Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dropping the N Word

So I did the reading at 8x8 at the Hungry Brain on Monday and it went pretty well. In my story I read, one of the characters gets accused of calling another character a "nigger." I was nervous about reading this one, and thought about swapping it out with a newer short story among some of my recent ones but this one seemed funny and since 8x8 is a mostly booked with stand up comics, I thought I should go with funny to keep the night giggly. My other recent stories are darker, twisted, not that this one isn't but it has the most laugh out loud absurd touches. So I read it, and one of the stand up comics, Will Miles, is African American, so I got even more nervous but I didn't bring other copies of my stories so I had to stick to it. And as I said, it actually went well. Someone said he got a laugh out the n word part.  

As you can see I have a lot of inexplicable white man guilt. 

I once did a play in college, about African American fraternities. It was how I met Donny Rodriguez and became good friends with him and eventually got involved with Wood Sugars. I started off playing a small part, and my character had a line that involved the n word. And I couldn't say it convincingly. I remember taking up half an hour of rehearsal because I sounded like a clunky dork trying to say it. And the cooler, smoother, natural I tried to say it, the more it just sounded dorky. Eventually the lead actor quit and I asked to take on the role. The director thought about it for a week and wound up throwing me the role because he probably didn't have any other options, the show dates were getting closer. He must not have marketed the casting announcements to the right demographic as evidenced by my getting to play the lead role in a play about African American fraternities. And we didn't use black face. 

I had a good time Monday at the Hungry Brain, enjoyed all the other acts, and wound up drinking 6 beers. I think maybe I have some liver fat clogging up the detox process because I woke up feeling like shit on Tuesday. For lunch the next day I went and got myself a shit load of breakfast food. See the thing is, and why I don't go out to bars too often, is drinking gets money flying out of my wallet. Such as in ordering drink after drink. And the next day almost dropping $15 including tip on weekday brunch to inject protein and grease into my queasy digestion. I'm giving myself a 3 beer maximum for a while. I hate losing steam the next day and getting crabby. An ineffective crab is not me at my best. 


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Yes, the Black fraternity play. I've heard about it many times.

Way to sack up and read the edgy material. : )

The Igloo Oven said...

A great early acting effort it was! Back when I used to method act.

Thanks! It felt good that people were paying enough attention to the context of the story and know it was the character saying it! Read at the wrong place, and without energy, it could very well sound a mush of words to the zoner outers, until...N word...wait, what did he say! And beer bottles get thrown at my head. Here's to things going well!