#IfWeWereHavingCoffeeRightNow … So I doubt we’d know each other in advance, so I’d probably tell you “I’ll be the guy in the Spiderman outfit, sitting near the back, blogging on a laptop.” In fact that’s literally me, right now, as I write this.
Chances are good you’d respond with a “what?” or a “haha seriously??” Or maybe a noncholant “ok see you soon!” Once you came and sat down, I’d probably take the mask off to even the playing field of eye contact (I actually have a ‘windows to the soul’ post about that lol). But presumably, sooner or later as we made small talk, you would ask me – something along the lines of “so what’s with the costume?”
“Oh man,” I would probably reply, “It’s been one heck of a week.”
I would feel a need to qualify. “You know how it takes a lot of extra energy to learn something new?” (It does – I mean, it can be energizing and an adrenaline rush; and thank goodness, or learning any new skill would leave us broken shells.) I’ve been learning a lot of new things lately. To the point that, yesterday, I was too brain-dead for situational awareness, and accidentally took a small sip of my own urine.”
Shall we begin?
So, like many millenials, I have a lot of different projects I want to work on. One of them is being an actor – ideally famous (there’s a reason this blog is called “musings of a narcissist” lol) – so I’ve been trying to make my day job more about acting, and less about call centres. Its been a long ride – there’s not a lot of money in acting at my level – but Dear God I love being the centre of attention/a stage/a camera. Recently I found a gig with The Superhero Company – great folk who deliver super hero parties to kids.
I’ve been learning a lot about their process, their procedures, and basically how to run and entertain a children’s birthday party as Spider Man – my alltime favourite superhero, a complete air-sign super hero (light, adaptable, whimsical, and more flexible than strong – I will have a ‘4 elements personality theory’ blog post later on) that I’ve always meshed with.
They had one of their top Spideys fall ill this week, and business is booming, so they had to look to one of their promising-but-untrained new recruits: Me.
I learned this half a week ago – since then I have been learning their process, their verbage, their little fun-tricks: and it’s been a ride. Today, I had my first party: man, these guys know how to have a good time. By relaxing and just letting the character take me where it wanted and work with the kids to have fun, I was able to keep the party hopping, the parents chuckling, and the kids happy. That said – the coffee and energy drink I had downed before walking in were probably the main reason that I was able to be on my game. That, and the fact that – as a young dad who is probably less mature than my nine year old – I have essentially been playing around with kids at birthday parties regularly over the last near-decade of my life.
Once it was over, I went to my car to text the company that all was well (they were nervous about me for a variety of reasons) and then jogged to the nearest coffee shop: I figured, how often do I get to sit in a Tim’s or a Starby’s and blog a post dressed as my favourite childhood super hero? It’s amazing how many people have engaged in a friendly fashion with a costumed weirdo on a laptop – I guess when you put yourself out there in a visible way you become an easy point of contact.
“That’s cool,” you would comment, or perhaps “that’s weird but you do you.” But then you might say “wait – why were they worried about you? And what’s with this horrifying disgusting urine thing?”
Ah, my [new] friend, prepare for the TMI. Blogivores who don’t want to hear this – stop reading now.
Yesterday, I biked my kid over to a birthday party (haha right?) I had trouble leaving as the parents hosting this one are friends of mine – and anyways usually I stick around to play with the kids. I made myself leave, though… I got home, realized I hadn’t drawn my maps for the route yet [I am between phone plans, and currently have now data plan to keep Maps open], or eaten anything, or gotten my things together for either my Spider-Party rehearsal, or my audition that was happening after.
I made some toast, threw together an audition outfit, and whizzed through drawing a half-assed map of my routing for the day. I made a coffee, as I’ve taken to falling on that caffeine-crutch lately. I didn’t have time, but it’s become habit.
Finally I left – 15 minutes later than I wanted (although according to google maps I had Just enough time.) “I’ll just gun it,” I thought to myself, ever confident and full of gumshin.
False: it was a parking lot from Guelph to Mississauga.
“Well,” I thought, “atleast I have some extra time to go over the various games and stuff I have to show them I can go through.” I found that this was challenging for two reasons, (1) I hadn’t actually looked at the script: and (2) I was too focused on eating my toast, drinking my coffee, and generally panicking every time the red wall of brake-lights started flashing in front of me, signifying another crippling slow down.
