'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Friday, April 05, 2002 ]

Previously, on BK3…

…For some reason, I really need corn dogs.

…I make a dare to get as many of the playwrights tonight to fit the phrase “serious assplay” into their show.

“…Good Lord! It’s the vicar!”

…Hey! I yell. Where the fuck did all my Red Bulls go? There’s only one left.

“…I say! You had better shower; you smell like a distillery!” “How does a distillery smell?” “With its nose! Haw-haw-haw-haw!”

… I’ve showered, dressed, and am now standing outside of Betsy’s car trying to get the ice off of the wipers with my bare hands, while inside, Betsy is mouthing the word “Sorry.”

… I realize I’m not going to get any sleep.

“…Ladies and Gentlemen,” Buck says, “welcome to Project: Blitzkrieg 3D.”

…It is showtime.

The following takes place on the second night on the first week of Blitzkrieg 3D between 8:00 pm and 1:30 am.

If events occurred in real time, we’d be here for five and a half freakin’ hours.

8:03 pm.
The plays begin.

The first is...

Alex, sitting next to me, stirs nervously.

He is clearly worried about how this will go over with the crowd.

After Buck does his wind up, the curtains open, and we see...

I reach over and pat Alex on the back. Good job, I tell him. Alex remains intense, still thinking about how this could be better.

It's the only other play besides mine to fit in the phrase "serious assplay," so it's okay by me.

As up comes...

Just before the next show, Buck informs us that Betty Diamond wishes to make an announcement.

Betty gets up and informs us that the next play contains homosexuality, and that no matter what happens, not to panic.

And with that begins...

(what sucks here is that the tape ran out before I could get any really cool shots, like Nathan Caracter in the spotlight, or the final, violent freeze frame. Not that these pictures really do this one justice--this, the story of a woman breaking up with her imaginary friend, was the favorite of the night.)


Applause. Lights up.

Matt Cibula runs up to me and Doug.

"Don't you just want to kill Konoplisky?" he says, laughing.

"Oh, yeah," Doug says.

"It was funny, well-written, and original--she's makin' us look bad," Matt says.

That's it, I say, let's get her.

So Matt, Doug and I run up to her during the intermission and tell her that we hate her, she sucks, and how dare she actually write instead of just goofing off like we do, and, you know, welcome to the family.

Alex Peterson steps outside with Matt Cibla and I, even though it's cold, and of the three of us, I'm the only one who smokes.

Alex feels weird about how it went, and tells me he's gonna go home.

"That wouldn't be too bad, would it?" he asks. "But I can't be around anyone just now."

Alex takes off.

Matt asks me where Alex went, and I tell him.

"That's too bad," Matt says, "I was gonna tell him how much I liked what he did with my show."

I tell Matt that I realized this morning that I, in all likelihood, drank all my Red Bulls last night--so I probably had no truck with blaming John Sable.

"Oh, bullshit," Matt says, "I was keeping a close tally of your Red Bulls--there was no WAY you drank them all..."

I realize that he is right.

But it's time for the second half of the show. I sit down next to Doug.

Matt, heading to his seat, mentions how he's looking forward to Doug's show, with its distillery joke.

"Good lord! It's the vicar!" Doug says as the lights go down.

And so, Act Two begins.

Buck comes out and introduces my play...

The first thing I notice is that the music is wrong--the cd is play one track early, so instead of a song by Eminem playing over what we're seeing, it's a spoken word bit that starts with the line "Eminem would like you to suck his motherfucking cock!"


This is not to say that Mark Penner, the sound engineer, does a bad job that night--in fact, he was pretty Goddamn amazing--but there is one time in the show when a gun goes off when it shouldn't.

At any rate, here is....

Not my best work for Blitzkreig, but a lot of fun.

Up next is...

And now for a more serious show...

And so, finally, it's the one, the only...

...and it's about here that my battery dies. Argh.

Anyway, the show goes on, until finally, the moment we've all been waiting for happens:

"You'd better shower--you smell like a distillery!"

And Linda Hartay says:

"And what does a distillery smell like?"

Very long pause.


Very long pause.

And five rows ahead of me, Matt Cibula brays like a fisted donkey.

It's the hugest laugh of the night.

Doug and I give each other the thumbs up, like the Hudson Brothers.

10:42 pm.
The show is over, and people are more concern with getting their stuff out of the theater than partying afterwards.

