Monday, January 21, 2008

To Hilton Head

I am starting to love the midnight rides after shows. Everyone seems to be getting in the groove. There is no complaining or agitation. Travis and I discuss the greatness of the show we just played …and the beard extensions.

I feel a little bad that I played the beardage as real to some fans I spoke to, but in ways explainable and unexplainable, it was what I had to do.

To start, I thought of the excess beard as a celebration of our return to playing together. I felt like it would be part of the visual language of Days Of The New for the first shows we played together and I liked that it suggested age and wisdom. Plus wearing it made me feel like our old soundman and friend Gus.

As I nightly clipped the extensions onto my real beard I also appreciated that after our first show in January, Rick the Manager had suggested to Travis that the beard I was growing was evidence that I wasn’t a good fit for Travis anymore. I half expected this after the Tampa show when he said, “I know you have to grow the beard for a role, but why no long hair anymore?” (This is a guy who doesn’t think I’m playing good drums if my arms aren’t flailing like an octopus.)

The beard is also one of the things I brought on tour from great experiences I have had since Travis and I last worked. There is the tattoo on my ring finger from Traci’s and my wedding. The beard and OM shirt are from the two roles I’ve played in Adam’s plays. My gut is from Stromboli’s Pizza on 1st Ave and St. Marks, and my penis extentions are from the goodie bag I got at CMJ.

However the beard looked, it felt right – right up to the point before the show when I got so upset I had no choice but to bring only the bare essentials. After my meltdown, I could not dress up.

When I tell this to Travis he says, “You finally were in a place where you needed to be yourself. That was the difference. I mean, I’m sure you’re a good actor and all and those things probably work well for your characters, but at some point this is no longer about being character. It has to be you that you bring.”

With much gratitude, I place the extensions back in the Ziploc bag where they remain.

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