With the news hot off the presses that 27 year old former 'N Sync boy-band singer Lance Bass is penning his own autobiography, entitled Out of Sync, it had me wondering why more young people don't ghost write their own memoirs. I mean I know he has had some amazing almost adventures in his years in the public eye. I mean coming out in People Magazine to everyones shock and amazement and almost going into space until the gay mafia stopped that from happening, will make for some riveting reading. Why shouldn't some of the Rorschach folks, many of us now in our 30s, pen a few of our amazing tales of triumph over adversity?
Imagine if you will the challenges faced by a young man growing up in a foreign land and journeying to a world completely different from the world he knew at home. The challenges of language and culture he faced as he began his studies at an American university years and miles from the world he knew as a child. I think Grady's story would make for an excellent best seller. I am taking title suggestions now.
People might even be interested in Randy growing up in Southeast Asia and coming to the United States. Although I much prefer Grady coming from Richmond in the early 1990s to the University of Maryland.
All of us have stories to tell. Theatre is almost exclusively made up of playwrights who attempt to work some of their own personal history into their work. The good ones find the universal in their stories and convey a little bit of that to their audience. Even actors call upon their memories to bring moments to life on stage.
I commend the publishing people for giving Mr. Bass the opportunity to share with the world the insights that he has collected over the course of over a quarter of a century of life. And I encourage all of you to consider whether your lives are ready for a full biographic exploration.
Personally I have been playing around with my own autobiography for weeks now. Here are my list of titles so far and the opening sentence:
A Seperate Piece of Pie
It was a rainy day in 1987 that I remember first discovering my nut allergy.
Don't Read this Book, Wait for the Sequel
If you have paid $24.99 for this book, you should have waited for it to go on the remainder shelf and bought it for $6.99 or even $3.99 or better yet you could have borrowed it from a library.
Make Mine One With Everything
It is often that you see people standing in line for tickets to see 'N Sync in concert.
My Half-Life in Theatre
So here is what I would have said to Lee Strasburg.
Out of Baltimore
I had a home in an inner suburb of B-more, hon!
I Have Watched a Lot of Star Trek
I think it was the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that made me want to be an actor.
Day Jobs Are For Suckers
You know what I loved best about working for the man, free internet access.
My Turn is Next
Still wishing I had gone to see that movie with John Goodman.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
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some sample chapters of Grady's autobiography....
A Pringles Can and a Messy Truck: My Life as a “Potato Chip Distributor”
Shaw, Shakespeare, Fitzroy: Why am I Only Famous When I’m Playing Someone Dead?
Nothing comes Between Me and My Pearl Jam Shirt: The Lost Loves
It is Always Snowing Somewhere: My Misadventures Driving for the National Players
You People Still Can’t Drive and it Isn’t Even Snowing: Why Did I sign Up for Another Tour?
If you let me do one of those survey/interview things, the picture that MUST accompany of it is the one of me and Lance at a fundraiser in 2001. Deal? I'lll go home and look for it tonight.
Accidents on tour:
Dcepticon : 0
I think the key is to ghost-write an autobiography for the company member we know the least about. That way we can tell the most compelling story, without obstruction of fact.
Mission of Vishnu: the Jason Linkins Story
Although I'd spent 28 months helping to immunize southeastern Bangladesh, did I really want to chair the city council of Ghraji?
Tom Robbins Can Bite Me, by Hugh T. Owen
All I ever wanted to do was drive a semi. Preferably for Miller Lite.
From "BLOOD ON MY CLOWN SUIT: an AUTOBIOGRAPHY"
It was many moons ago that I first conceived of this great literary organ, The DCeiver, and almost immediately, I thought to myself, "Jesus Christ, I hope I don’t get stuck doing some bullshit, time-consuming website like that!" But as time went on and life unfolded on its predictable path to crushing disappointment and stinging resentment, I reconsidered. "Log me in!" I said, displaying the utter and complete gawkiness of someone who didn’t have the first notion of what a computer, or even a scientific calculator, did or how to work it…one who desperately clung to the capricious assistance of Microsoft's anthropomorphic paperclip.
Still, despite my dependence on the hallucinatory advice of animated office supplies and/or feline-looking creatures made entirely out of folded bits of paper, I slowly began to bring the elements together. First, a wife, always a wife. For as a writer who had the occasion to read a book by Norman Mailer and, at times, under duress, Ernest Hemingway, I had come to realize that the writer is nothing, no one, nowhere, without a constant reminder of the gargantuan girth of his own penis. It was, indeed, Mailer, who said it best: "My penis is quite the jolly giant, arf, arf!" And, so, then a wife. A trusting, lying wife, always willing to brag to the opposition about the prowess of my "armies of the night."
