Day 18: Blog Love

blogging, media

Prompt: Another blog I admire.

You may guess, and rightly so, that from working in the theatre for most of my life, I have become acquainted with some marvelous characters. Theatre people, by and large, are not a batch of insecure divas with weird dressing room requests and a martini always at the ready to toss in some offender’s face. Rather, in my experience, they are intellectually curious people who thrive on collaboration and build communities wherever they land.

One person who embodies this model is an actor who I’ve had the pleasure of sharing space with, professionally, on two or three occasions. His “day job” (in quotes because I am quite certain that it is far, far more than a “day” job. Or, even just a “job” job) is working as a tour guide in New York City. I’ve never been on one of his tours, but I feel absolutely certain that he’s very, very good at this calling, and we should all be so lucky to tour with him. Of course, one meets all sorts in that line of work, doesn’t one? And so, he has quite a lot of stories. He also has an incredible gift of storytelling, and I do not exaggerate when I tell you he is one of the best writers I know. The fact that he is not regularly featured on NPR is an oversight on the part of our National Public Radio.

He often posts the stories privately, and people constantly encourage him to write a book, but as he wisely notes, how can he share stories of the tourists he encounters and still work another day. Thankfully, he found a compromise, and writes anonymously at The Necessary Cruelty.

His writing is colorful, surprising, and full of unabashed snark. You know his characters, and you can laugh along, secure in the knowledge that you would never be that tourist! For instance, from one of my favorites,”Slaughtering Marie“:

Marie is rather tall, made taller by a tuft of blondish loose curls that float above her head like the marabou feathers on a muppet. She makes the mistake of lining her lips with a darker shade of the pinkish red she uses as a lipstick. This makes her moving mouth even more animated and brash. I imagine she was a very lovely woman in her youth, but decided to claw on to that memory with her painted fingernails rather than slide into ‘handsome,’ as is certainly her prerogative. But she doesn’t quite pull it off. Her smeary foundation and spackled eyeshadow give her the desperate look of the unwilling.

I really suggest you read the whole thing, as Marie comes to a pretty brilliant fate.

We also get dispatches from life in New York City. The “Real ads as I search for an apartment-mate” are so good that you have to believe that they cannot be made up:

“I am looking to move back to NY! And now is the time to just jump in
and begin to live the dream. I am a theatre person; however, my life doesn’t necessarily revolve around that. I love meeting and co-existing with all types of people. Sort of like the Bohemian lifestyle in RENT (Haven’t seen RENT? Check it out at New World Stages Off-Broadway)”
My thought: And what, ‘Maureen,’ would you say your life DOES revolve around?
“Nice man. non-smoker, non-pet guy, guest house worker, occasional nudist, chill dude, home type guy.”
My thought: Uh, UMM, I’m sorry. Go back two?
“I am a married father of a 2 year old. I’m moving because I am sick of constant complaints about the baby being noisy.”
My thought: Oh for God’s sake then, come on OVER!

And then, sometimes, he surprises you with something downright sweet, like this piece.

Of all the blogs I read, I’m most excited to read something new from NC. I know that it will be full of life, vivid, brilliantly naughty, and completely truthful in the Big T “Truth” sort of way. Read him at The Necessary Cruelty, and if any of you work for NPR, get him on the air!

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