Monday, October 31, 2011
On the 85th anniversary of his death Eric Weiss, better known as the magician escape artist Harry Houdini, set fire to the historic Magic Castle in Hollywood. The Magic Castle, a private club for Magicians, was going through some repairs earlier this week in the attic above the Houdini Seance Room. In this courtroom sketch of the incident the ghost of Harry Houdini can clearly be seen in the upper story just after the fire was discovered. The greater alarm fire was reported at 11:11 am. Hollywood firemen were able to contain the fire to a small section of the attic. There was some water damage to the Houdini Seance room.
The custom was discontinued in 1936 by his wife, on he roof of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, just a block from the Magic Castle, ten years after his death.
The ghost of Houdini was reportedly upset by the fact that current Houdini seances at the Magic Castle are conducted as a show and not an actual attempt to communicate. The fact that repairs and upgrades were being done to add several "effects" to the Houdini Seance show was said to enrage the Spector.
The magicians say that they will repair the damage and take another look at their policy to conduct seances at the Magic Castle to contact Harry Houdini. At the same time the event is being seen as proof that Houdini was able to communicate from the grave. It could be his greatest demonstration of a sign after death.
Reporting, in no way live, from the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, back Jay Johnson's blog.
Thank you Buck Heddleswine... and now back to the end of our blog. Happy Halloween.
As you were,
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
The Perfect Storm
To everyone who sent positive messages and comments about my Saturday blog, I appreciate it. It was a strange weekend and very odd to have it all play out so publicly, but then that is where it all began and the only place for it to finish. And it truly is finished. I am grateful to Jeff for accepting my apology out in the open as he did. I didn't expect that and it was above and beyond the best outcome I could have imagined.
Some have asked about the origin and timing of my Epiphany. Since I have no modesty left in this situation, a final statement of honesty seems to be the appropriate epilogue. There were three events that came together on Friday in a way that created the perfect storm of clarity for me.
The day began with a visit to the Los Angeles county jail. I was visiting a friend. Of all my friends he is the least likely person I would ever expect to see behind bars. His journey is a long and complicated saga, too long to go into here. However, it was a complete break down in the American system of Justice in my opinion. Some day the case will be reversed on appeal, but until then my friend is doing tough time.
The Los Angeles Mens Correctional Facility is not a place where even visitors find a lot of dignity or compassion. Just before they cut the phone line connection between us, I said, "Keep your chin up, pal." He replied, "Thanks but we have to look at the floor, it's a punishable offense if you make eye contact with a guard."
Since you can't take anything but your ID with you when you enter the jail, I left my cell phone in the car. I was drained from the experience, and glad there was an email waiting on the Blackberry to distract me. It was from a friend who once again brought up my conflict with Jeff. My gut reaction was predictable. His was a bias opinion from a high profile but completely star struck fan. It momentarily distracted me from the jail house experience but not in a way that made me feel better. In my mind I started composing a rather unflattering response to my misguided friend.
So the contemplation of these two completely different situations, the jail and email, began to merge in my mind on the drive back home. I thought of my friend, now in jail, who had never struck back at the people who lied in court, never gave up trying to do the right thing, and even now was holding his head high even as he was forced to stare at the floor. I began to realize the quality of strength my friend expressed was currently an unused asset in my character. This thought was beginning to temper my response to the email sent by the Dunham fanatic.
In the early afternoon a letter arrived in the mail from my friend and mentor, ventriloquist Jimmy Nelson. In his gracious way he was thanking me for the things I said during the celebration of his career last summer. It was as if a light went on in the room. The tone and style of Jimmy's letter cut through the bull shit. I suddenly saw myself as a total contradiction. I was praising one ventriloquists while attacking another. And at the same time I was remembering my friend, who is in jail because of what someone said about him.
It was the perfect storm.
The timing of these events could be just a random pattern. That Raven on the telephone pole crowing at me the day my Dad died could be just the migratory pattern of a bird. When I had to reschedule AA Flight 11 out of Boston the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 it could be nothing more than a change of plans. Or each one of these events could be abstract object lessons; sort of like sign posts leading to a better destination.
