Links: Skot K.
The first of my friends to start a blog, he was also the recipient of my scorn when he started out. Two years later, here I am. Who's zooming who?
So, what can I tell you about that miserable rat bastard, Skot?
To start with, he's a miserable rat bastard, in the truest owning-up-to-the-definition sense, Skot is a gourmand of schaden freude. I've never seen anyone delight in others' trouble the way Skot does.
And yet, he's also one of the most endearing cranks I've ever known (note to future curmudgeons: don't take yourself too seriously). An impressive actor, it seems he's left the stage for good, which is a shame, honestly. I've never seen him phone it in, even in productions he was less than enthusiastic about(Obscene Bird of Shit comes to mind)...Okay, that's a lie. Yes I've seen him phone it in, several times in fact (again, Obscene Bird of Shit comes to mind), but these are usually the exception. I mean, when a critic compares your intensity in playing a decaying zombie "Shakespearian in scope," that's fucking talent. Commited and smart, you couldn't ask for a better scene partner.
And, as with most assholes, the taciturn exterior masks an inner softie, though this is the last time you'll see that being noted in this entry.
Instead, I'd rather regale you with some of the finer examples of Skot's cheesedick-ery:
-- Summer of '98, I'm at the tail end of what is essentially a break from theater, and I get a phone call from BW, telling me that Open Circle Theater is looking for a funny black actor, and that, as a mildly amusing beige man (better than Garrett Morris, but not quite Damon Wayans), I'm one of the closest things to that in Seattle. I decide to give it a shot.
I show up to this dingy warehouse in the middle of nowhere, and am greeted by SB (director), NZ (playwright) and Skot (ne'erdowell). SB gives me the pitch for the show (Shari Lewis meets Warhol's Factory meets sketch comedy with musical accompaniment), tells me it's not supposed to be politically correct, and then gives me a scene in which a white guy expresses his desire to be blacker, so that he could get his girl back. Skot reads the scene with me, and it goes over. When we're done with the scene, Skot tosses his script behind his back and storms off. SB tells me he'll be in touch, and I head out.
On my way out, I'm greeted by Skot who's chatting with AS (stage manager, and the only person I know in the production), who convinces me to stick around and have a smoke (never an arm twisting scenario). Mid-smoke SB comes out and says, "oh, you're still here. We think you'll be a good fit."
Skot: "Yeah, you're black."
SB: "Right, do you want to be our token negro?"
Skot: "Great, listen, I need someone to mow my lawn, would you mind? I mean, you're brown and all. You don't mind, right?"
How could I resist? (I couldn't, this was the first show in what turned out to be a seven year commitment to OCT.)
-- I can't pinpoint any specific examples of the kind of behavior Skot would get up to over the next couple of years, as it's all a blur between shows for OCT and DBP (of which he was a member. Ask him about his writing debut with Knock Knock Theater, an epic callback sketch quite loosely "based" on Sartre's No Exit). But, typically, it would involve a) a $20 loan that floated between the two of us (much like my arrangement with Deni M.), b) getting ridiculously wasted at the Family Affair, and c) trading "mow my lawn" (Skot) and "I sleep with your woman" (me) gags which were funny to no one but us.
The exception? Skot and myself.
Sitting next to each other was probably not the wisest thing to do. To begin with, Skot's an atheist, and I'm a former Catholic, so nothing's sacred. That none of what we came up with was very original (for example, we would not take the "body of christ" into our mouths) didn't stop us from giggling like the Katzenjammer Kids. The minister at several points through the wedding would raise his arms in a "touchdown" formation, and proclaim that "The lord fills us with kindness and love" or some such ("Twinkies and beer" we'd fill in). I mean, seriously, we were eight years old.
After the ordeal was over, the reception took place in the church's basement, so that went placidly, we just never stopped drinking.
