“…and then I woke up.”
Kris has known fear ever since he woke up in bed one night screaming, “I don’t want to die.” The catch? He was only three years old. Through a series of humorous anecdotes, Kris traces his trouble with dreams, both waking and sleeping, real and imagined, as he looks for his “thing” in life, wrestling with the expectations of family, friends, and society at large…and often failing. But, then he makes a decision to take back his own dreams and change his life.
That Robert Frost guy was full of sh*t! It’s not two roads. It’s one. We just have to find it. The problem is there are a bunch of obstacles we have to go through before we can get to it.
We’re all born with a “thing” that is ours. And all we have to do is find it, and then live it. But, that’s easier said than done.
This show started on a random evening in 2012. I had already made the decision that I was going to stop trying to be the man everyone else wanted me to be, and finally, follow that inner drive to write and perform.
And though it had been a long road since that moment, I was well on my way. I’d recovered from the recession that broke me, moved back out into my own place, and began writing constantly. I had recently finished my first full length screenplay and was thirty pages into my first full length stage play when I decided to take a night off.
As I sat on my couch watching TV, and episode of “Louie” to be exact, I was suddenly struck by an idea. So, I grabbed one of the yellow legal pads that I always keep handy and jotted down a pages worth of notes. Four notes in total. All about a quarter of a page.
I had no idea what they were, what they meant, or what to do with them. Just something about watching the show connected some synapses in my head and I was inspired to make some notes.
And they just sat there. I didn’t do anything with them for awhile.
A few months later, I once again entered the world of academia. This time to work on a PhD in Humanities in an area of the department called Aesthetic Studies, which covered the arts, essentially. But, I wasn’t there to be an academic.
I was there, instead, to work with two specific men as I continued my quest to write and perform my own work. Thomas Riccio, who I had befriended a couple of years earlier through his work in the Dallas theater scene, specifically with his groundbreaking group the Dead White Zombies. And, Fred Curchack, an internationally renowned veteran of the stage, who had studied with none other than Jerzy Grotowski, and who has had 75 original pieces produced. many of which he performed as solo shows. He’s most famous for his one man show adaptations of Shakespeare.
I knew that working with them would be another big step in the great course correction I had taken on after starting out my adult life in the business world, leaving my first love of theater and performance behind.
In my first class with Fred, a workshopping class called Creating Original Performances, he gave us an assignment the first week to create a four minute performance so that he could get a gauge for where we all were, and what we were thinking about working on.
I was cocky. With a masters degree in Performance Studies, I thought that I would wow Fred with a heady, intelligent performance piece that would blow everyone away. There was just one problem, though. I couldn’t come up with anything.
For two weeks I ran through idea after idea, but nothing was good enough. I was putting too much pressure on myself.
Finally, the deadline was approaching and I had nothing. But, in the back of my head, I’d kept thinking about those notes I made a few months earlier. I thought, I should do a monologue of one of the notes.
I didn’t think he’d like it. I knew his background and thought he’d thing an autobiographical monologue was trite. But, at that point, I had little choice. So, I wrote it.
That monologue was the “sex dream” story from this show. Fred loved it. He didn’t even really workshop it, instead just saying, “This is ready for primetime!”
Over the course of the next two years, I would continue to develop and workshop the show under Fred’s wise guidance.
In August of 2014, I performed the “sex dream” story from the show at the Benefit for Matt Tomlanovich at the Margo Jones Theater in Dallas.
After the performance, I was mobbed by multiple people from the Dallas theater community. They were in shock.
You see, though I grew up doing theater and performance, since 2010, I’ve been a theater critic for Theater Jones. Most of these people only knew me as a critic.
They were stunned. The response was overwhelming. Everyone loved it. I received a loud ovation and an extra curtain call.
I also received invitations to perform more.
So, now I’ll be performing a 20 minute selection from the show at the Audacity Solo Salon on Monday, December 8th.
And after that, I have some big news I can’t share yet. But, I’ll be performing the full show soon. It’s big!
Anyone that would like additional information (like, say, for a Fringe Festival), including script and video samples, and references can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org