Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Day in the Sun

Ask me about yesterday, and I may have a tough time delivering all of the details. Ask me about a summer day almost 20 years ago, and I may surprise you.

My best guess is that it was sometime in August, probably 1988. I had come out to Washington from Ohio with the hope of running a small theater with a college friend of mine. It didn’t take long for us to run it into the ground.

I was 24.

In the meantime, I figured I could make it as an actor in Seattle. Back then, it was a vibrant time for theater. I even found myself in a workshop auditioning for a casting director – at some tiny bar in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.

She ripped me apart. Told me my headshots sucked. Told me my audition sucked. Just took the life out of me. Imagine my surprise when I got a call two weeks later from her, telling me I had an audition for a TV show.

Of course, I had a real job at the time. I was managing a pretty nice restaurant – again, at age 24.

One evening at this nice waterfront restaurant (and hopping bar) the power went out. No kitchen. No electronic monitoring in the bar – nothing. We tried to keep going as best we could. Even after the owner and the general manager LEFT the 24-year-old in charge (Yes, they were there. They could have saved me.) we tried. Finally, we had to call it a night. No way to count the receipts. No way to know what was left on – from lights and ovens to blenders and TVs. But we had to leave. It was the law. You can’t keep a restaurant going without power.

Did I mention that I was twenty-four? And I that I had my big TV shoot the next day?

So what did I – and the rest of the young, attractive crew from my restaurant do with our early dismissal from work on a weekend night? We partied. Hard. 1988 hard. Let’s just put it this way: I saw the sun come up and I wasn’t tired at all.

So the next day I find myself out at old Boeing Field, south of Seattle, for my big moment in the sun. What follows here is my 5 or 10 seconds of national fame. Never had a moment so big since. Is that sad? Hell no.

I mean, Jesus, look at all that hair – as I take DB Cooper’s ticket. Look at that waistline. I may have had a heinous hangover (plus!), but I was 24 and immortal. I was sure that this was only the beginning.

The best part? Years later at my 10-year high-school reunion, at least 7 classmates told me they saw me. How fucking cool is that?


TheSizzler said...

Shit, dude, I saw you! That episode of Unsolved Mysteries introduced me to the D.B. Cooper saga. I remember being intrigued for weeks after.

Anonymous said...

I saw this episode years and years ago. I had a wet dream about it that night.