The only other thing I remember from this day, was Skot, myself and SE piling into SE's Volvo and laughing for nearly 15 minutes non-stop over the cartoon noise we'd invented for ejaculation ("blorp"). We could not stop laughing.
-- Vegas. The contingent from OCT head down to see a play of NZ's (who was attending UNLV's Playwrighting Graduate program), and the wedding of a couple in the group. Three days of non-stop drinking.
On the first day there, a group of us went to a Safeway not far from our hotel and bought Safeway brand vodka and tequila. Needless to say, there was plenty of it left over the night before we all came home.
So, after the wedding, and after dinner in an Italian restaurant (where one of the contingent had the misfortune of ordering and eating a seafood entree -- seafood in the middle of a desert just isn't a good idea), the bachelor's room attempted to kill the remaining booze before we left.
Of the four of us in the room, half went to sleep early because of the flight time the next morning. Skot and I decided to stay up all night, gamble and get wasted. Well, the gambling lasted until about 12:30am, when we both became broke (craps for me, blackjack for him).
We couldn't go back to our room, due to the sleeping roommates, and so, we proceeded to drink this awful tequila in the hallway leading to our rooms. We stagger around the Trop, killing time and our livers, until 5am, fully an hour before the rest of the group wakes up. We decide to nap.
It's 6:30am, the group leaves at 7am to take the taxi to the airport, the flight is at 8:30am (obviously this took place before 9/11), I'm shaken awake by KN (the lesbian bachelor in the room), and I stagger into the shower. I get out, still groggy, only to find that Skot's still passed out, and the other two have left to wait for the cab taking us to the airport. I may not be smart, but I got the implied message.
Skot, wake up!
Wake up, man, we have a flight to catch.
Wake the fuck up, man, the cab's gonna be here any second now.
At this point, Skot sits up, looks at me in an approximation of my eyes and says, "I'm tired," and flops back to his pillow.
Skot...Skot! Goddamnit, wake up, man!
I somehow convince him to take a shower (i.e.--I lift him up and take him into the bathroom), and after a cigarette, notice that the shower is still running. I head to the bathroom door and listen. I hear snoring. I open the door, and sure enough, Skot's asleep in the shower while the shower is running.
SKOT, COME ON, MAN, WE GOTTA GO!
"I'm so tired..."
I reach in and turn the hot water off. This does the trick, and in less than five minutes, we're in front of the Tropicana waiting for the cab with everyone else.
Skot's still single at this point, and when he's drunk, he usually goes into lotharian mode. His moves are...basic (invariably, something along the lines of "but it's my birthday!"), yet successful during that timeframe, so I'm not judging. He does, however, decide to do some "platonic flirting" with SE's teutonic girlfriend (the aforementioned seafood poisoning victim, who had spent the previous evening expiating the day's meals), who was still not feeling well, and Skot, despite being fresh from a shower, was basically sweating bad tequila and nicotine, so not a happy coupling here. (This, in fact, begins a basic disintegration of the OCT contingent in those days, but that's a different story.)
KN escorts Skot back to me and says, "you're gonna have to take care of Skot, okay? Okay, bye." And so, I do (getting pissed off at the portion of the OCT contingent who were acting as if they'd never). This consisted of hearing the "'Jose?' What? 'I'm tired.' *flop*" joke over and over, which I was sleep-deprived enough to appreciate. Particularly when we were in the smoking area of the Las Vegas airport, and he flopped his head right into a pane glass window.
Eventually, we board our flight, and we proceed to sleep off and sweat out the previous evening's libations. A bout of the dueling snorers ensued, so I hear...
--These days, Skot is still cantankerous, despite dying last week. However, since getting married (to a saint of a woman, we all marvel at her ability to deal with his shit), he's become more and more of a hermit. We see him out and about rarely, but when he is, he's pure Skot. He heads home early, though, never being out later than midnight. He saves his energies for his blog, which serves as a great platform for his bitter outlook on the world at large.
Check him out, he's worth it.
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