But the final picture, the portrait, the sketch, had not yet been finished. It was, at the time, a mere drawing, like one of those unfinished pencil works by that artist…you know the guy…that woman on the hillside, looking back at the house, as if something is going on inside that’s suddenly arrested her attention, like JonBenet Ramsey having lesbian sex with a well-preserved Ameilia Earhart, or, hell, maybe something less sexist, less ghostwritten by Joe Esterzhas.
I knew that the ingredients needed to be procured, stirred, cooked, swallowed, digested, shat, and then picked through by my loving hands so that I may determine: "What, indeed, did I have here to work with? What is going to happen when this enterprise, this The DCeiver, becomes a reality?" Later, the remains of my post-digested ruminations would be lovingly spread on Henry Hyde’s toothbrush.
Those ingredients: angst, anxiety, routine pissed-offedness, a fear of nipple piercings, a fear of my fear of nipple piercings, some jobs lost, some jobs won, some jobs...tied. "Tesla Girls," from OMD's must-have record, Junk Culture. A quiet, brightly-lit space to read. A dank, darkly odorous place to seethe. Someone to do my laundry every once in a while. A cabinet full of Vicodin, and one brightly polished, room-temperature toilet seat upon which to perch and plan my victories.
Who would have thought that I could have brought these disparate elements together? Certainly not you. The past year, I spent hard at work—molding these elements...endlessly shaping them, pounding on them with a mortar and pestle until finally pressing them into their own unique paste—or marm—if you prefer.
It was approximately three years ago that this dream, this demi-heaven, this The DCeiver was launched into a world that both hated and feared it. I still remember the feeling of giddiness as I watched the page load, derived mainly from the fact that the dentist down the hall from my office had thrown a birthday party for his assistant and I had managed to spend the better part of the hour before taking hits of nitrogen from a tank he lost track of while serving the cake. I shirked work all day long—high as fuck!—just watching The DCeiver. The pretty, pretty DCeiver. So pretty.
I watched the counter climb in those days, no doubt accidentally contributing to its success inadvertently each time I reported back to check on its daily accomplishments. It was not long before I had divined the needed creative process by which I could spontaneously burst forth with creative forthbursts both high and mighty. This is the process by which I create:
6. The Number 8.
7. We all rotate.
8. Pretty Kate (Winslet or Beckinsale) has sex ornate
Anyone engaged in that hallowed activity—hell, that legendary exercise—of picking up a pen and putting it to paper in the hopes that what will spring forth will tap the creative spirit and reveal the truths about our fragile and complicated existence will tell you: Writing with a pen and paper sure causes hand cramp. Those are wise words. Wise words indeed. And I’ve heeded them, employing nothing but the finest soul-crushing technology we could afford to make this task of writing The DCeiver seem enormous despite the fact that it is extraordinarily easy and thoroughly two-thirds assed in its approach and execution. The trick to making it seem important, as in all things, is in making us seem important.
We had goals back then...real goals. Lofty goals. We were going to become cult faves. We were going to make a modest sum of money. We were going to influence people, cause a stir. We were going to make needed changes to this world with the power of our voice. We were going to go to happy hour every week. And it’s great to be able to sit here, pretending to work at my new job, and be able to tell you with enormous delight that we have set these goals for ourselves and in every single case, save the last, we have been spectacular, colossal failures.
Yet, is it not true that in failure comes success? We hope so, because it is upon this single piece of convoluted logic that this entire rumination, and indeed, each waking hour of my life, is hung, and we depend on the belief that if we make nothing else of our efforts, then we shall, through our aforementioned efforts, at the very least, bathe humanity in a resplendent glow reminiscent of a satellite prematurely re-entering the atmosphere of the earth on its murderous path to the populated areas below. Failing that, of course, we hope to simply continue our proud tradition of crafting long, run-on sentences with exasperatingly tortured metaphors.
Where will I go from here? Who knows? But on the occasion of this, my autobiography, I am reminded of a crisp October night in 1992, when my favorite professor looked me in the eyes and said something that I will never forget: "You. Get the fuck off of my driveway or I will call the police."
And, my friends, I did indeed get the fuck off of his driveway. You can ask anyone.
jason, your writing talents are truly undervalued. and underused. until today.
I vote for a novelette for Grady/Tisiphone entitled
"Where are my F#$%ing Earrings: 2 1/2 Months in 5-Inch Heels"
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