Chaos Attraction

His First Time In A Show, He Gets The Lead

2019-10-12, 10:24 p.m.

I went to the Rocklin Mini Maker Faire today.

Things I saw:
* A sign that said “Don’t forget to eat your lunch and make some trouble.”
* Fancy clothes made out of unusual materials, which they were going to do a fashion show about at the end of the day, but I didn’t want to wait around that long.
* A craft booth that had a pick punch and let you make your own guitar pick jewelry. I loved this. I do not count it as a synchronicity find under the circumstances.
* A droid making area with BB8’s and R2D2’s and amusing signs that said stuff like “No nets allowed,” “bad motivator,” “no Wookies,” and “no bounty hunters.”
* A cool booth with light up hearts, butterflies, earrings, etc.
* In the natural history museum: a lion hairball, a section called “Snacks for Science Students,” a sign that said “Study tip: laminate your notes so the tears roll off,” and a jackalope, with a note saying that “taxidermists and zoologists have been playing tricks on people for at least that long.”
* A “longarm” trebuchet that was basically doing punkin chunkin’. That was fun.

Today’s synchronicity: I found a heart made out of sparkly red pipe cleaner lying on the ground in my path at the faire. I was trying to photograph it before picking it up, but some lady and her family kept standing around acting like I was in their way and I was all, just go already.

I wore one of my tie dye ensembles today and got complimented all over the place for it, not to mention asked where I got it.

After that, I went to Joann’s and got more supplies for my Halloween costume, along with a rainbow wig for $5 and some of that “Heat Wave” yarn that is supposed to heat up by 12 degrees. We’ll see if that works. I also went to Tuesday Morning and found a $5 quilling kit, which was cool because I can’t find anyone in this area that does it and I think that looks cool.

After bumming around the stores, I went back to Sacramento for my show at Celebration Arts. It seemed kind of last minute this year in that it got a smaller crowd than last year and only seems to have been advertised within the last few days. That said, I did like that my actual name got sent out on the SARTA mailing list like I was somebody. A lot of people returned, which was nice.

One new fellow I met that was of interest was named Tchaka Muhammad, who I thought was quite a hoot backstage. He used to work for the state and worked on edutainment/educational programs, which meant he annoyed people and never had to spend much time in the office. This almost sold me on being a state worker except I bet he was quite the exception to the rule. He also had Johnny Taylor, Wolfman Jack, Buffy Ste Marie, and someone else I forgot record an album of songs about STD’s called “Something To Remember Her By” (that’s as much as I could find about it online) and said people would be dancing along and then eventually notice the lyrics.

He did a lot with birthing, sex ed, doula stuff, etc. and at one point mentioned smearing peanut butter on baby dolls and then waking people up with crying noises at 2 a.m. for educational purposes. I wasn’t clear on the peanut butter bit, but evidently that was a substitute for poop. He got the idea from a guy who used that trick to get out of the military, by covering one toilet in peanut butter and when he was getting yelled at for “what is that on there?” took a lick of it and said it tasted like shit to him.

Most memorable quote from Tchaka: “You know, when I was perfect, nobody liked me.” I love this.

While backstage, James also told us (but I guess especially me since he’d read my piece) how he got into theater. He was always into dance and then got the whim that “I wanna be in a play.” He was in his forties at the time, circa 1997. He asked if there were any auditions going on and got told, oh, the auditions were yesterday, but there’s still one part left open....which turned out to be the lead. He was all, that wasn’t what I was going for, I wanted to stand in the back with a sign.... But yes, he got the lead.

Let me repeat: HIS FIRST TIME EVER, HE DECIDES TO BE IN A SHOW AND HE GETS THE LEAD. I said I was so jealous. His response was, “You gotta know somebody.” Now he doesn’t even audition for shows, he’s just asked to be in shows. I know I’m small potatoes (literally the smallest of small potatoes right now, with two lines, which are the same line, in a show I don’t actually belong in at all) and have a limited amount of talent and will never have that kind of experience, but daaaaaaaaamn. Note: after doing my story I mentioned this to everyone, because I so had to!

Anyway, here’s the stories as per my sketchy notes in the dark that I can actually translate into something (example of what I could not: “hairy man tricked three times giraffe gator possum baby pig.”):

Renita: followed up from last year’s road trip story, about ending up in a cow stampede because of her husband.

