Tag Archives: Acting

The Veterinarian

13 Jul

There is a restaurant in my neighborhood that has good burgers and a cute bartender whom I like to look at while I eat.

One evening, I was enjoying some dinner and the view, when a pair of late 30-somethings started to get a little rowdy next to me.  I looked over to see what all the commotion was about and saw one of them holding up an image of Alf dressed as an asparagus.  The skinnier of the two noticed me eyeing their altercation and included me in the conversation.  I had no information to offer on the Alf topic… but received some unfortunate information on the cute bartender topic: it turned out they were his friends and he had a serious girlfriend of nine years.

The larger man left shortly thereafter and I stayed to chat with the skinny one.  He never smiled and pretty much only had one facial expression– a puzzled look with slightly crossed eyes.  He was dressed like a cast member from Roseanne and looked remarkably like a young Bob Saget.  He had glasses, a prominent nose, and hair that looked like amber waves of grain– like you could pull a fistful of it and it would break off into a million pieces and blow away down a sunny hillside.  “Peter,” as we’ll call him, was thirty-nine, worked at another bar in Bushwick, and dreamed of being a veterinarian.  But not an actual veterinarian, oh no.  He wanted to PLAY a veterinarian in a small role on a TV show or commercial.  He went on and on about how much he loved acting and wanted to make a full career out of it even though he had never taken an acting class, or been in a play, or done anything except stand in a sea of extras in one shot for an episode of some TV show.  When he learned that I went to school for theatre he asked if I wanted to take turns filming each other doing three contemporary monologues each.  I told him I’ve been out of the loop for a couple years and am thus unfamiliar with the current veterinarian repertoire.

I ran into Peter around my neighborhood multiple times after that.  He always talked nonstop about himself and his “acting career” and never asked me anything about my life.  Come to think of it I’m not sure he ever even knew my name.  He also sent me constant text updates like “almost had a line on set today, but they gave it to someone else,” and “just submitted my headshot to play another veterinarian.  Keep your fingers crossed.”  His headshot, by the way, was a selfie he had taken of himself wearing a lab coat and looking confused.  He stayed over at my place once (don’t recall how that happened) and kept trying to kiss me, but I was too weirded out by him so I moved to the extreme edge of my bed and barricaded myself with a fortress of pillows.  The next morning I woke up at 6 a.m. and shrieked about how I had to go into town right away, like we lived in rural Mississippi in the early 1900s.

The next time I saw him after that, he was displeased with me.  Apparently he had found me on Twitter and seen a tweet where I referred to him as a “Bob Saget impersonator.”  He accused me of flirting with other men at the bar and told me that I don’t take him seriously.  Welllll.  I didn’t realize we had a “thing,” but whatever it was needed to cease and desist, so I stopped responding to him.

The last text I ever got from Peter was: “ever had a grape chia synergy drink?  One just exploded on my shirt and pants while opening it and the chia seeds stuck to my clothes.  Kinda cool.  Gonna leave them on there for awhile.”  I haven’t seen him since, so I’m assuming he got beamed back up to whatever planet he and Alf are from.

Respect for Acting

31 Oct

While back in my hometown this week, a guy I met once or twice a few years ago contacted me to say we should meet up for drinks.  I couldn’t really remember much about “Evan,” but figured why not squeeze in a “blind date” of sorts during my vacation?  Besides, I kind of remembered him being cute.

I was out with friends the night Evan messaged me asking where I was.  I told him the name of the bar and literally five minutes later he walked in the door carrying a large bag of electronics.  I had mentioned that my phone was dying so he connected about five cords to whatever was inside the bag, handed me the end and said “Want juice?”  I barely recognized him– He looked about thirty pounds lighter than the last time I had seen him.  The substantial weight loss accented his toothy grin and he reminded me of a sneaky skeleton with chompers chomping in the night when he smiled.  We all had a drink together before he suggested we go next door to the gay bar.  There was a DJ playing dance remixes there, and the second we entered Evan started bouncing around like a crazed kangaroo.  I got drinks with my friend and tuned him out (no one else was dancing).  Soon, it was closing time and the other people I was out with were leaving.  Evan offered to drive me home, but first we had to walk to his apartment to get his car.

On the way, he announced that he couldn’t wait to “move home to New York.”  I asked if he had ever lived there and he said no, but that moving to New York was part of his “five year plan.”  Please don’t say you want to try to make it as an actor, I gritted my teeth as I dared ask him why he wants to move to New York.  “To be an actor, of course!” he replied.  Ok, maybe I am a Negative Nancy, but in five years you want to drop everything you’ve built for yourself here and try to make it as an actor in New York City at nearly forty years old?  God bless America, man.

We got to his apartment and I was impressed by how nice it was.  I realized I had been a fool to think we would just go in, get his keys, and leave.  First, he turned on some mood music, rolled a couple cigarettes, then took off his shirt to proudly reveal what appeared to be rope burn across his torso.  I hesitantly inquired as to what I was looking at.  He shared that he had started regularly attending a fetish club in town and bragged that last time he was there he got tied up and whipped.  This admission was a little hard to take from someone with spiky gelled hair, a Wisconsin accent, and a theatre t-shirt.  But an amusing one, nonetheless.  I was beginning to fall asleep on the couch– it had been a long day and he kept stopping several times throughout each sentence, pausing dramatically for effect as if he was reciting lines.  I made the mistake of asking about his ex-girlfriend (who I used to know) and got a five minute contemporary monologue, complete with exaggerated gestures and the use of a prop.  I apologized for being rude, but had been up for twenty hours and needed to go home and sleep.

I thought about the transformation Evan had gone through in my mind.  When I met him a few years prior he seemed reserved and mature (he is six years older than I).  Little had I known that three years later I would be watching him bounce around like a rabid rooster and looking at his rope burns.  “I hope I wasn’t too obvious about my disdain for his dance moves” I said to my friend the next day.  He replied “Well, you kept giving him the ‘Really?’ look… but I think he mistook it for ‘Really!’”

One of the beautiful things about New York City is that there is a little something for everyone.   Even if Evan doesn’t make it to Broadway, there are surely countless fetish clubs throughout the city where he can get tied up to his heart’s content!