After a moment of panic when one of my guns seem to be missing, I find it and all is calmer.

I run into Craig.

Craig, I say, I really liked the direction in yours--the blocking was really solid. Considering you only had two actors and one of them was tied to a chair, you found a lot of really good blocking compositions.

"Yeah," he says, "And yours had...girls...and guns. And high kicks!"

I sigh.

10:55 pm.
Betsy and I have all our stuff, and start to head out the back door.

"You going home?" Buck asks.

Is something going on?

"There's talk of going to Jenna's."

Cool. Who else is going?

"Everyone, I think. I've got to stick around for the strike, but I'll see you there."


Betsy and I head out.

The bag I have is huge, and has wheels on the back, so you can pull it along.

This doesn't mean shit when there's a foot of snow on the ground.

Betsy has the gun case, which has got to be at least 40 or 50 pounds--and she's the one of the two of us who has it easy.

The snow is coming down.

Cars are swirving all over the road.

Betsy says: "Maybe we should just go home..."

Nooo-OOO-oooo-OOO, I say. This sounds wimpier than it reads. Last year I missed out on the after show get-together, and I don't want to miss it this year.

Despite the insanity of the snow, we get to the car, exhausted, load it up, and take off.

11:15 pm.
After not so much driving as snowmobiling to the bar, and miraculously finding a parking spot, we discover that we are the first ones to arrive.

11:45 am.
We realize we are the only ones to arrive.

We head to the Concourse Hotel.

12:06 am.
Having checked in, we go to the bar in the hotel and chill out.

The other people in the bar are dressed in formal wear--they look like they've come here from a prom.

Betsy and I are in jeans and t-shirts.

My t-shirt has The Punisher on it.

I get up to get us some drinks.

Could I get a chardonay and a Coke? I ask the bartender.

He brings over the drinks.

"And what does The Punsher drink?" he says.

The Punisher drinks Jolt.

"Jolt, huh? Not Coke?"

The Punisher thinks that Coke is for housewives and little girls, I say. I adapt better.

12:20 am
We walk into our room.

"This is weird," Betsy says.

What, walking into a hotel room with no luggage?


We space out.

"Okay," she says. "I'm gonna take a shower."

I'm gonna go exploring.


Just down the hall.

"Uh, okay," she says in that way that means I love you, but I can't really claim to understand you.

I get this look quite a bit.

12:32 pm.
I walk out of one of the bathrooms in the upper lobby. My travels have taken me there.

My curiousity is at its ebb, so I decide to head upstairs. I can hear some kind of a crowd in some kind of a hall ahead of me--it has security guys out front.

I ignore this and get in the express elevator.

As I get on, three big guys get in, clearly drunk.

Oh, boy, I think.

I ring the floor.

One of them is about to ring the floor, but sees which one I've pressed and withdraws his hand.

Of fucking course, I think. Of course these drunk frat boy morons are going to the same floor as me.

Of fucking course.

We all stand on the elevator, not saying anything.

But I do see a look go from one of their faces to the other.

Oh, shit.

I know that look.

It's that look someone gets because they know they're going to do something naughty.

And these dumbasses start giggling.

Finally, we get to our floor.

I walk briskly out, heading to my room.

I can hear them behind me.

I walk fast.

They're still gigggling.

I get out my key card.

I hear something made out of glass shatter behind me, followed by laughter.

I reach the door.

They're still walking toward me.

I walk in.

Close the door behind me.

"How'd the exploring go?" Betsy asks.

It went alright, I say.

12:45 am.
Turning on the set reveals that “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” is on—and it’s the one with John Ritter as a robot.

Ah, sweet, calming violence. You are like mother’s milk to me.

1:00 am.
“Can’t relax?” my wife asks.

No. I’m not sure what it is…I think…

“It’s because we’re in an actual bed.”

You’re right! It’s been a while.

1:30 am.
In nine hours, I learn that “continental breakfast” means that I paid twenty extra dollars for orange juice and cereal.

But none of that matters, now.

Blitzkrieg 3D, or at least, my leg of it, is over.

And so, I sleep.



This weekend, as I look around for something, I find the large bag I used for Blitzkreig.

I still haven't unpacked it.

I open the side.

And I find four cans of Red Bull.


posted by Rob on 10:15 AM | link



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