Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Day #205

Am in a bit of a time warp because I'm spending the entire weekend at Portland Center Stage's JAW playwright's festival. As a result, I unexpectedly ended up with an extra new thing Friday night as I emceed the Commission, Commission fundraiser for the third time.

The event is an evening of sheer madness in which ten playwrights are auctioned off to drunk patrons who commission a short play on a subject of their choosing. The playwrights then have exactly a half an hour to write the play, which is then cast, rehearsed, and performed that same evening. It's insane, in part because I'm also the auctioneer, a job for which I possess no training and for which I have been known to have patrons bid against themselves or to even send the bidding downwards.

This year, however, I did Something New. Dissatisfied with the final total, I decided to auction myself off (fetching an extra thousand bucks, thank you very much). But that meant I, too, had to write a play in half an hour. My commissioner asked for something about a man who feels he can't get ahead in American culture no matter how hard he tries, which somehow ended up as a piece about a self-help guru who encourages a hapless loser to binge and purge his way to happiness by gagging on her patented spoon, available for $99.95.

It was an adrenaline high.

And it did inspire me to do some bingeing myself on Saturday--at the happiest place on earth Cupcake Jones, where I tried their newest creation: a root beer flavored cupcake.

But I left out the purging.

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