I have been in, I had lines to memorize.
So, how was I supposed to act the part when I knew nothing about my character or what my part in the whole mystery was?
It was, unmistakably, a challenge. Yet, the mystery went off without a hitch and at the end of the night I heard several audience members' exclaim they had guessed correctly as they applauded.
If you have the opportunity to attend a Murder Mystery Dinner, I highly recommend it.
Whether in the audience or partaking in the scenario itself, it will be a new and exciting experience. These are just one of several types of fun events held by the Single Marine Program.