I was only 15 minutes late getting off onto Eglinton – which I felt good about, as we had originally aimed for 2:30, and moved 15 minutes earlier at my request because of my audition right after (one thing at a time), so I figured we were more or less back on schedule.
Then, getting off on Eg, my poor map-attempts failed me: and when I saw a sign showing “Eglinton West Keep Left” I panicked and went “wait I thought I was on Eg West – quick, change two lanes and turn around!” I phoned my Super-contact again, 10 minutes later, as I was speeding in the opposite direction. We sorted it out.
Finally, I was almost there. I realized that I had to use the bathroom Reeeeaaalll bad – but I didn’t feel like I had time. Fortunately, I had a lidded travel mug … it was a little hard to hold it myself while driving, but hey, I have gypsy blood, I pulled it off. Afterwards, I placed it in the cupholder of the door, so I wouldn’t get confused. Today the mug is still at home soaking in vinegar.
I went in, I tried on the costume, I spent an exhausting hour learning the ins and outs of the Spider-Party – it was a blast. Then I was running back to the car, and started driving – ten minutes before my audition was a half hour away.
I realllly had to pee though.
Fortunately, I had now also emptied my large green wide-mouth cycling water-bottle (you know, the ones with a screw-top lid.) ‘Well,’ I thought, ‘it worked last time…’
This one was a little harder to hold in position, especially while driving down city streets trying to appear noncholant to other drivers. But once again, I emerged victorious – and with dry shorts, thank heavens, it was touch and go there for a little.
I screwed the lid on – but the only cup holders left were in front of me, and the spout leaks if its not right side up… Its ok, I thought, Im an adult, so I placed it in front of me.
Then followed several harrowing minutes as I sped down the Gardiner towards Parliament street, missed the exit, ended up at Queen and Leslie, used my ‘call a friend’ (still no data right) to ask her to help me through directions, and finally arrived at my audition literally a half hour late. It was a bit stressful.
I went in ready to beg and apologize: the people at Jigsaw Casting were actually fantastic, and worked in the most gorgeously arranged loft space. I half expected to see a hipster Tony Stark walk down the loft stairs in a bathrobe with a martini glass. They let me in, let me get changed, and then got me into the audition just before the clients were leaving. I went, I auditioned, and then had to thank my lucky stars and take back my curses to Ishtar and Odin. (As I was filling in the post-audition paperwork I realised that I would not be available for one of the shooting dates anyway… Sigh. but hey, it went – and was a learning experience.)
Finally, I was back in my car, drained of life energy. Parched, I reached out to grab some hydration … it was the temperature I noticed before the flavour. “Must have gotten warm in the car,” I thought, oblivious to truth. Then my tastebuds kicked in…
I managed not to vomit. However, I am a gentleman who does not spit onto myself or into my car: and, the bottle being closed, it took more than a few seconds before I was able to check my blindspot, roll down the window and spit.
Traumatizing: although the silver lining is that, because I had been drinking a lot of water, atleast it didn’t taste as strong as it could have. Note to self, if ever I’m going to be drinking my own urine, try to stay hydrated if possible – it will taste a lot less bad.
I was fortunate enough to have a toothbrush in my travel bag, and a bit of water left in a (different) bottle with which to gargle. I immediately called my SO, who was grossed out, and said she would not be kissing me again that evening. I suggested perhaps we should wee on each other to open up new possibilities in our relationship: she declined aggressively. It was a source of much laughter: and to be honest, allowed me a good laugh that was sorely needed.
In the words of one of my favourite Shakespearean protagonists
“Lord, What fools these mortals be.”
– Puck, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By now your eyes have either widened with shock and disgust, crinkled with laughter, or glazed over at the length of this story… Finally it is time for me to sit back, have a sip of my tea, and say
“So how about you? How is your week going?”
I am all attention – tell my of your troubles and victories, as I have told you of mine.
Super Parties: http://thesuperherocompany.com/gallery/
Jigsaw’s couch: https://twitter.com/jigsawcasting
Bear Grylls: http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3shia6