Tuesday, April 16, 2002

In an everyday miracle that never fails to astound me, I am suddenly out of tech week and into the run--last night was my first preview, the first public preview of 21 DOG YEARS Off-Broadway, and I really couldn't be more pleased. After months of rehearsal and weeks of 12 and 14 hour days, we suddenly emerged back into the land of the living...real, live audience members sitting in the seats, hearing the show for the first time. It's the difference between a picture of a bird and a bird in motion.

It went really well, far better than a lot of previews I've heard of. I feel like I'm relaxing into the job, and feeling out the stress points so that I can begin the enormous task of mastering the task ahead: performing at peak load for 90 minutes a performance, 8 performances a week. A week ago I was daunted, but today, with the sudden warmth of summer beating down on me and the reassuring ache of my muscles coming in all the right places I feel like I could do this a year, if I can get the opportunity.

We have more pictures from the production, and we'll be doing a photo call this Thursday, so look forward to some updates to the photo gallery. Also the exciting "unnamed video project" is nearing its launch date, so we'll have some new short films posted in the weeks ahead. I'll fill you in as we go.

Two quick anecdotes for you. I got asked last week what it was like to be "famous", as my face is now on telephone kiosks all over Manhattan, as well as in the New York Times quite a bit. I told the person that asked that it really didn't feel like anything, and told him the two "fame" encounters I've had so far with this run in NYC. Here they are:

1)Right after a very grueling, five hour tech rehearsal where I couldn't act my way out of a paper bag I went outside the theater to sit for a minute and try to improve my attitude. As I sat there despondent a woman walked up to the theater, talking on her cell phone. She didn't notice me, but walked up to the huge picture of my face with a dog bone and said into her phone, "Yes, it's some man who thinks he's a dog...yes, a dog...yes, he's a dog man." She then walked on.

2)While on my way back from dinner a day later a man came running out of an alley, yelling at me, "Hey! You! You're the fat man! I've seen you! Give me a quarter!" When I did not immediately pay him for his keen observation, he followed it up with, "Fat man! C'mon, fat man!" down the block as I walked back to work.