Anthony R. Miller checks in after a night of revelry and faux-congeniality.
Hey you guys, so last Sunday was the big opening night party for the Olympians Festival, where a bunch of regularly bookish and shy people dress up and revel in the kind of self-confidence that comes from knowing 80% of the people in the room. Wine was consumed, dolmas were eaten, and plays were read. I have a few thoughts about it, astoundingly, there are five.
Small Talk Olympics
Some people are natural conversationalists. Interesting things just fall out of their mouths like they were storing them in their cheeks like hamsters. At any given point you can engage them and they will have something witty and insightful to say, they are naturally comfortable and charming. I am not one of those people, but wine helps. When I know I have to be in a social situation for several hours, there is a process of preparation. I need to have a few topics in which I can talk about for 3-5 minutes with different people, I even plan a few jokes, I know it sounds ridiculous right? But for someone who really likes their alone time, it’s a necessity. The first person to engage me asked if I had heard the new Miley Cyrus record (“Miley Cyrus and her Dead Petz”), and of course I had. That killed like 5 minutes right there. Other go-to topics for me were the “Squatty Potty” commercial, (If you haven’t seen it, drop everything and watch it now.) the new Star Wars movie (because even if you don’t have an opinion on it, that’s basically an opinion.) and of course “Are you excited for your show?” All the while the same mantra runs through my head “Make eye contact, don’t say something stupid and for God sakes, cover your mouth when you laugh so your giant teeth don’t frighten anyone.” Good Times.
Before the TBA awards came along, The Olympians Festival Opening Night Party was the original Theatre Nerd-Prom. Turns out we all clean up pretty nicely. After years of getting flak (Good-naturedly of course) for my go-to v-neck shirt/ suit jacket combo, I shook things up with a v-neck sweater under the jacket. Cause every girls crazy bout a sweater wearin’ man. And as much as I’d rather wear jeans and a t-shirt to everything, getting’ gussied up can be kind of fun. But I draw the line at ties, ties are for weddings, funerals and job interviews. What am I, a banker?
Meet and Greet
A fun part of the night is meeting the actors who will be in your show. With the exception of fellow blogger Marissa Skudlarek (Whom, incidentally is going to change American “Theatre forever with her performance.) and Mr. Jeremy Cole, my cast is comprised of people I saw for the first time at auditions. It’s great to chat, get their input on the script and meet the people who are making your play happen for the first time. I still get weirded out when people talk to me like I’m important, but again, wine helps.
Every year there is pretty awesome spread of Mediterranean food. So if you’re a fan of hummus, dolma, and falafel, you’re in luck. But it was the giant plate of cheese that created the most internal conflict. As I stumble into my late-thirties, my stomach just can’t party like it used to. In fact two days before the party, my doctor said I couldn’t eat diary for a month. So there it was a giant tray of pepper-jack and cheddar temptation. To be honest, I gave in pretty quick, I assume they serves cheese sandwiches in heaven. And until the wine kicks in, eating is a great thing to do when you’re nervous. But once I got my fix, I stuck to dolmas, lots of them. I ate so many dolmas, I’m pretty sure my blood is at least 37% olive oil. But hey my doctor didn’t say stop eating things with olive oil in it.
The Future is Bright
This year’s festival is going to be great, a lot of returning writers and some new faces. So make plans to see at least a few of these readings. There will good plays, ok plays and total trainwrecks, but that’s the fun of it. What was really exciting was hearing the list of writers for next year’s festival. There were so many new names, less returning writers and the introduction of Egyptian gods (Polytheism, it was a thing.) So yeah this year is gonna rock, I’m genuinely excited for some these plays. But man, next year is already looking like the most exciting year yet. So stay posted, do what your doctor tells you and drink wine, grapes are good for you.
Anthony R. Miller is a writer, producer and introvert. His play; “CHRISTIAN TEEN DOLPHIN-SEX BEACH PARTY” will be performed on November 18th as part of the San Francisco Olympians Festival , and promises to be at least mildly amusing.