Sample dialogue:
“Renita, run!” And I stopped. “Run where?” “Behind a tree!” “Which one?”
“Renita, come let me out!” Followed by Renita blowing a raspberry at him.
“I have a propensity to be violent.” Which is to say she chewed him out all the way home. Then her husband claimed to his parents that all was fine, and she was all, “You know, I’m still thinking about divorce, and you just put the icing on the cake!” The in laws laughed at her, so she went out to the car port.
Also: “I must have beaten him” (as in straight up punching) “for another six months.”
If she’s back next year, she promises an encounter with snakes.

Gloria was in the show last year but didn’t submit this year. So James literally CALLED HER OUT OF THE AUDIENCE to get her to do something. To which she said, “I’m gonna get you, James,” before telling a story about a random guy who comes to a party and refuses to leave, and when the hosts try to get him to leave by recommending some GPS app, the guy is all, “I wrote that app, I now have access to every bit of information about you, and I put in a clause that I get to stay at your house for a week. Oh, and Jane? Your friend Kathy is not your friend.” While Jane goes to print out all 500+ pages of the disclaimer, her husband is told, “If you want your wife to find out WHY Kathy isn’t your friend...” to which he is all, “We can put him up for a week.”

Ed told a story about getting a kidney stone that doctors could not remove, and then he was heading to the Amazon but made a detour to go party, when the kidney stone acted up. Ed then proceeded to smoke a doobie and drink more beer, which got rid of it (and the 16 other stones he got in life) within an hour. This is now my favorite story of his.

Tchaka’s story was actually rather...not good, because he just read from his notebook and it took him about 5 minutes. Given that the man worked in “edutainment,” I was quite shocked at that. It was about a king of Mali, which made me wonder if he’s ever met Kirk Waller. He did, however, throw out chocolate coins to the audience while saying “candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.” I feel like I need to explain to Dawn later why I said this guy was so funny.

Rhonda talked about her dad’s brief stint in Islam (“Dad got tired of hiding his beer and cigarettes from the brothers, so that didn’t last long”) and then later falling in love with a Nigerian guy at age 18 and getting married to him. She said people would ask her “does he wear deodorant?” and “Is he a prince?” Then they visited Nigeria, where they ended up in the police station because her fiance refused to bribe them. When they got to the house, sea snails were roaming the floor and she was told that was dinner. Suffice it to say, she went through with it and got divorced, swore off foreign men...and then her second foreign husband was great and she had a good marriage because “I was sober and he wasn’t going to move to Nigeria!”

Jacquelyn said in previous festivals she’d told the story of her dad’s stroke and of her running marathons. Then when her leg was falling asleep beyond the usual, she went to the doctor and was told she had had TWO strokes. This freaked her out and her body started to get ill in other ways, but she signed up for another half marathon anyway. She was so wrung out an ambulance was called and followed her down the path, and then a lady that she’d escorted at last year’s marathon walked her to the end. She decided that she’s a “stroke hero” now, and tossed her hair on the way out. I would also like to point out that she had on very high heels, which I found very reassuring that she’d recovered.

Angela told a fable about a snake being blind and having problems going to the Auto Mall and how the kids were used as jump ropes. After his wife nagged him and called him tons of names, he went up to see God, who was watching TV and smoking a cigar. God gave the snakes the ability to poison people, which made the wife happy. Then the other animals complained that Snake had bitten 365 people (‘and it hasn’t even been a year yet”) and “12 rocks because he can’t see,” and also a cactus. Snake’s response to this was to say that since he can’t see, “I bite first and investigate later.” God’s solution to this WASN’T TO GIVE THE SNAKE BETTER EYESIGHT, but to give him a rattle to warn people away. Uh huh. I will say that Angela threw in tons of snark during this story, like the snake’s wife wearing a negligee.

As for my auditions story, it went really great. It was a very appreciative audience who laughed and gasped and really felt for me, which was a delight. They also liked my outfit (which I guess worked for explaining why my family Just Isn’t That Into Me). One guy told me that the reason the professor behaved in the way that he did was because he must have been a family member, which cracked me up. I was all, “then I guess I didn’t get invited to the family reunion!” Another lady was very nice about how my family doesn’t get me and I said that’s why I moved here, folks in this area appreciate the weird more.

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