First, apologies to those those remaining readers of this blog, who have not entirely given up on me. This blog seems to be on the verge of joining various screenplays, planned trips, and my high school literary magazine, as things I began and then lost interest in.
But, to paraphrase St. Augustine, not quite yet. Last week I performed at Wootstock, a sort of celebration of all things geeky, nerdy, Internet-oriented and goofy, organized by Paul and Storm (known in geekworld as Jonathon Coulton‘s backing band) and hosted by them, Adam Savage (of Mythbusters) and Wil Wheaton (of Star Trek TNG, and books and blogs and performances of all kinds.) I got to know P and S via Coulton, and was flattered when asked to be a “guest star” for their Chicago show at Park West. The only question — which I immediately asked — was “What should I do?” Well, I was told, people do songs or readings from their work or short performances, some sample of what they’re known for. Well, I didn’t want to do a quiz about the week’s news, and I can’t sing, so was at a bit of a loss…
… and then I thought about a long running gag I’ve had going this year with my 9 year old daughter, Gracie. One day, she asked me how work was, and since I was bored with the truth, I told her that instead of hosting a radio show, I go to work as a henchman for a supervillain named Dr. Apocolypse, whose secret base is under Navy Pier in Chicago. I told her about attending henchman class, during which we are taught to shoot at but never hit the superheroes, and being dunked into Dr. A’s piranha tank, which is really filled with goldfish. Gracie was delighted with this, and of course told me about her day, attending classes at the superhero school that is located under her purported elementary school.
So: I sat down one day, turned on Freedom, and wrote a monologue in the voice of a guy who really has that job. I bought a $40 coverall from the US Postal Service uniform store on Roosevelt Rd in Chicago, and got it customized along with a hat at t-shirt shop. The result, a performance called: “I, Henchman,” is below, as videotaped from the audience. Many many thanks to Paul and Storm, and Adam (a mensch like you wouldn’t believe) and Wil (a mensch like you probably would believe, given his overt menschy-ness) and everybody else who was there, especially my fellow refugee from the American Theater Bill Corbett (of MST3K and Rifftrax) but mostly to the Geek Army who showed up in their pale multitudes to make me feel I am not, as I always feared, uniquely strange.
(In response to a number of questions, under the jumpsuit I am wearing a Flash (the superhero) T-shirt. Read it as a generic superhero suit.)