Anybody can miss a sign once in awhile and get lost for a time; or say there are no signs and where ever they end up, claim it is where they intended to be. Whether you believe in signs or not, occasionally things happen that you just can't ignore. If these observables cause you to alter your direction and feel better, then it is its own reward. For me I will always be looking around to make sure, if there is a sign, I don't miss it. It just seems logical.
As you were,
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I have always been interested in how we humans process time. Although we think of time as a constant, it is not. Einstein believed that time slows with distance and speed. Philosophers tell us that there is no such thing as time because it is so subjective. Echart Tolle would say that now is the only reality we have; the past is just a story and the future is just a fairy tale.
As it is,
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
It was great fun. The mind reading act using a ventriloquist as the secret fooled most of the people. We had to expose the gag at the end just so they would understand they were "HAD". Mike and Tina are great and it was a very special show.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Sunday, October 09, 2011
I meant to say that the drawing I posted yesterday called "Dr. M" was my statement on the Conrad Murray manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson. As you know I am following that trial regularly. This is what I think of the testimony up till now. It works for me...
At the airport early morning, tight connection in Chicago. Sorry to leave Rochester but glad to be heading home.
As you were,
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
I guess everyone has one of those days. You do your best and give it your all and it just doesn't seem to be enough. The crowd was a decent size for a Wednesday evening. In fact I thought they would be a really good audience. I have gotten great reactions from audiences half their size with this very show in this very theater, so I was not really concerned when I started. John tells me that I can't make a judgement on how the audience will react until after the first performance piece which is the Snake character. So, although I thought their reaction was a little stilted for the opening few minutes, I waited.
The snake routine came and went and there seemed to be no change in their attitude. I kept working them. At every turn of the story I thought I had figured them out. Their reactions proved me wrong, and it took me by surprise. I began to give up on ever finding them as the show rolled on. They were not restless nor distracting, they were just comatose. I could not get a reaction out of them if I delivered it in a Mac truck.
I have done this show for every possible type of audience. I didn't think there was a situation that I had not faced before. These people showed me that an audience is a crap shoot and you can never pigeon hole them. It was like they were in church. No one laughed no one reacted but they were watching and listening intently. Usually you can break through that "television attitude" and get them to respond in a live theatre, but I used every skill that I had ever learned and nothing was working.
The trick in this situation is to not let it get to you and not get vicious . In a club you can take out your frustrations on the audience and let them have it, and sometimes that works and they are brow beaten into submission. But you can't do that in a theatre setting when there is a thread to the story and it must follow a set of scripted cues. It was like trying to fight an opponent in the boxing ring with your feet nailed to the floor. I told John later I thought I was moving concrete blocks, everything took so much effort I wondered if I could go the distance.
Finally it was Darwin's turn. He is the least structured of all the bits and if I could ever go "club" on them this was the time. So I let him go. He bated and harassed the non-responsive as only a monkey can do and get away with it. Compared to the rest of the evening he did get them going, but just moving the bar from on the ground to up an inch was not the success I was hoping for. It was not a satisfying evening as it turned out. I was completely drained and weak. I had gone the distance but it had taken my all to do it.
Like I said, we have all had this experience and there is no insurance policy one can get to make certain it will never happen again. There will be another performance tomorrow night that has the potential of being a barn raiser.
John usually goes outside to have a smoke after the show and hears the comments of the audience as they leave. He said they were very impressed, happy and the comments on the evening were really good. You would think that they could have expressed those feelings to me in some way... a smile, a giggle, any sort of reaction a living body can make.
Oh well, I look at what I do as art and I guess the reaction to art is up to the observers. There is no standard response. They did their part, they observed without distraction. However, I wish I could let them know in some way that if they had participated just a little bit in the experience they might have enjoyed it exponentially, but that moment and that audience is gone and can never be repeated. And... I realize that this is what I love, the unknown response of a live audience. If it was always the same I would get very bored and find another venue for my talents that was not so predictable. I am a professional and sometimes you have a tough day at work.
As you were,
Thursday, October 06, 2011
My Dad didn't smoke, didn't drink and never said a bad word stronger than Hell, and would apologize for that. It was not easy to maintain that constitution back in his day. Everyone of his friends smoked, I can't think of any grown up I knew when I was a kid who didn't smoke, except my Dad and Mom. It was always my job to go and get the ash tray for Dub, or Gid or Earl and Jo when they came to visit us. I would then have to disappear to my bedroom and go to bed, but I rarely ever went to sleep right away on those occasions. The smell of tobacco and coffee wafting down the hallway, and the conversation that I could almost make out was much too stimulating. I loved listening to my Dad tell stories and converse with his friends.
