I'll start by being off topic. Hey, its what I do. So, I comment on other peoples' blogs and you guys all convinced me to start my own blog, which means I talk a lot on line. Does anyone else have trouble remembering "Did I talk about that already"? I do. I'm absolutely sure I've never mentioned this one.
I went to Emerson College in Boston with the intention of being an actor. I think I was pretty good at it. I got most of the parts I auditioned for. Eventually, two things made me abandon the acting bug. First, I realized that success meant doing the same freakin' play 8 times a week. This did not appeal to me. Second, and how do I put this delicately, I thought all the other actors were a bunch of self-absorbed, necrotic assholes. I decided that this wasn't the world for me.
But anyway (we're back on topic now), toward the end of my freshman year, I was cast in a Noel Coward play. I have no memory of which one it was, but I was in it. I think we did a total of five performances. The last one was to be on a Saturday night and there'd be a wrap party afterwards. At the time, I'd had the hots for some girl for a few weeks and had never gotten up the nerve to say anything to her. I told a friend about it and he said, "Dude, you're in a show and there's a wrap party. You totally need to invite her to the show and the party. She'll totally think you're the coolest guy ever." (This is the same guy who harassed me endlessly to participate in the protest about Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant's opening. "It's a the most important issue there is. We need to stop this or they'll destroy the planet", he said. On the day of the protest, I ran into him when he was coming out of a bar in Kenmore Square. When I asked him why he wasn't at the protest, he said, "Well, its not worth getting my head beat in.")
Anyway, in my fevered 19-year-old brain inviting her to a wrap party seemed like a can't lose proposition. So, I invited her to the show. By inviting, I mean I kinda told her I was in a play and that going would be free and if she went, she'd get to see me act. I'm pretty sure I did everything possible to make sure that if she didn't want to see this as a date, I had let her off the hook.
CUT TO: The night of the play. I make my entrance at the end of Act 1. I'm in a fat suit and I have powder in my hair to make me look gray. I'm smoking a pipe. I deliver two lines and sit in a wicker rocking chair. My job, at this point is to sit in the rocking chair and rock. I need to make eye contact with my co-stars. I need to puff on my pipe meaningfully. I don't have any lines in Act 2. In Act 3, the final Act, I have a couple of killer lines. Steal the show, if I'm good, kind of lines. I killed in the first four performances.
So, anyway, I make my entrance, deliver my lines to a warm reception and sit in the wicker rocking chair. Two things happened at this point. First, I looked out into the audience and what did I see? The friend who'd advised me to invite the love of my life to the show is sitting with her in the front row! And they're not paying any attention to the show whatsoever. Why? Because he's got his tongue shoved so deep down her throat that he can tell me what her kidneys taste like. Of course, I find this distracting, but I've got all of Act 2 to get my shit together before I have to deliver another line. I puff on the pipe frantically.
But then, the true tragedy of the evening occurs. Remember, I've got a fat suit on. I'm shifting furiously in the wicker rocking chair. The backside of the fat suit is held together with safety pins. One of the safety pins comes loose and somehow, not only gets embedded in the wicker, but then stabs me in my actual skinny ass. It hurt. It hurt a lot. But I'm a thespian. The show must go on and all that crap. So for the next Act and a half, I'm puffing my pipe and making meaningful eye contact with the other actors and shifting around in an unsuccessful attempt to disengage my ass from a long sharp safety pin...while watching my ex-best friend make out with the girl of my dreams.
I bet you think this story has some totally triumphant ending. Sure you do. Not so much. When the play ended, I was still impaled on my safety pin. The rest of the cast lined up on the proscenium and took their bows. I scooted the rocking chair around to face the audience and rocked at them. I waited patiently for the audience to leave. My friend and the object of affection came up and said something I don't remember and left, groping each other the entire time.
When the room was finally empty I stood up, ripping the fat suit and pulling the safety pin out of my ass. Then I went to TGI Friday's where my roommate was a bartender and had a bunch of fruity drinks for free. My only revenge was that she broke his heart two weeks later. I totally refused to do anything to try to console him. Hah! Take that.
I'm pretty sure my existance never registered on her radar.
This is my inspirational Thursday post. You're welcome.