Friday, November 8, 2013

Loring Park Episode #33: They Shoot 25-Year-Old Gay Men, Don't They? (My Life in Three Months)

It's been three months, people! This episode will not be like the others. It is catch-up mode, to say the least.

What did I do this summer (and fall?)

I turned 27, which will be the most depressing thing that happens in this episode.

The night before, I brought the cast of They Shoot 25-Year-Old Gay Men, Don't They? to the Saloon for a field trip, so we could research our characters! My brother showed up for this photo op. The man in the background is T.J. the bartender, who correctly told Dane, "I'm a very important part in your brother's life." Ain't that the truth.

The real Jared was there, but the real Kevin wasn't, and the real "Randy" (Wesley) certainly wasn't. The actor who played him would see him later in September and tell me he looked too broski. I beg to differ. One can never be too broski.

As for my actual birthday, Kevin had to work and Wesley told me I looked hideous. I can really pick 'em.

The next day, Jared and I went and saw "The Heat" starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and I spent $80 at Anthropologie, because I am a hoarder and that store is designed for hoarders like me.

                                THEY SHOOT 25-YEAR-OLD GAY MEN, DON'T THEY?
    My one-man show about aging in the gay community turned into an ensemble comedy about the club scene, unrequited love, and outgrowing your Peter Pan Syndrome.

In a perfect world, the real basis of these characters will show up to my apartment and sign their aliases.

It received an average of 4 out of 5 on the Minnesota Fringe Festival's website, and we had reviews ranging from 0 stars (one guy hated it. Hated it. You would think I spit on his mother), to five-star reviews from people I have never met. Our first performance was shaky as hell, but the crowd was so enthusiastic that they forgave us, and by show 3 I think we really "got" it. One of the actors quit/got fired after the first show, and my friend Liam had a cameo for the first performance, but I let him go after he kept showing up late. Theater isn't like stand-up where you can have people stall for you. The show starts on the dot, and it was a good lesson in discipline for myself as well.

It was put together in less than three months and was never going to be a polished show, but I think for the audience it was for, it was an enjoyable show, and it was a therapeutic way for me to work through what was one of the most troubling experiences of my young adulthood. Kevin saw the Saturday show and sat by my mother. He was really pissed at me because I made him fold programs in the corner, but I didn't think he wanted everybody to know that he was the basis for one of the characters.

Anyway, I just about shit my pants because the second performance was at 4 PM on a Sunday and wasn't as polished -- we were reeling from two of the actors departing -- but we did the best we could. I, however, was about to lose all bowel control, because I had seen on Facebook that Gay Oprah was going to be at this performance.

We were at the Xperimental Center of the U of M Rarig Center; and if you're not familiar, it's in the basement (the Rarig hosts three venues). So when we're preparing for our show and getting ready to enter the theater, set up, etc., we can see everybody that's going to be in line for our show. Our opening night was super exciting (we almost sold out, motherfuckers. Take THAT, Stephen Phillips and your mean 0-star review) because I could see all the people. Sunday I was stressing out because not only could I see Gay Oprah walking down the stairs, but he was wearing a shiny silver suit. Who does that? I later talked to Peter about it, and once Peter understood that Oprah is Southern, he explained that putting on your Sunday best is a Southern tradition.

Anyway, I wasn't super proud of the second performance, but I met Oprah after the show and he was incredibly gracious and very handsome in person and he smells like raspberries and strawberries and morning sex and honey. My friends make fun of me for seeing so starstruck about him ("He asked me out once," Kevin scoffed. "That's different," I said. "In your world, he is a human being. In mine, he is an omniscient diety"), but I will say, on a grown-up, adult level, that after I was visibly upset on Facebook about Stephen Phillips and his mean 0-star review, he wrote me a very nice and encouraging note, and in it he told me "Follow your art, and do it for you." I will remember that for as long as I continue to be a performer in any capacity.

Peter moved to Washington D.C. I gave him my Gucci windbreaker because the rule is that, if you let your friends wear something of yours and they look amazing in it, you just have to give them their due.

                                                 BOYS BOYS BOYS

I'll get to the problem ones in a minute, but first I will say that lately I have been hanging out with boys who a) have abs and b) are nice to me, and I keep waiting for them to turn into robots.

Tan Man and I went kayaking, which was an evil trick to lure me into exercise. WWE Dude and I see each other at the 19. Under Armour is always delightful to run into. Cagefighter and Piano Man have reached out to me. There are a lot of fish in the sea, people!


