I’ve worked on many shows with Stephen in Austin over the past five years, but mostly in that distant way that actors and designers work together. You’re down there on the stage, full of bluster, oblivious to the fact that this guy is up in the booth doing everything he can to make you look good, listening to your wooden delivery of the lines, patiently observing while you chew on the scenery - did you ever even stop to thank him? I finally just got to work with him as a director and got to see first hand how much care and love he puts into his work. I could be wrong, but I think Stephen and I get along because we both secretly believe that theater is magic. Thank you Stephen.
I remember when my best friend Ricky turned 21, and we went out with a pack of 15 or so wild 21-year-old male savages, a gang of howling horny idiots terrorizing the streets of our hometown, enacting that unholy American right of passage that celebrates the legal right to drink by getting drunk. Ricky’s dad coordinated with me to call when we were ready to be picked up, and he was worried Rick would fall asleep on his back so we just laid him out on the fold-out couch in the living room and sat up keeping an eye on him for a while. Mont and I talked for hours that night about all the dumb stuff Ricky and I got into growing up, chucking water balloons off his roof at cars, making epic school films in his back yard, attempting to throw parties at his house while he was out of town working on the railroad. We rarely pulled off anything that Mont didn’t somehow sniff out. In that conversation we bonded over how much we both loved this sleeping drunk guy, and I realized how much fathering Mont had done for me along the way, and how much I love him for it. Thank you for taking care of me Mont.
Kelli and I got to know each other by spending six days doing paper mâché in my apartment. She asked me if I’d help her make a set of huge Russian nesting dolls for a show when I first moved to Austin. I told her I would do it on two conditions, she had to help me, and she had to hold up her end of the conversation. We then proceeded to spend six days with our hands in wallpaper paste and ripped up shopping bags, telling each other the story of our lives, our dreams, our shames, our loss of virginity stories. It was an amazing, epic conversation that bonded us for life. Love this girl.
I think there’s a special buffet in heaven for Arts Administrators. With all the best fixins, and fresh as all get out. And the food there is served by all the disorganized, procrastinating, self-sabotaging artists they encountered along the way; ladling on extra scoops of ambrosia while asking ‘is there anything I can do for YOU?’ They are the patron saints of thankless tasks and Kathryn is humbly, gracefully one of them. She’s also got that booksavvy silverfox thing goin on which could drive a man to drink vermouth.
I first met Meredith at a puppeteer party and we chatted for something like half an hour. A week later I ran into her at a random wedding and she did not remember me at all. I don’t think I’ve ever so thoroughly failed to leave an impression on someone. Over the course of the wedding, I got to watch her do that thing where someone plays it off like they recognize you, while biding their time as they try desperately to remember who the fuck you are, which she did eventually. A week later, we started rehearsals together for a Trouble Puppet show, and to punish her for forgetting me, I refused to say her name correctly calling her Margaret, Morgan, Mary Beth, Mindy and Megadeth. I’d try to use these fake names casually and confidently around other cast members so they would get confused and start using the wrong names as well. I think this was funny at the time, but I hope you forgive me for trying to take away your name Meredith, it was just a foolish man’s bruised ego.
Jessi and I met right before she moved away from Austin. We were toobing down the Guadalupe river and gabbed over too many Lonestars about healthy eating and surviving the Texas summer in her hippie apartment with no air conditioning. She confessed to me that she was worried she’d get a sunburn on her bellybutton, something I’d never considered as an innie. She works as a health councilor, helping people make better choices about the way they treat their bodies and educating them about nutrition, which is work I deeply admire! Austin misses you Jessi!
Katie is as smart and shrewd and funny as she is beautiful! What a terrible picture I took of this gorgeous girl! I remember when I first met her in San Francisco we stayed up all night talking and smoking cigarettes in her little apartment on… maybe Noriega St.? Neither of us smokes anymore, but I feel like every time I see her we pick up that same conversation right where we left off.
Mike stole my hamper when he moved out of our apartment in Brooklyn. To be fair, he really just borrowed it. It was his hamper to begin with, and he just needed an extra vessel to haul some stuff to his new place. If I had been home when he needed it, I would have totally given it to him. But at the time it irritated me, in that way that petty little roommate shit does. Stuff that doesn’t matter exactly one second after you get some perspective on the situation. I like to think back on that as exactly how NOT to spend my energy, time and brainspace (and how NOT to treat someone I love in my mind). Mike, I hereby declare that you are welcome to any laundry-carrying device, rolley suitcase, or otherwise hauling apparatus I might own during my brief time on this planet, because your loving and caring friendship has been such a great gift in my life, worth as many ¢.99 hampers as my grateful heart can serve up!
I got to kiss this lovely lady when I was out in LA! I have never respected an actor more than Julie - so diligent, smart, and unflappably undauntable! All while being completely humble about it. I see other actors fretting and tying their shoelaces together, while Julie’s over here taking simple, practical, proactive steps to build her career. It’s astonishing the power someone can wield when they know how to get out of their own way!
For a few months in college, I slept in Alex’s closet. We were both broke College students so we split rent on this one bedroom apartment way out in the outer Sunset. The apartment had this huge walk-in closet that I thought might make a serviceable bedroom, so I just dragged my bed in there one day. It reminded me of this cozy towel cupboard at my Grandma’s house where I use to go hide with a flashlight and read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Alex has a big, bursting sincere heart that always fills me with optimism and laughter. I miss having this guy around.
My Uncle Jim told me a great story about how, after he proposed to my Aunt, his future father-in-law took him aside and suggested he buzz off and leave his daughter alone. Jim respectfully replied that my Aunt was a grown woman and it should be her decision who she wanted to marry. In the end, they all ended up loving him dearly because he’s a just a great guy! He’s got a Volkswagen in the back yard and just looking at it makes you want to dress up in rhinestone jumpsuits and make a pilgrimage to Graceland!