Awhile back, an old friend popped into my head. You know, someone you haven’t seen or thought of in years, just magically enters your thoughts. Why this happens, we don’t know. Is it divine intervention? Is there some ‘behind-the scenes’ brain chemistry at work that just randomly brings up the person?
Whatever the case may be, it happened and I took it upon myself to find them on Facebook and reach out.
I say ‘old friend’, but not in the traditional sense. This was an internet friend, someone I had met through Youtube before it was even a thing. He was an actor, on the cusp of hitting it big time. We had talked off and on on Myspace and our connection was lost just by circumstance and the changing technology.
So, when I reached out, I was happy to get a reply. He did in fact remember me and our connection had a few bars again. I was thrilled. Over the moon. While I did consider him a friend, he really was admirable. I hoped to one day reach his calibur of talent and visibility in the entertainment world.
As we began talking again, I caught him up with all my projects. I went ahead and shared with him of a failed project, “Three Little Words.” It was a web series created after a group of friends had agreed to do a project with me. I had done theatre all throughout high school and all my friends were actors. But, without dragging the story along— people dropped out, thought the material was too serious, “got busy”— and it just went nowhere. It still pains me today, that friends who at the time were very involved in the acting world— thought they were above it all.
Before I gave up on the project, I had written a few monologues for the major characters for audition purposes. In the end, only one ‘actor’ performed for me. I say ‘actor’, because he really was a male model and after watching his performance, I realized the ability to act was something you either had or didn’t have
After hearing my story, my old friend said, “Well hey. Send me the monologue my way. I’ll do it!”
The thought of asking him to perform one of the monologues hadn’t crossed my mind at all. I was just sharing my woes. So, you can believe me when I tell you I nearly jumped out of my seat after hearing this from him.
Someone with TALENT was going to bring one of my characters to life. The rush of happiness that I felt can not be described. It was at this moment that I wondered— had he popped into my head to ultimately lead me to finding a competent actor?
So, I sent him over the monologue for the character of Todd Walker, the antagonist. I was pretty excited because villains are more fun to write than heroes and they’re more fun to play, too. And with that, we said goodbye. I figured he’d be prompt and get a video of himself performing it for me within a week.
Boy, was I wrong.
Time slowly ticked by. A week, a month… I was getting anxious. I didn’t want to bother him. He was a hard working young man. He had a girlfriend. Life was busy. So, I waited some more.
When we reached the two month mark, I figured I’d go ahead and ask again. I caught him online and shot him a “hello.” We had a pleasant conversation just about how things were going. When it felt right, I snuck in a “I can’t wait for the monologue” comment. He responded with: Yeah, I’m probably the worst with taking my sweet time!
I realize now there might have been some kind of problem then. He had apologized for not getting it done, but there was no confirmation I’d ever see the monologue performed. At the time I didn’t realize this and thanked him for chatting and The Waiting Game began again.
Another month went by. And it was now his birthday. I always try to say something personal to people on their birthdays instead of just the generic “Happy Birthday”, so I wrote him a short little birthday wish and sent a message.
He replied with a thank you and nothing more.
The Waiting Game started again.
Another two months go by.
By this time, the monologue had been in his possession for five months. I was frustrated, worried, and confused. He had offered to do it. We were friends. What was the hold up? I wrote to him again, being more direct, but still polite.
He responded a few hours later, but not how I was expecting.
You see, aside from acting, he was a published author. And way back when, he had offered to send me his book. And his response was that he had a surprise for me. He hinted at it being his book, so I thanked him. It was then he said the monologue would need to wait until after his exams were finished.
But you see. In looking at the situation now, this was a distraction. He didn’t want to do the monologue. So instead, he changes the situation around with him sharing something else I had asked for years ago.
It was another two months before his surprise arrived. It wasn’t just his book. It was that and a lot more. He asked me to not share anything of the contents, so I suppose I’ll still honor that. It goes without saying, he put a lot of effort into what he sent me. It was a really good distraction. He did acknowledge me “waiting so long” for his book and thanked me for “putting up with” him.
I was so touched by his kindness, this ‘surprise’, that I had the thought that perhaps, he was just too busy and that I didn’t really need him to perform the monologue anymore.
So, I wrote to him saying we could forget about the monologue.
He responded with “No, no— I’d still like to do it.”
But, he had just had surgery on his eyes and he couldn’t read! “They’ll be better in two weeks,” he said.
So, yet again, The Waiting Game starts for the umpteenth time… but I am sure he’ll honor my request. He ‘wants’ to do it, after all.
We talk a bunch as time slips by. Five months to be exact. I didn’t ask about it once, but it was often on my mind. His eyes were better and he had vacationed in Cuba.
A monologue takes a person five minutes to do.
So, I write him a longer message now. I talk about how I admire him, how he’s a real talent, and maybe, he’ll find enough time to perform this tiny little thing for me.
“Send it again” he says.
The next day, he sends me this:
“One must print and highlight or one is not taking it seriously”
Oh my god, it’s actually happening. Holy shit. Adrenaline rush.
“I’ll send it tomorrow,” he writes.
Tomorrow comes. Tomorrow Goes.
He’s had the monologue for over a year now. It’s a new year. And I wish him a happy one and remind him once again– “Hope I get the monologue soon!”
He didn’t respond at all.
One more month goes by. He’s had the monologue since July of 2014. And it is now 2016. I ask him flat out, is the monologue this bad? What follows was one of the oddest conversations I’ve ever had.
He mentions Occams razor. (How do I solve this problem?) And he proceeds to tell me he’s joining the secret service. I am so incredibly confused and very frustrated by now.
“I don’t want to keep waiting”, I finally say, a year after the fact.
He reads the message but that’s that.
I decide to cut the cord. Hit the delete button.
But… The Waiting Game had begun again.
The show wasn’t over…