Monday, March 26, 2012

Sometimes You've Gotta Rock Iowa. Iowa Needs to Rock.

I'm on a quest for spiritual enlightenment.  Specifically, I'm out to find myself.

Oops.  I just did.

This weekend, the Murder Mystery Company sent me to Burlington, Iowa to do a show in a Howard Johnson's.  There was dancing afterward, a casino next door, and a severe lack of bedbugs.  It was miserable.

One good thing came out of the weekend.  I've discovered my alter ego.  His name is Poison, and he's a rock star from 1984 who speaks with a somewhere-from-the-British-Territories accent.  He looks like this:

Isn't he hot?  You wouldn't believe how many women think he's actually eighteen and British.  And somewhere under those pants and that faux leather jacket are some tats and a pair of tube socks.  Draw your own conclusions, and don't expect to be disappointed. 

Also, know that I love Poison as much as you do.  He's sincere, artistic, emotional, accomplished, occasionally childish, hits liberally on women, and sings.  Have I found myself  by hiding myself?  Stranger things have happened.

Stranger things have happened, indeed.*


* Oh.  Now I see the tube socks.**

** Hey, this entry didn't mention my book even once!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Monkier Business

Next Monday, I will perform in the Paderewski School show with Barrel of Monkeys.*  I'm not sure I've ever been more excited about a performance.  There will be singing, interpretive dance, mimed doors and windows, and a big, big chocolate pie.  The only problem with this show: no one who reads this blog will be allowed in to see it.  It's for "the young."

Yes, unfortunately, "like"-rs, you're going to have to sit this one out.  I know, I know.  Well, okay, fine.  I'll throw you a bone.  Close your eyes and imagine me on stage, and I will share with you  . . .


10) The back left portion of a tiger cage.  This one makes my arms tired.  Grrr.

9) The back left wing of a witch bird.  Wait a minute.  What is it with putting me in the back left?  

8) The back left singer in the closing song.  But in the end, I wind up downstage center.  Take that, patterns!

7) Carnival Zombie number two.  I enter from stage left.  Incidentally, this is the same kind of role I might end up playing if you help send me to Kansas.

6) Small Brother.  The title of the play is "Brother Give Money to Their Small Brother."  I wonder why I like this role. 

5) Parenthesis.  What is the singular of parenthesis?  I'm that. 

4) Disillusioned broccoli-and-milk-eater in "The King of Lunch."  Three cheers for the King of Lunch.  It's time for candy and fruit punch.  And every day, we'll feast away on Twix and Nestle Crunch.

3) Dwayne, the douchebag in the second episode of the original 90210.  Oh, I'm sorry. That's a different show

2) The man who imagines himself a football player.  That's all I'm telling you. 

1) Ashley, the little girl who comes every day into the Lincoln-Belmont branch of the Chicago Public Libraries and who, on this day, is hexed by the librarian, Steve.  Who knew he was a warlock?

I hope that gave all of you "adults" a little perspective into what the Paderewski School is in for on Monday.  If you're tantalized, but not "young," then I suggest getting a good kid costume and heading to South Lawndale around 9:30 AM.  You don't want to miss the pre-show math lesson.


* Oops.  What have I done?  I must have accidentally linked to the Barrel of Monkeys blog instead of the Barrel of Monkeys main page.  Hey, wait.  Who is this handsome devil blogging over there?  He writes a lot like I do.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Have you ever been walking down train tracks through a concrete tunnel when you see a light ahead and hear the sound of compressed air and locomotive wheels rattling on old wooden planks?  And then, the metal tracks begin to shake?  And then, like out of the blue, a train hits you, and you ask yourself, "Where in the hell did that come from?"

Sometimes there's just no way to see it coming.  

I haven't written in this blog for two weeks.  Why?  Well, I've been doing notably un-famous things like watching college basketball, working to pay for food and shelter, and walking down train tracks.  Also, I've been seeing another blog.  These are just excuses.  The truth is, like I've iterated before around this time of year, sometimes life is just boring. 

Not anymore.  After stumbling through darkness for weeks, I can see the light again!

Today, I spent from 10 am to 1 pm rehearsing with Barrel of Monkeys, with whom I volunteer taught this winter.  To say that the room was full of theatrical geniuses might be an overstatement, but it might not.  We're doing amazing work, and I'm beginning to wonder if children shouldn't write all stage plays, soap operas, and daytime television shows. (They've already cornered the market on prime time.)  Chuga chuga.

Then, this evening, I spent three hours under the tutelage of Michael Gellman, former director of Second City Toronto.*  Especially given my enthusiasm for what I'd been experiencing at Second City to this point, the class was a breath of fresh, compressed air (Choo!  Choo!). 

Put all of this together with the fact that I was just asked to donate a copy of Cambridge Street to a local raffle and that I'm seven "chapters" in to Off Track--and it's like life is suddenly interesting again.  I feel healthy.  I feel great.  I feel like--


Where the hell did that come from? 


* Okay, so technically, this class started 2 weeks ago, but you'll have to grant me literary license.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bad Work

For you Chicago-based "like"-rs who came to see A Crowded House, you've seen me at my best.  For those who have seen me in anything else I've done here, you've seen me at my worst.  My very worst. Why is it that bad things find me and I find bad things?

Well, it's happened again.  I barely had a chance to muse (loudly and in front of a local director), "What comes next?  I'm not acting in anything!" when the gates of bad work opened to me once again.  What kind of bad work?  I'm talking Dynasty.  I'm talking Beverly Hills: 90210.  (I'll be playing Steve.  It's too bad I trimmed my curly locks in a fit of insanity.)   I'm talking real shit television, performed as a series of staged readings in front of a masochistic audience.  If that's not what the stage was made for, then I don't know what to do with my life.*

The show is produced by A Reasonable Facsimile Theatre Company and will take place above Hamburger Mary's in Andersonville on Tuesday night, March 20.  Note to the Academy:  Sure, The Descendants was fine, and The Artist probably deserved some awards.  But this . . . this . . . this, you should probably disregard entirely. 


* I don't know what to do with my life regardless.