Buddy/actor, Sam Catlin is in town celebrating the NYC, 2-day only, debut of his written/directed play THIS MIGHT HURT at Here (a theatre space located a few blocks away from where I used to wait tables at Nick & Eddie and dwell around the corner with Larrondo back in the late 80s/early 90s) in Soho. I went to Here solo as SBX was hosting a dinner for her cousins, this evening. Knew I might bump into peeps from my past and had the pleasure of trading sauce with my favorite gaffer, Go-Go! We caught up on everything pre & post 9/11 (which seems to have become the standard measure of time for folks you haven't parlayed with in over a year), and grabbed second row seats. Go-Go is living with her actor boyfriend and taking less film work, focusing on grad school, studying to become a teacher. We were both startled and almost didn't recognize Adam Trese through his long bangs of black hair -- another body I haven't spoken to in 3-years (he remembered the exact departure date too: Nov. 10th, 1999, which is when Trese scurried away from anything Man-Size, J51, et al, so as to recover/escape social politics) as he awkwardly flipped me the bird. The joke didn't fly and a minute later he introduced me to his Israeli wife, Sharona. Trese, married? Yes.
What the fuck with everybody getting married and making the babies? Go-Go and I discussed the weird phenomenon that almost all our friends who grew up in NYC (and who are approx. 35-years of age and/or older) are not married. I chalked it up to a NYC/urban/somethings in the tap water - kinda thing. As if our generation skipped a beat and is missing that link that gives most common folk the impetus and fear to shack up and reproduce by the time biological clocks begin to tick louder than a bomb. Which usually occurs by the time you're 29. As if art and the pursuit of self worth was more important to us than status quo, and now we're suffering for it in a very quiet but serious way. We never managed to finagle the engagement ring and the "I do." While most of us Manhattanites born in the mid-60s took charge and honed our talents, fought for tomorrow, and positioned ourselves to do what we love career-wise (or, at least getting close to it you could taste it). And, like proper artists, we all will most certainly admit to experiencing harrowing bouts of loneliness, insecurity, anxiety crippling uncertainty, countless self-destructive acts of tomfoolery, all sitting on the brink of suicidal depression and tossing in the proverbial towel. So - why did we take that road? What was in the tap water? Why are we NOT married with children? What was so important about producing/directing that movie, writing that screenplay, singing that song, acting that role, drawing that comic book -- over walking down that wedding room aisle, once and for all? I'll have to think about that...
THIS MIGHT HURT was fresh! I never laughed so hard. The only way to describe the vibe is that it played like as if a young Harold Pinter wrote a modern day version of Edward Albee's WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLFE?, with shots of David Rabe littered throughout for goofy relief. Three, one-act plays tied together by an hour of common threads that showcased the panic buttons of insecurity, took hilarious swipes at social facades, and shed a unique light upon the trappings of human interaction and the apathy that relationships often settle into. Like bags of white hot sticky napalm ready to sizzle upon contact, stifled emotions boil to the surface and explode with fierce passion until the only way to get it all out is to go all the way back in with a minors cap and shovel, excavating our true selves only to find the remains of lost honesty. Sam has taken years of domestic frustration, romantic disturbance, and social semantics, and magnified the horrors of mundanity. This hurt, indeed.
Met up with cartoonist/author/pal, Bob Fingerman and his illustrator/pal, Joe Palma at Cafe Rafaela's on 7th ave. and 10th street for linguini w/pesto and some light ribbing. I showed the fellas my "Scuzzbournes" gig printed in the Oct. NICKELODEON MAGAZINE [http://www.indyworld.com/deanhaspiel/scuzzbournes.htm] and Palma showed us an amazingly complex painted illustration job he did for a prestigious financial magazine. I was thwarted by the amount of preparation work and drafts he had to do to get to the final piece. Palma illustrates for many high profile magazines, which include THE NEW YORKER, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, and a bunch of others. You've most likely seen and admired his work. Called it a night and waited for the "If" train to show up and take me home.