We lived in a dry county of Texas so liquor was not around, and if those friends drank they did it in secret. However when Dad changed businesses and became a Bond trader in Dallas, Texas the industry was fueled with two martini lunches and cocktail parties. You were just expected to keep up with the guys drink for drink to make a deal. Dad would go up to the bartender and order "a club soda... with none of your comments". He would get to know the bartenders and they would make the club soda look like a mixed drink and sometimes say, "The usual Mr. Johnson," and he would never have to reveal what he was drinking. The last few years of his life he discovered the joy of Baileys Irish Cream in his morning cup of coffee. The last time I was home we had to make a stop at the liquor store for more Balieys. It was the only time I can recall ever buying booze with my Dad. That male bonding experience was late in coming but highly memorable.
In high school I discovered a bottle of rum hidden in the back of the cupboard. It was dusty and old and probably used for "medicinal purposes" long ago. It stayed there for years until one night during my senior year in college.
My best friend Larry Imes enlisted in the Navy and was gone for two years. He came home from duty one evening and called me to pick him up at the airport. I was living at my parents house and commuting to North Texas at the time. We came back to the house and caught up before I took him home to his folks. In celebration of the sailor home from the sea seemed to be a good time to relocate that bottle of rum. It was still there where it always was untouched from my previous discovery. We had rum and Dr Pepper as the hours flew by. At one point the electricity went off and the house went totally dark. It only lasted a few minutes but it was odd. As it got very late my Mom woke up to us giggling in the kitchen. She was surprised to see Larry who was like one of her boys and greeted him appropriately. As Mom was going back to bed Larry said, "Mrs. Johnson, did you know the electricity went out a few minutes ago?" Without missing a beat she said, "It was probably the good Lord telling you to go to bed." Later the next day she asked me how much rum Larry and I drank. I tap danced a little and said, "Just a bit." She pulled the bottle out of the cup board and measured her fingers to display the exact amount we had consumed. She knew exactly how much had been in the bottle before my welcome home party.
As to bad language that is something my Dad never gave into. He thought "Gone with the Wind" was inappropriate with one Damn. This must have been a challenge for him when he was in the Navy. I think cussing like a sailor is the expression. He probably found a good use for the phrase, "I don't give a rats ass" in those days, because that is about all he would stoop to. In fact, when us kids were small he changed it to "Don't give a rats bottom... or simply the initialed explicative "RB". That we were allowed to say, RB in times of great personal trial. It was my favorite and only curse word for years until I found that the F word had more impact in most situations. My high school friend Larry even started repeating RB in times of frustration. I remember five years ago when Larry called me to tell me he had cancer of the liver, I didn't know what to say. He said it all by just saying, "RB"
I knew you didn't recommend a movie to Dad that had even a moderate amount of adult language. He just would not like it if there was any bad language. I am sure that is why my night club act was squeeky clean. I just didn't hear creative uses of certain words when I was growing up. In modern times it was impossible to see a movie that was not objectionable to him with regard to language. It could be the best story in the world, but more than a few bad words and it was not a good film. However, to his credit, when his Grand daughter started working on the producing side of movies he would sit through the worst of language just to see her name go by in the credits. I guess that was Dad. He would do anything for his family.
Larry passed away five years ago, I have had a chance to accept his departure. It has not been long enough since Dad's passing to have a good perspective yet. I guess what we are left with after all is said and done is just memories of what is was like to be with them. I have been blessed with great memories.
As you were,
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
By now it is no secret that I enjoy a good true crime show or a juicy televised trial. I must remember to thank the Los Angeles Superior Court for timing the Conrad Murray trial during the weeks I would be out of town. With no television at the "star house" there is at least a streaming real life drama for me to watch before going to the theatre. And watch it I do. Because of the time change for the East coast I am able to sleep a little longer and still get up for the morning session. Except for the sessions held when I had to be on stage, I think I have seen the entire trial.
