Faking the Voice

I’m not very special, but I hope to be one day.

Hunter S. Thompson was special. Ian McKellen is special. People that devote a lifetime to their work (and even lose that life for it) are amazing individuals. They deserve to be noticed, heard, and even praised. What have I done? I write in a blog seen by, tops, a thousand people. I write stories people don’t see. Does this make me amazing? Hardly. Should I ever take it as far as I’d like, perhaps. But that’s quite a long way off.

It’s that sort of knowledge that I hope to see out of the actors I meet, the dancers, musicians… there’s no denying they are talented… sometimes. Just because they’re in a play doesn’t make them a Broadway-worthy name. There are a lot of very gifted people there, though, and I respect them. Not all of them are egotistical, it’s only just enough to make you cringe.

You want to chase a dream, and that’s wonderful! Give everything you’ve got and run for it. But it’s not cute even in the greatest of stars to be a total dick, no matter what kind of draw you have. So when it’s a kid in an acting class sauntering up and treating everyone around them like an abused dog, there’s no way to take them seriously.

For real, bro.

There are others I’ve met in various situations (I hang out at coffee shops, where everyone is a future artist/writer) that seem to take on their air of importance before anyone even knows they exist. Do I know talented writers with aspirations? Oh, yes, and many other kinds of artists. They’re wonderful people with amazing works that ought to be seen. Then there are the others, the ones that magically haven’t written a word or painted one canvas, but damn it, that’s part of the process. You just don’t get it, man. Don’t tell me nobody gets it. Even serial killers will have some crazy guy “get” them. No, I get it. You need an excuse to wear a cool hat and smoke while brooding without ever holding down a job. HOW YOU GET SO COOL BRO?

Also, poets. Dear god, poets. Some are truly master wordsmiths. Some… look, I’ll reproduce your work right now.

She looked upon my suffering, unending and pure

I gazed into her empty soul

There was a moment of utter void until, I demurred 

“Did you replace the toilet paper roll?”

Now I’m a fuckin’ poet! Suck it, Robert Frost. Emily Dickenson. E. E. Cummings fuck it, I’ll say the Vogons, because the ones up there were actually good.

To my friends that neglect normalcy, forgo lives, stay up all night working on that piece or that put themselves on the line for a craft, good for you. Again– I stress this. There are millions of beautifully talented people out there, and I’m so glad to know many. Hell, there are folks I know where I just don’t get their work, but it’s theirs, and I respect that. It’s those bastards that don’t do a anything at all who ruin it for the rest of us legitimately trying to be heard. You’re faking it for an image you don’t even deserve, one that people don’t even like too much.

I want to believe that the truly talented will someday be noticed for what they are and worked for. It’s a nice idea, but with so many in existence it is even harder to be seen waving your arms above the crowd. It takes a true dedication to your work, and utter belief in yourself that you can get there.

To that dude three tables away from me at Starbucks rambling on about that screenplay he’ll totally write (if you’d send me some cash, ma, c’mon! I’m an artist!)  I kindly refer you to this bag of dicks you can enjoy eating.

I made this handy image on my phone, if you didn't know what a bag of dicks looks like.

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Don’t bite the techs, please.

We make things pretty. Please don't abuse us.

I’ve never really written about my job on here before, but I think something needs to be addressed. A few things, actually– so, here you go.

1. Please– and this is a big please– don’t ask me why it’s a bad idea to use your old, stripped cables near a leaking fog machine. Seriously.

2. If you pull the microphone too far, have it snap back and magically lose audio… this is not my fault. You’re stupid. Stop yelling at me.

3. No. You cannot use the monitor as a seat. Your ass is the cause of the crackling you’re asking to have fixed. Please stop.

4. Never question my use of gaff tape and if it’ll hold. Gaff tape was commissioned by God himself to tape together rickety solar systems. True story.

5. If you’re an actor, take advice from the good old Tech Bible: I’m a person with marketable job skills without you. Without me, you’re naked in the dark, emoting alone.

6. I don’t really care how they do it in Chicago. I’m still not going to assure you a solo dressing room while everyone else has to change in the hallway. You’re not that cool, bud.

7. Yes, you look fine. No, really. Yes. You… yes, you… you look… god damn it… YOU LOO– YOU LOOK FINE, DAMN IT.

8. When you’re shocked at the sight of someone in all black when you’re backstage and assume this makes them emo/goth, or make the joke of “who died,” you need to go home. Go.

9. Asking the lighting person why the audio is off, then complaining to the rail guy that you have weird shadowing from the lights, while begging the audio guy to drop the curtain at said time will earn you nothing. Learn who your techs are, or forever be confused.

10. It’s not a light bulb. It’s a lamp. Don’t say the light bulb went out in a light. Try sticking a light bulb in a stage unit and see what happens.

11. While I’m sure that your friends and family are far more important than everyone else’s, I see no reason for you to beg me to get them backstage ten thousand times. Or for tickets. Or for an autograph. Or their underwear, you sick bastard.

12. When I’m not working and at a show with you, don’t bother trying to get me to pay attention to the band. I’m checking out their gear, and I will for half of the show. It’s a deep, emotional need of mine. Stop holding me back, man!

13. When it’s season, just pretend like I’m dead. Trying to make plans with me will be as fruitful sticking a wrench in your dog’s ass and telling him to go fix your car. In other words, fairly painful, useless, and probably illegal.

14. If your band is having a show, I’d be glad to help you load in your gear. (Hello, Shovel!)

This looks legit.

15. If it’s live TV and you “forgot” a cue you needed to go over, miss it, and get yelled at by the big guys…  it isn’t magically my fault. I didn’t make you forget. If I had that power, I’d be totally awesome.

16. Last but not least, my most important thing to say … you’re not giving the mic a blowjob. Please stop trying to deep throat the poor thing. Saliva doesn’t help them work well, as hilarious as the image is.

I’m sure there are many things I am forgetting, but I may have blocked out some of the truly dumb things to spare my sanity. Not all techs are smart, not all actors are dicks, and not all directors are fuckheads… but there’s always at least one guy that likes to fling around a douchebag stick and mess things up. Don’t be that guy!