Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Odds and Ends / Evens and Beginnings

Where to start.

I’ve got a handful of stories to tell, but within every story there is a dozen smaller stories. Today, I’m mostly going to deal in the big handfuls. If you want the left-out goodies (which, sadly, are usually the best part), you’re just gonna have to buy me a drink someday. Onward and upward!

First, a generalism: all is well in the big city.

Yes, my lovelies, it’s been a while, and I’m so sorry to have left you for oh, so long. (Notice how I write like I’ve got a loyal band of followers? Well, I think it’s funny, anyway.)


To begin, I found an apartment. Not just an apartment, I found an apartment that I love in a neighborhood that I love, with some cool ass people, AND my rent is dirt cheap. The story of how I found and landed the apartment is a funny one, but I’ve told it a lot lately, and I don’t feel like writing it now. Suffice to say, I’m a lucky bastard, and the world is a funny, funny place. Welcome to Park Slope. This place is the shit. Then Dylan, one of my core homies, moves to Park Slope too! What could be better?



Yes. Surfboards.

Some of you may – and some of you may not – know, that in the last two years I have developed a fierce obsession with surfing… buuut, I was living in the feggin’ Rockies. This is a bit like developing an obsession with breasts while you’re in jail (n.b. man-titties just don’t cut it). Well, as Shakespeare said, “an oven that is stopped or a river stayed, burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage.” And burneth and swelleth it certainly did(eth). More than a year before leaving Denver, I had done dozens of hours of research on the surfing possibilities New York had to offer. I took some lessons last Summer when I was in California and it just fit. I mean, it fit for me, and it fit in my life, and it just fit into some gap in me that had been waiting for it (for more than twenty years). I needed the ocular proof, though (that’s from Othello). So, a couple weeks after my initial arrival to NYC, Dylan and I hopped the A-Train down to Rockaway Beach, and it was going off. He and I sat there for a long while, watching the waves, and finally we just said, “We’re doing this.” I don’t even think that Dylan and I had ever talked about surfing in NY before, but in that moment, at that beach, we both made a decision, and we knew we were going to follow through.

Enter, the surfboards.

That next week we both bid on, and subsequently won, two surfboards on eBay. We surfed our guts out last weekend. And we suck, but we’re improving.

What else? Oh, the road-tripping of all of my crap from Denver to New York. First of all, thanks Tei; you’re the shit. Second of all, what a bloody effing nightmare. Car starts showing electrical problems the first night. No biggie. Second day, we stall out on the freeway just outside of Iowa City. I somehow figured out that if I turned the car on and held the key ¾ of the way turned, that it would stay running (I may be a theatre sissy, but I do secretly come from a very long line of engineers… don’t ask, don’t tell). So with my right hand glued to the ignition, we somehow make it seven or so miles to a service station. Then bad news. Need parts (expensive parts), can’t get ‘em ‘till morning. They offer to drive us to a hotel. We say, “That’s cool, we’ll walk.” They say, “You hear that siren? … That means there’s a tornado coming.” Tornado. Yep. That was a first. Anyway, after another breakdown the next day an hour outside of Chicago, then two hours of sleep at a rest-stop, then another break-down on the New Jersey Turnpike, I made it to my new home. I was so tired that I was pretty much completely useless for the next week, although I did manage to get to Ikea before I took back the trailer and fill up my apartment with furniture.

One of my first nights back, myself and a rag-tag crew go to see Maceo Parker play a free show in Prospect Park. Beautiful night. Amazing music. He leaves the stage, everyone’s shouting for an encore. Then we get it. Maceo comes back and starts ripping it up, but he’s playing some song that sounds oddly familiar. How do I know that song? Isn’t that on the new Prince album? Who’s that new guy playing guitar? Oh. Fuck me. It’s Prince. And oh, looky here, Lauryn Hill his helping him out with the vocals.


I love Brooklyn.

What else? Okay, showbiz. Things are going pretty well, I think (understand that that’s a subjective statement). I’ve had some good meetings, some good auditions, and most importantly, I’m having a good time. Oh, and if anyone ever tells you that EPAs are a waste of time, tell them to suck it. I got a callback off my first EPA ever, and it was for Romeo no less. The callback went well, but all the other guys there looked about four years younger than me. Oh, the ravages of time. Cruel, cruel. Anyway, I’m freelancing for a couple of agencies now, and I’m feeling pretty good about the state of things. Got a gig in two weeks that’s taking me to D.C. then Baltimore for pretty much all of July. Showbiz, baby.

I’ll leave you with one final thought. You know how in New York nobody really looks at each other, or smiles or talks to each other (strangers, I mean)? Well, I stumbled upon the antidote: Surfboards. Seriously. Walking around New York City, or riding the subways with a 7’6” surfboard has been an eye opening experience. People look at you. Many people smile at you. Tons of people just want to talk to you. “A surfboard on the subway?” “Are there really waves here?” “Where do you surf?” “Where are you from?” I’ve had some great conversations with some total strangers in the last couple weeks, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s effin’ beautiful.

I know I’m supposed to be a struggling actor and all, but I’ll let you in on a little secret… I’m having a great time.


-BR 6.20.06

No comments: