Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I stood there on the second hand of the clock I was watching; being sprung forward across an interval to a new place. This is the essense of my time, I do not feel surrounded, I do not swim in it's wake, nor am I pushed by it's flow, rather I am the waterskier who skips across the sometimes bumpy waves.

As this character, I reached up to wipe some of what was either sea water or sweat from my forehead before reaching for my mug of spring water and slowly bringing it to my lips for a careful sip. A spill in my profession is disasterous.

"Alright, we're on in 3, 2"

The stage director didn't say 1, but as she counted down on her fingers, she proceeded to zero after she stopped talking. I always wondered why she didn't just say 'Alright we're on in' and then countdown with the fingers only? I continued to ponder this as the words came out of my mouth.

"Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, up next we are joined by Hollywood funnyman Rudy Gannis..."

Cuecards and teleprompters are quite strange in that you find the words literally coming out of your mouth independant of.. anything really. You simply look, and the words will follow. I imagine it is for this reason only that I've had the ability to do this show for so long without going insane. You know how you see tv show hosts jotting down random things on a peice of paper? It's notes like those that made this story possible. You can do alot of quality thinking at work, I find when I come home I want to rest my mind as well as my body. I have a very demanding job - that is, for a hollywood one.

"...Ok, he's a very funny guy, and you can catch him at the Bellagio on saturdays; here to do some of his standup for us is the very funny, Rudy Gannis"

I had never even seen or talked to this young man before, this is often the case with these small time comic spotlights. He walked out. The first thing I noticed was his dress; it was almost too trendy, he looked like one of those people you would see on ET judging the worst and best dressed people of the Oscars or some shit like that. Then he opened his mouth.

"So it's good to be in LA, I'm originally from Baltimore but I just recently moved out to the hills. I love it here, love it. But I gotta say.. .. There's some things that have struck me as odd..."

It was a shame, cause the guy had the look and had a somewhat charismatic way with words, but there is an old saying in hollywood - you can't be funny with a work ethic. That was what 'Rudy' was, the rich nerd who wanted to hang out with the cool kids. And I mean who could blame him? High School never really ends.

Rudy was bombing badly. As his overpreparation was now starting to tip the balance from his well thought out jokes, dissolving that ever so fragil aura you get 1, at most 2 shots to establish. Rudy of course knows this, and with every lessened response to a joke, the more he starts to worry. When you can see it on his face, it's already way too late.

I take another sip of water as I know, somewhere underneath his designer clothing this man is drenched, and sinking fast. I look back to the clock again, feeling myself in the midst of another interval. You see in hollywood, everyone has made it, there is nowhere else to go. The waters are relatively calm, but every once and a while someone will fall from grace and create a ripple so the rest of us can feel important again. We all tune in daily to see the queen of high school puking her guts out, topless at the party. This is my job, the character in the suit, the funny man.

"Ladies and Gentlemen Rudy Gannis!"

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