"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Thespian and Proud

Last weekend I premiered my new show, "Happiness," at The Marsh in San Francisco. It went pretty well. To cover my bases, though, I’m calling it a "workshop" so I have a good excuse in case somebody thinks it sucks. Opening night was a little like going in to take a big final in college, where you don’t want anybody to talk to you before the test because all of this information is kind of teetering in your brain like a big old pile of pick-up sticks. If one is somehow disturbed, the whole stack could come down.

In a way I can’t believe I’m going through this again. My biggest fear in life is looking like a fool in front of people, and here I am putting myself in a position where that could happen. In fact, in the beginning of mounting a new show like this, it almost has to happen. Every night I replace stuff that didn’t work the night before. I move stuff around. I insert material I ad-libbed in the last performance. And I get lost.

There is no feeling in life that can quite compare to having a "brain freeze" in front of a bunch of people who paid good money to see you. You try to look cool while you scramble to remember what the hell you’re supposed to say next. You smile at the audience, then saunter over and take a slow drink of water, while your mind screams, "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"

Another moment I treasure is when I say something that struck me as hilarious when I first wrote it, but as I deliver it to the audience they stare at me like I just took a big dump on stage.

Which, in a way, I suppose I did.