something's happening. something good. and something weird too.
I'm rehearsing for this show right now called Veritas - it's part of the Fringe Festival at the HERE Arts Center --- and I put a little line about this blog in my bio.
The other day I got to rehearsal and the director, Ryan, asked me what was wrong.
"I was trying to sell one of my fans and all this guy at dollar pizza wanted to do was talk about sharper image. And then he was like - 'you should sell other things too!' - like he was on his way to being the first person ever to think of the concept of a "store." i'm sure if I had let him go for a few more minutes he would have come up with the idea of being located in a 'building' and having 'customers.'"
"You were trying to sell a what?"
Ah yes. The hiccups of being self-centered. Talking about everything in your life as though it's been tweeted and read by everyone you meet.
"Oh - I'm selling these fans for three bucks."
"I'll take one."
I'm almost certain that this cast things I'm bat shit crazy, but - hey - I sold a fan and that's what's important here.
Cut to Friday night --
There was a fundraiser party for the show. In New York, when a bunch of poor people put on a show, they call one of their rich friends and ask them to throw a party for all of their rich friends and charge them at the door, and give the money to the poor show people. Then the poor people buy a bunch of alcohol that rich people would never drink, and charge the rich people what sounds like a lot of money to the poor people but is not that much for the rich people, and then it's all you can drink - but only the poor people drink cause they are poor and sad and are used to drinking the cheap shit and all of the rich people are on coke anyway. So it's basically a party where rich people pay to watch poor people drink. And then the show opens, no one makes any money, and you still have a degree from one of the best schools in the country, though whenever you say that, the school as a collective sort of turns away from you and every one from that school with a real job at the same time mouths the words "I don't know that person."
I arrived at the party with a self-imposed limit of 1 drink and a bag full of 11 fans.
3 drinks later I had sold all 11 fans. That's right kids. All of them.
By chance, by a stroke of fan God luck, the air conditioning in this palatial west village apartment was bronx busted. I couldn't have been happier.
The first fan I sold was to a man named Michael R. Jackson. I usually don't include last names, but the man's name is fucking MICHAEL JACKSON. He was wearing a backpack turned backwards at the party, so I knew the cool factor wouldn't be an issue in his mind when it came to considering the purchase of a pocket fan on a lanyard.
He was talking to an old friend of mine Billy. Billy saw that Michael Jackson had bought a fan, so just like a bunch of screaming fans from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, he just had to have one. He was fan sale number 2.
Then my cast mate Matt, or as I referred to him that night - Mr. Smiley (hello open bar), was doing his best to sell fans for me. I could tell that he was both making fun of me and helping me at the same time, and because in my childhood, whenever my brother or I would fall, one of our parents would say "God did that." I (a) spent a good deal of time angry at God and (b) learn that people that love you can also make fun of you.
So I let Matt sell. And sell he did. Aside from the fact that he kept introducing me as "Kramer", he was pretty good. He introduced me to his two friends - Robb (with two "b"s - I know this because I thought he said his name was Rom and we had one of those awkward introductions where the first person goes "I'm Paul." and the second person goes "I'm Robb." and the first person goes "Rom?" and the second person goes "Robb." And then the first person goes "Rom." and then the second person goes "Robb. R-o-b-b. Robb.") and another friend. After 15 minutes of convincing, they too bought fans.
Then there was this girl - Maria I believe -- who held a fan in her hand, looked at the blog address on the side of the fan, and busted out with
"Wait - this is you?!"
Oh God. Another crazy person. Miss Edie light.
"Yes. This is me. These are my arms. This is my hair. All of this is me. Are you going to buy the fan or not, because -"
"No. illsellyoumyfan.blogspot.com? that's YOU?!"
"Wait. What? Yes. Why?!"
"I've seen this before!"
Before you get too excited, turns out that she made the website for the show, and the link to the blog in my bio was what was ringing a bell for her. She'd never clicked on it. But she had, in fact, seen those words before.
Then two cast mates - Morgan and Joseph - asked if they could buy a fan. There was a bunch of sweet glory in this. And Morgan really needed one because for reasons only Morgan knows, he was wearing not only a blazer but also a scarf. And it got back to me that he didn't want to take off the scarf because it would ruin the outfit. And then that asshole only gave me two out of the three dollars, and then I blogged about how he wouldn't take off his scarf at a party in the dead of summer with a busted air conditioner because it would "ruin his outfit". Don't fuck with me, people. And hey - Morgan Karr (that's K-A-R-R) - keep your dollar.
Then there was a man named Ian. He was sober because he was a rich person. He bought three fans. The first two he bought for ten dollars each. Why? We still don't know. "We" being any one on earth. Maybe he's just nice? Call it generosity. Call it kindness. But I called it a new shower curtain and a liner cause I had a coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond and my bathroom gets mildewy FAST.
And then there was Carlos. Carlos is a man from a country that offers accents. Carlos took the publicity shots for our show. My favorite moment of the photo shoot was when one of the cast members was standing in the corner of the room and asked if he should be smiling. Carlos, in his A for effort English, said to him "Ok - behind you is a corner and this corner is UH and UH you know? And that - that is exactly what I want."
He ended up smiling.
So there I am - sold out of fans - looking around to take in all of the red fans in use by all of the party goers. They're sharing them. They're loving them. They're thanking these fans for every single burst of fresh house party air. And then - like a movie -
"What the fuck?!"
All of the fans - or at least all of the fan in the room I was in - broke. At the same time. And people. Were. Pissed.
I addressed the evil eye.
"I told you they break!" And I did. Before every sale I'd say - be very careful - they break very easily and there are no returns.
You know what you can get at McDonald's for $3? Like - nothing. Like fucking NOTHING. A Mcflurry. That's it. I think a 4 piece Chicken McNugget costs more than that in New York. So the fact that you paid 3 dollars for a fan that kept you from not looking like a wet mop in a ralph lauren shirt for two hours - that's a pretty fucking good deal.
Ok - but guys - that's not the crazy part. Everything is taking a turn.
This blog is at about 1600 hits for the last month. It's no Perez - and I'm sure it's not even close to the number of daily hits that something like the google search for "How do I tell my mother I'm pregnant" gets - but it's becoming it's own thing - and i'll explain.
My friend Robert (remember? The idiot who advertised how loud the fans were and got wasted when Cuervo the dermatoligist wouldn't buy a fan?) broke change for one of my customers at the party. After he said to someone "He's selling those fans" he turned to me and said "I'm being good, right? I'm helping, right?"
"Yes, Robert. Yes you're helping. Next time I make a cake you can crack the egg all by yourself."
"But are you going to write about this? Are you going to write about how I"m begin good this time?"
Whoa -- wait ---
Morgan: Paul - my batteries are dying.
Paul: You're wearing a fucking scarf.
Morgan: My batteries are still dying - I'm not going to pay you that final dollar.
Paul: You bet your sweet candy ass you're going to pay me that last dollar.
Morgan: I know. I just want you to write about this.
What is going on?
Ryan: Now that I bought this fan are you going to blog about it?
Me: Yeah -
Ryan: Oh good - cause then I can tweet about it.
It's almost like WRITING about someone is an incentive for them to BUY a fan.
This is a lesson.
I need to use this moving forward.
How do I branch that out? How do I write about EVERYONE at ONCE?
Shit just got real.