There are a few observations that I have made so far. I really don't have an opinion on Conrad Murray's guilt or innocence. I think ultimately Dr. Murray was hired at $150,000.00 a month to be a personal prescription drug dealer to Michael Jackson. If Michael Jackson needed Propafal to get through the tour, then it was just a cost of doing business for AEG Live. Besides I am sure if Dr. Murray would have refused the unorthodox treatment another Doctor ,ready to comply, would be only a phone call away. Most everyone around Michael Jackson wanted to get him on stage to sing and dance like a trained animal act, or more like a through bred race horse. Anything is fair game to get the horse to run. Perhaps there should be co defendants in this trial. Going all the way back to Joe Jackson and Barry Gordy.
It is sad to me that Michael Jackson was such a cash cow to those living off him. So much so, they would let him do anything to keep the dollars flowing. This was true his entire life, from his father to the record label to the body guards that were there to protect him. Everyone wanted him to keep doing tours and making hit records and anything was fair game to keep that well from running dry. Drugs, cosmetic surgery, kids, amusement park rides, oxygen chambers and a chimp named Bubbles.... it seemed like everyone around him turned a blind eye to anything that kept him happy. Since he was currently deep in debt the axe above his neck was an even greater incentive to keep the money stream flowing. It does seem odd to me that a man who was 400 million dollars in debt lived like a Prince of Bruni in Holmby Hills, California. For those who don't live in LA the people of Holmby Hills have so much money they look down on Beverly Hills as a ghetto.
The defense in the Murray trial will try to establish that Michael ingested and or injected the over dose of Larazapam and Propafal that killed him while Murray was out of the room. According to the defense the good Doctor was just trying to help the poor man sleep. We know that Michael was addicted to Dimeral and one of the side effects of that addiction is a sever interruption of the addict's sleep cycle. Propafal is not a sleeping aid, it just induces coma for surgery. The wear and tare on the body from being "out" on that drug is even worse than not sleeping. For many reasons a Doctor should have known what the drug's affects were and refused to assist in the ultimate destruction of a personal patient. He should have had the proper hospital equipment to administer the drug, and maybe he should not have left his high profile patient alone to call one of his three girl friends on his Iphone. If Jackson did administer the drugs himself the Doctor still seems to be culpable for leaving the room.
The main thing about the trial is Murray's face. He looks so guilty with a scowl that never leaves even for his close up. I wouldn't expect a man to be grinning ear to ear during such a serious situation, but don't scowl like LT. Warf from Star Trek. There is a middle ground between a grin and a look of doom. He should just look neutral. To me his own demeanor is playing right into the case of the prosecution. He looks like a guilty villian.
After the Casey Anthony not guilty verdict, I am done trying to second guess the 12 people who have the duty. I just think that however the trial goes, there was a major crime here. Not totally the Doctor's fault but a crime shared by every person that saw Michael Jackson as a commercial object instead of a man crying for help.
The defense will take over soon. Look for them to try to position Dr. Murray as the odd man out in a household of Islamic body guards and personal assistants. Each one was responsible in their own silence and guilty of not protecting the man they were hired to protect. It is easy to place blame on the person who was the last person there when the music stopped.
As you were,
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
I am going to leave out one fact in this story as I tell it. I think you will understand why once you hear it. However, at the end I will will tell you the missing ingredient and the story will take on a very different meaning.
My friend Harry says that political correctness is a modern obstacle to comedy. There are some jokes that involve an ethnic group that are not racist, just funny. In Texas you can hear an Aggie joke, go to Pensilvania and hear the same joke told as a Polock joke, and in Canada the same joke would be a Nuffee joke. Same joke, just as funny but requires the assignment of a localized group that everyone knows. Most of the time the ethnic group has nothing to do with the humor of the joke, but because of political awareness those jokes are avoided. But given that we live in a world when we need to laugh more than ever, we can not eliminate a joke just because it might contain an ethnic word. We need to find another way to tell them.
Harry suggests we *invent* a group to make fun of. A race that doesn't exist and won't be offended by being the butt of the joke. Then we will be able to tell all the jokes that are now off limits. The world needs a laugh. Harry said.... let's just call them Cleathens. There is no such thing as a Cheahen, so we can make them anything we want. So here is the joke he tells after that lengthy set up: These two Jewish Cleathens walk out of a Synagogue..... Okay that is not quite on point but, here is my story.
