I’ve been called worse

Posted 1/8/20

In theory, having a little “down time” is not a bad thing, but there’s something to be said for that old proverb about “idle hands being the devil’s plaything,” …

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I’ve been called worse


In theory, having a little “down time” is not a bad thing, but there’s something to be said for that old proverb about “idle hands being the devil’s plaything,” and I’m not keen on being anybody’s “plaything,” much less the devil himself. That said, it’s been a quiet week here at Camp Fox. In the aftermath of all the holiday hoopla, my insane schedule slowed down for two minutes, so my body chose that exact moment to fail: I took to my sick bed, Wonder Dog at my side, TV remote permanently attached to my hand.

Adding to my “theatrical  histrionics” (as you-know-who was fond of saying,)  mother nature took the wheel and pelted the Upper Delaware River region with an ice storm of epic proportions, replete with impressive winter thunder, howling winds and ice pellets. I had the nerve to describe it as “hail” on social media and was instantly chastised in a torrent of comments informing me that “hail is a form of solid precipitation, distinct from ice pellets, though the two are often confused.” More than one person also felt it necessary to point out that it’s called hail in the summer and sleet (?) in the winter, but it was hail (IMHO), and I’m sticking to it, full torpedoes ahead. I shot a quick video as the “hail” pounded my deck, resembling “sleet” in no way whatsoever. You can view it here. thail and decide for yourself. Either way, I’m not budging. I’ve always been a rebel, and am often woefully misinformed—why stop now?

By Saturday, I felt even worse, but I managed to drag myself out of bed and make my way to Hector’s in Bethel, NY in order to congratulate Sullivan County’s own “food artist” Kim Simons, fresh off her team’s incredible first-place win on the Food Network’s “Holiday Wars” (see page 13). I had plans for the next day, including brunch with pals and a viewing of the new Star Wars at the Callicoon Theater in (duh) Callicoon, but all that fell to the wayside. I once again dramatically flung myself into bed, rasping “nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I’m going to the garden to eat worms” while Dharma wagged her tail furiously, doing her darndest to make it all better. 

Assuming that I was going to survive what we dinosaurs used to call “the creeping crud,” I put down the remote and picked up a copy of The River Reporter to check out our calendar of upcoming events, grasping the notion that my days of indulging ennui (look it up) were numbered.  “It’s time for the local auditions,” an announcement from the Forestburgh Playhouse (duh) read. “Don’t miss your chance to be part of the 2020 season,” it trumpeted. “It’s your time to shine!” Each year, the summer theatre company holds local auditions at SUNY Sullivan’s Seelig Theatre for local performers to audition for a chance to appear in their professional productions, offering featured roles to our own home-grown roster of talented kids. There are roles for adults as well, and the 2020 season includes award-winning shows like “The Full Monty,” “Kinky Boots,” “Alice in Wonderland” (with oodles of parts for the little hams you have at home) and “Something Rotten,” an original musical that played to rave reviews on Broadway in 2015 and was nominated for a whopping 10 Tony Awards, including best musical. 

The company is looking to fill some adult roles in “Something Rotten.” As I read the description of characters, I reminisced about my days “trodding the boards” and auditioning for acting jobs as part of my daily routine back when (once again) dinosaurs roamed the earth.  “Lord Clapham,” the description read “[is an] older male, patron of the arts, flamboyant and very posh.” 

“Now there’s a word you don’t hear very often: posh,” I said to the dog. “I’m not even sure what it means. I think it refers to the upper class,” I mumbled, as she continued to scratch at the rug incessantly, as if determined to make me scream in a somewhat flamboyant manner. “Hmmm,” I mused, momentarily flirting with the idea of trying out for the part. “Seeking a great comedic actor that sings well,” the description read in conclusion. “Well, that leaves me out,” I sighed. “Besides, what am I thinking?”  Surely, I’d be asking for trouble by revisiting my past as a professional actor. That was long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I review shows for a living now, so it wouldn’t seem prudent to appear in one myself. While it’s unlikely that I’ll audition this Sunday, I plan to be there regardless to photograph the kids, so I’ll see all you would-be thespians there. “Still, it’s called ‘Something Rotten,’” I mumbled to the dog. “And I’ve been called worse.” Hmmm.  


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