I stayed at Kevin's house one weekend. The Friday night was amazing, and then the Saturday night we got in a big fight and the next day at work I cried in the bathroom. We still have moments, though, and I enjoy the moments. I like that he says "'Atta girl" when I successfully shut the bathroom window. I like that he lets me sing the Princess Jasmine part when he puts on "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. On the Fourth of July his stepdad asked why I used the ladder to get down from the roof instead of jumping off it, and he said, "Now, now. He's made of different stuff than we are". I couldn't tell if that was adorable or douchey, but I put it in my act that week, because I was emceeing for the entire week at the House of Comedy at Mall of America, and I'll be there again the week of Thanksgiving (shameless plug!) Sometimes he's mean, and it's not that I apologize for it, but I sometimes wonder if I'm the most feminine and dramatic man he's ever "been with" (for lack of a better term).

We also went to the Trail of Terror in Shakopee. His friend went with us and we got in a weird conversation on the way there that led me to icing him out. I was the only one at the attraction who was scared of anything, to the point that the actors were running ahead to tell the others that I was coming and that if they jumped out at me, they were guaranteed a loud shriek (and they got them). I held Kevin's arm the entire time and I enjoyed that he allowed me to do that.

We went to his house and felt like a scary movie. I, however, prefer scary movies if I have already seen them, so I volunteered Scream 2 or Carrie. We ended up on Cabin in the Woods, which made me scream like a little girl. First of all, it has 30 minutes of exposition and right when it started to get scary was when Kevin decided he wanted to take the blankets out of the dryer.

"This probably wasn't a good time for me to leave, was it?" he cackled from the basement. RUDE. Also, there's an oversize mutated tarantula toward the end, and that's my #1 fear (I blame Resident Evil games and Jumanji). Also, there was this:


Chris Hemsworth does nothing to me as Thor. Nothing. Maybe it's the get-up or the long hair. I thought nothing of him before this movie. I have realized that, only in this movie (which was filmed in 2010), I am madly in love with Chris Hemsworth.

It has nothing to do with who he might look like from my real life.

God dammit.

                                           CRYPTIC COMMENTARY

It has been six months. I almost lost friendships over it. I saw very good people as enemies or competition. I wrote a fucking play about it. I cried a lot. At dumb things. I still feel like crying when "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus comes on because we slutty danced to that song a few times, and that song should not evoke pain. That song should evoke joy and the desire to do drugs.

I have not seen him in a month and I am almost okay with that.

Ok, that is not entirely true, in part because that night he told me I was balding. "That's because I pull my hair out from stress!" I yelled at him. "I had lustrous, Justin Bieber hair before you came into my life!"

I will say that I am content in the moments that I had, because as messy and confusing as it was, I had my moments, dammit, the moments that would have made Taylor Swift jealous.

                                            AWFUL ADULT THINGS

    I'm so close to bankruptcy it's not even funny. Oh, and I spent $260 at the salon for a full body wax, because I am disgusting. I won't ever have a boyfriend if I'm hairy and bankrupt, so now I have to pick one or the other. Besides, would you rather have a guy with chest hair or a guy with a bunch of ingrowns on his chest that looks like a 2-year-old did a dot-to-dot puzzle? You know it's the second one.

I got rid of cable and Internet because Comcast is the devil. As a result, I am at my mom's house all the damn time. She has LOGO!

I am going to die alone.

                                       ERIN GOT MARRIED

 My best friend got married! I look drunk in this picture, but I swear this was in the afternoon, and I was sleep-deprived and emotional. Here was my toast:

"Erin McCloskey. I was so happy to walk into this mansion and see the Eiffel Tower. I don't know if everybody here knows this, but that's where Robbie proposed to her. It's also where Erin and I became best friends. I had known her since kindergarten -- she had a long braid and I pulled it a lot -- but we weren't best friends until 17. We were on the class field trip to Paris, and we were the last two kids to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I was last because I lost my lift ticket after five minutes, and she was last because she ignored the instructions to wear sensible shoes, and had blisters and had to limp the whole way up.

We became best friends that day, in part because we found out we had the same favorite TV show, "Starting Over". It was the best bad show over. It was a daytime reality show in which six women lived in a house and had life coaches and goals and steps to reach those goals, and then when they got to their goal they got to graduate.  You remember! With Rhonda Britten and Iyanla Vanzant! At 2 PM on KARE 11!

Anyway, I feel that -- nine years later, and eight years after the show has been cancelled -- today is not just your wedding day but also your official graduation from the 'Starting Over' house.

You truly are family to me. My parents are here, my grandparents are here, and my aunt is here, which proves that. You're the closet thing my father will ever have to a daughter, and I am so grateful, because without you, that would be me.

I know we watched a lot of crappy chick flicks that talk a lot about how you 'found' a man or 'earned' a man or 'got' a man, and I hate that kind of language, so I am going to say that -- you ALLOWED a man in your life -- and allowed his love into your heart -- and we are all grateful. I love you."

      For Halloween, I was a man hunter and Jared was Mr. T. Literally five minutes after Jared left, someone showed up in full-on '80s Hulk Hogan wear, and the wrestling mark in me was so bummed that we couldn't have done a WrestleMania photo-op.

 I am excited for Christmas episodes of Loring Park! I should buy a slutty Santa hat.


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