Tonight the producer of the show took me, John and some of the staff members of the theatre out for an evening dinner. It was an Indian Restaurant known for exotic dishes not normal to the Rochester bill of fare. It was "special Buffett" night and they featured dishes that are not normally on the menu. The food was very good.
One off the staff volunteers is a lady who takes her tiny dog with her everywhere. She has a purse that is big enough for the dog and she sneaks him into every place she goes. Most of the time the business don't know there is a dog in their store because the pooch stays hidden in the bag. There are ordinances against dogs in the restaurants of Rochester, but so far she seems to be able to circumvent the rules with the hidden dog. Predictably she brought the dog into the restaurant this evening, maybe she is a regular and they know and don't care. I don't know, but none of the waiters seemed to be concerned about the large purse that would occasionally wiggle in the chair next to her.
I forgot to mention that the restaurant is packed there are people waiting outside for any available table that becomes empty. I think in the food service business they would refer to that as being "slammed". The fact that a chair would go unoccupied by an actual eating customer was attention grabbing.
So we finish our meal and the dog lady decides she will take some of the food home with her. They provide a container and the ubiquitous white take out sack for her. She slings the dog purse over the same shoulder with the take out sack. And we exit.
The second we are out the door she opens the purse for the dog to stick its head out, finally. He is curious about the smells coming from the sack and sticks his head in to find out. There is a large group of people standing near the entrance waiting their turn to go in. The dog can't get to the food and gives up. Just then a member of a large party sees the head of a dog coming out of the white sack and says, "Look it's a doggie bag. She is taking the left overs home." They all laughed hysterically.
The part I left out is that the entire party laughing was Asian. I am unsure if they were laughing at the pun, or more about the idea of eating the dog later.
As you were,
Monday, October 03, 2011
I remember the first time I was away from home for an entire summer I was working at Six Flags over Georgia. I way over-packed and had a foot locker of things I sent back home before the summer was over. I remember that I wanted to have some sort of music at the apartment I would share with David Wylie. It is not that I didn't trust Wylie to have some tunes, but figured it would be opera which was not what I was into at the time. I also knew that we would not have a television to watch.
It wasn't like today when you just take your Ipod and have hours and hours of music. Nor could you just go to Pandora and have all the music you like on a computer. The best that you could do back then was travel with cassette tapes. They were less cumbersome than vinyl records, but took up a lot of space nonetheless. You also needed a player which took up more space.
Just before I left for the job I found something called a "sound machine". It was about the size of a toaster and had speakers and a playback system for mini eight track tapes. Not the eight track tapes that were all over at the time, but a special smaller version of insertable cartridges. It was more expensive than a portable radio cost, but you could listen to the music *you* wanted to hear, not the lame choice of some Atlanta disc jockey.
By the time I spent my money on the player, I didn't have a lot of spare cash left over to buy the special cartridges. Of course it was just a paper weight without the music tracks. I was able to buy two "albums" and thought that I would get more as the summer went on. One of the cartridges was an album by the "Mamas and the Papas" which contained the song "Monday Monday". I played that album hundreds of times a day. Of course you couldn't advance to a particular song, you had to wait till it came back around again, but it was the only music I had. I understand now why Mackinse Philips turned to drugs if she had to listen to that music for her entire childhood. Instead of relaxing me during my time off it was starting to irritate me. It was time to buy some more music to play on my state of art player.
Unfortunately by the time I was ready too start my "sound machine" collection, the machine and all the cartridges had been discontinued. The biggest objection to the buying public was the lack of music available on that format. I was perhaps the only one to actually purchase the device, and there were no special tapes to be had any where. The toaster sized player became my nemesis, a repetitive machine that played the same tunes over and over and over. I started listening to Wylie's opera just to keep my brain from going into atrophy. I should have bought a radio. It was a great lesson in impulse buying. It has stayed with me all these years.
So today is Monday...Monday... can't trust that day....Monday, Monday sometimes it just turns out that way.....( it still haunts me.) and we have a day off. The forecast says it will rain all day. In Rochester the rain this time of year is just a dress rehearsal for the snow that is soon to come. There are no guarantees but I think we will be gone before then. We are starting our last week here.
