Archive for October 6th, 2005

On the Road

There are things that a middle-aged man should not have to endure, at least not while he is unclothed. One of the worst of them is facing a really big, wall-sized bathroom mirror. And yet this is exactly what happened to me this morning, here in my hotel room in Austin, Texas. It's past midnight now and I still haven't gotten over it. I mean, Yecchh! Maybe next time, on top of "no smoking," I'll specify "no mirror."

Ironically, the stage monologue I'll be performing at the University of Texas at Austin this weekend -- Ben Franklin: Unplugged -- was inspired by my looking in the bathroom mirror while shaving one day and realizing I looked like Mr. Franklin. This superficial little insight led me down a rabbit hole of history and heartache, and it's always a delight to have the chance to recount this adventure to audiences. Though I have to say that, after spending the past bunch of weeks taping our TV show, it feels kind of weird going cold-turkey from interviewing for a week or two.

Maybe I'll interview the incredibly loud cricket that's hanging out somewhere in the theater. We don't know exactly where it is yet, but it started chirping during today's rehearsal -- huge, booming chirps -- and each time we thought it was gone, or asleep, it would start up again. It seems to like some light cues but not others, and it isn't bashful about voicing its opinion.

One of the crew members suggested that if the cricket is still around tomorrow (when we do the first performance), they might send some bats after it. Austin apparently has the largest urban bat population in the world. (At least, that's what it says in the magazine in my room. Sadly, there's no listing of the largest suburban bat population; I guess you'd have to seek out a really high concentration of chirping Subaru Outbacks.) I really want to see the bats come out at dusk -- it's supposed to be an amazing sight -- but it seems that the bats' showtime coincides with my own. Everyone's a performer here!

2 comments October 6th, 2005

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