Well it is now 2008 which means that this year will be my 20th high school reunion. Back in my hometown of Salt Lake City, no doubt there are chubby ex-cheerleaders-turned-mommies on diets already prepping for the big Skyline High party - go Eagles!!
I can remember in 1988, fast-forwarding my imagination and trying to picture my 20th high school reunion...hmmm....2008...flying cars of course....and I'd be living in New York or LA (or both) and I would be a Broadway star, obviously, and probably most of my classmates would have seen me in a movie or on TV (would they be all up in my personal life from tabloids and daytime talk shows??) I'd be in good shape still and very tan (but would I still have hair??).... I couldn't imagine exactly what I would be like, but I expected it would be a lot like I was back then, only bigger, better, older and wiser and far, far more successful...right? Would I be?? Would I even ever get out of Salt Lake? Or would I be the worn-out drama teacher at the local high school?
Funny, life. Some of what I imagined has actually come true!! (whew) I live in New York City! I am a professional actor! I've worked with several celebrities even if I'm not one myself and thank you universe, I still have all my hair!! (although its graying).
But my professional life is something that I could never imagine. I had barely heard of "Off-Broadway" or "Off-Off-Broadway" in 1988. I had read Charles Busch's stories in the forwards to his plays regaling the colorful tales of the Theatre in Limbo. I knew there was magic brewing in these twisted, mythological streets of a place called "The Village." But it was all a mystery to me.
I have not made it to Broadway, yet, but instead have been fortunate to inhabit this strange and wonderful and, yes, magical world of independent theatre in New York.
I've done stand up comedy, directed plays that received national attention, I've done late night shows, performed for audiences that were entirely nude, I have been on stage in drag, in rags, as a robot, mentally challenged, characters from the Bible, from the Shakespeare canon, I have appeared in plays with shirtless, sexy hunks in tight pants, I have appeared in plays with topless babes, I have shared dressing rooms with mice and roaches, I have seen audiences moved to almost riot, I've played to near-empty houses and I've been awash in several standing ovations, I have worked with amazing playwrights on new American plays (like Chris Weiklel and David Bell and Kirk Wood Bromley) I've seen some of the most incredible new work in process (James Scruggs and Taylor Mac!) and I've worked with some of the most talented people I could ever hope for...I'm a company member of 3 established New York organizations (EAT, TOSOS and The New York Neo-Futurists) I perform almost every week of the year in New York City! I've got friends, family, ROOTS in this theatre world. I'm lucky to be here, folks. This is pretty awesome.
So when I answer my 18-year old self's questions: "will I be successful? Will I be proud of my achievements at my 20-year reunion?" I can tell that kid: YES! You DID make it, Dude! You have an awesome, amazing, adventurous "big city" life, full of passion and art and sex and love and life!!
And yes, you still have your hair kid, you still have your hair (although its graying).
New York IT Awards