Protect DC’s tree canopy! C’mon, bros – it’s easy!

M St. NWFellas… FELLAS! May I call you fellas? Look, I know what it’s like…

It’s 3 a.m., the lights have come up at the sports bar – even though there’s a West Coast game still in progress! – and management is cranking Sinatra’s “New York, New York” to nudge you out the door. You look for the girl you’ve been macking on ALL NIGHT, but now she’s hanging on a guy wearing a blue cap and Schlitz t-shirt and shouting “Wright’s back, baby! Wright’s back!” in an endless loop. Mets fans are such pricks!

(Oh, have I been there!)

You exit and push into the throng along 18th St., where weekend warriors from Fairfax and PG Counties balance giant slices of pizza on their chins like circus seals. “Sorry, dude!” Ugh, that’s like a quart of golden pizza slick IN YOUR FACE. Continue reading

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This design misstep will make you think twice about buying business cards

moo cards sad placesI’ve reached the point, apparently, where people* in certain (microscopic) segments of the DC theater community expect me to carry an arts-specific business card.  It’s not that they’re unimpressed with my daytime business card (where “Project Manager” trails after my name), they** say.  No.  It’s just that, well, they’d take me a little more seriously as an artist if I passed around little pieces of paper stock featuring my headshot and other vital information.  Like all actors do.

The first time someone*** asked for my business card, I appropriated a cocktail napkin and wrote down only the most essential personal data, my name and email address (a woefully gangsta popmail address at that!), before placing the napkin down on the bar.  But I put it down in an invisible pool of some sort and the ink almost immediately drained away from my pen strokes, dissolving my contact info as if reflecting a cosmic judgment on my theater career.  I resolved then to scrounge up something more professional.

But of course I didn’t.  I mean, I hadn’t had a business card for the arts in five years easing my way into the DC scene, so why did I need one now?  Who cares what some people**** think?  I still wear the same Birkenstocks Continue reading

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Storytelling with SpeakeasyDC: Going Viral

The video from my latest storytelling performance is now available!

Here’s the setup:  I’m a put-upon tweener, the oldest of five kids, and long for the day when I’m all grown up and those needy rug rats are out of my life.  I try to act big by hanging out with the older boys up the street, but I cross one of them and he destroys something that I hold very dear.  All is lost, and then a surprising person rises to my aid…

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My Czech TV debut!

Derek on Czech TVWell, “C.T.” – my new favorite European correspondent – was as good as his word. I made the Czech TV news on 10/16! Perhaps my dream of doing a Czech gum commercial is still a possibility?  I await their communique…

Til then, here’s the whole package.  My segment starts at around 1:35 in…  And here’s my interlocutor:

Martin Reznicek

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The federal government shutdown, in one chart…

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 8.44.02 AMBy Day 15 of the US government shutdown, all story lines had been exhausted.  We’d heard about indignant park rangers, shuttered memorials, and furloughed feds (and pre-schoolers), and seen hundreds of tiny outrages cataloged in social media among our so-called friends.  Hardships were documented, political tactics assessed, jeremiads delivered, your shutdown in 720 degrees.  All that remained was the end game, with haggard journos spying the Capitol dome for a puff of white smoke, the signal that, yes, a deal had been done.

But until then, new angles had to be found!  I guess that’s why I got an email from a well-connected friend of mine, last week, with the subject “Talking to the Post?”  I had just woken up and was a little bleary-eyed, but I gathered that a reporter was looking for federal contractors impacted affected by the shutdown. I thought, “Ha, the press!” and went to the bathroom.  But then I caught myself in the mirror – my hair was a-frazzle and I was wearing just boxers and an A-shirt.  The clock said 2 p.m.  Wait a minute… I’m a furloughed contractor!  Maybe the reporter and I should talk.  So I responded to the note – keywords New Zealand, Leave Without Pay – and in minutes I was on the phone chatting up a real-life Postie ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.  My mother would die.

The reporter fired her questions away, her keyboard clacking like an abacus at fiscal-year end.  Had I changed my spending habits?  Were my savings at risk?  Would I list my spare room on Airbnb?  Continue reading

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The Virgin Diaries: check out my feature in the Washington City Paper

NoSexPleaseWEBI’ve been working hard on my one-man storytelling show, No Sex, Please, which premieres Friday, July 12 at the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival.  I’m very excited and can’t wait for the show to open – it covers my bumbling experiences with love and sex from my formative years on through to my mid-twenties.  Long story short:  I was a virgin until I was nearly 28-years-old.

Go here to learn more about the show and my process (read: struggle) to create it – AND WHAT IT ALL MEANS! – in my feature for the City Paper.

I’ve been storytelling for four years now and am grateful to everyone at SpeakeasyDC, Story League, and Better Said Than Done for helping me hone my craft and, more importantly, for their friendship.  After 17 years in DC, they’ve made the place new and I’m forever indebted.  Special thanks to Kevin Boggs, Chuck Na, Vijai Nathan, Jason Pittman, Joe Price, Scott Shrake, and Anne Thomas for their generosity and feedback over the past four months as No Sex, Please has gradually come together.

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I am not Tobias Funke: a walk down the doppelganger* trail…

david cross triptychUh-oh – there it is again. That shimmying vapor that is the Hypnagogic Portal! Step though with me, friends, to see what lies on the other side… But be warned – the vapor is not without its hallucinogenic effects…!

1982

Whoa! It’s Jason Bateman! But not the revitalized, culturally-relevant Jason Bateman from Arrested Development. No way. This is the Bateman from Silver Spoons, he of the swooping feathered hair and hellion mien that shuddered the hearts of moms everywhere during the Reagan ‘80s. That guy. I see him surrounded by elementary-age girls waving 8×10 glossies and standing on the trampled carcass of Rick(y) Schroeder.

Jason! Jason! Ah, he can’t hear me. Wait, who’s that girl on the periphery, with the olive skin and doughnut in hand? Helen? “Oh my God!” she says and smacks me violently in the shoulder. (Only it doesn’t hurt; must be the vapors.) “You look like Derek Taylor!” The din quiets and heads turn my way. Samantha, my first crush, pushes through the crowd and lays her hands on my face to feel its contours, as if she’s blind. Bateman is just waiting there on his Greek column, smiling dumbly, waving his Sharpie with the gusto of a deranged bureaucrat. His t-shirt says “BODACIOUS” in day-glo orange. Continue reading

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