October 11th, 2010

My First FringeNYC Adventure Parts 9 and 10: The last two days of our trip came and went like a blur. Sunday morning, the girls and I had brunch with my in-laws at Pete’s Tavern, just off Union Square. When I first walked in, I thought it was just another (Damn) Yankees bar. However, when we sat down I started checking out the history of the Tavern on the menu. I’m fascinated by little things like that. Well, Pete’s Tavern is Manhattan’s oldest Tavern still in operation today. Furthermore, it’s where O. Henry wrote The Gift of the Magi. Pretty impressive! The food was pretty good, too.

From there, I left the girls with Sal & Ruth and headed over to The Cherry Pit one last time to help strike the venue. I took down a couple of lights, but really spent a majority of my time enjoying my Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (XL French Vanilla with extra-extra-cream and sugar, thank you very much) and chatting with Nina, Alya and our other producers. While there, I discovered that Matty had posted cheat sheets of his costume changes on the walls backstage. I got a real kick out of that for some reason, so I took one of them with me. I don’t know what it is, but seeing that sheet mounted to the wall made this run that much more… well, for lack of a better term… real.

While I was up on a ladder, helping take down lighting instruments, I was hit with a bolt of inspiration. This event was so monumental, so significant to me, I wanted to always keep it as a part of myself. I decided right then and there I wanted to get a tattoo. That day. And I already knew what I wanted, and where I wanted it to go.

After strike was done, I called the girls and informed them of my hare-brained scheme. Jenn went from shocked to skeptical, to apprehensive. Erin was all in, though, to the point where she decided to get her own as well. After some thorough Google-Fu, we found Whatever Tattoo in the Village, and headed down there. We took quick “before” pictures for posterity. Erin jumped in the chair first and was done in less than fifteen minutes. My jokes about changing my mind while she was in the chair didn’t go over well. Then, it was my turn. Ten minutes later, we’re back on the street, freshly inked and hungry, so we went prowling for dinner.

Here it is, by the way:

My first tattoo

My first tattoo. I got it after my first play, Friends Like These, closed Off-Broadway. It’s on the inside of my right ankle, easily concealable for casting purposes. The five hatch marks have two meanings: they represent the five characters in my show, and they represent all of the different steps I had to complete over the years it took to reach that pinnacle moment. These marks have come to represent that process for me not just on this particular production, but on all shows I work on now.

At this point, we were basically killing time before the FringeNYC Closing Ceremony at the Gramercy Theater. The ceremony was fun – I was very happy to see all three of the shows I went to (The Twentieth-Century WaySaving Throw Versus Love and Viva Los Bastarditos) get recognized with both accolades and extended runs in the Fringe Encore Series. We took the L Train back home for our last night in Greenpoint shortly after the announcements ended.

Day 10 was a blur. We got up, had breakfast at the Kellogg Diner one last time, finished packing and jumped in a cab to JFK. While there, I enjoyed one last cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee while Jenn and I reflected on the whole trip. It was incredible. Absolutely incredible. Honestly, sitting there, I remember feeling this sense of loss hit me out of the blue. We’d been planning this event, this trip, this production for so long, that for it to finally be over was shocking. It was a moment sort of like the one Inigo Montoya experiences at the end of The Princess Bride. Y’know, “I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.” Little did I know, though, just how quickly things would come into focus upon my return to LA.

So, that was that. The entire trip in a 10-part Nutshell (or 10 different nutshells, if you prefer).

The ride doesn’t end here, though. Nope. I have said that I am done with producing the show myself (for now… you never know where it might wind up in a few years…), but that doesn’t mean that the script’s going to sit on the shelf and collect dust. Not at all. Instead, I’m sending the script to other companies for them to consider for their own seasons in 2011 and 2012. I really want to see what other artists, other directors, other perspectives can lend to this show. I learned more about the story I wrote by seeing how Sean and Vance and the cast interpreted the story and its colorful characters and by experiencing what they each brought to the production both individually and as an ensemble than I ever could have if I directed it myself. I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing what others can do with it. I’m also submitting the play to publishers and developing the film script. The future for this show looks incredibly bright.

I think it bears mentioning again that we wouldn’t have had this incredible experience (or so much future potential) if it wasn’t for you – our generous supporters. Thank you for caring. Thank you for contributing. Thank you for your belief in us. You helped us make our dream come true. On behalf of the cast and crew of the Hollywood Fringe and FringeNYC productions of Friends Like These, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.