well, maybe not the big time, but a first for me. i actually stood up in front of real people, paid-ticket people, people i don’t even know (mostly), and dredged up bits from my ancient, sadly melodramatic journals for the DC mortified show. (proof here, thanks to master wine drinker/pourer kellyo.)
here’s a thrilling secret: i’m terrified at standing in front of people and talking. (don’t tell anyone, ok?
seriously though, as i explained to BS as we drove into DC last night, i like to do things that scare me so that i won’t be scared of them. (neurosis ain’t the boss of me!) i hope my kids are far more fearless than i have been in my life. i intend to continue conquering each and every thing that terrifies me (okay, most things. i think shooting up dope and skydiving are probably not in my future. mom and dad, you can relax now.)
BS, being a most excellent driver, found street parking; and off we hoofed to HR-57. he was patting me all along, telling me i was going to do fine. i think after 20 years, he has figured out that when i get quiet, r e a l l y r e a l l y quiet, that i am nervous. and when i start singing along to the Grateful Dead on the radio, then i am all-out terrified. (oh, don’t jump on me, people. i like the Dead just as much as the next over-X-year old. i just don’t like singing along with them. except for this one and this one.)
(Public Service Announcement: rick. if you’re still out there. please explain to me who the doodah man is.)
anywho, there i was, singing along with truckin’, a song i don’t even like. and there was BS, trying to be the most supportive husband on earth. and suddenly, as i approach the door of HR-57, i hear a voice yell: “SHERRRRRR!” kelly arrived out of nowhere and told me that she, molly, and a friend of her’s from work were next door, tucking into some sake and dinner. i was so touched that they came out, sans tickets, and were going to try and get on the waitlist. (you dudes have no idea how much that meant to me.)
i was warmly welcomed by my producer andi, who should be knighted for actually making a storyline emerge from my written blather. BS bought me a red stripe, and the uber-producer, the divine ms. sarah disgrace, gave me my very own trapper keeper. so i was feeling pretty good about life. and then, my two pals (and a new one) were able to join us up front.
loved the two people who read before me. loved the people who read after me. and i think i did ok. i kept thinking, jeez, my voice gets squeaky when i’m trying to pretend i’m a teenager. what gives? it’s not like i was a teenaged b-o-y. ah well. but i talked about how i was so busy being superior to everyone else because i was superior to everyone else in my high school. (that’s a joke there for anyone who shows up here from TRN. a j-o-k-e. i certainly wasn’t superior to people like maria ressa, a really sweet, talented, and nice chick who probably doesn’t remember me from adam… okay. so, i might not have been superior to plenty of folks, k? nobody better throw punch at me or pull a carrie on me if i make it to the 25th reunion this summer.)
the martyr of toms river north survived, i tell ya.
after the show, a guy came up to me and said, “did you go to north? you mentioned mr. leonard — i went to TRN, too!” as it turns out, he’s about 10 years younger than i am, but we know similar people and went to the same day camp. in fact, i may have been his counselor. the world is strange and wonderful.
so much fun! so much wine! so much support! i hope i get to do it again if i didn’t eff up too much.
many thanks to the producers, especially andi and sarah grace, queen of cupcakes. many thanks to kelly, molly, and my new BFF elizabeth. humungous thanks to michelle (and you know who you are, madam) who helped me find an awesome friend of hers to watch BC and jools. thanks to my family for giving me years of fodder — and love.
and major thanks to BS. the proverbial wind beneath my wings.
(c’mon. we’re celebrating bad writing here. i had to go with it