It will be great to get some rest. For some reason the shows have been sapping my energy more than normal. The venue is a little tough and it takes more effort to move the story up the mountain. However, the crowds have been very responsive even when we have a light house. But I am beat.
So today on a rainy Monday, I will open my Ipad to Pandora, or download some videos to watch, click on IHeartRadio, listen to the the hours and hours of my own mp3's, play some computer games, draw on an art app, surf the Internet, write and publish my next blog, email everyone in my contacts file, post some pictures on Facebook or stream the Conrad Murray trial for entertainment, all on a device that is the size of a thin spiral notebook. For sure I will not have to listen to the same tune over and over again. If I get bored it is my own fault and not the fault of technology. This digital age is either coming to the rescue of us bored road monkeys or it is creating a generation of attention deficit syndrome personalities. About the only thing that my iPad can't provide is rest, but who has time to rest with everything there is to do on a black screen.
As you were,
Saturday, October 01, 2011
I think I can actually talk about it now. At the time I realized it was something important but could not see it in its true light until time has passed from the night my Dad died.
I wrote about how difficult it was to get through my show that night because of the many reference to my Father in the script. Each time I came to one of those references I found it hard to say without breaking down. They caught me by surprise every time.
I assume it is this way for every actor, but for me I have the script running in my head just a few sentences from actually saying the words The show is happening inside me and I am just repeating the lines with a mental time delay. It is like I am being directed in advance. I know that after the next line I will need to move over to a certain point of the stage and say the next phrase. The script is parsed out a line and a movement at a time and not as the entire performance. A good actor is trained not to play the ending of the scene before you get there. It is called "telegraphing" and it is especially true for comedy. You never want to play the set up for the laugh. The laugh has to be a turn and a surprise. If you tee it up like you are going to say something funny, the audience gets there before you do and it's not funny. So the show running in your head has to be only a sentence or two ahead or you play the punchline.
So it was the night of my Dad's death. I was especially trying not to get ahead of myself because I knew the ending of the show was going to be very difficult. The ending is all about the shock of finding out my mentor has died and it was much to real on this night.
Thirty minutes into the show I cross to a big trunk to sit and tell the story of Big Jon and Sparkie. Until this point the show is really the history of ventriloquism with very few personal references that matter. The Big Jon and Sparkie story begins what is basically the second act, my personal journey. The show in my mind stumbles as I sit there. I realize in the next few lines I will say, "On the trip home my Father says something that will change my life." The mental script stopped with the realization that my life with Dad had minutes ago been forever changed. I was off book now... the reality of saying those words derailed my continuing.
Internal show or not, on stage it was time for that very line. I had to look down at my lap to gain my composure to even utter it. I felt a burning in my eyes that signals tears. Then suddenly it was like a commercial interruption of a television show. Everything on stage stopped and I became aware of my pants. My eyes cleared as the burning stopped. I saw that my zipper was open. It had obviously been down for the entire show. It stopped not only my momentary grieving but the entire show. I looked up and said to the audience, "Are you kidding me?" and zipped up. There really is no subtle way to make that move on stage without calling complete attention to it. There was a nervous giggle from the audience. I said, "Has my zipper been down this entire time and no on said anything... Are you kidding me?" I yelled out at John in the booth, "Where is my stage manager when I need him? John?" John has a very infectious laugh and guffawed from the booth. It was enough to get a nice laugh from the audience. I think my ad-lib to a couple down front was, "No extra charge...." It was okay that the show stopped and we all recovered together. The laughter had taken the wind out of my emotions and I was able to say the difficult line and move on quickly.
There were other references that took me by surprise but that quick laugh let me get through the first one more easily. As tough as the others were the first one is always going to be the toughest simply because it is the first.
Part of my per-entrance ritual is to check my zipper before I go on stage. Some actors have a mantra or a superstition before walking on stage, mine is fundamental to wardrobe appropriateness. I guess the shock of Dad passing just moments before I went on stage distracted me from my process. In hindsight it was probably Dad way of helping me get through it. He would rather that performance be remembered not as the night he died but the night I did half the show with my zipper down.
I guess there really is nothing that laughter can't make a little easier. Since humans are the only species that can laugh it is a divine gift.
Here is to lots of laughs in your days to come... no matter what it is you have to face.
As you were,