Monday, March 25, 2013

Kudos and High Praise

Just for today, please allow me the indulgence of bragging about my friends. Specifically, the rest of the Part Time Authors. I’m kind of proud to know these guys, despite the fact that associating with them is intimidating and talent-wise, I am the slightly-less attractive, nobody’s-favorite guy in every boy band.

 That's me in the middle. 

Blondie on the right, back. 

I'm pretty sure I'm the guy in the back, on the left. 

Let’s go in order of our posting schedule, shall we?

Patrick. (You know him as Tuesdays.)  Did you know Patrick once wrote an off-off- OFF-Broadway musical? Well, me neither! It was called R.R.R.E.D. and it played in L.A. and N.Y. I found this out a few months back. I was so embarrassed I didn't know this earlier! Patrick and I have been good friends for forever! Well, technically, not forever. We hung out a LOT and produced some truly fantastic plays together in the Premortal Life, but then, due to creative differences, we spent the first half of our mortal lives apart. But now…now he is a joy to behold. I love listening to Patrick sing and play the piano. He is tremendously talented and blends comedy and poignancy beautifully.  At Christmastime we heard him perform with his trio, The Tuesday Night Supper Club. It was delightful. My favorite was an original song Patrick wrote about Dancer, the reindeer. It was called “Dancer, the Reindeer.” Or maybe just “Dancer.” Or maybe “Not Prancer.” I’m not sure. Patrick is so artsy, his choices are sometimes confounding. The song has fast become one of my favorites. I don’t want to give it away, but I will say that it is hilarious, and at the exact same time, it will break your heart. I wish the whole world could hear it. Patrick also wrote a song for a play his lovely wife, Lindsay, just produced and directed at BYU. The play was incredible, and so is Lindsay. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Chris. I've known Chris the longest, of all the PTAs. We were friends back in college, before any of us were married and it was not a problem at all to eat a full meal at Village Inn at 2:00 in the morning. And one of my favorite things about Chris, from the first day we were friends, was that he could grow a beard overnight. Well, not really. (He CAN, that’s just not my favorite thing about him.) (It’s my third favorite thing.) Sincerely, it was his creativity and his confidence in building a career where he could specifically use that talent. Chris is a renowned and highly-sought-after director now, and it is my goal to see anything he directs. And regarding his amazingness, you don’t have to take my word for it. The man just swept a national theater award competition, the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. You can readall about it right here. He’s kind of a big deal. Congratulations, Chris! I am so pleased, and you absolutely deserve it. 

Josh. Josh is a magnificent storyteller and prolific writer. Conversations with Josh are some of the most entertaining you can ever have. And they are especially delightful if you are eating something – something he himself has made. Once last year, when I was still living in Las Vegas, I came up to Utah for work and Josh invited me over for dinner. I don’t remember the details, but his day ended up not going the way he had planned. So I showed up to eat, and he was frantic, and I was not going to let him off the hook, so he whipped up this dinner, and – I’m not kidding – it was amazing. Like, he didn't have a recipe in front of him, he was just kind of off the hook, “Oh, I made this thing once that I think I can do pretty quick,” and it was like a movie with pots and pans clanking and stirring utensils in them and flames and buzzers going off. And suddenly there was this delicious spinach salad with bacon and I think an egg on noodles and he acted like he needed to apologize and I was like, “Are you KIDDING ME?!” If he had shown up at my house like that and my day had gone like his, then he would have enjoyed a singular bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. (With toast and a glass of juice, part of a balanced breakfast and/or dinner. I mean, I’m not an animal.) My point, Josh is a fantastic cook; I envy his instincts, and I’m grateful when he shares it with his friends.

Brett. As you read last week, Brett is in a movie! Yeah Brett! I've seen Brett perform, and he is sensational. There is this mountain of creativity percolating in Brett’s mind at all times. He is very still and relaxed on the outside, so as to disguise his genius. Then you are sitting there trying to come up with an idea or a story line or something – and Brett speaks, and he just nails it. Whatever it is. He is a versatile actor and, as it is with Chris, I would try to see whatever production Brett is performing in. 

Thank you for letting me brag about my friends. I just think they deserve great things. 

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