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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Tales of a Flat Broke Semi-Famous Playwright With Wax-Covered Glasses

The Cold Comedy Concoction opened on Christmas. The Oregonian did a nice feature on the show last Friday in the Arts & Entertainment section. I wrote one of the four plays performed in the show. Although I've written lots of short plays and sketches for theatre, I'm always performing in them. This time I had the opportunity to just sit back and watch.

My date for the evening was the handsome and suave Pony. Wearing tight Italian jeans, he was the perfect arm candy for this semi-famous playwright. The buzz outside the theatre was frenetic, and I quickly realized just what a big deal this event was. The paparazzi snapped our photo as we entered the theatre. Actually, it was just a friend with a disposable camera. Actually, nobody took our picture.

But the play was fun, I laughed at all four of the shows, including my own, and the audience had a blast. My play is titled "Spud Toppers", and it's a parody of life as a temporary employee of a busy building management company. I wrote most of it while sitting in The Vortex. It was fun bouncing ideas off The Handsome Prince, and we both laughed a lot at the concept and the quirky characters that sprang from my mind. I had a great time writing it (unless you count the day I called Pony in tears telling him I couldn't write and that my script was crap). It was really important to me that Pony be there for opening night since he was such an encouragement to me during the writing process.

On another note, Christmas is over, and I'm glad. I didn't have money to spend for presents, so I felt a bit guilty about that. Two days before Christmas I had $1.09 in my checking account. Well, technically, I had negative 41 cents, but one charge for parking hadn't cleared yet. The Handsome Prince suggested I make presents for my friends. My only reply was, "you can make presents!?" I'm sorry, but I'd rather not give my friends homemade art made from macaroni and glitter glued to a paper plate. And we all know homemade baked goods are out of the question, unless you happen to like blackened "cajun" chocolate chip cookies.

It was a humbling Christmas. It's not easy for me to accept a gift without having something to give in return. But this year I had to do just that. The people who love me and gave me presents weren't doing it with the expectation of getting a gift in return. I know that.

Someday maybe I will write something or take on an acting role that makes me lots of money. If that ever happens, my friends and family will benefit from my success. But, please don't hold your breath, friends and family. I don't really dream of wealth or fame. My dreams, as most anyone who reads Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven knows, are more often dreams of love. So, unless I end up with a wealthy man, I'm not sure I'll ever be someone who has lots of money. I just don't put much energy into thinking or worrying about money. Actually, that's not entirely true. I kinda did some thinking about money that day my checking account had a balance of negative 41 cents.

The only other item of note is that I almost melted my eyeglasses this Christmas. I blew out a candle with such exuberance that the wax flew up into my face and covered my glasses. In order to get the wax off my glasses, I decided to put them in a microwave oven so the wax would melt off. After ten seconds of cooking in the microwave, my glasses started to pop and sizzle. Hearing the noise, I quickly took my glasses out of the oven. They were only slightly damaged. And still covered in wax.

That just goes to show that, even though I am a semi-famous playwright, I put my pants on one leg at a time and microwave my glasses just like everyone else does.

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